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Any Doubt What We're Up Against?

FORMER HEAD OF CIA’S OSAMA BIN LADEN UNIT SAYS THE QAEDA LEADER HAS SECURED RELIGIOUS APPROVAL TO USE A NUCLEAR BOMB AGAINST AMERICANS

Fri. Nov. 12 2004 12:02:34 ET

Osama bin Laden now has religious approval to use a nuclear device against Americans, says the former head of the CIA unit charged with tracking down the Saudi terrorist. The former agent, Michael Scheuer, speaks to Steve Kroft in his first television interview without disguise to be broadcast on 60 MINUTES Sunday, Nov. 14 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

Scheuer was until recently known as the “anonymous” author of two books critical of the West’s response to bin Laden and al Qaeda, the most recent of which is titled Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror. No one in the West knows more about the Qaeda leader than Scheuer, who has tracked him since the mid-1980s. The CIA allowed him to write the books provided he remain anonymous, but now is allowing him to reveal himself for the first time on Sunday’s broadcast; he formally leaves the Agency today (12).

Even if bin Laden had a nuclear weapon, he probably wouldn’t have used it for a lack of proper religious authority - authority he has now. “[Bin Laden] secured from a Saudi sheik…a rather long treatise on the possibility of using nuclear weapons against the Americans,” says Scheuer. “[The treatise] found that he was perfectly within his rights to use them. Muslims argue that the United States is responsible for millions of dead Muslims around the world, so reciprocity would mean you could kill millions of Americans,” Scheuer tells Kroft.

Scheuer says bin Laden was criticized by some Muslims for the 9/11 attack because he killed so many people without enough warning and before offering to help convert them to Islam. But now bin Laden has addressed the American people and given fair warning. “They’re intention is to end the war as soon as they can and to ratchet up the pain for the Americans until we get out of their region…If they acquire the weapon, they will use it, whether it’s chemical, biological or some sort of nuclear weapon,” says Scheuer.

As the head of the CIA unit charged with tracking bin Laden from 1996 to 1999, Scheuer says he never had enough people to do the job right. He blames former CIA Director George Tenet. “One of the questions that should have been asked of Mr. Tenet was why were there always enough people for the public relations office, for the academic outreach office, for the diversity and multi-cultural office? All those things are admirable and necessary but none of them are protecting the American people from a foreign threat,” says Scheuer.

And the threat posed by bin Laden is also underestimated, says Scheuer. “I think our leaders over the last decade have done the American people a disservice…continuing to characterize Osama bin Laden as a thug, as a gangster,” he says. “Until we respect him, sir, we are going to die in numbers that are probably unnecessary, yes. He’s a very, very talented man and a very worthy opponent,” he tells Kroft.

Until today (12), Scheuer was a senior official in the CIA’s counter terrorism unit and a special advisor to the head of the agency’s bin Laden unit.

Hedo,

Good find. It does show the mindset involved and the level of danger. I’m also interested in the following little item…

I’m guessing this isn’t a “because we are free” basis of reasoning that is often presented by the simple minded on these forums.

Given the position this person held, I highly doubt anyone would have the balls to refer to him as an apologist or anti-American either.

Vroom- No he is no apologist. I think he has an accurate assesment of the mindset we are facing.

I am quite concerned that this is one of those little pieces of intelligence that seem to get overlooked but in hindsight could be seen as pivotal.

As a New Yorker I feel that the chances are good I will see a WMD attack in Manhattan during my lifetime. That sucks. I also think that we will respond in kind. I hope that fear gives the enemy pause. At least I hope it does. Nobody wins a nuclear exchange.

Hedo,

That is a very scary prospect and I truly hope it never happens.

The world is in a very dangerous time, I don’t know if we really have room for theocracies prone to fundamentalism anymore.

As the “means” keep getting more powerful, the danger to the thinking behind “the ends justify the means” simply gets more terrible.

Vroom,

“[The treatise] found that he was perfectly within his rights to use them. Muslims argue that the United States is responsible for millions of dead Muslims around the world, so reciprocity would mean you could kill millions of Americans”

“I’m guessing this isn’t a “because we are free” basis of reasoning that is often presented by the simple minded on these forums.”

Actually, it is. The justification for acquiring and using nuclear weapons - if you can call it that - is not based in any reality. It’s more victimhood. It’s based in a fantastical PanArab deconstruction of imaginary grievances. Millions of Arabs haven’t died at the hands of the US or other Western countries. In fact, more Muslims have been saved with the blood and treasure of Western nations than all the Arab League nations combined times two.

It’s all part and parcel of trying something - anything - to pin the responsibility of Muslim plight on the West and all its blasphemous values. As if these barbarians actually didn’t have a reason before Americans killed ‘millions’ of Muslims. Islamists aren’t mad at a legitimate body count from war - they’re going to add in all the casualties from imperliastic capitalism and so forth.

This threat reads just like the johadist literature before it - so until Islamists lay down their arms, it’ll always be because they despise our life and values, freedom included, your newfound love of sophistry not withstanding.

Thunder,

I suspect that until the two parties become better educated with respect to the realities of the opposing viewpoint, they are likely to remain at war.

You can claim they have no legitimate greviances all you like, but that doesn’t stop them from believing they do.

I think, but honestly don’t know since I don’t follow any arabic viewpoints or media, that they include those that have died due to sanctions, arms deals from the bygone cold war era, backing of one side or the other in various conflicts and the picking and choosing of leaders in the middle east.

These things may or may not be true, and they may or may not be based in fact, but they aren’t “freedom based”. Of course, I’m sure our freedoms over here do fly in the face of their values, and I’m sure they may resent them. Their lack of freedoms and treatment of women certainly concern us.

However, the question is whether or not they truly have been incensed to the point of warfare or murder simply because we are free. While I’m sure it is yet another reason that they hate us, I personally doubt that it is the underlying issue that has caused this whole situation.

The expert in the above clipping stated a rationale in his opinion. I think that expert is in a position to know, better than either you or I. I also don’t think that his statement is politically motivated, though I could certainly be mistaken in that.

In any case, I have not seen any evidence to show that “freedom” and their jealousy or hatred of it is truly why they are on a misguided mission to kill us. I have heard it claimed from time to time though.

I’m very willing to be enlightened if you have anything convincing to support the theory.

Vroom,

“You can claim they have no legitimate greviances all you like, but that doesn’t stop them from believing they do.”

I don’t doubt they’ve convinced themselves of the legitimacy of their grievances, however false - my point is why bother trying to apologize or correct a grievance that isn’t even real?

“I’m very willing to be enlightened if you have anything convincing to support the theory.”

I’ll see if I have anything good written on it saved away somewhere. What I offer to you is that Islamists firstly despise the Western tradition of religious freedom and tolerance. Two things - secular governing institutions and religious freedoms enshrined in the supreme law of the land - are antithetical to their beliefs and more importantly, their plans. The Islamists want to re-establish a pan-caliphate across the ME and any system of government that permits the freedom to be an infidel stands in their way.

From that stems their hatred of all that flows from all that personal liberty - homosexuality, women’s liberation, uber-capitalistic greed, a hollow spiritual core, etc.

Freedom - ie, consensual government that protects what we know as human rights in law - stands in the way of Islamist strictures on creating their heaven-on-earth caliphate. They hate it - for the simple reason that given these great personal freedoms we enjoy in the West, Arabs will off their heads in a revolution.

No problem, nuke the entire mid-east first.You could put a D-5 in Bhagdad, Tehran, Syria, Jordon, Kuwait - screw em’ all let Allah sort em’ out!

[quote]RoadWarrior wrote:
No problem, nuke the entire mid-east first.You could put a D-5 in Bhagdad, Tehran, Syria, Jordon, Kuwait - screw em’ all let Allah sort em’ out![/quote]

It will eventually come to a choice between doing just that or seeing multiple U.S. cities disappear. When that day comes, I hope we have a man in office who understands that his primary duty is to see that Americans see the sunrise tomorrow. Harry Truman sucked it up, and I hope someone else will someday.

Scary stuff. I’m hoping that he may be just saying this to sell books but I doubt it. If this does happen, it could mean real doomsday stuff. We WILL retaliate and people on all sides will be pissed off. I’m hoping they realize that this kind of attack will result in more arab death; so maybe that’s stopping them.

[quote]Squeak wrote:
I’m hoping they realize that this kind of attack will result in more arab death; so maybe that’s stopping them.[/quote]

Because they are afraid to die?

The radicals sure are not afraid.

Islam promises them much in the afterlife. It works great on the uneducated and those brought up not to question.

Perhaps we can help them along in their quest for martydom before the next attack.

Given that it is unlikely the US will be able to do anything resembling a nuclear first strike – which implies we are discussing waiting until some type of massive terrorist strike occurs first – might it be worth trying to disillusion the common muslim concerning their believed greviances?

This means, understand their concerns and spend the time convincing them they are incorrect. This could fail to stop the terrorists, but it is a far cheaper alternative then the one we are discussing above. It also does not rule out an ongoing active ground campaign.

Again, note, I’m talking about the common man over there. Someone fed lies and propaganda since birth but who still hasn’t been recruited and brainwashed by the Islamofascists. I mean, before they get recruited, they are just people, aren’t they?

[quote]vroom wrote:
…This means, understand their concerns and spend the time convincing them they are incorrect. This could fail to stop the terrorists, but it is a far cheaper alternative then the one we are discussing above…[/quote]

Do you think we would have stopped Hitler had we gone your route?

How about the Japanese Empire? Think we could’ve ‘understood their concerns’ and avoided the war?

And you wonder why you’re labeled as an ultra-liberal by some on these boards.

Vroom,

“This means, understand their concerns and spend the time convincing them they are incorrect. This could fail to stop the terrorists, but it is a far cheaper alternative then the one we are discussing above.”

We understand their concerns. Let’s do it your way - so how do you suggest we convince them they are incorrect?

I think this a ridiculously naive approach - but I want to hear you out.

“Again, note, I’m talking about the common man over there. Someone fed lies and propaganda since birth but who still hasn’t been recruited and brainwashed by the Islamofascists. I mean, before they get recruited, they are just people, aren’t they?”

Absolutely they are. But what plan do you suggest to get to them before their backwards, barbaric culture does? What you suggest, Vroom, is what Leftists call ‘imperialism’ with a capital ‘I’ - going into native areas to teach non-Westerners how to live right. You comfortable with that?

Plus those in power - the unholy combo of shadowy Islamist terror groups and old-school classic tyrannical authoritarian regimes - don’t want the West coming in and getting to the Arab street before they can install their psychological grip. And they are willing to fight to prevent it. It’s not as though the West is invited to lecture at Arab universities on the goodness of liberal institutions. Minus the use of force, how do you suggest we get in there and work our magic?

Vroom: I’m sorry buddy, but they’re right. The name of this thread is “any doubt what we’re up against”, and the answer is no. We’re up against people who aren’t going to listen. I guessing at this point you are thinking “Well, that doesn’t mean we just run in there and force it on them!” and you’d be right, if all they did was talk bad about us. But, you see, these guys don’t just talk. They bomb. This isn’t about live and let live anymore, vroom. This is do or die.

[quote]vroom wrote:

This means, understand their concerns and spend the time convincing them they are incorrect.[/quote]

How much time do you think this will take?

How much time do you think we have before they get WMDs?

[quote]thunderbolt23 wrote:
Vroom,

Millions of Arabs haven’t died at the hands of the US or other Western countries. In fact, more Muslims have been saved with the blood and treasure of Western nations than all the Arab League nations combined times two.

It’s all part and parcel of trying something - anything - to pin the responsibility of Muslim plight on the West and all its blasphemous values. As if these barbarians actually didn’t have a reason before Americans killed ‘millions’ of Muslims. Islamists aren’t mad at a legitimate body count from war - they’re going to add in all the casualties from imperliastic capitalism and so forth.

This threat reads just like the johadist literature before it - so until Islamists lay down their arms, it’ll always be because they despise our life and values, freedom included, your newfound love of sophistry not withstanding.[/quote]

You are a bit naive. While you are right, of course millions of Arabs haven’t died at the hands of America or the West- that’s a fantastic exageration- the West, and the US in particular, has meddled in that part of the world to it’s detriment.
Some examples:

Most of the borders in the Middle East were arbitrarily drawn up by Western Powers, cutting across traditional ethnic and tribal boundaries.

The US (with Britain) overthrew the popularly elected Prime Minister of Iran and replaced him with The Shah (puppet), to control the oil of Iran.
The US backed the Shah’s secret police in silencing resistance.

Reagans’s amrs for hostages deal with the Iranians.

The US trained and financially supported Osama Bin Laden when he was with the mujahedeen fighting the Russians.

The US’s support for Saddam during the Iran-Iraq war, even though the US knew Saddam was using chemical weapons.
Most of Iraq’s pre^Gulf war weapons programs and rockets were built by American companies.

American companies blatantly exploitng Iraq now.

These are just a few examples off the top of my head. I’m sure an expert could come up with many more. I’m no apologist for terrorism, but there is a basis for some of the anger in the Middle East.

I also forgot the continued support of the US for the totalitarian human rights abusing regime of Saudi Arabia.
(Why would they do that? Hint: it’s about money and oil)

The Bush administration was more than prepared to do business with the Taliban right up to September 11th, too, even though they were savagely oppressing the people of Afghanistan.

The US has meddled and made enemies, and has been responsible for the deaths of Muslims, for it’s strategic and economic goals.
To not consider why Osama Bin laden and other fanatics possess the hate that they do is foolish. We have to fight them, but we have to fight the near-sighted and selfish policies which lead to the creation of these fanatics as well.

It has nothing to do with them being afraid of dying professor x but it could lead to a genocide and an annihilation of their way of life. By this I mean it won’t help them bring down the US so much as bring down the Islamic ruled nations, which is probably more important to them.