Wednesday, October 10, 2007

WHEN THE NEXT ATTACK COMES - I'LL BE THE FIRST TO SAY I TOLD YOU SO

E WHEN THE NEXT ATTACK COMES – I’LL BE THE FIRST TO SAY I TOLD YOU SO

I’m becoming sickened by the political climate in the US these days…well actually I really should remove the word becoming, I’ve been getting sicker each day for the past few years as I’ve watched America forget 9/11, why it happened, how it happened and what we asked of our government after it happened.

As I’m prone to do let’s answer those questions:

Why it happened: This is probably the toughest question to answer as there are so many known reasons and probably even more unknown or best guess reasons. Some will say our foreign possible was responsible for 9/11 and then praise President Clinton’s style forgetting that more attacks against US interests occurred during his presidency than during any other administration in modern history or that the 9/11 plan was set in motion to attack the US while he was still president, in fact before George W. Bush even became the nominee for the Republican party. I fall in with the group that believes that the lack of response to the various attacks of the 90’s led to an emboldened bin Laden taking it to the obvious next step and that who was President didn’t matter.

How it happened: In early 2000 bin Laden gave the green light to begin moving personnel into the US to take flight training. Originally they wanted to fly up to 20 planes in 2-3 waves into various American cities over a 2 week period but that was quickly scaled down to 10 planes in 2 waves but the operational difficulties in recruiting 40 people, getting them into the US and getting 20 fully trained men to fly high performance passenger aircraft proved overwhelming for the organization so in late 2000 the plan was finalized and 20 people to man 4 planes for a single day coordinated attack on high profile targets was authorized and they mobilized. While we were watching CNN’s 24/7 coverage of hanging chads Al queda was on the move. In Mar 2001 the pilots in training had completed their flight training and began to finalize their plans of attack, making the final selection of flights and targets after completing several months of recon work. The original date of June proved to early, Aug proved unworkable as they were struggling to get everybody seats on the right flights so 9/9 was selected but again fate jumped in and it became unworkable for unknown reasons (some sources say this is when the 20 hijacker deserts causing the whole group to pause and see if he’d been taken by the FBI or just backed out) so 9/11 was finally the day.

What we asked of our government after it happened: First as I recall we collectively said never again…we told the president do whatever it takes to keep us safe and get us some payback. Also as I recall the president said it would be a long war, a new type of war, and that it would take military might, intelligence efforts, financial efforts and policing efforts to defeat this enemy. We also learned of the intelligence failures, the failure to be able to identify and go after the folks who regularly stay in the country after their visa’s expire and we learned that our federal agencies don’t talk to each other much and often husband the information they gather even if they don’t have the resources to translate it and analyse it. So when the president said he would do whatever it took to destroy this organization that had attacked us so many times in the past and had now attacked us at home we cheered and said we’re behind you.

So what has he done and what have the results been? Well let’s start with what has been done:

First we asked the Taliban rather nicely to hand over all members of Al Queda, after a few weeks of pussy footing around with a government that only 3 countries recognized the congress gave the president the authority he needed and we took control of Afghanistan kicking the Taliban and Al Queda’s leadership all the way back to Pakistan. Sadly Pakistan wasn’t the anvil we’d hoped for and far to many escaped. Then after we discovered how many calls were placed back and forth between Afghanistan and several middle eastern countries to the hijackers in the US the President authorized the NSA to work quietly with cell phone companies to figure out how to more quickly identify how to track cell phone numbers when phones were captured and then trace those numbers to people and cells both internationally and domestically. Over the next few months’ cells were taken down around the world using this technique.

On the financial front the administration quickly realized the extent of money being moved about to finance operations and again quietly began working with banks to monitor more closely the SWIFT system which for those that don’t know is a uniform system used by most if not all major and minor banks to electronically move money between one bank and another. Laws based on attempts to stop money laundering and drug money had prompted banks to require the use of intermediate banks located in the US in the cash of US dollar transfers…these were simply way stations but it allowed the US to monitor and track all transaction coming from suspect countries which again led to the disruption of terrorist funding around the world.

But as we moved further away from 9/11 and anger grew over the war in Iraq we began to see the political need to separate from the administration. The first casualty was the so called domestic wire tapping program, a victim of a leak to the New York Times probably by a pissed off CIA analyst who thought the administration was putting too much blame on his agency for failures leading up to the Iraq war. Shortly thereafter the blood sport of journalists began with the leak into the identity of Valerie Plame, a nobody with a nobody husband more upset by the fact that nobody cared about his useless report on Niger (a side show mistake by British intelligence) and then came the outing of the SWIFT program which meant that the terrorist now knew for sure (not just guessing) how the US was tracking there communications and how they were tracking the money. A big thank you must go out to all the civil liberties organizations, politicians, leakers and reporters who have a hand in doing their collective very best to embarrass an administration that was only doing what we asked it to do.

Now the Democratic congress has passed the new security bill before they took there month off but vow to come back in 6 months when it’s due to expire and fix the bill that is so flawed. The news story in BBC said under unrelenting pressure from the administration the congress was forced to pass the flawed bill that may allow illegal wire taps within the US…I grew ill reading this and then remembered it was the Basically British Communist network and switched to CNN where I was greeted by Democratic congressman saying the administration had bullied them into voting for this unnecessary bill by threatening to keep them in session over their holiday. So I guess the BBC wasn’t far off…the democrats who run both houses congress passed a bill they thought was wrong (because the administration said it was needed) so they could take a month off but they promised to fix it when they got back to work in Sep. Funny how when the Iraqi parliament refused to pass bills until they got them right and then decided to take Aug off it was horrible…while US soldiers are dieing they go on vacation the headlines read…I guess it’s different in DC when you want to go on vacation.

Sorry to get off topic there but mano I’ve had a tough couple of days trying not to have a stroke as I get sicker and sicker of congress, and politicians in general. We demanded that the President do whatever it took to never let another 9/11 occur and he’s come through. I don’t care if big brother is listening to me and my wife discuss our lives on our phone nor do I much care if the government is checking my wire transfers as long as they are checking everybody’s including those who unlike me actually wish to harm us.

They hate us, they want to destroy our way of life and until we realize that the loss of a few civil liberties is better than the loss of our entire way of life then they will keep trying and we will keep forgetting what that day and those immediate days after 9/11 were like and what we demanded and then got. It’s truly sad but as we get further away the likelihood of another attack grows stronger not because of an incompetent administration but by us allowing politics and the hate of the Iraq war to cloud our judgement. Just because the administration thinks it’s a good thing doesn’t mean we must rally against us. They have been batting 100% since 9/12 and I sure hope I don’t get to say I told you so at some point in the future but if we all keep forgetting the lessons of 9/11 that day will surely come.

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