9-11 Nineteen Years On… | Charles Duelfer

9-11 Nineteen Years On…

This day used to re-kindle memories of an attack against America. Little attention is now paid. It does not fit the current narrative. In this political season, neither candidate benefits from the old narrative. Today’s atmosphere seems to be that the threat to the United States comes from its own citizens and, probably always has. For those who do reflect upon 9-11 there is ample reason to consider the decisions made afterwards and the difference they made or did not make.  But today’s popular mindset is not one of reflection, but an entire paradigm shift–the problem is not out there, but in here.

It is striking that the heroes of the early post 9-11 days, including the NYPD and other police departments, are now the villains in the present “narrative.”

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8 Responses to 9-11 Nineteen Years On…

  1. Eric LC says:

    Mr. Duelfer,

    In the light of “For those who do reflect upon 9-11 there is ample reason to consider the decisions made afterwards and the difference they made or did not make,” I invite you to review my Review of Hal Brands and Peter Feaver’s “Lessons from the Iraq War”. Excerpt:

    Brands, Feaver:
    There are no two ways about it: The Iraq War was a tragic mistake.

    There are no two ways about it: On the law and facts, President Bush’s determination on Iraq was correct: the case against Saddam is substantiated.

    Basic issue-rule, fact pattern analysis shows the OIF decision was substantively correct on the facts, procedurally correct on law and precedent, and justified on the policy.
    . . .
    As Secretary of State Albright recapitulated the basic policy on Iraq, “Our view, which is unshakable, is that Iraq must prove its peaceful intentions. It can only do that by complying with all of the Security Council resolutions to which it is subject. … And the evidence is overwhelming that Saddam Hussein’s intentions will never be peaceful.”

    Note: The underlined text in the excerpt denotes an in-text link in the post that has been left out in this comment.

    My corrective criticism of Professor Brands and Professor Feaver’s argument prominently cites the Iraq Survey Group report. With respective to reflecting upon 9-11, in addition to citing ISG findings on Iraq’s UNSCR 687 disarmament violations, my review also cites Iraqi Perspectives Project findings on the Saddam regime’s UNSCR 687 terrorism violations, including that “the [Saddam] regime was willing to co-opt or support organizations it knew to be part of al Qaeda” (IPP).

  2. Eric LC says:

    Correction: “With RESPECT to reflecting upon 9-11 …”

    And, the comment draft “awaiting moderation” doesn’t show where I italicized or underlined text with HTML code in the excerpt. Oh well. You’ll see the italicized and linked text in the post.

  3. Eric LC says:

    Mr. Duelfer,

    Add: I forgot to say, I would have e-mailed you with the review request, rather than convey it in a site comment, but the e-mail address on your contact page doesn’t work.

  4. Charles Duelfer says:

    Thanks for your comments and note. I will Not sure what the story is with the email, try to fix it later. The link to your review works and I will read it when I have a bit of time….it’s pretty thorough! I am glad the report of the ISG is still recognized as a foundation for analysis of those decisions.We had a unique opportunity to gather real data on a subject that had been widely interpreted based on little real data. History tends to change as people rewrite it based on current standards and narratives. It’s nice to have a record of some supported facts about what Saddam’s Iraq was doing and where Saddam was headed. There are still plenty of mysteries, but much of the core data is there. Thanks very much for your comments and attention to this. There are new books coming out and the story may be shifted again. Steven Coll has one coming out next year I believe. Will see where that directs attention. Many thanks again…..cd

  5. Eric LC says:

    Mr. Duelfer,

    Thank you.

    Indeed, Professors Brands and Feaver’s article and related writings solicit historical revision of the Iraq intervention. In contrast, my position is that the fundamental requirement for curing the “prevailing debate [about the Iraq War that] distorts the historical record and harms American foreign policy” (Brands, Feaver) is laying a proper foundation for the public with the mission’s primary source authorities, i.e., the set of controlling law, policy, precedent, and determinative facts that define OIF’s justification. As you say, “the core data is there” to clarify the Iraq issue. In terms of foreign policy, OIF’s primary sources are exceptionally straightforward and plainly stated. They’re also exceptionally thorough due to the protracted, iterative, principal focus on the Gulf War ceasefire compliance enforcement by three US presidential administrations, US Congress, and the United Nations that preceded Iraq’s “final opportunity to comply” (UNSCR 1441).

    To critically navigate the proliferation of revisionist narratives, my Operation Iraqi Freedom FAQ is purpose-designed as a study guide that helps readers learn OIF’s primary source authorities for themselves, so they can determine where a narrative credibly accords with the operative law and facts that define the Iraq issue and where it misinforms the public contra the operative law and facts.

    I look forward to your feedback. Of course, please feel free to share my review of Professors Brands and Feaver’s article and the OIF FAQ at large with Professor Coll and anyone else.

  6. Eric LC says:

    Mr. Duelfer,

    This is a comment rather than an email because “:user is over quota”.

    What do you make of this tweet from Michael Elleman about UNMOVIC and the UNSCR 1441 inspections?

    We acted on the best intelligence provided by “member states” including the US. But nothing found. We were prepared to state there were no WMD in Iraq, but needed another 3-6 weeks to resolve residual issues from the 1990s.  The rush to war prevented a conclusive finding. 2/x

    I was jarred by “We were prepared to state there were no WMD in Iraq” in “3-6 weeks”.

    I responded with this tweet:

    What progress could you be making given that Iraq denied UNMOVIC the verified total account that was the basic requirement to even begin satisfying UNSCR 1441 pursuant the UNSCR 687 standard? Unless of course you were applying your own made-up standard in lieu of UNSCRs 687&1441.

    And this tweet:

    Given UNMOVIC & ISG’s reports are rife with UNSCR 687 violations, including IIS’s large covert procurement program & chem&bio labs Iraq hid from UNSCOM&UNMOVIC, your admission “We were prepared to state there were no WMD in Iraq” in “3-6 weeks” is terrifying malfeasance averted.

    Of course, I continue looking forward to your feedback on my corrective criticism of Professors Brands and Feaver.

  7. Eric LC says:

    Mr. Duelfer,

    The Iraq Survey Group “DCI Special Advisor Report on Iraq’s WMD” report that was accessible at https://www.cia.gov/library/reports/general-reports-1/iraq_wmd_2004/ with a user-friendly layout and bookmarks has been removed. If the ISG webpage has been relocated I can’t find it on the CIA site. If it has been moved and not removed, I’m hoping you can provide me the new link. If it has been removed, I’m hoping you can convince the CIA to restore ISG webpage with its user-friendly layout and bookmarks.

  8. Eric LC says:

    Mr. Duelfer,

    For your information, I just submitted this message on the CIA website’s contact form:

    To the CIA webmaster,

    At my site, Operation Iraqi Freedom FAQ at https://operationiraqifreedomfaq.blogspot.com/, I clarify the Iraq issue using primary and chief corroborative law and fact sources. Therefore, the OIF FAQ’s posts cite-link often (109 times) to the Iraq Survey Group “DCI Special Advisor Report on Iraq’s WMD” at https://www.cia.gov/library/reports/general-reports-1/iraq_wmd_2004/ and its various section bookmarks. However, the ISG report URL recently turned into a “404” dead link. I was unable to find a new webpage for the ISG report with the CIA website’s search app.

    I would appreciate the CIA website restoring the ISG webpage with its user-friendly layout and bookmarks at https://www.cia.gov/library/reports/general-reports-1/iraq_wmd_2004/. But if not there, then at least on another CIA webpage.

    I know the ISG report is available for download on the CIA website and elsewhere on the Internet, but a PDF download link does not work for the OIF FAQ’s 109 cite links to the various sections of the ISG report.

    Thank you.

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