In addition to John’s “False Exile” piece, today’s Daily Standard has two other excellent articles. The first is “The Pope of Terrorism” by Thomas Joscelyn. Along with Stephen Hayes, with whom he often collaborates, Joscelyn is the go-to guy on the connections between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda. Today, in Part I of his piece, Joscelyn focuses on Hassan al-Turabi, a founding father of the Islamist terrorist network. According to Joscelyn, Turabi was the main broker of what the Clinton administration, in its indictment of Osama bin Laden called “an understanding with the government of Iraq that al Qaeda would not work against that government and that on particular projects, specifically including weapons development, al Qaeda would work cooperatively with the Government of Iraq.” This was part of his broader mission, which Judith Miller of the New York Times described as to “overcome the historic rift between Sunni Muslim states, like Sudan, and a Shiite state, like Iran.” Stay tuned for Part II.
The second piece is “Meet Larry Johnson” by Gary Schmitt. Johnson is the former CIA analyst who gave the Democratic party’s weekly radio address and excoriated President Bush for not having fired Karl Rove. His other contributions to the national dialogue include a July 2001 an op-ed for the New York Times (“The Declining Terrorist Threat”), in which he argued that Americans were “bedeviled by fantasies about terrorism” and, in truth, had “little to fear” from terrorism. In that op-ed Johnson also rebuked his former colleagues in the national security bureaucracy for using the “fiction” of the terrorist threat to pump up their budgets. Schmitt concludes:
Obviously, the leak of Valerie Plame’s name to the media is not something to be tolerated. And if someone in the White House is responsible for that leak, they should be held accountable. But, that said, the idea that Larry Johnson should be given a platform by Democrats to pontificate about the damage done to national security by the leak is a bit perverse. Their time would be better served by wondering how the Larry Johnsons and Michael Scheuers of the world were allowed to rise to senior levels within the intelligence community in spite of their spotty record of analysis–and perhaps continue to do so.