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Sunday, July 25, 2004

9-11 commission niceness

Below, I forgot to mention one of the very novel features of the 9-11 commission report. 
It is true that much of the raw information was already available in staff reports and in public hearings, but some is information of a type that is new to me.  I mentioned the President's
comments, which are certainly unusual since he had a vic-interviewee to keep him from saying much too much.  The other new thing is that we humble readers now have access to information acquired through torture ahem aggressive interrogation techniques. 

I just read (with great interest) insights contributed by Khalid Sheik Mohammad who was water boarded.  Does this make me complicit ?   It seems he got his entr√© into al Qaeda because he could handle computers.  Small world eh ? To me the most striking thing is the diplomatic delicacy with which the commission reports contradictory claims without criticizing anyone or, heaven forfend, saying anyone is lying.
KSM appears to have been popular among the al Qaeda rank and file. He
was reportedly regarded as an effective leader, especially after the 9/11 attacks.
Co-workers describe him as an intelligent, efficient, and even-tempered manager
who approached his projects with a single-minded dedication that he
expected his colleagues to share. Al Qaeda associate Abu Zubaydah has
expressed more qualified admiration for KSM’s innate creativity, emphasizing
instead his ability to incorporate the improvements suggested by others.
Nashiri has been similarly measured, observing that although KSM floated
many general ideas for attacks, he rarely conceived a specific operation himself.
19 Perhaps these estimates reflect a touch of jealousy;

The report is so bipartisan and unanimous that it would never take sides in the Khalid Sheik Mohammad Abu Zubaydah debate about who was the more creative terrorist.  Kind of puts the reluctance to use the names George Tenet and/or  Condoleezza Rice and the word perjury in the same sentence in a whole new light doesn't it?


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