For the first time in a week I’m not starting out talking about the government shutdown. I’ll circle back around to it in just a second.
Some surprising anti-terrorism victories
We captured one of the Al Qaeda leaders who led the 1998 bombings against the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. We captured this guy alive. His name is Nazih Abd al Hamid al-Ruqhay, but he is also known as Abu Anas el-Liby. He was captured near Tripoli and is in US custody now.
So, remember a couple weeks ago when there was that shooting at the mall in Kenya? A terrorist group from Somalia took credit for the attack. The terrorist group was called Shabab. Well, a Navy Seal team attacked the militant camp in Somalia and reportedly killed the leader that they were looking for. From NYT – “The unidentified Shabab leader is believed to have been killed in the firefight, but the SEAL team was forced to withdraw before that could be confirmed, a senior American security official said. Such operations by American forces are rare because they carry a high risk, and indicate that the target was considered a high priority. Baraawe, a small port town south of Mogadishu, the Somali capital, is known as a gathering place for the Shabab’s foreign fighters.”
the Fukushima sign reads – ‘Nuclear power – the energy for a better future’
There’s been a lot of news out of Fukushima, Japan over the last week or so. I’ve kind of buried my head in the sand. I’ve always had a problem with nuclear power. I have a problem with any process that leaves us with nuclear active waste which is highly radioactive; not for years or decades, but for eons. We’ve never come up with a good solution about what to do with this stuff. We don’t know how to make something less radioactive, at least not at the present time. So we have this area of Japan which continues to be radioactive and is leaking water into the ocean. It’s not just leaking water, but highly radioactive water into the ocean. The cleanup is costing Japan billions and billions of dollars. There seems to be no end in sight. To me, and this is just me, it seems that the price of nuclear power is just too high. Continue reading
I wrote this a couple of years ago about the importance of the August 6th PDB. I still like it.
No other document, in my opinion, reveals how clueless the Bush administration truly was prior to 9/11. This document is little over a page long, yet it holds some alarming information. First, read the memo. Now, re-read the memo and imagine that you are the President of the United States in August 2001. You are responsible for the well being of over 275 million people. Secondly, focus on the title – Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US. Now, in August of 2001, this was not common knowledge. In 1993, the World Trade Center was bombed, but it is not clear to me that the Bush White House (well, I’m really talking about Bush, Cheney and Rice) clearly understood the connection between Ramzi Yousef, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Osama bin Laden. US embassies in Tanzania and Kenya are bombed in 1998. Hundreds of Africans were killed. A third Embassy was targeted but the attack was thwarted by the Ugandan police. October 12, 2000, the USS Cole was bombed. 17 sailors were killed. We cannot forget the Millennium Day Bomber who intended to bomb the LA airport. Just because he was caught does not mean that he isn’t part of the picture. As a matter fact, the Millennium Day Bomber is probably the most vivid example of Al Qaeda (he trained with Al Qaeda) trying to come into the United States. It was due to nothing but a lot of luck and some skill that this plot was thwarted. The US Customs agent said that the Millennium Day Bomber was acting hinky.
This should be the most superficial knowledge that the president should have as he was reading the August 6th daily brief.
The seventh paragraph of the PDB should have sent chills up and down the spine of any American who read it.
Al Qaeda members – including some who are US citizens – have resided in or traveled to the US for years, and the group apparently maintains a support structure that could aid attacks. Two Al Qaeda members found guilty in the conspiracy to bomb our embassies in East Africa were US citizens, and a senior EIJ member lived in California in the mid-’90s. Continue reading