It's not a choice between war and peace. It's a choice between war and endless war. It's not appeasement. I think it's better even to call it American self-interest.
Until we respect bin Laden, we are going to die in numbers that are probably unnecessary.
We are tangled in a very significant Islamic insurgency in Iraq.
One of the great intellectual failures of the American intelligence community, and especially the counterterrorism community, is to assume if someone hasn't attacked us, it's because he can't or because we've defeated him.
Bin Laden does reprehensible activities, and we should surely take care of that by killing him as soon as we can. But he's not an irrational man. He's a very worthy enemy. He's an enemy to worry about.
Most dramatically, and perhaps least noticed, is the violence inside Saudi Arabia itself.
'The war in Iraq - if Osama was a Christian - it's the Christmas present he never would have expected.
Without the connotation good or bad, bin Laden's a great man in the sense that he's influenced the course of history.
I think Mr. Clarke had a tendency to interfere too much with the activities of the CIA, and our leadership at the senior level let him interfere too much. So criticism from him I kind of wear as a badge of honor.
Saudi Arabia was, until just a few years ago, probably one of the most safe countries on earth. And now the paper is daily full of activities and shootouts between Islamists who supported Osama bin Laden and the government there.
I'm much better informed than Mr. Clarke ever was about the nature of the intelligence that was available again Osama bin Laden and which was consistently denigrated by himself and Mr. Tenet.
No one should be surprised when Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda detonate a weapon of mass destruction in the United States. I don't believe in inevitability. But I think it's pretty close to being inevitable.
Where he was, where his cells were, where his logistical channels were, how he communicated. Who his allies were. Who donated to them. I think it's fair to say the entire range of sources were brought to bear.
No one wants to abandon the Israelis. But I think the perception is, and I think it's probably an accurate perception, that the tail is leading the dog - that we are giving the Israelis carte blanche ability to exercise whatever they want to do in their area.
The treatise found that he was perfectly within his rights to use them.
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