Meanwhile, while we're squandering everything in Iraq....
Senior leaders of Al Qaeda operating from Pakistan have re-established significant control over their once-battered worldwide terror network and over the past year have set up a band of training camps in the tribal regions near the Afghan border, according to American intelligence and counterterrorism officials.
American officials said there was mounting evidence that Osama bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri, had been steadily building an operations hub in the mountainous Pakistani tribal area of North Waziristan. Until recently, the Bush administration had described Mr. bin Laden and Mr. Zawahri as detached from their followers and cut off from operational control of Al Qaeda.
Al Qaeda has never had anything but a very small presence in Iraq, yet the administration and it's lemmings constantly tell us that the only thing protecting us from al Qaeda attack is the fact that we're continuing to squander lives and resources in Iraq.
Meanwhile, in Afghanistan where nowhere near the level of troops or attention was focused in order to then divert everything to a country with oil, bin Laden and al Qaeda is not only alive and well, but re-grouping and growing in strength and capability.
In response to this report on the resurgence of bin Laden, Al Qaeda and the Taliban, the former head of the CIA's bin Laden unit, Micael Scheuer said on "Countdown",
Scheuer: We've always oversestimated the damage we did to Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. But the Taliban escaped intact and they have been rebuilding and re-equiping over the past five years.
Olberman: How did that happen? Did this administration declare they had done all they could do? They were saying they had them on the run and now they're back?
Scheuer: This is a strange administration. But we don't take the transnational threat seriously. We're pretty good at nation states, but on Al Qaeda, we still have a government, as a whole, both parties, that doesn't take this threat very seriously.
The idea that we're going to try to do with 40,000 troops in Afghanistan what the Soviets couldn't do with 150,000 troops, is a bit of madness.
Olberman: Given what the Republicans during the debate in the House last week that the insurgents would "follow us home" if we left Iraq, which battleground is actually more central to the war against terrorist?
Scheuer: The central place in terms of an attack inside the United States is Afghanistan and Pakistan. When the next attack occurs in the United States, it will be planned and orchestrated out of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Al Qaeda values Iraq primarily for the entree it gives them into Jordan, into Syria, into the Arab peninsula, and into Turkey. We've really signed Jordan's death warrant through the war in Iraq. But actually, the people who will plan the next attack on the United States are those who are in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Olberman: Does this emergence of evidence that bin Laden and Zirarari are gaining strength, does it diminish the justification of the Administration looking over at Iran? Should we be shifting away from those countries and saying Al Qaeda, where they ARE, not where we want them to be, is where we need to look?
Scheuer: This administation seems to be afraid of anything that moves. Iraq was a containable country. The Iranians are not a threat to the United States. They may be a threat to Israel, but they're not a threat to the United States.
The threat to the United States inside the United States comes from Al Qaeda. They are in Afghanistan and Pakistan. If you want to address the threat to America, that's where it is.
So while they're demanding that more blood be spilled and billions squandered in destroying Iraq and destabilizing the entire middle east, while the real threat to our country goes largely unaddressed.
It's not the religious sects fighting each other in Iraq that will attack the U.S., it's the Al Qaeda in Pakistan. And Bush and the Republican war hawks seems to pay little or no attention to that fact.