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Has the U.S. really defeated al-Quaeda?

CIA Chief Michael Hayden makes dubious claims— consider the source
Robert Maier
Friday 30 May 2008

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In today’s headlines most of the world’s press are trumpeting U.S. CIA chief, Michael Hayden that big gains have been made against Al-Qaeda. This could be good news, but the source must be considered. Should we really believe claims of the CIA director? What about the track record?

First of all, the CIA was certain Iraq possessed numerous stashes of weapons of mass destruction, including chemical and biological. It convinced the world that Iraq was importing aluminum tubes to manufacture nuclear bombs, and that a nuclear attack against the West was imminent. Such intelligence led America into the trillion-dollar fiasco it faces in Iraq today.

This low-level quality of intelligence extends to completely missing the 9/11 attacks, the bombing of the USS Cole in the Persian Gulf, and the bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Consider the public relations disasters of Abu Gharib and Guantanamo, which have harmed the U.S. around the world, and actually incited and motivated terrorists. If you study the work of the CIA in many recent books, you will find similar failure after failure and deception.

In his Washington Post interview, Hayden offers thin evidence for his claim that the”terrorist movement is essentially defeated in Iraq and Saudi Arabia and on the defensive throughout much of the rest of the world, including in its presumed haven along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border”—Washington Post. He claims three top leaders have been killed, but not much else, except anecdotal opinions.

While claiming grand success, he also warns against complacency, and that al-Quaeda is still capable of attacks that must be guarded against. What do we believe? On the same page in my daily paper, there was an article describing the death of sixteen in a suicide bombing in Iraq.

The entire event sounds like a campaign speech for the Republican party. Hayden’s purpose is to claim Bush has done a great job fighting terrorism, and we need someone tough like him to carry on the battle— not some namby-pamby who believes in diplomacy.

So, can anyone give a reason why the Bush-appointed head of the CIA should be believed, in anything? We’d like to, but we have been burned to many times.

photo from AP

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  • Dear Sir,

    The CIA that you succinctly nailed as incompetent at best corrupt at worst has been undermining G. W. Bush since Bush was elected. Ongoing and incessant ‘leaks’ of US top secret information are some examples. This has never been the case in the past. In the past ‘leaks’ were tracked down, prosecuted, and sent to jail. Not in today’s CIA.

    The last big announcement from the CIA was that Iran has not, is not interested, cannot produce, and has no interest in achieving a nuclear bomb.

    The one thing I know is that, as you say, the CIA is wrong about 99% of the time. If they say Iran doesn’t have a nuclear bomb, and is not a threat to World stability…

    Regardless of who appoints the CIA director the bureaucracy remains the same. It predates and out lasts any single executive. Bush’s director may be a great guy or he may be a glistening turd. Either way his control of the agency is ’by wire’.

    So we agree on the CIA and on the voracity of the information that the CIA purports. Regardless of the director.

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