Tuesday, April 06, 2004
The right wing Washington Times is peddling the idea that Clinton's final report does not show that Al Qaeda was an urgent threat. "...refers to Osama bin Laden by name just four times." http://www.washtimes.com/national/20040406-121654-1495r.htm But it's best to read the report for yourself: Key paragraph: "Afghanistan remains a serious threat to U.S. worldwide interests because of the Taliban's continued sheltering of international terrorists and its increasing export of illicit drugs. Afghanistan remains the primary safehaven for terrorists threatening the United States, including Usama bin Ladin. The United Nations and the United States have levied sanctions against the Taliban for harboring Usama bin Ladin and other terrorists, and will continue to pressure the Taliban until it complies with international requests to bring bin Ladin to justice. The United States remains concerned about those countries, including Pakistan, that support the Taliban and allow it to continue to harbor such radical elements. We are engaged in energetic diplomatic efforts, including through the United Nations and with Russia and other concerned countries, to address these concerns on an urgent basis." This is the only use of the word "urgent" in the whole report. Also: "Whenever possible, we use law enforcement, diplomatic, and economic tools to wage the fight against terrorism. But there have been, and will be, times when those tools are not enough. As long as terrorists continue to target American citizens, we reserve the right to act in self-defense by striking at their bases and those who sponsor, assist, or actively support them, as we have done over the years in different countries. Fighting terrorism requires a substantial commitment of financial, human, and political resources. Since 1993, both the FBI's counterterrorism budget and the number of FBI agents assigned to counterterrorism have more than doubled. The President has also created and filled the post of National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Counterterrorism. Three presidential directives now coordinate the efforts of senior counterterrorism personnel from various government agencies in dealing with WMD and other threats at home. The FBI and the State Department, respectively, operate Rapid Deployment Teams and interagency Foreign Emergency Support Teams to deploy quickly to scenes of terrorist incidents worldwide."
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