9/11 + 10: What Have We Learned?

-

isf.jpg
This morning in Zurich, I am chairing the “Terrorism and Counterterrorism” panel of the International Security Forum 2011 which is organized in partnership with the Geneva Centre for Security Policy.
Those on my panel include:

Paul Pillar; Visiting Professor, Georgetown University, Washington, DC, US;
Former Deputy Director, DCI Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence Agency, US
Jean-Louis Brugui

Comments

26 comments on “9/11 + 10: What Have We Learned?

  1. DakotabornKansan says:

    Vincent Iacopino, guardian.co.uk, writes,

    Reply

  2. rc says:

    A rather graphic word-picture of the net effect of one government’s efforts to suppress discenting views.
    Now how about something similar for the US folk at home about their government’s efforts to suppress discenting views in Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, West Bank, Gaza, …
    What’s Washington’s “killing kiddies” count up to now?
    Lock up US War criminals? … Gitmo would be full to the brim!
    Then again, there is so much domestic violence that perhaps this violence against “the lambs” is just seen as normal?

    Reply

  3. David Billington says:

    “Today, we lack metrics to know if we are winning or losing the global war on terror. Are we capturing,
    killing or deterring and dissuading more terrorists every day than the madrassas and the radical clerics are
    recruiting, training and deploying against us?” (Secretary Rumsfeld)
    The problem was that the really dangerous people were those with technical training, not those
    indoctrinated in religious schools.
    “Please be prepared to discuss this at our meeting on Saturday or Monday.”
    Do we know how this meeting went?

    Reply

  4. Don Bacon says:

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, . .That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, . .when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. . .
    “The history of the present King of Great Britain [George III] is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world. He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good. . .”

    Reply

  5. Don Bacon says:

    Top U.S. law enforcement official: We should forget the crimes that people have committed in the past and protect them against crimes that they might commit in the future.
    Makes no sense.

    Reply

  6. DakotabornKansan says:

    Kinetic U.S. counterterrorism operations … Covering omnipresent terrorist blindspots?
    Glenn Greenwald on vesting the President with the power to act as judge, jury and executioner.
    http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/

    Reply

  7. Warren Metzler says:

    I thank you Dakota for that Holder quote. Because it further confirms for me that Holder has become totally corrupt: unwilling to have a single moral principle guide his actions. Which can only be so if his boss is totally corrupt.
    What I don’t get is how there appears to be very few people in the media who are willing to admit corruption exists, are unwilling to admit that a human can lose his moral compass, and henceforth never be able to remember a single moral principle to guide his steps. It is clear to me in my life, that I need a moral compass, I need principles I never compromise, regardless of what inconveniences or discomforts are present, to tell me how to act in many a situation; without which I would repeatedly make disastrous decisions.
    If people were aware of their moral compasses, and also aware that each time a person compromises in a way that goes against her current moral compass it becomes a bit corrupted. And further aware that if too many such behaviors occur the moral compass is totally destroyed, and every subsequent action is solely going with what in the moment appears most convenient, and almost all of those actions lead to a disaster. Perhaps then there would be a lot more concern that our current crop of politicians is leading us into a multitude of disasters. And we would begin to look for politicians who had a moral compass.
    It is really sad to me, to have watched through my own lifetime, this country descend into a mass of chaos and destruction.
    This to me is the issue regarding 9/11. If the official view was actually concocted to fit the Bush jr.’s administration desire to go to war in Iraq and eliminate Saddam Hussein, and that official view was deliberately false, that is a moral compass corrupting action; and unavoidably lead to more and more moral corrupting actions. So arriving at the truth of 9/11 is not some conspiracy theory generating hobby, but a happening that is essential for purging the American soul of a major corruption.

    Reply

  8. DonS says:

    When you are the masters of the universe, you get to write the rules. And the rest of us, well, DFH’s about covers it. Easy to discount; easy to dismiss; easy to ridicule; easy to forget.
    “Looking forward”, of course, isn’t necessarily forward looking.

    Reply

  9. Paul Norheim says:

    Posted by DakotabornKansan, Jun 01 2011, 6:57AM – Link
    ——————-
    Precisely!
    As for Mladic and Karadzic, I would love to watch the reaction in The Hague, if their criminal defense lawyers had said:
    “We share the American President

    Reply

  10. DakotabornKansan says:

    In 2009, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder appointed Assistant United States Attorney John Durham to investigate torture during W

    Reply

  11. Don Bacon says:

    Let’s define the terms.
    18 U.S.C. 2331. Definitions [relating to the crime of terrorism]
    (1) the term

    Reply

  12. JohnH says:

    TWN continues to ignore the aftermath of the Honduran coup, the only coup in Latin American in more than a decade.
    Ousted President Zelaya said that “Otto Reich started this. The ex-Under Secretary of State Roger Noriega, Robert Carmona, and the Arcadia Foundation, created by the CIA, they associated themselves with the right wing, with military groups, and they formed a conspiracy.”
    Zelaya also said, “The United States is an empire, and so Obama is the president of the United States, but he is not the chief of the empire. Even though Obama would be against the coup, the process toward the coup was already moving forward. The most that they tell a president like President Obama, that there

    Reply

  13. brigid says:

    Today’s headline in the “war on terror”
    http://gulfnews.com/news/world/pakistan/missing-pakistani-journalist-found-dead-1.815717
    Pakistani journalist for Asia News Online, Syed Saleem Shahzad, was found murdered with evidence of torture on his body. He had been conducting investigation showing the links between the Pakistani military and Al Qaeda. He has published other articles showing the links between the Pakistani Secret Service and the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Does anybody doubt the ISI tortured and murdered him? The Pakistani ISI murders its own prime minister and organizes terror squads to attack hotels in Mumbai. With friends like this, who needs enemies?? Looks to me like the military and secret service of Pakistan are the world’s number one organized terror group. And they have nukes.
    The response from Prime Minister Gilani.. “Go round up the usual suspects..” ( paraphrase)

    Reply

  14. ... says:

    looking forward to steve’s response to poa… doubt their will be one…
    yes – paul raises a great question and dakota b k responds with the goods… thanks to both of you for trying to raise consciousness in a world that seems headed in the opposite direction…

    Reply

  15. DakotabornKansan says:

    Paul Norheim asked if there were any interesting memos from Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic?
    The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) is the United Nations court of law dealing with the war crimes that took place in the Balkans in the 1990

    Reply

  16. IndigoE says:

    Rumsfeld lost his credibility when he declare with certainty that he
    knew there were WMD and even their location near Tikrit. To
    fabricate such serious allegations in order to justify war is beyond
    inexcusable. Just think of ensuing carnage.
    No, I don’t think Rumsfeld’s ideas about anything can be
    considered.

    Reply

  17. erichwwk says:

    Re Donald Rumsfeld’s question:
    “What else should we be considering?”
    Gen. Omar Bradley:
    “We live in an age of nuclear giants and ethical infants, in a world that has achieved brilliance without wisdom, power without conscience. We have solved the mystery of the atom and forgotten the lessons of the Sermon on the Mount. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about dying than we know about living”.
    So…. if it is not obvious from the above quote, the answer:
    *More wisdom, less brilliance
    *more morality, less power
    *less technology, more humanity
    *Less war, more peace
    *less killing, more living
    There is a large contingent of folks that understand that ALL WAR is based on fraud and deception.
    But some folks (involved with the USG) put efficacy above morality, short run gains over long run gains, taking above giving.
    Erich Fromm and Carl Jung have described these folks as insane. I would concur.
    As to Steve Clemon’s question:
    “9/11 + 10: What have we learned”?
    If one defines “we” as the general public, I would say a lot.
    If one defines “we” as the USG, and its groupies, I would say very little to nothing. It IS possible to amass wealth and power by force, but it doesn’t last. The rush one gets by having ones expectations realized in the SR, the illusion supported by the dopamine released, seems too intoxicating to resist, and the addiction crowds out humanity and rationality. One seems simply to become deluded, and unaware of one’s state.
    At one time there was a recognition at the NAF that terrorism was a logical expected response to trying to subjugate a people, and that a rethinking of what sharing the planet and living in harmony meant, what Adam Smith meant when he discussed wealth creation.
    Now black is white, right is wrong, and war is peace. Whatever we once had of a democracy is long gone, and as Tom Englehardt writes “Welcome to Post Legal-America”.
    http://www.tomdispatch.com/dialogs/print/?id=175398
    Or as David Lilienthal (former AEC chief) wrote in his diary:
    “More and better bombs. Where will this lead … is difficult to see. We keep saying, ‘We have no other course’; what we should say is, ‘We are not bright enough to see any other course.

    Reply

  18. Paul Norheim says:

    Any interesting memos from Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic while we’re at it?

    Reply

  19. ... says:

    gotta love that word ”security”… where have i seen that being used before? just a coincidence i am sure!!!! most heavily armed nations in the world talking security again, lol.. comedy central couldn’t make this shit up if they tried….

    Reply

  20. ... says:

    glenn greenwalds article today sums up the usa’s war in afganistan pretty well..
    lets start calling it all what it is – the usa’s war on the rest of the planet, especially if you happen to be dark skinned… hey, by golly the usa has a real interesting history to draw from…

    Reply

  21. DonS says:

    Speaking, OT, of I/P, Israel’s at it again with regard to Iran. Must be feeling even more oats than usual; wants the whole world to attack Iran (we know that means uncle sugar).
    We’ll just add that to the list, whether under the anti-terror column (state sponsor, what the hell, it’s all the same) or just the garden variety aggression that turns out longer, more expensive, and miserably ill-conceived.
    Then again, this might be just another opening position by Israel to turn the screws a bit harder on the US. Anyone polled Congress on this?
    http://news.antiwar.com/2011/05/30/israeli-deputy-pm-urges-attack-on-iran/

    Reply

  22. Warren Metzler says:

    kotzabasis, “Donald Rumsfeld, gifted with a strong character, high intelligence, and impeccable political responsibility,”
    This appeared while I was writing my previous response. And I just couldn’t stop from commenting. I fail to understand how kotz could have arrived at this. From my perspective, all you have to do is listen to Rumsfield for a few minutes, read a bit of his writings, or review a bit of his political employment, before you conclude he is an excellent example of an intelligent person who is consumed with himself, perceives himself as incredible smart and talented, and NEVER NEVER NEVER needs s smidgen of evidence to back up his opinions, before he asks the entire country to allow him to go full speed ahead.
    It is too bad that most of our media are spineless, because I would like to see an interview with him, where he is asked to lay out what evidence he used to give himself permission to become the “great” military strategist he obviously perceives himself to be. I am sure, that if the interviewer was perceptive, it would not take many questions before it became obvious that he never ever needed to do any research to discover what is the capacity of a fighting force, nor what can any one fighting force accomplish with military power, before he is off and running dreaming up his preferred fantasies.
    Shouldn’t the utter failed policies of the “brightest and best” of the 1960’s cause us to realize that rarely is just smartness an ingredient of enlightened and viable policies?

    Reply

  23. Warren Metzler says:

    I want to suggest that this issue is misguided, just as was Nixon’s “War on Cancer”. When you present a war on anything, you allow for the use of the military, when the military may be quite unsuited for the task.
    When you bring in the military, the mind-set is unavoidably going to turn to sending in soldiers to kill people and take territory. And although the military does have competent criminal investigation people, those are not the people in charge of any war the military fights.
    I suggest that any terrorist is really no different than any criminal; he or she is a person who has a distorted point of view, and is intent in wreaking havoc. And it is far better for society ridding itself of that person’s capacity to act, and root out the false ideology at the root of that terrorist’s actions, by having police people find him, arrest him, interrogate him, and put him on trial, so the public can be exposed to the false views that motivate him to take his actions, than to send in highly trained military people to kill him.
    So the concept “war on terrorism” needs to be banned, the military needs to be taken off the job, and society needs to return to seeing terrorists as criminals.
    Further, I fail to understand how the media, government officials, and our intellectual classes are so averse to discerning what is going on with all this terrorism. Why do these people have such an intent to wreak havoc on societies? There must be some aspect of society that stimulates them to take their violent actions. Let us discover what is that aspect, eliminate it, and remove the soil which provides the fertile ground for their growth. We have acting as if they just appeared one day, in full force, and there is no basis for their being.

    Reply

  24. DonS says:

    Rummy: “It is pretty clear that the coalition can win in Afghanistan and Iraq in one way or another, but it will be a long, hard slog.”
    Well, he got the “long hard slog” part right I suppose.
    WAPO story: “The U.S. military is on track to spend $113 billion on its operations in Afghanistan this fiscal year, and it is seeking $107 billion for the next.”
    ttp://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/cost-of-war-in-afghanistan-will-be-major-factor-in-troop-reduction-talks/2011/05/27/AGR8z2EH_story.html
    Remind me again, when did defeating the Taliban become the surrogate for Al Quada, or for the whole damn Afghan enterprise for that matter.
    Truly it seems to matter less and less. Conventional war; asymmetrical war. Taliban or Al Quada. Fight the terrorists where they are;. Fight ’em where they aren’t. Humanitarian war. Nation building war, anti-terror war, preemptive war. War, war, war.
    I guess some nations, and some industries, are just doomed to destroy the infrastructure, economy and well being of it’s citizens no matter what. It’s a tough lot, but some nation and it’s political coterie’s just got to do it to avoid anyone — um, mainly themselves — thinking they’re ‘soft’ on terrorism.
    As long as misguided defense spending is, for all intents and purposes off the table, and off the books, we’ll just keep funding military, war, whatever rathole you call it, at obscene levels.
    In a sane universe, we wouldn’t be talking about tweaking this or that aspect of terrorism policy and funding, we would be having a discussion about how off the rails the US and it’s military policy has become. And slashing funding.

    Reply

  25. paul lukasiak says:

    “…the famous “Rumsfeld Memo” which I think still stands as one of the most forthright and honest inquiries by a senior government official into our blindspots in confronting and dealing with terrorism.”
    geez, steve, you want your comments section to be civil, then you post something this provocative?!?!?

    Reply

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *