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May 18, 2006

Let's Be Sure To Do Exactly What Bin Laden Wants Us To

A while ago Judith Miller mentioned that she'd heard in the summer of 2001 about U.S. concerns about a big impending Al Qaeda attack. Now Rory O'Connor William Scott Malone have interviewed Judith Miller about it, and written it up for Alternet. Her account is corroborated by her then-editor Stephen Engelberg.

According to Miller, many government types were extremely worried there would be an attack on the July 4th, 2001 weekend. She went down to DC to try to talk to people, but they were mostly too busy. Still, Miller says:

...I did manage to have a conversation with a source that weekend. The person told me that there was some concern about an intercept that had been picked up. The incident that had gotten everyone's attention was a conversation between two members of Al Qaida. And they had been talking to one another, supposedly expressing disappointment that the United States had not chosen to retaliate more seriously against what had happened to the Cole. And one Al Qaida operative was overheard saying to the other, 'Don't worry; we're planning something so big now that the U.S. will have to respond.'

But Miller et al couldn't learn anything more about this, and so the New York Times didn't end up running a story. Kevin Drum asks, "Perhaps now would be a good time to follow it up?"

I feel the same way, particularly because doing a follow up shouldn't be too hard. The obvious place to start beyond Miller is the 9/11 Report. According to the report, after the Cole attack,

...Bin Ladin anticipated U.S. military retaliation. He ordered the evacuation of the al Qaeda's Kandahar airport compound and fled...

There was no American strike. In February 2001, a source reported that an individual whom he identified as the big instructor (probably a reference to bin Ladin) complained frequently that the United States had not yet attacked. According to the source, Bin Ladin wanted the United States to attack, and if it did not he would launch something bigger.

That's on page 191. It sources this claim to "Intelligence report, Terrorism Activities, Oct. 1, 2001" (Chapter 6, footnote 126).

I've long been amazed that the news bin Ladin really, really wanted retaliation from the U.S. has gotten so little attention—even after it appeared in the most official report imaginable. The phrase "complained frequently that the United States had not yet attacked" gets 5 results from Google, one of which is simply the text of the report.

REMEMBER: As I wrote yesterday, al Qaeda's real goal has nothing to do with "our freedom." As the 9/11 report also says, what they're trying to do is win "their struggle for preeminence among other Islamist and jihadist movements." Having a gigantic military response from the U.S. has helped them do just that.

Posted at May 18, 2006 12:41 PM | TrackBack

That may well be his goals, but in the process he's KILLED 3000 AMERICANS. Politics is politics, I'm just wondering what politics is stoping us from bringing OSAMA to justice and a rope.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at May 18, 2006 02:23 PM

Justice AND a rope?

Anyway, I'm just wondering what's preventing you from bringing LOGIC to this forum...and a pony.

Posted by: Ire Man at May 18, 2006 04:28 PM

Jon, I think you hit the nail on the head with bin Laden. Bin Laden did kill 3,000 Americans but what happened after that? We went after him in Afghanistan and we did inflict damage but all of a sudden we veered off to Iraq, many were puzzled by this. Of course we now know that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 nor did it have WMD and in fact there is was an article not too long ago that said Doug Feith suggested to Bush that we invade Iraq a non-terrorist state (I am paraphrasing here but it is close) because Afghanistan no longer had any good targets. So Bush knew all along Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. And as most people know any connections between Iraq and bin-Laden have been debunked. So why would Bush do this? Because Bush and bin Laden are two peas in a pod. They both lie and manipulate to stay in power. Notice how the orange alerts ended right after the last presidential election because obviously Bush no longer needed to scare the population since he was now re-elected if it can be dignified that way. So bin Laden killed 3,000 Americans and Bush's answer was to get a few more thousand Americans killed in Iraq which had nothing to do with 9/11. The only way this makes sense is that Bush manipulates to stay in power.

Posted by: rob payne at May 18, 2006 05:52 PM

Ire Man:
The logic is this. The man is accused of the crime of mass murder on AMERICAN soil. AMERICAN law REQUIRES he be captured and tried by a JURY of his peers. (maybe he's innocent, maybe the CIA really did put ILS navagation beacons in the Towers to guide the aircraft and/or detonated pasrts of the structures for a final touch) A trial would seek out the TRUTH we all need to know and may well divulge important information as to other attacks. THAT'S JUSTICE. The rope is for punoshment for the lives he has taken. The PONY is outside mowing the lawn, as we speak.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at May 18, 2006 08:55 PM

so you're saying that once you get past the murderous methods, the misanthropy and the disdain for other religions, they are just attention whores?

as to the justice thing. while america is still a land of laws, they are the laws of Bush, not your Constitution which is currently being shared as TP by Dick Cheney's office and the NSA.

Posted by: almostinfamous at May 19, 2006 09:08 AM

Mike, i think talking about justice in this context is nonsensical. The US has killed more people in Iraq alone than Bin Laden will ever kill, who by your own admition had nothing to do with 9/11. Don't you think that justice should apply to them also? I think you are missing the point Jon is trying to make: the war is not about justice or retribution, but about controlling the masses.

Posted by: Dimitria at May 19, 2006 09:55 AM

I did not say he's not guilty, I'm saying I, you, or anyone we know doesn't know for sure, therefore the need for a trial. There is ALWAYS the possibility of innoscents. As far as controling the masses, well the masses desire control and are historically willing to follow the worst, the least just, and most detrimental we can breed. (Note the present Administration) But you're right, Dimitria, what I am talking about is something this Administration and OSAMA can NEVER produce for the masses or anyone else.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at May 19, 2006 11:18 AM

I seem to remember Clinton launching a bunch of Cruise missles. Was that not in retaliation of the attack on the USS Cole? I guess Bin Laden want a major war, not just a single strike.

Posted by: Marcus at May 19, 2006 03:26 PM