Monday, July 26, 2004

While we're busy being a nation of Neros

"John could be utterly charming or totally devastating. He could wither with a look, suffering fools badly. He was openly contemptuous of people he didn't think pushed the envelope or themselves. He thought so quickly he often finished my sentences. I knew when he disagreed with me by catching an amused flicker in his eye. Behind the bluster, John was a gentle soul. He would rather light a candle than curse the darkness.

--- Interviewer Barbara Newman, on FBI Agent, John O'Neill.

"My passion holds all of my wealth and all of my liabilities. It is the best and the worst of me. But it is me. It is my identity. Alas I know of no more noble cause than to fight for that which one has the greatest of passions for. Rebellions left in the hands of good men will ultimately prevail, and the costs and the sufferings of the rebels will be small, indeed. "

--John O'Neill

Among the first to identify Osama Bin Laden and the threat of Al-Qaeda, likening Bin Laden to Hitler in the pre-Mein Kampf days, John O'Neill was obsessed with the fact that the United States was not taking the threat seriously enough, dismissing Bin Laden as a financier rather than the very real leader of the Islamic jihadi movement.

One of O'Neill's greatest criticisms was of the Bush administration -- and the Clinton administration --- for what he felt to be stonewalling his attempts to reveal the Saudi Arabian components financing and support of Al-Qaeda operations.

John O'Neill was transferred on August 23, 2001 to a position at the World Trade Center from his previous role as a maverick FBI counter-terrorism agent. He perished in the September 11, 2001 attacks.

If he were alive today, he would most likely be unable to contain himself over the recent turns taken in our "war on terror." A strong champion of sanctions, diplomacy, inter-organization information sharing, and covert operations of both the military and investigative variety, O'Neill understood the connection between our large-scale military actions and their success as recruitment devices for new terrorists.

I believe if John O'Neill were alive today, he would be screaming at every journalist willing to listen that we know Osama Bin Laden has succeeded in his quest for nuclear suicide bombs, as stated by Yossef Bodansky, head of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare in a 1998 congressional committee meeting. He told the committee that the bombs had been transported through Pakistan to various al-Qaeda cells. "The Russians believe he [Bin Laden] has a handful [of nuclear weapons], the Saudi intelligence servcies are very conservative, perhaps they are freindly to the United States, believe that he has in the neighborhood of twenty. As far as the acquisition and obtaining [of said bombs] theres the multiple sources of that, dealing with the actual purchse of the suitcase bombs. He [bin Laden] has a collection of individuals knowledgeable in activating the bombs and he is looking for and recruiting former Soviet Special Forces in learning how to operate the bombs behind enemy lines."

Bin Laden himself said as much in December 1999 in a Time magazine interview. "If I have indeed acquired these weapons, then I thank God for enabling me to do so."

So. . .the million dollar question is. . .why have we let Osama bin Laden go off to Pakistan ( a country with proven history of selling nuclear capabilities to nearly every country except Iraq)? Is it because
of the nuclear threat, with conventional wisdom being that the capture of bin Laden would assuredly result in immediate nuclear attack from sleeper cells in the US? We have no choice other than to catch those working closest with him. One way or another, Osama bin Laden, free to roam and plan or within our grasp, intends to wage nuclear war on America and he already has the means and manpower to do so.

Would John O'Neill support the war in Iraq, or would he support the use of that same money, manpower and time on diminishing the power of Osama and al-Qaeda? Prescient, hard-hitting and relentless, O'Neill's insight and focus on the threat of bin Laden is sorely missed and greatly needed while our leaders choose instead to focus on Iraq and we spend our collective free time discussing who will be the next person tossed out of the Big Brother household.

But I have been reading your site, just not posting my comments. I liked the piece on John O'Neill. My life seems to have wrapped itself in a warm blanket lately. Things are comfortable.

Thanks for your earlier advice and thoughtfulness. The vacation did me good. I've been fairly busy, writing, working, playing. I'm convinced that my brain chemistry is one of the greatest mysteries of my life. I just have to pay attention to the clues. If you have AIM we could chat ID is jscrilla77


Hey stranger! Glad to see you're still amongst the alive and blogging. You're welcome for the advice. Has it served you in any capacity?
Good info
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