The very hard and very quick

>> Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Angler was de codenaam die de geheime dienst gaf aan Dick Cheney. Het is ook de titel van het boek van Barton Gellman over Dick Cheney. Het is fascinerend om te lezen hoe Cheney Vice President is geworden (door voorzitter te worden van de selectiecommissie), en hoe hij behendig manipuleert in de bureaucratie van de Amerikaanse overheid.

Dick Cheney staat nu bekend als de man van de strijd tegen terrorisme. Een paar maanden geleden heeft hij bijvoorbeeld Obama aangevallen op vermeende verslapping van de Global War on Terror.

In een speech voor het American Enterprise Institute (Was Ayaan Hirsi Ali ook onder aanwezigen?) zij hij het volgende (transcript van Politico):

Nine-eleven caused everyone to take a serious second look at threats that had been gathering for a while, and enemies whose plans were getting bolder and more sophisticated. Throughout the 90s, America had responded to these attacks, if at all, on an ad hoc basis. The first attack on the World Trade Center was treated as a law enforcement problem, with everything handled after the fact – crime scene, arrests, indictments, convictions, prison sentences, case closed.

Cheney suggereert dat er voor 9/11 niets structureels werd gedaan en dat wat werd gedaan was alleen maar "after the fact" Niets is minder waar. Gellman schrijft:
On and off for nearly a year, "Operation Afghan Eyes" had been searching for bin Laden with a remote-controlled aircraft called the Predator. Until this moment, despite its fierce name, the mosquito-shaped drone had had no sting. CIA ground controllers caught a glimpse of bin Laden now and then, but all they could do was take his picture. That changed in the first week of June 2001. A modified Predator, on a test flight over the Nevada desert floor, fired a prototype missile from four miles out. The shot carried true. Forensic analysis of the mock bin Laden villa measured blast and shrapnel effects that would probably have left no one inside alive.

This was not a Bush administration initiative. The project had begun under order from President Clinton and continued on inertia in those last six months. By whatever provenance, the U.S. government now had in its hands what one participant called "the holy grail" of a three-year quest - a weapon that could find and kill bin Laden in real time."

Je zou verwachten dat dat goed nieuws is voor de regering Bush en vooral voor Cheney die een felle terroristen bestrijder was. Naar aanleiding van de aanval op de USS Cole had hij nog bezworen:

Any would-be terrorist out there needs to know that if you're going to attack, you'll be hit very hard and very quick. It's not time for diplomacy and debate. It's time for action.

Dit was, volgen Gellman een van de redenen waarom mensen op Bush-Cheney hadden gestemd, niet op de treuzelaars Clinton en Gore.

De nieuwe regering had begin 2001 echter niet veel belangstelling in terroristen.
Terrorists did not possess ballistic missiles or much prospect of acquiring them. Cheney and Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld cared about missile defense against other potential enemies - Iran, Iraq, North Korea, China, som future Russia gone bad. When the Senate Armed Services Committee proposed to strip $600 million from the missile defense budget, and spend it instead on counter terrorism priorities identified by military commanders, Rumsfeld said he would recommend a veto. The veto threat came on September 9.


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