1,760. 10/13/2000

“A Pentagon intelligence analyst [Kie Fallis] resigned on October 13 [2000], declaring that his warnings about al Qaeda in the region had been ignored and suppressed by his superiors. None of his analysis involved specific threats against the [USS] Cole, however. Daniel Benjamin and Steven Simon, the former White House counterterrorism aides in [counterterrorism czar] Richard Clarke’s office, who had left government by the time of the Cole attack, later accused the U.S. Navy of blatantly ignoring the al Qaeda threat. ‘A more telling display of the persistent disbelief’ that bin Laden and his network posed a danger ‘would be hard to imagine,’ they wrote. They also blamed Anthony Zinni, the regional commander in chief, for permitting refueling operations in Yemen. Zinni defended his Yemen policy with arguments similar to those he called upon to advocate American engagement with General [Pervez] Musharraf in Pakistan. Even where Arab and Muslim governments were highly imperfect, Zinni argued, it was in America’s best interests to deepen contacts and alliances despite the risks.”

 – Steve Coll, Ghost Wars, Page 537

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