Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Kline's Hiding 'Head In Sand' Leadership

Congressman John Kline has devoted a webpage to “Terrorism in America”. On the page he speaks about not enough being done by the media and others to highlight those who have made us all safer. He’s correct and we should recognize those that make the United States and world safer for all of us. But we should also acknowledge those whose policies have put America and the rest of the world at risk starting with Kline's support of the Iraq War.
"A stark assessment of terrorism trends by American intelligence agencies has found that the American invasion and occupation of Iraq has helped spawn a new generation of Islamic radicalism and that the overall terrorist threat has grown since the Sept. 11 attacks".

In fact the Iraq war has provided Americans with the next generation of terrorist:

Iraq has replaced Afghanistan as the training ground for the next generation of "professionalized" terrorists, according to a report released yesterday by the National Intelligence Council, the CIA director's think tank. Iraq provides terrorists with "a training ground, a recruitment ground, the opportunity for enhancing technical skills," said David B. Low, the national intelligence officer for transnational threats. "There is even, under the best scenario, over time, the likelihood that some of the jihadists who are not killed there will, in a sense, go home, wherever home is, and will therefore disperse to various other countries."

And while I'm glad that Kline is now paying attention to terrorism in America, it’s clear the GOP Congress with Kline and Bu$h Administration did little or nothing to pre-empt the events of 9/11. It is known that at least 11 countries provided advance warning to the US of the 9/11 attacks and that a security memo was issued by the U.S. regarding a terrorist attack by flying planes into high buildings but was ignored by the GOP administration.

Also the number one terrorist from 9/11, Bin Laden is still free. No serious attempt has ever been made by the GOP administration to catch him. Makes you wonder how committed the GOP administration is to counter terrorism when they seem to have lost sight of the terrorist leaders.

"I don't know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don't care. It's not that important. It's not our priority."- G.W. Bush, 3/13/02

"I am truly not that concerned about him."- G.W. Bush, repsonding to a question about bin Laden's whereabouts,

The current state of Iraq has not left Americans safer no matter how much it's touted by Bu$h and Kline. The statistics tell a very clear and simple story :

  • The number of significant incidents increased steadily starting in 1992.
  • Most of the significant incidents were caused by radical Islamic extremists.
  • 2004 marked the single, largest increase in terrorist activity ever recorded since the CIA started keeping records dating back to 1968.
  • The four fold increase in significant terrorist incidents (attacks in which people were killed and wounded) was a direct consequence of the war in Iraq.
Ray Close, who served as the top CIA official in Saudi Arabia, has offered the following on the importance of the current NIE:

"No reasonable person can possibly deny that our intervention in Iraq has been an enormous stimulus to terrorist activity worldwide. Efforts by John McCain and others to discount the significance of that factor by pointing out that the attacks on 9/11 occurred before our overthrow of Saddam Hussein is as trivial and irrelevant as they are disingenuous."

Once again we are witnessing the Bush Administration and John Kline trying to ignore the bad news the intelligence community is obligated to tell and present only the positive (we haven’t been attacked again…yet). This willful ignorance of bliss by Kline amounts to his being an 'enabler' in creating a more dangerous world for Americans. Hiding his head in the sand isn't the type of leadership Minnesotan's deserve.

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