It is rare, rare indeed when a major media entity bucks the trend, and does what it believes in. Recently ABC under Disney’s guidance aired the $40 million production, “The Path to 9/11”. This was a five hour-two night portrayal of the events that led to 9/11. Having gone through the history of terrorism over the last 25 years, I believe this portrayal was as accurate as you can get. The screenwriters were not politically motivated in any way. They could have come down on the Clinton Administration much harder than what you saw; Bush was not given a free pass either.
Bill Clinton was no different than the Presidents before him. Every President from Jimmy Carter forward, whether Republican or Democrat was soft on terrorism. The Presidents chose to use the notion that terrorism is an illegal act, and should be treated as such, in the courtroom. This meant countless indictments by grand juries of overseas terrorists that would never be brought to trial in America. It was a MARVELOUS political choice of not having to deal with a problem.
The “Path to 9/11” could have humiliated Clinton on this score. They took it easy on the man. I do not criticize Clinton for his actions. He was simply extending the policies of his predecessors into the present. The problem was that terrorism came home to roost big time under the Clinton Administration. The entire plot to take those planes into those buildings was hatched, and prepared while Clinton was President.
The FBI was asleep at the switch, and the CIA wasn’t talking to the FBI. Ask the FBI how they spent a $150 million on a computer system that didn’t work? Ask them if they are computerized as of right now, or are they still using paper index cards in most of their offices? Ask them if more than half their agents have laptop computers today, five years after 9/11? I know the answers to those questions, and you would be surprised at them.
The FBI and the CIA have a long history of dislike for one another. If you want proof, go back to World War II when J. Edger Hoover ran the FBI, and Will Bill Donovan ran the Office of Strategic Services, the predecessor to the current CIA. The two men hated one another, and their respective organizations followed through on the anger. Within days after WW II ended, Hoover forced the new President Harry Truman to disband the OSS as unnecessary. At the same time the Russians were consolidating their gains in Eastern Europe.
The CIA formed just a few years after the was over, was created in spite of Hoover’s strenuous objections. The notion of judicial process of terrorists was continued right on up through our current President, George Bush. This President turned the tables after 9/11. Would you believe that the FBI was still fighting for judicial processing of terrorists after 9/11 while the CIA was fighting for “let us deal with it”? The President sided with the CIA, and the military, against the protests of the FBI, and Justice Department.
Just a few short months earlier, Bush would have probably made the same call as Clinton. Our current President is the first President in my lifetime to deal with terrorism for what it is. It’s an ACT of WAR against this country. For those who want to treat it as something else, let me remind you of the stakes. We lost 2,749 people in the World Trade Centers, and many, many more in the Pentagon and a small field in Pennsylvania. One small nuclear weapon that can fit into a brief case would make New York City uninhabitable for decades at a minimum, probably kill of 250,000 within seconds, with another 300,000 to 500,000 casualties with hospitals that couldn’t help them.
If you don’t think that Osama Bin Laden on a daily basis is not trying to acquire that weapon, than you need to change what you are smoking. These people if they could snap their fingers and remove 300 million Americans from the planet would snap those fingers. Usually people that hate us don’t have the capacity to follow through on their hatred. If you live in a village in the middle of a mountain pass, and you hate Americans, what can you really do, while you sleep in a bug infested hut, eating scrapings from the Chieftain’s table?
Osama on the other hand, has cash estimated at $500 million. Additionally, he raises BIG MONEY on a yearly basis from Arabs who hate us also, and governments seeking to buy protection from him. Do you think it’s just luck that the Saudi Arabian pipelines have not been touched in a terrorist act? Those pipelines are wide open, and just waiting to be blown up. Such an act would put us all on gas lines in the United States, and probably rationing. Aren’t you surprised that Kuwait has not been attacked, or any other oil producing juggernaut.
Oil comes from all the bad neighborhoods of the world, and it is the lifeline of American productivity. We must do whatever we must do to protect that lifeline. If you are concerned about war with extreme Islamic fundamentalists, let me remind you that we once fought a foe just as militant, and just as extreme.
There were once 50 million Nazis that hated our souls, and if gave the chance would have killed every one of us. We fought a war for five years against them. How many Nazis do you see around the world today? They are a group so small that they can be counted on the fingers of a mutilated left hand. If we can successfully eliminate the Nazis, we can successfully eliminate Islamic terrorists from our world as well.
The answer is not hauling them into court and putting them on trial. The answer is to keep them overseas. We must do whatever has to be done to keep this marvelous, wonderful bastion of democracy free from those who would destroy our entire society. We have been God’s gift to the world for 200 years. Yes, we have made mistakes through the decades, but can any other country in two centuries have acted in as wise, and decent a fashion as us ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I think not.