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DoD Hires LA Times Columnist Who Belittled Al Qaeda Threat

10:31 AM, Apr 16, 2009 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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LA Times columnist Rosa Brooks once wrote that al Qaeda was "little more than an obscure group of extremist thugs, well financed and intermittently lethal but relatively limited in their global and regional political pull. On 9/11, they got lucky. . . . Thanks to U.S. policies, al Qaeda has become the vast global threat the administration imagined it to be in 2001." She's now headed to Obama's Defense Department.

An email floating around the Hill:

LA Times columnist Rosa Brooks recently announced to her readers that she will "soon be starting a stint at the Pentagon as an advisor to the undersecretary of Defense for policy." In her time in academia and as a newspaper columnist, some of the more interesting policy positions Ms. Brooks has advocated include:

"George W. Bush and Dick Cheney . . . should be treated like psychotics who need treatment. . . . Impeachment's not the solution to psychosis, no matter how flagrant. But despite their impressive foresight in other areas, the framers unaccountably neglected to include an involuntary civil commitment procedure in the Constitution. . . . Congress can act to remedy that constitutional oversight. The goal: Get Bush and Cheney committed to an appropriate inpatient facility, where they can get the treatment they so desperately need." [See here.]

"Many innocent civilians suffered in the aftermath of the U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam -- but it's more accurate to attribute their suffering to the prolongation of the war itself, rather than to the U.S. withdrawal as such." [See here.]

A more knowledgeable official charged with US national security policy would call this a "grim joke." In his book Diplomacy, on page 697, Henry Kissinger noted how in the wake of the U.S. departure from Southeast Asia, "Cambodia was cut off altogether, with the argument that it would help save lives-a euphemism for abandonment, and a grim joke in light of the genocide that followed."

Professor Robert F. Turner has pointed out a story on Cambodia's "killing fields" from National Geographic Today, which reports how "guides explain that bullets were too precious to use for executions. Axes, knives and bamboo sticks were far more common. As for children, their murderers simply battered them against trees."

Asserted that prior to 9/11, al Qaeda "was little more than an obscure group of extremist thugs, well financed and intermittently lethal but relatively limited in their global and regional political pull. On 9/11, they got lucky. . . . Thanks to U.S. policies, al Qaeda has become the vast global threat the administration imagined it to be in 2001." [See here.]

A more knowledgeable official charged with evaluating threats to the United States might recognize that bin Laden and Islamist terrorists have always professed as their goal, as the 9/11 Commission found throughout its report, "America is the font of all evil, the ‘head of the snake," and it must be converted or destroyed." 9/11 Commission Final Report, p. 362.

Labeled Iraq pre-war intelligence as "the Bush Administration's cooking of the intelligence books." Rosa Brooks, LA Times May 22, 2008 (no longer available on web site)

Individuals more knowledgeable about the Iraq pre-war intelligence matter, such as Senators Rockefeller, Levin, and Durbin, have found that there was no "evidence that Administration officials attempted to coerce, influence or pressure analysts to change their judgments related to Iraq's weapons of mass destruction capabilities." SSCI Report Conclusion 83, p. 284 (issued unanimously by the Committee Members, available here).

Praised President Obama's "end[ing] of the war on terror" "with just a few words and strokes of his pen," even though Osama bin Laden's retraction of his declaration of war against the United States is nowhere to be found. [See here.]