Monday, September 12, 2011

9/11 Ten Years After


In his important pamphlet, 9-11 Ten Years Later, Marc Thiessen asks the critical questions. Are we still safe? Are the important safeguards that the Bush administration put in place after the attack still there to keep us safe? Has President Obama made us more vulnerable to another attack?

Thiessen, who was working at the Pentagon on 9/11, believes that he has. Yes, Osama bin Laden was killed on Obama’s watch. But instead of getting a medal for their achievement, the officials who uncovered the intelligence that led us to Osama bin Laden were given subpoenas. On his second day in office, Obama shut down the CIA’s high-value interrogation program. His Justice Department then reopened criminal investigations into the conduct of CIA interrogators.

Theissen shows how the capture and “enhanced interrogation” of high value targets such as Kahlid Sheikh Mohammed kept us safe for a decade by patiently developing information and putting it together with other intelligence gathered in the field to kill or capture terror leaders working to repeat 9/11 on an even more spectacular scale. According to senior intelligence officials who talked with Theissen, a former colleague, well over half of the information our government learned about al-Qaeda after 9/11 — how it operates, how it moves money, how it communicates, how it recruits operatives, how it picks targets, how it plans and carries out attacks — came from the interrogation of terrorists in CIA custody. Now, thanks to the President, that capacity has been lost. Consider that for a moment: without this capability, more than half of what we knew about the enemy would have disappeared.

By dismantling those tools, President Obama is risking catastrophic consequences. The president has, by his own admission, forced the CIA to operate with one hand tied behind its back. He has, by his own admission, made the agency’s job of protecting us from terror harder. And he says that this is okay. Marc Theissen shows in this shocking pamphlet that it’s not.


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