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By John R. Bolton
The president fiddles at his domestic altar while the world burns
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Abu Nidal
Abu Nidal (Arabic: أبو نضال) (May 1937 – August 16, 2002), born Sabri Khalil al-Banna (Arabic: صبري خليل البنا), was the founder of Fatah–The Revolutionary Council (Arabic: فتح المجلس الثوري), a militant Palestinian group more commonly known as the Abu Nidal Organization (ANO). At the height of his power in the 1970s and 1980s, Abu Nidal, or "father of [the] struggle," was widely regarded as the most ruthless of the Palestinian political leaders. He told Der Spiegel in a rare interview in 1985: "I am the evil spirit which moves around only at night causing ... nightmares." - Source: Wikipedia
It's the question asked by Gold Star families -- the loved ones of our fallen -- when I meet them at funerals or public events. It's spoken quietly by the spouses of grievously wounded soldiers, sailors, airmen, guardsmen and Marines when I visit military and veterans' hospitals.
It is ironic. The flaws that spoil Tim Weiner's passionate, malevolent and often misguided history of the Central Intelligence Agency are precisely the same flaws for which he damns CIA: Preconceived conclusions, lack of insight about the target and sloppy reporting. From the book's second sentence, Mr. Weiner tells you where he's going to end up: "Legacy of Ashes," he announces, "describes how the most powerful country in the history of Western civilization has failed to create a first-rate spy service."
Eric Edelman, the undersecretary of defense for policy, has written a harsh critique of a recently declassified Pentagon inspector general report. The rebuttal is contained in the appendix of the IG report that criticized the alternative, pre-Iraq war intelligence assessment done by a Pentagon policy group on ties between Iraq and al Qaeda as "inappropriate." Mr. Edelman stated that the policy group's work on the issue was not only appropriate and legal, but directed by both former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and former Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz. "Apart from the numerous factual inaccuracies, omissions and mischaracterizations identified throughout these comments, the [IG] report suffers from a basic analytical flaw in attempting to paint the work under review as 'inappropriate' even though no laws were broken, no DoD directives were violated and no applicable policies were disregarded," Mr. Edelman wrote in his counter to the February IG report made public April 5.