Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Mission Accomplished?

As Bin Laden will soon start his sixth year of life since 9/11---years that were denied his victims---we get this:
The Central Intelligence Agency has closed a unit that for a decade had the mission of hunting Osama bin Laden and his top lieutenants, intelligence officials confirmed Monday.

The unit, known as Alec Station, was disbanded late last year and its analysts reassigned within the C.I.A. Counterterrorist Center, the officials said.

The decision is a milestone for the agency, which formed the unit before Osama bin Laden became a household name and bolstered its ranks after the Sept. 11 attacks, when President Bush pledged to bring Mr. bin Laden to justice "dead or alive."

Michael Scheuer, a former senior C.I.A. official who was the first head of the unit, said the move reflected a view within the agency that Mr. bin Laden was no longer the threat he once was.

Mr. Scheuer said that view was mistaken.

"This will clearly denigrate our operations against Al Qaeda," he said. "These days at the agency, bin Laden and Al Qaeda appear to be treated merely as first among equals."

In recent years, the war in Iraq has stretched the resources of the intelligence agencies and the Pentagon, generating new priorities for American officials. For instance, much of the military's counterterrorism units, like the Army's Delta Force, had been redirected from the hunt for Mr. bin Laden to the search for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was killed last month in Iraq.
In the context of past reports that also defy belief like this one, is any of this really a surprise?

14 Comments:

Blogger Chris F. said...

I can only hope that this act is part of a plan to return Bin Laden to complacency so we can pounce on him like the rat that he is. Somehow, I don't think this administration has considered that option, nor are they employing such a strategy in this case.

7/04/2006 9:35 PM  
Anonymous Small Axe said...

I shudder to think what would happen if the Bin Laden unit had been closed down under a Democrat president before Bin Laden was dead or captured.

7/04/2006 9:49 PM  
Anonymous wendy said...

An uncaptured Osama Bin Laden will continue to be a useful phantom for the Bush Adminsitration's plan to shred the Constitution.

7/04/2006 10:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wendy,

I like your thinking, but the Bush Administration has proven time and time again that obscure references to "mushroom clouds," the "War on Terror," and "Axes of Evil" are much more effective means of encouraging public acquiescence than direct references to the mastermind of 9/11.

7/04/2006 10:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the belief-defying linked article:

Krongard, 68, said he viewed Bin Laden “not as a chief executive but more like a venture capitalist”.

Uh, yeah. I'm sure Osama rates himself by consulting Harvard Business School models. No blinkered thinking among our security apparatchiks!
-- sglover

7/05/2006 2:19 AM  
Anonymous Mike said...

Of course the news is anything but surprising. And I can't say I wish we had Kerry as Prez (though since he's not George Bush, I guess I would prefer him).

Nonetheless, didn't Bush run on a "I'm Tougher on Terror" platform in '04? Hasn't the rank-and-file GOP hackocracy beaten the "This Whole Thing Happened Because Clinton Was Neglectful" line into our heads for years now?

The only thing that's shocking is the blatancy of the Administration's machinations . . . and no one seems to care, or to notice.

7/05/2006 10:38 AM  
Blogger DED said...

I can't believe that this isn't getting more play in the red states. I still see bumper stickers here in this blue state saying "Hunt him down. Make him pay." If Democrats have a clue, they'll pounce on this stating that the administration has abandoned its pursuit of justice against public enemy #1.

But with Iran and North Korea hogging the spotlight these days, it would appear that everyone's distracted.

7/06/2006 12:17 PM  
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