Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Some things are Certain, Death, Taxes, and the... Lethal combination of the Washington Times, Drudge, and InstaPundit. Today from the Trinity of Inanity comes the claim that Clarke is wrong in that the Clinton Administration did not mention Al Qaeda in its last report of December 2000, nor that it mentioned "O"same Bin Laden. In case we need any evidence of the amazing comprehension skills of the Triune Blowhards we suggest the following: 1. Try spelling it "U"sama Bin Ladin and you'll get five hits. 2. Try doing a count of the words Terrorism and you'll have 7 hits in the introduction, plus another 58 hits in the body. 3. As Kevin Drum notes, rather than being strictly a law and order matter, you'll find this rather large paragraph under the section entitled Military Activities: We must continue to improve our program to combat terrorism in the areas of antiterrorism, counterterrorism, consequence management, and intelligence support to deter terrorism. We will deter terrorism through the increased antiterrorism readiness of our installations and forward forces, enhanced training and awareness of military personnel, and the development of comprehensive theater engagement plans. In counterterrorism, because terrorist organizations may not be deterred by traditional means, we must ensure a robust capability to accurately attribute the source of attacks against the United States or its citizens, and to respond effectively and decisively to protect our national interests. U.S. armed forces possess a tailored range of options to respond to terrorism directed at U.S. citizens, interests, and property. In the event of a terrorist incident, our consequence management ability to significantly mitigate injury and damage may likely deter future attacks. Finally, we will continue to improve the timeliness and accuracy of intelligence support to commanders, which will also enhance our ability to deter terrorism. 4. Thanks to an old Bulletin Board Friend SousyHawk, their are other juicy disproving nuggets contained within the report as well. "We have also seen international engagement enhance our ability to address asymmetric threats to our security, such as acts of terrorism and the desired procurement and use of WMD by potential regional aggressors. International counterterrorism cooperation, for example, led to the pre-emptive arrest of individuals planning to terrorize Americans at home and abroad celebrating the Millennium. " ... Later on: When terrorism occurs, despite our best efforts, we can neither forget the crime nor ever give up on bringing its perpetrators to justice. We make no concessions to terrorists. Since 1993, a dozen terrorist fugitives have been apprehended overseas and rendered, formally or informally, to the United States to answer for their crimes. These include the perpetrators of the World Trade Center bombing, the attack outside CIA headquarters, and an attack on a Pan Am flight more than 18 years ago. In 1998, the U.S. Armed Forces carried out strikes against a chemical weapons target and an active terrorist base operated by Usama bin Ladin, whose terror network had carried out bombings of American embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam and planned still other attacks against Americans. We will likewise pursue the criminals responsible for the attack on the USS Cole in Yemen. Whenever possible, we use law enforcement, diplomatic, and economic tools to wage the fight against terrorism. But there have been, and will be, times when those tools are not enough. As long as terrorists continue to target American citizens, we reserve the right to act in self-defense by striking at their bases and those who sponsor, assist, or actively support them, as we have done over the years in different countries. Fighting terrorism requires a substantial commitment of financial, human, and political resources. Since 1993, both the FBI's counterterrorism budget and the number of FBI agents assigned to counterterrorism have more than doubled. The President has also created and filled the post of National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Counterterrorism. Three presidential directives now coordinate the efforts of senior counterterrorism personnel from various government agencies in dealing with WMD and other threats at home. The FBI and the State Department, respectively, operate Rapid Deployment Teams and interagency Foreign Emergency Support Teams to deploy quickly to scenes of terrorist incidents worldwide. However, it is not only the response capabilities that need significant resources. It is our preventive efforts, such as active diplomatic and military engagement, political pressure, economic sanctions, and bolstering allies' political and security capabilities, that also require strong financial support in order to squeeze terrorists before they act. Providing political support and economic assistance to front line states and other allies impacted by this threat expands the circle of nations fighting against threats to the United States. These preventive measures are an important partner to our counterterrorism response efforts. We must continue to devote the necessary resources for America's strategy to combat terrorism, which integrates preventive and responsive measures and encompasses a graduated scale of enhanced law enforcement and intelligence gathering, vigorous diplomacy, and, where needed, military action. .... The Federal Government, in coordination with state and local authorities, will respond rapidly and decisively to any terrorist incident in the United States involving WMD. Increased preparedness at home is critical to defending against, and responding to, such unconventional threats. The Administration developed a Five-Year Interagency Counterterrorism and Technology Crime Plan to address these issues. Established in 1998, a standing Weapons of Mass Destruction Preparedness Interagency Working Group, chaired by the National Coordinator, addresses current and future requirements of local, state, and federal authorities that are directly responsible for the WMD crisis and consequence management efforts. In coordinating the interagency process and cooperation between these three levels of government, several initiatives are now in place to better prepare the United States against a WMD incident. These initiatives include equipping and training first responders in the 157 largest metropolitan areas across the nation to prepare for, and defend against, chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons of mass destruction attacks; renovating the public health surveillance system; and establishing civilian medical stockpiles of vaccines and antibiotics. ... Afghanistan remains a serious threat to U.S. worldwide interests because of the Taliban's continued sheltering of international terrorists and its increasing export of illicit drugs. Afghanistan remains the primary safehaven for terrorists threatening the United States, including Usama bin Ladin. The United Nations and the United States have levied sanctions against the Taliban for harboring Usama bin Ladin and other terrorists, and will continue to pressure the Taliban until it complies with international requests to bring bin Ladin to justice. The United States remains concerned about those countries, including Pakistan, that support the Taliban and allow it to continue to harbor such radical elements. We are engaged in energetic diplomatic efforts, including through the United Nations and with Russia and other concerned countries, to address these concerns on an urgent basis. I'll just sum it up with this. I doubt that more than ONE of them read the report, and I have my doubts about that one. That is the nicest thing I can scratch out.
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