Friday, December 17, 2004


By Don Feder

Ellen Goodman is a lot like conservative pundit Ann Coulter – except that she lacks Coulter’s wit, style and discernment.

Okay, the liberal columnist is nothing like Coulter. Still, Goodman is among the best the opposition has to offer. And, if nothing else, her misconceptions usually make an amusing starting point for an exploration of reality.

On December 5, Goodman warned her readers of a dangerous development: Conservatives have turned their fanatical gaze on the college campus.

“While many of us assume that the right is busily targeting the highest court as their last unoccupied power base, a whole subset of conservatives is after higher education,” Goodman cautions.” Every year conservative groups put some $20 million into campus politics and publications.” On the other hand, liberals simply spend the endowments of colleges and universities to advance their cause.

Conservatives have co-opted our rhetoric, Goodman complains. They’re calling for “diversity” and “playing victim politics.”

Goodman admits that faculties are politically homogenous: “Two new studies point to campuses as oases of blue. The first, a survey of 1,000 academics, shows that there are seven Democrats for every Republican in the humanities and social scientists… The second study of voter registration records shows that Democrats outnumber Republicans 9 to 1 on the faculties of Berkeley and Stanford.”

But, so what, says Goodman – who, based at The Boston Globe, writes from the heart of darkest Kerry country. After all, faculties are still 87% white and 77% male. Good liberal that she is, Goodman thinks everything comes down to race and gender, rather than ideas. Party registration reflects ideology, race and gender do not – witness Kerry and Edwards, Howard Dean, Dennis Kucinich and Ted Kennedy – all melanin-deficient, testosterone-rich, and dogmatically left.

Goodman’s contends: “These surveys don’t actually prove that one-party faculties color classrooms blue. Nor do they prove that students are being wooded leftward.” Of course, it’s just a coincidence that those with post-graduate degrees are overwhelmingly left of center. They’re probably the product of random selection.

Goodman’s most preposterous claim is this: Maybe the lack of conservative faculty is a matter of “personal choice,” rather than discrimination. “No one is suggesting that Republican PhDs might rather work in the free market than teach the free market.”

In other words, conservatives are a bunch of crass, money-grubbers. Liberals are willing to sacrifice personal gain to spread knowledge. (Certainly not because they’re too incompetent to hold a position in the corporate world and like the security that comes with tenure.)

Professor George P. Lakoff, who teaches linguistics at Berkeley, made a similar argument in his self-congratulatory book “Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think.”

“Unlike conservatives,” Lakoff writes, liberals “believe in working for the public good and social justice, as well as knowledge and art for their own sake, which are what the humanities and social sciences are about.”

Rather than an indictment of academic Stalinism, the dearth of conservative faculty becomes another way for liberals to feel superior: We’re self-sacrificing and have a higher calling. Conservatives are selfish philistines.

The college campus is a hermetically sealed environment where alien ideas rarely intrude. When they do, the academic immune system attacks them with a ferocity rarely seen outside the Islamic world.

Typical of the worldview of the higher-ed elite is Brandeis Peace Studies Professor Gordie Fellman, who is quoted as saying that “If (the War on Terror) is about terrorism, and terrorism is the killing of innocent civilians, then the United States is also a terrorist.”

Or consider the carefully nuanced comments of Cornell Professor John Pilger, who calls Guantanamo a “concentration camp,” Israel a “terrorist state” with a “policy of state murder” and (three days after 9/11) indicted America as “the greatest source of terrorism on Earth.” In 2001, Pilger claimed Israel was capable of using nuclear weapons against Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. (Wonder what he thinks Israelis would do with the fallout.)

Then, of course, there’s Columbia anthropology Professor Nicholas De Genova, who told a post-9/11 teach-in, “The only true heroes are those who find ways that help defeat the U.S. military.” Thus, De Genova said he wished for “a million Mogadishus,” in reference to the Somali city where 18 U.S. soldiers were ambushed and killed in 1993. As cartoonist Al Capp said of Harvard back in the ‘60s, the inmates are running the asylum.

Brainwashing, intimidation, exclusion and retaliation for unorthodox ideas are standard collegiate fare. In the novel “1984,” Big Brother cautions, “Right thinking will be rewarded, wrong thinking punished.” He would have made the perfect instructor at PCU.

· The aforementioned Fellman reportedly told one of his classes that a third of their grade would be based on “personal evolution” during the semester – in other words, their ability to assimilate and parrot his ideas.

· In a Cal State Long Beach freshman English class, the assignment was to write an essay about some aspect of Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 911.” In her paper, student Marissa Freimanis argued against Moore’s thesis that Bush rushed to war with Saddam Hussein. Her essay was marked with the comment “You miss the point of the film.” Needless to say, Freimanis received the lowest grade in the class (after getting nothing but A’s on previous papers). What she missed was the point of the exercise – to reach Moore’s and the professor’s conclusions.

· At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a sophomore English class was assigned an essay on the subject “Why do heterosexual men feel threatened by homosexuals?” In his paper, a student, named Tim said that while he wasn’t intimidated by gays, “Being a Christian, I would feel uncomfortable having to explain to my son at a baseball game why two homosexual men are kissing.” Poor Tim. Someone forgot to tell him that he was expected to reflect his professor’s views. In a mass e-mail, his instructor, Dr. Elyse Crystall, said Tim’s observations constituted “hate speech that created a hostile environment in class,” while Tim himself was “an example of privilege: a white, heterosexual, Christian male who feels entitled to make violent, heterosexist comments and not feel marked or threatened or vulnerable.” Rest assured, after Dr. Crystall’s public pronouncement, Tim felt marked, threatened and vulnerable.

· Most academics treat dissent as a social disease. When asked why he didn’t assign the works of conservative thinkers, Ithaca College Government Professor Charles Santiago replied, “I am teaching Hitler.” If conservative equals Holocaust, how do you suppose Prof. Santiago treats students who express right-of-center views in his class? Like the Nuremberg war criminals?

Stephen H. Balch, president of the National Association of Scholars (an alliance of iconoclastic academics) observes: “Our colleges have become less marketplaces of ideas than churches in which you have to be a true believer to get a seat in the pews. We’ve drifted to a secular version of the 19th-century denominational colleges, in which the university’s mission is to crusade against sin and make the country a morally better place.”

Daniel Klein, an associate professor of economics at Santa Clara University, explains how heretics (conservatives) are excluded from the priesthood (professorate): “Screened out, expelled or self-sorted, they tend to land outside of academia because the crucial decisions – awarding tenure and promotions, choosing which papers get published – are made by colleagues hostile to their political views.”

Dr. Mike Adams (author of “The Ivory Tower of Babel: Confessions of a Conservative Professor”), who teaches criminology at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, discloses: “I served on several hiring committees in my time at UNCW. I saw an applicant’s file denied because his writing a piece for a conservative publication made him ‘too conservative’…. In 2001, an applicant was asked whom he voted for in 2000.” But the reason college faculties are blue through and through (a la Goodman) is because conservative PhDs – with no love of teaching or dedication to truth and beauty – would rather get rich in the private sector.

Perhaps the classic illustration of how the churches are kept heresy-free is my friend Gene, who asked me not to use his last name for fear of retribution.

One of the gentlest and most unassuming men I know, Gene (who has a PhD. in English) taught that subject at a Massachusetts state college for five years. Evaluations by his students were uniformly excellent. Unlike his liberal colleagues, he was never accused of using his classes as a showcase for his politics.

Gene’s problems began when he started writing an opinion column for a local newspaper. One of his colleagues (doubtless a champion of the First Amendment) ordered him to stop writing articles critical of feminism.

He heard from a faculty friend that every time he wrote something un-PC, colleagues would go to the chairman of his department demanding: “Look at what he’s writing now! Can you believe it? You’ve got to get rid of him.” This they eventually did.

Gene, who didn’t have tenure, was replaced by a die-hard feminist who used her classes to cram her views down students’ throats. Gene struggles to get by teaching adult education courses.

Since we all live in the same area, I could introduce Goodman to Gene. But, like academic leftists, Ellen Goodman is anxious to keep the real world from disturbing on her carefully constructed universe.


Thursday, December 16, 2004

Purported new bin Laden tape criticizes Saudi royals

Voice references December 6 attack in Saudi Arabia
From Henry Schuster

(CNN) -- A new audiotape purportedly from Osama bin Laden and referencing the December 6 attack on the American consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, appeared on Arabic Web sites Thursday.

The voice on the tape says instability in Saudi Arabia is due to the regime there and not the action of the jihadis.

"While the struggle in Saudi Arabia appears to be internal, it is part of the struggle between believers and non-believers" of Islam, the speaker said.

Near the end of the approximately 70-minute tape, the speaker asks for God's blessings for "our brothers who stormed the American consulate in Jeddah."

"We pray to Allah to accept the mujahedeen who stormed the U.S. consulate in Jeddah as martyrs," the speaker says.

Also on the tape is deep criticism of the Saudi royal family.

"Millions are suffering poverty, while rials (Saudi currency) pour into the hands of the Saudi royal family."

Al Qaeda expert Paul Eedle, who says the voice on the tape appears to be that of bin Laden, says the main message of the recording is a call for the overthrow of the Saudi royal family.

"It's an enormously detailed piece of invective against the Saudi royal family and against other Arab rulers accusing them of being puppets of what Osama bin Laden calls a crusaders-Zionist alliance led by America, which is seeking to steal the wealth and occupy the lands of Muslims," Eedle said.

The CIA is conducting a technical analysis to determine whether the recording is authentic, but due to its poor quality, it may take longer than usual, CNN's David Ensor reported.

U.S. officials say the recording appears to be another effort by bin Laden to appear relevant and in command, even though he's in hiding and out of contact with al Qaeda operatives in his native Saudi Arabia, Ensor reported.

Eedle said bin Laden may also have wanted to lend his "very powerful voice" to planned protests in Riyadh and Jeddah on Thursday against the Saudi royal family, which were organized by the Saudi opposition movement based in London.

A Saudi militant group with ties to al Qaeda claimed responsibility for the December 6 attack in Jeddah, posting its claim on several Islamist Web sites often used by militants.

Five consular employees -- four local staff members and a contract guard -- were killed. Four other local staff members were wounded.

Saudi forces killed three of the gunmen and captured two others, both of whom were wounded, the Saudi Interior Ministry said. One of gunmen later died.

In April, the State Department ordered "nonemergency employees and all dependents of the U.S. Embassy Riyadh and Consulates General Jeddah and Dhahran ... to leave the country," because of security concerns, and urged Americans to defer travel to the kingdom.

As recently as August, a vehicle from the U.S. Consulate in Jeddah was hit by gunfire from a single assailant while driving in the city. The two occupants of the vehicle -- the driver and a consulate American employee, were not injured in the attack.

Al Qaeda-led suicide attacks struck Riyadh housing compounds in May and July of 2003, killing 40 people, most of them Muslims.

In a videotape that aired in November, bin Laden's right-hand man pledged to continue fighting the United States until it changes its policies regarding Muslims.

Ayman al-Zawahiri, in tape broadcast by the Arabic-language Al-Jazeera television network, said there are two ways to deal with Muslims -- "either with respect, or as if our lives and property are available for you to invade."


Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Exploiting the Koran to Terrorize

by Daniel Pipes
New York Sun

Counterterrorism efforts got a major boost last week when an American district court found three Muslim organizations and one individual, mostly based in the Chicago area, guilty of funding Hamas and fined them an astonishing US$156 million.

The four were found liable for their roles in the murder of an American teenager, David Boim, on May 13, 1996, when he was shot by Hamas operatives as he waited for a bus near Jerusalem. This case is important in itself, providing some measure of justice and relief for the Boim family. Beyond that, it helps fight terrorism in four ways.

First, it validates and operationalizes a 1992 U.S. law that prohibits sending any money to terrorist organizations, not just money specifically tied to violence. Even funds used for medical care or education, the logic correctly goes, ultimately forward violence.

Arlander Keys, the judge in this case, established that "the Boims need only show that the defendants were involved in an agreement to accomplish an unlawful act and that the attack that killed David Boim was a reasonably foreseeable consequence of the conspiracy." This ruling places other civil cases, most notably the one linking Saudi royals to September 11, 2001, on much firmer legal ground.

Second, this marks the first decision by a jury penalizing Americans who support terrorism abroad and making them liable to pay civil damages.

Third, as the Boims' lawyer, Stephen J. Landes explains, it shows that "the American court system is prepared to bankrupt the Islamist terror network," just as it earlier destroyed the Ku Klux Klan and the Aryan Nations, two extremist and violent organizations, "by bringing unpayably large judgments against them."

Finally, the case confirms a pattern of culpability among even the most innocent-appearing of Islamic institutions. Two of the three liable groups have known ties to Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist group; Holy Land Foundation serves as its fundraising arm, Islamic Association for Palestine as its political front. But the Quranic Literacy Institute appeared wholly unconnected to Hamas. It is a religious group based in a Chicago suburb that since 1991 has engaged in the pious work of translating Islamic sacred texts from Arabic, then publishing them in English

But appearances can deceive. In June 1998, Federal authorities charged QLI with having for nine years supported "a conspiracy involving international terrorist activities and domestic recruitment and training in support of such activities" and seized $1 million of its cash and assets.

The FBI found that a Saudi-based financier linked to Osama bin Laden, Yassin Kadi, loaned $820,000 to the QLI in 1991, which the QLI then laundered through a series of real estate transactions. In what the Chicago Tribune calls "extraordinarily complex" deals, QLI cleared nearly $1.4 million and investigators suspect it planned to use this money in 1993 to fund the rebuilding of Hamas.

QLI's complicity in terrorism has great significance, for it is no rogue outfit but a stalwart of the Saudi-backed "Wahhabi lobby" in America. QLI's founding president, Ahmad Zaki Hammad, is a scholar of Islam boasting advanced degrees from Cairo's prestigious Al-Azhar University and the University of Chicago. He has served as president of the lobby's largest organization, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), and sat on the board of the North American Islamic Trust, its mechanism for taking over mosques and other Islamic properties.

When the QLI's assets were impounded in 1998, leading organizations of the Wahhabi lobby – ISNA, the Islamic Circle of North America, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Muslim Students' Association – leapt to its defense, declaring themselves "shocked at this unprecedented action taken against members of the Muslim community." Nearly a thousand supporters rallied on QLI's behalf, chanting "Allahu Akbar."

And yet, we now know that this innocuous-appearing organization did have a key role funneling money to Hamas.

Muslim institutions too often are not what they seem to be. The "Progressive Muslim Union" is actually reactionary. Mosques harbor criminals. Honey companies and Islamic "charities" fund terrorism. A "mainstream" Muslim leader pleads guilty to an assassination scheme.

The lesson is clear: Wahhabi organizations like the QLI cannot be taken at face value but must be scrutinized for extremist, criminal, and terrorist connections. Extensive research, including undercover operations, is needed to find out the possibly sordid reality behind a seemingly benign exterior.


Monday, December 13, 2004

Sensitivity Training or Insanity?

by Douglas J. Hagmann Northeast Intelligence Network

4 December 2004: Although accounts like the following have been common Internet fodder since America was awakened to the threat of Islamic terrorism in 2001, or to those who were paying attention in 1979 and even earlier, “sensitivity training” among law enforcement officials has increased. Most recently - on December 1, FBI counter-terrorism agents and JTTF members in Florida attended a "sensitivity training" workshop headed by the very controversial Islamic group Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR for short. CAIR representatives headed the seminar on Islam and the American Muslim Community at a FBI conference in Jacksonville, Florida on Wednesday. Over 150 supervisory FBI and JTTF law enforcement personnel attended the seminar that focused on educating the members on Muslim beliefs to “improve interaction with the Muslim community and to promote mutual understanding.” This is a widespread campaign by the Islamic group to “counteract” prejudice against Muslims

New FBI Agents Receive “Enrichment Training”

Mandated last year by FBI Director Robert Mueller, compulsory training for new FBI recruits and agents includes a Muslim sensitivity program that involves inviting Muslim clerics and leaders to preach about the “peaceful attributes” of Islam. To this end, numerous National Arab-American and Muslim leaders have made presentations at an FBI training course on civil rights in Washington D.C., and at the FBI Academy at Quantico, Va. Counterterrorism investigators from the FBI’s Manhattan, New York Field Office were lectured by the imam of a large Manhattan mosque about misinterpretation of the meaning of jihad in the Koran.

CAIR Tied to Terrorism?

Lest we become the next target of a large civil suit by CAIR, we will simply question the rationale of using CAIR as an instrument of Islamic understanding to the American people, especially those charged with understanding the nature of the terrorist threat within our country. Citing New York Senator Charles Schumer: "We know [CAIR] has ties to terrorism” (Source: September 2003 Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Homeland Security). If so, why are they instrumental today in teaching our law enforcement people on affairs of sensitivity and understanding?

There is plenty of open source documentation – irrefutable in its nature and content, that the agenda of CAIR exceeds the scope of mere sensitivity training. For example, an article from the San Ramon Valley Herald, dated July 4, 1998, written by Lisa Gardiner under the headline American Muslim Leader Urges Faithful to Spread Word, quoted CAIR chairman of the board Omar M. Ahmed in a speech before a packed crowd at the Flamingo Palace banquet hall on Peralta Boulevard:

"If you choose to live here (in America) . . . you have a responsibility to deliver the message of Islam," he said. "Islam isn't in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant, " he said. "The Koran, the Muslim book of scripture, should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth," he said.

The article further stated that Ahmed was quoted that are Muslims not to separate or assimilate to American society, but instead to deliver Islam's message. Muslim institutions, schools and economic power should be strengthened in America, he said.

And representatives of this organization are currently teaching our law enforcement personnel


Al Qaida to Attempt Major Maritime Attack

LONDON (Reuters) - Al Qaeda will attempt an attack on a key maritime target in the next 12 months with potentially devastating economic consequences, UK security experts said on Friday.

"The maritime sector remains extremely vulnerable to terrorism and we expect an attempted attack on a significant maritime target in 2005," British security firm Aegis Defense Services said in its annual terrorism report.

Al Qaeda's ability to launch an attack has been made easier by the conflict in Iraq (news - web sites), which has provided "an opportunity for a new generation of mujahadin to learn warcraft," Aegis added.

"I completely agree with this," said Paul Beaver, an independent defense analyst. He said any attack would "probably be on an oil-related maritime target or on a cruise liner, both because of their economic importance."

The warning comes just months after Britain's top navy officer issued a similar warning that al Qaeda would try to attack merchant shipping in a bid to disrupt world trade.

The shipping industry carries more than 90 percent of the world's traded goods and its vulnerability has been highlighted by past attacks. In 2002, extremists linked to al Qaeda attacked the French supertanker the Limburg off Yemen and in 2000 the bombing of the USS Cole (news - web sites) killed 17 U.S. navy personnel.

Richard Scott, the Naval editor of Jane's Defense Weekly, said he was not aware of an imminent threat to targets at sea but agreed it was a risk the industry had to keep addressing.

"It's no secret that the maritime community as a whole is more aware of the terrorist threat and has taken some measures but understands there is a way to go yet."

(Additional reporting by Lucille Herve

AMERICA AFTER 9/11 Remarks by the Hon. John F. Lehman

Foreign Policy Research Institute WIRE
A Catalyst for Ideas
Volume 12, Number 3
December 2004

Dr. Lehman was a member of the National Commission on
Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (the 9/11
Commission). He also served as Secretary of the Navy, staff
member to Henry Kissinger on the National Security Council,
and delegate to the Force Reductions Negotiations in Vienna,
Deputy Director of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament
Agency. His books include On Seas of Glory (2001), Command
of the Seas (1989), Making War (1994), and, with Harvey
Sicherman, America the Vulnerable: Our Military Problems and
How To Fix Them (FPRI, 2002). A trustee of FPRI (and former
staff member), he is chairman of J. F. Lehman & Company, a
private equity investment firm. This document is an edited
transcript of his remarks to FPRI's Annual Dinner in his
honor at the Four Seasons Hotel. For a copy of the 2004
Dinner Booklet/Annual Report, visit:


Remarks by the Hon. John F. Lehman

FPRI Annual Dinner, November 9, 2004

Tonight I shall address the good news and the bad news
coming out of our 9/11 Commission investigations. Just to
give a quick summary, this investigation started almost
exactly two years ago. We interviewed 1250 people, from
Presidents Clinton and Bush down to desk officers, CIA
operatives, and everyone in between, in sworn testimony,
thousands upon thousands of hours of interviews and
discussions and interrogations. We had access to all the
interrogations from Guantanamo and elsewhere, all of the
people including the top Al Qaeda leaders, such as Khalid
Sheik Mohammed, who had been captured. We obtained 2.5
million top-secret and above documents, we had access to
virtually every single piece of information and every person
we knew who had bearing on 9-11.

When we were down in Washington this last summer, Harvey
[Sicherman] asked me what were the most shocking things to
emerge from this investigation. Of course, one of the
criticisms leveled against our commission was that we were
not elder statesmen above the fray, that we were partisan
Republicans and Democrats. We had all spent time inside the
Beltway. We'd been around the track a number of times.
Frankly, it's a little hard to shock people like us who have
spent time in the belly of the beast. Yet we were shocked.

The things that shocked me the most may not be the things
you might expect. After being out of the government since
1987, the greatest shock was the tremendous growth of
legalism and lawyers at every level of the policy process.
This was a new thing. There were plenty of lawyers back in
the Reagan administration, but the dominance of the
legalistic approach to every policy issue was totally new
and, frankly, debilitating to the policy process.

The second most shocking thing to me was the utter failure
of the government, our media, and our academicians to grasp
the nature of our enemy. Everyone was throwing off terms and
talking about terrorism and the threat of terrorism and so
forth, but they utterly missed what was going on. They
utterly failed to understand the nature of this Islamist
terrorist movement. This is not a war against terror, that
would be like FDR saying this is a war against kamikazes.
Terrorism is a weapon, it's a method that the Islamist
extremists have learned works against free democracies.
We've utterly failed to grasp the breadth, spread, and depth
of the enemy that we allowed to develop around the globe
over some 30 years. And it wasn't because there weren't
warnings. Any traveler, many of you, going out to Southeast
Asia or traveling through Egypt or in Pakistan could see,
and perceptive people wrote about, twenty or twenty-five
years ago, the phenomenon of the puritanical, missionary
zeal that was taking over the Salafist religious
establishment in much of the Islamic world and preaching an
aberrant and extremist-form interpretation of Islam that was
built on hatred, that was calling on all Muslims to rise up
and to join the war against the infidels, led by the United
States. And for 30 years we ignored it.

We ignored also the growth of terrorism in the hands of
these Islamists. In 1983 we lost 241 Marines. Our president,
who was--obviously as a devotee of President Reagan I
believe he's--one of the greatest presidents we've ever had.
Yet his reaction was "We will bring these terrorists to
justice." Let the police handle it. And while he wanted to
retaliate, his government did not. So we did nothing. And
Osama bin Laden later wrote a fatwa saying: Look at this,
the Americans lose 241 of their sons and what do they do?
They pack up and run home and leave defeated. They do not
retaliate, they turn over Lebanon to the Syrians. Time after
time, as the Islamists learned that terrorism worked, that
if you killed Americans abroad, whether diplomats in Lebanon
or soldiers in Saudi barracks or diplomats in African
embassies, you could count on one thing. The Americans would
say "We will bring these terrorists to justice" and then do

As we studied these documents, the internal papers, the
recommendations of the top advisers to presidents, we were
shocked at the failure to grasp the extent of evil that was
stalking us. So that was the second-most shocking thing. The
third most shocking thing was a culture that had evolved in
our government of total non-accountability. Nobody's
responsible. After the greatest failure, the greatest
disaster in American history of civilians being targeted and
successfully attacked, the enemy, defeating every single
defense that we had arrayed against them with confidence,
with brazenness, so sure that they didn't even bother to
have a back-up plan.

We were shocked at the gross negligence in our State
Department's granting visas in a sloppy and negligent way.
In our Immigration and Naturalization Service's paying no
attention to people coming in with grossly forged passports,
visa applications that were not even filled out, stories
that were ridiculous. The terrorists when they came in, when
asked by the immigration officers, "Where are you going to
school?" "Somewhere in the west." "How are you going to
support yourself?" "I'll find some way." "OK, go ahead."

We were shocked at an FAA so grossly incompetent that, if
you will recall, if you read the Report, that your blood
boiled at reading the incompetence, the negligence, the
lackadaisical attitude that some in our FAA had in carrying
out the simple security procedures like air marshals,
locking cockpit doors, that had been learned as lessons
after the 1988 Lockerbie disaster. These measures were
quietly dropped because the airlines didn't want them, they
were expensive, all tucked in the memory hole so that by 9-
11 Al Qaeda's planners knew, didn't just hope, that they
could cut through our air security without the slightest
doubt. That they could carry 4"-knives, mace, teargas, and
be so sure that they didn't even have to have a back-up

We were shocked to learn that not one person has been
disciplined since that disaster. Incompetence in the FBI
that would make your shoelaces dance in terror if you could
read the classified material. CIA incompetence and careerism
and bureaucratic narrowness that would make you grind your
teeth. Not one person disciplined. Not a single person since
that attack has been fired or disciplined or even had a
letter put in their file. What kind of culture have we
evolved in our government that says "No one is responsible"?
That to me was shocking.

So there were many shocking things that sobered us greatly
as we went through the process of talking to people,
studying the documents. It was shocking to find the
brilliance, the tactical brilliance, the judgment, the cool
risk assessment, of the Al Qaeda leadership. These were not
ignorant desert Arabs. These were not people who were wild-
eyed fanatics. These were cold, smart, educated, calculating
planners who understood how to do disciplined risk
assessment, who understood how to analyze the security in
Philadelphia compared to Boston and select Boston because it
had a totally incompetent regime in the Boston airport.
Comparing one airport to another, one airline's set of
procedures with another. Taking practice runs up and down
the Hudson to calculate the best angles of attack for the
WTC. Taking practice flights around the Washington area,
seeing how hard it was to pick out the White House. Coldly,
calmly, effectively planning. Using computer analyses to do
regression analyses to see the probabilities of using 12
airplanes, which they started their plan with, and finally
through analytical procedures coming down to limiting it to
four as the optimum number that would likely not fall prey
to the inevitable failures. These are very effective, smart
people. It was shocking to find that such a broad and
pervasive movement of people around the world had come to
know one another, help one another, fund one another, all
targeted on killing American civilians in the maximum
numbers possible.

That is why we said, in our first finding, that the greatest
failure of 9-11 was a failure of imagination, a failure of
all of us, of American political leaders, of commentators,
of media people, Congressmen, presidents, a failure to
imagine the broad nature of this evil and its effectiveness
and its concentrated targeting on the United States and its
people. So there were many shocking things.

There were other things that, frankly, did not surprise us.
The total incompetence of our intelligence establishment.
Those of us who had been in government knew that we had
evolved an intelligence community--and community is the very
wrong word to use--that had developed so many stovepipes and
so many horizontal layers of bureaucracy, that it was
impossible for common sense and good intelligence to exist.
And the reason was that Congress did not want an
intelligence establishment that was effective. After
Watergate, after Iran contra, Congress passed layer upon
layer of restrictions and legislation building these
stovepipes, so that you would have FBI agents in Phoenix
with top-secret clearances writing memos saying "Hey, there
are all these young Arab males learning to fly, shouldn't we
start investigating them?" and simultaneously analysts at
Langley with top-secret clearances writing memos saying
"We've been analyzing the communications among Al Qaeda
people and they keep talking about using aircraft as
missiles," and these analysts were not allowed, would have
been fired, if they had talked to the agents. Because
Congress prohibited it. They did not have a need to know,
you can't have people sharing that kind of information, it
could lead to abuse. And so the dots were never connected
because Congress did not want them connected. They were much
more concerned with looking through the rearview mirror,
looking at the abuses of people's rights to privacy twenty
years ago, and absolutizing that at the expense of any
competence in our intelligence capability.

That did not shock us. Those of us who had served in the
government knew that you could pretty well count on our
intelligence community to be wrong in assessing many
potential threats. But, nevertheless, we felt that was a
fundamental problem which had to be fixed. We could no
longer live in a world in which the rights of aliens to
privacy and freedom from search, such as Mr. Moussaoui,
could override the right to have good intelligence about
what our enemies were seeking to do to attack us. So there
are a large number of things that were very bad, very
disturbing, shocking to the uninitiated, not so shocking to
us, and many things that shocked even us. You'll read them
all in the report.

But I come away from this experience as an optimist. I think
there is an awful lot of good news, and I want to talk about
it. First, I think there is the good news of the example we
set in the Commission itself. We were five Republicans
appointed by partisan Republican leadership, appointed
because we were Republicans, we were known to have strong
views and to have a certain element of combativeness. Five
Democrats who were picked by the Democratic leadership in
Congress for the same reason. Richard Ben-Veniste, who was
the prosecutor in Watergate and President Clinton's
impeachment proceedings. Jamie Gorelick, Tim Roemer, Jim
Thompson, yours truly -- people who were well known as
partisan combatants.

So the auguries were not so good when we started that we
would ever reach agreement on what really happened, as the
law required us to do; what lessons to draw, as the law
required us to do; and most important of all, what we should
do about it, to fix our vulnerability. And when we had our
first meetings we were very far apart. All of us on the
Republican side were sure that the findings would be that
President Clinton's fecklessness in not attacking Osama and
not taking more proactive measures was responsible; all of
the Democrats were sure that President Bush's fixation on
Iraq and on missile defense and his total unawareness of the
seriousness of the threat was really responsible. So we all
in the first few meetings set about thinking about how we
were going to be writing our dissenting views and how we
would handle the inevitable splits and disagreements.

But as we proceeded and went through all these interviews
and spent time immersed in the documents and talking to all
of the players past and present, gradually a fact pattern
filled out that left less and less area for disagreement and
for policy arguments among us. Because the facts laid out a
dramatic picture in every area. And by early June 2004 it
was very clear to us that we had no disagreements on the
findings. We didn't have any dissenting views to put in
brilliant dissents. We had no footnotes to add, even, to
disagree with anything in the Report. We were all in
agreement, and yet we had not set out to reach a consensus.
None of us intended or even thought it particularly
desirable that we be unanimous. But that's where we ended
up. We ended up unanimous on everything, on all of the
findings, all of the lessons about what went wrong and what
was really dysfunctional, and all 41 of the recommendations
on what to do to fix it.

So to me the good news is that if you get people who are
serious about it, who are of a certain experience level, who
are serious professionals in the policy world, you can on
the most important issues make bipartisan, nonpartisan
policy and govern in a bipartisan way. All of us have
remained totally united on trying to get the reforms through
that we all agree are essential. And I think that has helped
in Congress, because they kind of felt like if we could do
it, they should be able to do it, as well. That is why both
houses have now passed a bill--in the House and Senate,
bills are somewhat different, but the House is maybe 90% of
our 41 recommendations and the Senate 95%--so we will get a
bill. We will have the kind of reforms that we have called
for in the Report. That is bipartisan support in both

That's good news. Because a lot of people were becoming very
cynical about our government process, thinking maybe it was
so broken, so bitter, so partisan that it was impossible to
carry out sound governance going forward with these kinds of
divisions. I think we've shown that that's not necessarily
the case and that, indeed, in matters of national security
the most partisan Republicans and Democrats can come
together and make very good, not mushy consensus --sharp,
biting policy recommendations -- and execute them. I think
we're going to see that in intelligence reform, in the
reforms of aviation safety, the reforms of our immigration
and border security, and even in areas that are less
exciting but for those of us that have to work in highrises,
maybe more important, things like fire codes and emergency
preparedness, which are some of our more important

So I remain very optimistic after this experience of the
9/11 Commission. I find an awareness at every level of the
government at the cutting edge, not necessarily at the high
policy levels of the assistant secretaries and policy
councils, but you go out to the frontlines, to the cutting
edge, and you talk to the immigration officers that are
working JFK airport and the border security people out at
the crossings, you talk to the Coast Guard guys working the
security problem in New York and Philadelphia harbors, you
have a much more educated, much more enthused and motivated
person. They get it. Even if the bureaucracy doesn't get it
in some areas, they get it.

And we have I think a growing understanding of the nature of
this threat. It is Islamist terrorism that has been allowed
to grow throughout the world with a huge flow of primarily
Saudi and other Gulf oil money that has fueled the building
of these schools and the sending of these Wahhabi clerics to
man the mosques and chaplaincies in our army and many other
armies around the world with us paying no attention. Now
people are aware of it, now people see the problem. People
are now addressing the issues, putting pressure on the
Saudis to stanch this flow, to stop subsidizing the
preaching of hatred and jihad with government money and with
Saudi charitable money.

It's beginning to have effect. It's going to be a long and
difficult haul, because we have allowed generations of young
Muslims to be raised before they're 7 years old to know one
thing for certain: that to kill Americans is a holy and
uplifting thing. That's a terrible, terrible thing that
we've allowed to have happen. As Don Rumsfeld has said, the
madrassas, may be growing new terrorists faster than the
United States can kill or capture them. That is beginning
to turn around.

Our recommendations are very clear and precise on what we
believe on a totally unanimous basis has to be done. First
we have to go and kill them where they are. I'm talking
about the trained, committed terrorists, the teams that are
organized, that are operating, that are doing their best to
obtain nuclear weapons and WMD from the former Soviet Union
or from rogue scientists or whatever. Their top objective is
to set off a nuclear weapon in Grand Central Station or
somewhere like that to kill the maximum number of innocent
Americans. That is their top objective. And we can't sit by
and hope we can stop them at our borders, we have got to go
kill them first. We've got to stop them from getting those
weapons. We've got to deny them the sanctuaries that we've
permitted them in Sudan, in Afghanistan. We've got to
preempt, we've got to be proactive, we've got to go get
them. We can't let them take advantage of the fact that
there are so many areas of the world where no one's writ

And there are many other diplomatic initiatives. We have to
work carefully with the Egyptians and with the Saudis and
with the Pakistanis. It would feel good to give them an
ultimatum, to say "Either you deny bin Laden sanctuary in
the northwest territories or we'll come in and get him
ourselves." But what that would do would be to bring about
Mr. Musharraf's fall and the certain raising up of a Taliban
regime in Pakistan, that would be a Taliban regime with 200
nuclear weapons. So the solutions are not as simple as what
we might in our frustration feel we need to do. But there
are a great many of the so-called softer options that are
just as important.

Militarily, we have to operate proactively, preemptively,
and violently against the organized terrorists where they
are today. But we also have to deal with the source. We have
to spend money on working with the governments of Egypt,
Pakistan, Indonesia, and other Muslim states to build
schools. Today in most of the poor areas of the Islamic
world, if parents want a better life for their children, to
get them to learn to read and write, they have only one
choice, to send them to the Salafist madrassas to learn to
read and write and simultaneously to hate Americans. That's
the only option. A tiny bit of money could do so much in
these areas, working with these governments, to build
networks of schools that would teach reading, writing, and
arithmetic to these kids, provide an option different than
learning jihad, which is now their only option.

Yet year after year Congress cut out all the money that was
requested for these kinds of educational assistance
programs. Economic assistance, the whole Arab world has a
GDP less than that of Portugal. How, if we don't provide
some change of direction so that there's some beginnings of
growth, so that jobs will be created, so that there are
options for kids in these areas to find a job--there are no
jobs. It's a separate serious sociological issue of what
went wrong in Islam that this is the case. But it doesn't
have to be the case. We can take a proactive role in
providing the support that we did for instance with the
Asian Tigers in setting up a regional Middle Eastern
economic cooperation zone like ASEAN that created the
environment that led to this explosive growth in an equally
backward area. There's no reason, there's no inevitability
why the Islamic world can't do economic activity. We've got
to provide the catalyst. We can't just depend on military
defenses. We have been abandoning the battle of ideas. This
is a quasi-religious war, a war of ideas. A war in which
ideas have consequences. And we have not fought that war.
The numbers of hours that we have funded broadcasting in
Pashtun, in the different Arabic dialects, in Farsi, in
Urdu, is miniscule. The average Muslim takes his view of
what America and American values are like from reruns of
Baywatch and from Al Jazeera. We have virtually nothing
going on comparatively in international broadcasting,
providing a truthful--not a propagandizing, just an
objective--source of reporting of facts about what's going
on in the world, in the languages of these areas. It's
criminal the amount of money, it's so small, that it would
take - one F-22 fighter would fund 3x what our whole
international broadcasting budget is. We've got to make sure
that this money is spent, we've got to take just as vigorous
and as proactive a role in the war of ideas as we are in the
military war against the Islamist terrorists.

So these are the recommendations that we've made. The ones
that you're all reading about, the legislation creating a
national intelligence directorate etc., yes, they're
important, but they're very secondary. The most important is
to first recognize the nature of our enemy and the sources
of their hatred and to recognize that there are things we
can and must do to deal with it. First militarily and
simultaneously to stop the source of this hatred by fighting
and winning the war on ideas.

So it's for these reasons that all of us on the Commission
came away from a fairly sobering two years of immersion in
these issues as optimists. There isn't one of us who doesn't
believe confidently that we can win this war against
Islamist terrorism and make a hugely different world in the
years ahead. It's not going to be easy, it's not going to be
quick, but we will win it, and I think the reactions of
people to our report and the implementation of much of it,
particularly out at the cutting edge, is proof positive that
we are right. We are not being Panglossian. Our optimism
is grounded on a confidence that the American people will
inevitably do what needs to be done.

Thank you.

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