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PEACE: Foreign Policy & Terrorism | May 17, 2002


An E-Mail to a Democratic National Committee Member et al. 

I know that "hindsight is better than foresight" (I wish I knew 20 years ago what I know now!); but we do pay tens of billions of dollars a year for intelligence services, which our very lives depend on, so now the "powers that be" are asking us American citizens to play a new "game": "Connect the Dots".

OK. How's this (I get my facts from the LA Times, CBS News, CNN, etc.)...?

Last August, Zacarias Moussaoui was arrested on immigration violations after arousing suspicions in a Minnesota flight school: The instructors were concerned that this foreign national flashing more cash than he would ever be able to account for (translation, he was not alone) and with apparently no history of concealing his contempt for America, wanted desperately to learn how to fly a commercial jetliner but expressed no interest in learning how to make take-offs -- uh, oh, sounds like a "traditional" hijacker -- or landings -- what were we to make of that?!

Also in August, in the now infamous Phoenix Memorandum, an FBI agent warned his superiors in Washington -- to no effect -- about an unusual number of Middle Easterners, including some he described as Islamic radicals, attending US flight schools and the real and present danger of Al Qaeda operatives being among them.

Also in August, the CIA warned President Bush, vacationing in Texas, that Bin Laden's terrorists were planning to hijack US aircraft.

In late July 2001, the FAA issued its first warning that Bin Laden's terrorists were "a significant threat to civil aviation."

In 1996 a terrorist captured in Manila revealed Al Qaeda plans to simultaneously hijack 11 airliners and crash at least one of them, laden with explosives, into the headquarters of the CIA.

In 1996 a French swat team killed a squad of terrorists aboard a commercial jetliner that they had hijacked and had planned to crash into the Eiffel Tower.

Not that many years ago, of course, Al Qaeda-linked terrorists bombed the World Trade Center, in an attempt to topple one tower into the other.

And for years and years, Islamic fundamentalist terrorists have killed hundreds of Americans and others -- including themselves -- as in the attacks upon the USS Cole, two of our embassies in Africa, and the barracks of our ever-faithful Marines based in Lebanon.

To even suggest now that the very notion of Al Qaeda terrorists hijacking US planes, crashing them into high-profile targets, and in the process killing themselves and countless innocent Americans was in some way implausible "before 9/11" is itself an implausible statement...particularly coming from those whom we US citizens pay well, and sacrifice many of our civil liberties to, in order to protect ourselves from just such threats.

"Intelligence"...the ultimate oxymoron.

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