Friday, February 10, 2012

Al Qaeda: Was Underestimated Before 9/11 & Was Overestimated Afterward

Hindsight is always 20-20, of course, but it turns out that the widespread fear -- bordering on panic -- that there would be a second wave of attacks in the months after 9/11 was misplaced because it turns out that Al Qaeda was a one-hit wonder.

This reality is revealed in an article in a leftist rag called the Air Force Times that says that the government underestimated the terrorist group before the attacks and overestimated it afterward. The Bush-Cheney cabal cannot be forgiven for the former while the latter is understandable considering the pitiful state of the U.S.'s intelligence capabilities and the lack of brain power in the White House.

"Al Qaeda wasn't as good as we thought they were on 9/11," says Michael A. Sheehan, the assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low intensity conflict. (Do you suppose that his entire title is painted on his Pentagon office door?)

"Quite frankly, we, the American people, we asleep at the switch, the U.S. government prior to 9/11. So an organization that wasn't that good looked really great on 9/11. Everyone looked to the skies every day after 9/11 and said, 'When is the next attack?' And it didn't come, partly because Al Qaeda wasn't that capable. They didn't have other units in the U.S. . . . Really, they didn't have the capability for a second attack."

Sheehan said there is a second reason that America has not suffered a major terrorist attack is that the U.S. "crushed Al Qaeda immediately after 9/11, and continually for the last 10 years," an assertion that does not stand up to scrutiny since the Bush administration had little success against the group after the Taliban was ousted in Afghanistan only to re-emerge.

The further that we get away from those dark days the more the enormity -- even criminality, if you will -- of the administration's misdeeds grows.

One reason that Defense Secretary Rumsfeld beat the drum for invading Iraq is there was a belief because of that lack of brain power that the 9/11 attacks had to have been an inside job executed with the assistance of the Saddam Hussein regime.

That lead to eight and a half deeply tragic years highlighted by the deaths of nearly 4,800 U.S. and coalition forces, at least 100,000 Iraqis and millions of people displaced, the starving of boots and resources for the war in Afghanistan, which is only now just winding down after a series of botched strategies, and a body blow to America's standing in the world because of the Bush administration's embrace of torture and scuttling of civil liberties.

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