Michael Scheuer headed the CIA’s Bin Laden Unit from 1996 through 1999.
He’s charged that during that time, the Clinton White House blocked multiple opportunities to kill Bin Laden, and before he resigned from the CIA in 2004, Scheuer was also harshly critical of George W Bush’s anti terror efforts.
“If anyone’s marching to the tune of al Qaeda,” he said, “it’s the US Government.”
Most startling, Scheuer revealed that several times in ’98 and ’99, he’d confirmed Bin Laden’s precise location by air and ground surveillance, asked permission for immediate missile strikes, but was refused
Scheuer says all his requests were backed by “sound intelligence,” and some had preliminary approval from Cabinet-level advisors to Clinton. But each time, he says, they were denied because of White House concerns about ”collateral damage”
Scheuer claims the U.S. missed its best opportunity in February 1999, when CIA drones pinpointed Bin Laden on a hunting trip at a desert camp in Kandahar, Afghanistan, with members of Dubai’s royal family.
At that time, bin Laden had already been indicted in the US for the American Embassy bombings in Africa that had killed more than 200.
One of bin Laden’s hunting companions according to US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Hugh Shelton, was Dubai Defense Minister Sheik Mohammed Al- Maktoum. He has since become Ruler of Dubai.
Within months after leaving office, former Presiden Clinto became an advisor and board member of an investment firm, Yucaipa, which managed some of billionaire Al-Maktoum’s assets. According to the San Fransisco Examiner, the company has been paying Clinton up to $ 10 million per year. Maktoum donated millions to the Clinton Library Foundation, though exact amounts have not been made public.
Clinton also picked up a $550,000 fee for a speech he made in Dubai, shortly after Dubai publicly announced giving $150,000,000 to US Designated Global Terrorist groups Al Aqsa Fund and Infifada Fund.
When Al-Maktoum’s government-owned Dubai Ports World tried to take control of operations at several major U.S. ports in early 2006, Clinton was a key lobbyist for the takeover. Sen. Hillary Clinton claimed to be against the deal, while claiming she had no knowledge of her husband’s actions on behalf of his business partner Al-Maktoum
In early 2008, Clinton announced he would be severing his business times to Al-Maktoum so their business relationship would not be a campaign liability for his wife; according to Newsweek, Clinton’s payout, according to the Wall Street Journal would be about $20 million.)
Scheuer speculates that the February 1999 attack was called off because the Clinton White House did not want Al-Maktoum, a United Arab Emirates prince meeting bin Laden clandestinely in the Afghan desert to be killed,” His administration was also pushing a major sale of F-16 to Dubai at the time.
Four months after the attack was called off, Scheuer stepped down as head of the CIA bin Laden task force, but served as a Special Advisor to the unit from September 2001 through November 2004. Scheuer says he left the CIA to publicly criticize the 9/11 Commission for failing to blame top U.S. intelligence officials for their actions prior to the attacks. He has published two books, Through Our Enemies’ Eyes: Osama bin Laden, Radical Islam, and the Future of America (2003) and Imperial Hubris: Why the West Is Losing the War on Terror (2004). He is currently working on his third book, Marching Towards Hell: America and Islam After Iraq, expected to be published in 2008.
- “Chapter 4: Responses to Al Qaeda’s Initial Assaults,” 9/11 Commission Report, July 2004, pp. 108-143, http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/index.htm.
- “The Dark Side.” PBS Frontline Interview with Michael Scheuer, June 22, 2006.
- Hinderaker, John. “Leaking At All Costs.” Weekly Standard, November 30, 2005.
- Kelly, Mary Louise and Melissa Block. “CIA Chief Says Al-Qaeda is Plotting Attack on U.S.” All Things Considered, September 7, 2007.
- “Michael Scheuer Interview.” Hardball with Chris Matthews, November 16, 2004.
- “Michael Scheuer Interview, Episode #519,” Real Time with Bill Maher, September 21, 2007.
- Scheuer, Michael. “Tenet Tries to Shift the Blame. Don’t Buy It.” Washington Post, April 29, 2007, B01.
- Scheuer, Michael. “Why I Resigned from the CIA.” Los Angeles Times, December 5, 2004.
- Tenet, George. “9/11 Commission Written Testimony.” March 2004, http://www.9-11commission.gov/hearings/hearing8/tenet_statement.pdf.
- “The Torture Question,” PBS Frontline Interview with Michael Scheuer, July 21, 2005, http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/torture/interviews/scheuer.html.