As was reported in the last couple of days, the CIA unit dedicated to hunting down Osama bin Laden, was shut down. Was it that the president had other priorities, like, say attacking a country that had no WMD and no connections with al Qaeda?
Thankfully, my outrage about this disturbing piece of news has been matched by Senator John Kerry's, who has fired off a letter to John Negroponte, Director of National Intelligence.
This unit should be reconstituted immediately and given all resources necessary to finish the job of holding bin Laden accountable and preventing him from organizing or inspiring future attacks against the United States and our allies.
There is no question that since 9/11, al Qaeda has morphed into a global terrorist movement that transcends any one individual. The decision to divert resources from the crucial fight against bin Laden and al Qaeda to wage war on Iraq has made the task of eradicating this increasingly diffuse threat more difficult. We now face a long, difficult and multi-faceted struggle against global terrorism and the hateful ideology that inspires it.
I continue to be puzzled by why the MSM repeats the mantra that Bush's strongest suit is the War on Terror. It seems to me that the Democrats have been more focused on the people who attacked us on that awful day, instead of the group with the real pre-9/11 mentality who attacked a country they already wanted to attack since 1998.
Back to you, Senator:
Moreover, disbanding the bin Laden unit sends the message to the terrorists that they can kill thousands of Americans without being held to account. Given that Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz was quoted this week as saying that "nobody has any idea" where bin Laden is, it is especially important that we send a clear message now that we have not given up the hunt. Reconstituting the bin Laden unit now would make it clear that we will never rest until he has been brought to justice.
Past failures to eliminate bin Laden at Tora Bora and in the nearly five years since 9/11 are no excuse for failing to do everything possible to find him now. The CIA's bin Laden unit can play an important part of our effort to win the war on terror, and I urge you to revive and strengthen it as soon as possible.
Of course, bin Laden has served Mr. Bush well, at least in the electoral and political realm. Anyone else read this nugget in Ron Suskind's new book "The One Percent Solution":
On Oct. 29, 2004, Osama bin Laden released his
"October surprise," an 18-minute tape attacking Bush. The CIA analyzed the tape and concluded that "bin Laden's message was clearly designed to assist the President's reelection." That day, at a meeting at the CIA, acting director John McLaughlin remarked, "Bin Laden certainly did a nice favor today for the president." [Jami] Miscik [deputy director of the CIA's Directorate of Intelligence] presented analysis that bin Laden felt challenged by the rise of the thuggish Zarqawi, who called himself commander of al-Qaida in Iraq, and that bin Laden was refocusing attention through his tape on his cosmic and continuing one-on-one battle with Bush. "Certainly," she said, "he would want Bush to keep doing what he's doing for a few more years."
In case you have forgotten, the Bush Campaign team viewed that tape at the time as a little gift. That's the group of "folks" we have working in the White House today, who no longer are focused on finding the man behind the largest attack on American soil in U.S. history.
I for one still want Osama bin Laden captured or killed, so I urge everyone to echo Senator Kerry's call for the CIA to continue that search. It seems, officials at the CIA who are free to speak their mind agree:
A former CIA official who once led the unit, Michael Scheuer, told the Times that its shutdown was a mistake.
"This will clearly denigrate our operations against al-Qaida," he said. "These days at the agency, bin Laden and al-Qaida appear to be treated merely as first among equals."
Send a message to the President and the GOP, that we are not going to accept giving up the search for Osama bin Laden. We will never accept defeat, and will carry on until justice is served to the victims of 9/11. If they won't do it, then it looks like it's time to change the government to a party who will.