Monday, November 15, 2004

Mike Scheuer

If ex-CIA bin Laden expert Mike Scheuer (formerly Anonymous) is to be believed, Osama bin Laden is a very dangerous man precisely because he is not the crazy insane, ranting, rich guy that MSM has painted him. According to Scheuer, in his 60 Minutes interview broadcast last night bin Laden is actually quite astute and proficient, a ‘worthy combatant’ I believe Scheuer called bin Laden at one point. Perhaps deep down we all believe that to be true, but we would rather see the news make bin Laden into a terrorist caricature.

One thing in particular that Scheuer said during his interview rings true regardless of political affiliation. It is a position that I personally took the minute I read about one of the failed/aborted attempts to get bin Laden in the 9/11 Commission Report.

One of the last proposals, which he described to the 9/11 Commission in a closed-door session, involved a cruise missile attack against a remote hunting camp in the Afghan desert, where bin Laden was believed to be socializing with members of the royal family from the United Arab Emirates.
Scheuer wanted to level the entire camp. "The world is lousy with Arab princes," says Scheuer. "And if we could have got Osama bin Laden, and saved at some point down the road 3,000 American lives, a few less Arab princes would have been OK in my book."
"You couldn't have done this without killing an Arab prince," asks Kroft.
"Probably not. Sister Virginia used to say, 'You'll be known by the company you keep.' That if those princes were out there eating goat with Osama bin Laden, then maybe they were there for nefarious reasons. But nonetheless, they would have been the price of battle."
And that doesn't bother him? "Not a lick," says Scheuer.

Regardless of what is said about Scheuer, and volumes are likely to be authored by multitudes after last night’s piece, you have to give him respect. Certainly the CIA thought enough of him to task him with founding the bin Laden working group. They also thought enough of him to bring him back from “exile” after 9/11. So, twice, when it really counted he was the expert they turned to expert opinion on our enemy.


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