Sec. Powell Should Read Imperial Hubris

Condoleezza Rice refused to comment specifically on “Anonymous” because, “I don’t know who Anonymous is.” In an interview with Wolf Blitzer Secretary of State Colin Powell said:

I don’t know who he is. I haven’t read his book. I think what we are seeing are an insurgency in Iraq and terrorist activities elsewhere in the world. I think what we are also seeing is that the world is coming together in the clear understanding that we have to deal with these kinds of terrorist organizations and not just write it all off to Muslim extremism. There are some people here who just don’t want to see progress. They are not acting in the name of Muslim — of Islam. They are working against Islam. They are violating the basic tenants of Islam. And what we have to do is to continue to bring the world together in this effort to defeat this kind of thinking and to defeat these individuals. But I don’t know who Anonymous is, and I can’t really comment on his book because I haven’t read it.

Contrast this take on Al Qaeda, which appears to be pre-approved by the Office of Political Affairs with that of the man heading the very hard working staff at CIA dedicated to the Al Qaeda issue:

And the genius that lies behind it, because he’s not a man who rants against our freedoms, our liberties, our voting, our — the fact that our women go to school. He’s not the Ayatollah Khomeini; he really doesn’t care about all those things. To think that he’s trying to rob us of our liberties and freedom is, I think, a gross mistake. What he has done, his genius, is identify particular American foreign policies that are offensive to Muslims whether they support these martial actions or not — our support for Israel, our presence on the Arabian Peninsula, our activities in Afghanistan and Iraq, our support for governments that Muslims believe oppress Muslims, be it India, China, Russia, Uzbekistan. Bin Laden has focused the Muslim world on specific, tangible, visual American policies. And there seems to be very little opposition to him within the Muslim world, and that’s why I think that our assumption that he distorts Islam is just that, it’s analysis by assertion. I’m not sure it’s quite accurate.

Read the whole interview and note that Anonymous is frustrated that the insights of the analysts are being blocked by “senior bureaucrats”. Was this why Richard Clarke wanted to “shake the trees”? But Dr. Rice was not interested in shaking the trees. I have my doubts that the Office of Political Affairs would allow Sec. Powell to get a word in edge-wise as far as affecting White House decisions, but should not the Sec. of State read what the analysts are saying about what drives Al Qaeda’s support?