Friday, June 18, 2004

Saddam & Osama: Sullivan gets it right today, in a big way. The wording from the 9/11 commission on the Iraq-Qaeda nexus is being sold by the media as a definitive refutation of the Cheney thesis. I think it was Laurie Mylroie who phrased it thus, employing the terms more strictly: We don't have proof that Saddam and al Qaeda cooperated, but we do have evidence. The media has simply said, "There's no evidence . . ." That's just false.

it's worth noting that the tone of a lot of coverage of the 9/11 panel seems to indicate that they will sit around and look pleased with themselves for telling the several agencies of the government what they did wrong. Should we make changes at the FAA? Obviously. But terrorism exploits weaknesses, and it depends on surprise. That is how the few can fight the many. And so the masterminds of terror must have known that using airplanes was a one-shot deal. As flight 93 showed, even before the day was done, the effectiveness of the hijacked missile strategy was used up -- thwarted not by the FAA or air marshalls, but by passengers who got the gist and fought back.

My guess is that sleeper agents in the U.S. already have their next target planned. Looking back should be about 1% of the panel's mandate. The rest should be asking, "Where will the next strike come?"


Razor said...

Two points: 1) Not to get all lawyered-up on you, but we in the profession usually equate "evidence" with "proof". Semantically, one might say that while there were varying degrees of evidence of the Saddam-al Qaeda connection, it was not enough to sustain the burden of proof. And yes, I'm annoying.

2) You're dead right with the hijacked missle strategy being over. It's simply not going to happen, or at least not without a huge fight on-board. No, they're going to do something else - whether it's a chemical attack on a subway, or a crude "dirty bomb" in a mall. Although I will say that it has been useful to look back pre 9/11 at our hubris. We never expected a major attack on our soil. I think we're over that now.

enobarbus said...

Wow, way to get your law on. I think it's worth making a distinction between the two. I can have evidence that supports an incorrect conclusion, and thus it is not proof of that conclusion -- just misconstrued evidence.