Thursday, February 14, 2008

‘Our Country Is In Trouble’ -- An Ex-bin Laden Hunter On Why The U.S. Hasn't Beaten Al Qaeda.

From Newsweek:

Michael Scheuer is a worried man—and an angry one. He's worried by what he regards as the United States's failure to devise a successful strategy against Osama bin Laden and angered by what he sees as the political timidity behind that failure. Scheuer has a claim to be heard. He was a CIA officer for almost 20 years. In the 1980s he was involved in the arming of the Afghan mujahedin against the Soviets. For much of the 1990s he ran the team hunting for Osama bin Laden. In 2004 he quit the CIA to write a book titled "Imperial Hubris," an account of years of Western failure to take seriously the growing threat of Islamist terrorism. Now Scheuer has written a new book, "Marching Toward Hell: America and Islam After Iraq." He spoke with NEWSWEEK'S John Barry about it.

Read more ....

My Comment: Since the seventies, after the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee headed by Senator Church had hearings on "illegal" conduct of the C.I.A. that resulted in the elimination of much of its traditional "body on the ground" intelligence work to favor more electronic and equipment surveillance, America's Intelligence capability has not been the same. While it is probably the best in monitoring leaders of state, it is clear that it is not effective against individuals and quasi organizations such as Al Qaeda.

To change the culture of America's Intelligence Organizations will, in my opinion, only come about through an act of god. Since 911, there are two images that sum up to me on what is the best and worse of the CIA. The first one is right after 911, when CIA operatives were dropped into Afghanistan and were successful in organizing opposition groups in that country as well as coordinating U.S. air strikes against the Taliban and their Al Qaeda allies. The second one is learning about Valerie Plame and her involvement in sending her husband to Niger, and the fallout after that escapade. The clear nepotism and politicization of the CIA for all to see.

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