Sunday, June 1, 2008

Still waiting...

...key parts of the U.S. government are clearly asleep at the wheel in fighting Bin Laden's message and ideology. What will it take to wake them up?
Well considering that 9/11 wasn't enough to rouse them from their slumber, I'm not sure anything will.

An unresolved question remains who in the U.S. Government is accountable for the wartime "war of ideas" against Jihadists. Last fall, Sen. Joe Lieberman questioned the FBI, the DHS, the Director of National Intelligence, and the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) about their organizations' role in the "war on ideas" against Jihadists. The answer was a giant shrugging of shoulders.
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The Washington Times reported that: "FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III revealed during the hearing that the FBI has no counterideology response other than its 'outreach' to Muslim-American communities so they 'understand the FBI' and address 'the radicalization issue.'" Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff also said nothing is being done domestically to battle Islamist extremist ideas. The department's incident management team, he said, is focused on civil rights or civil liberties - not fighting terrorists' ideology." "Retired Vice Adm. Mike McConnell, director of national intelligence, said the intelligence community does not conduct any battle of ideas against terrorists in the United States unless there is a foreign connection."
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"Retired Vice Adm. Scott Redd, [then] head of the National Counterterrorism Center who has a strategic operational role in countering terrorism, said one of the 'four pillars' of the U.S. war strategy is the 'war of ideas,' but he noted that there is no 'home office' for that effort in the United States."
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...the NCTC Extremist Messaging Branch directed NCTC staff that "[w]hen Osama bin Ladin or others try to draw the USG into a debate, we should offer only minimal, if any, response to their messages." This is the NCTC's real idea of a "war of ideas:" "minimal, if any, response to their messages."

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