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Saturday, May 7, 2011

Right Wing rewrites history on Bil Ladin and Al Qaeda

Let's start with a couple of historical 'what if's' Let's say the Supreme Court hadn't stepped in and stopped the 2000 recount in Florida and Al Gore had been elected President. Let's also say that the new Gore administration had ignored Richard Clarke's warnings about Al Qaeda because he was pissed at Clinton for his indiscretions that made it a lot harder for him to win the 2000 election.

Let's say Gore and his administration had shrugged of all the security warnings in the summer of 2001 and that the Attorney General, acting head of the FBI at the time had taken off on a fishing vacation instead instead of ordering a top down report from the FBI on any suspicious activity in the U.S. like Middle Eastern men attending flight training schools who wanted to know everything about flying a passenger jet except landing it. Let's say President Gore hadn't convened a meeting ordering the CIA and the FBI to pool all their information about possible terrorist threats.

Let;s say that meeting hadn't happened and the CIA never informed the FBI or anyone that they had already been tracking some of the members of the the 9/11 gang that they knew had already entered the US. Let's say those names hadn't been passed on to the FBI which would have automatically put them on an FAA watch list. Let's say that without those names the FBI wouldn't have found out that a couple of the suspected terrorists on that list had purchased one way tickers on two of the flights that were hijacked. Let's assume despite all these negligent omissions had happened and the attacks of 9/11 had happened.

Some on the right assume that a Gore administration would not have invaded Afghanistan because the democrats/left/liberals felt that somehow the U.S. was rsponsible because we had pissed off Al Qaeda. None have claimed that outright but many on the right have insinuated that would have been the case. President Gore would have gone after Al Qaeda and the Taliban, then ruling Afghanistan would have done exactly what the Bush administration did.

What they wouldn't have done is taken they eye off the ball and concocted a reason for invading Iraq.

Charles Krauthammer, one of the more 'respected' editorial writers on the right wrote a revision of history that is stunningly unbelievable. He wrote a couple of days ago that:

Two months and a day before 9/11, terrorism expert Larry C. Johnson published “The Declining Terrorist Threat,” a New York Times op-ed decrying the fact that “Americans are bedeviled by fantasies about terrorism,” when, in reality, “the decade beginning in 2000 will continue the downward trend” in lethal terrorism.

In 2004, Slate magazine wrote the following:

Throughout that summer, we now well know, Tenet, Richard Clarke, and several other officials were running around with their "hair on fire," warning that al-Qaida was about to unleash a monumental attack. On Aug. 6, Bush was given the now-famous President's Daily Brief (by one of Tenet's underlings), warning that this attack might take place "inside the United States." For the previous few years—as Philip Zelikow, the commission's staff director, revealed this morning—the CIA had issued several warnings that terrorists might fly commercial airplanes into buildings or cities.

While that was going on, AG Ashcrot, Bush and Cneney were all on vacation and didn't think any of this was important enough to interrupt their vacations. Bear in mind that Ashcroft was acting head of the FBI because of Louis Freeh's resignation as had of the FBI and no-one had, as yet been selected to replace him.

Krauthammer then walks into pure fantasy with his next statement.

After its rout from Afghanistan, al-Qaeda chose the troubled waters of Iraq as the central front in its war on America — and suffered a stunning defeat, made particularly humiliating when its fellow Sunni Arabs rose up to join the infidel Americans in subduing it.

Say what!. For all of his evil, Saddam Hussein was a secular dictator and wanted no part of Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda in Iraq only showed up there after the American invasion. The Bush administration had used the fact that an Al Qaeda camp had existed in the northern mountains of Iraq beyond the no-fly one as an excuse that Saddam Hussein was in league with Al Qaeda, ignoring the fact that the Iraqi army was restricted to south of the no-fly zone and could do nothing about the Al Qaeda camp.

For revisionist historian, though even using the term 'historian' obviously gives Krauthammer far too much credit, somehow now believes that Al Qaeda chose Iraq as the central front in the war on America. They did, but only after America launched an ill conceived and incompetently run war in Iraq. Truw, the newly constituted Iraqi subsidiary of Al Qaeda was finally defeated but at the cost of over 5,000 additional American lives, god nows how many others traumatically injured, a trillion or so dollars and the lives of a few hundred thousand Iraqis.

In Krauthammer's fevered version of history. it was Al Qaeda who forced America to invade Iraq. In fact it was the master manipulator and Iranian doulbe agent Chalabi and the fevered imagination of an alcoholic ex Iranian low level military taxi driver from Germany who was never actually eve debriefed by the CIA but whose every word was believed by an administration just itching for a war.

Lost in the fog og history is a quote from Bin Lden himself, long before 9/11 that a major terrorist attack on America would trigger an irrational invasion on an oil rich Middle Eastern state that had no role in the attack. For all of Bin Laden's evil he was smart enough to understand American thinking better than Americans itself undersand how they respond to threats.

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