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ThinkFast: September 11, 2006

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"ThinkFast: September 11, 2006"

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“The clandestine U.S. commandos whose job is to capture or kill Osama bin Laden have not received a credible lead in more than two years,” the Washington Post reports. “Nothing from the vast U.S. intelligence world…has led them anywhere near the al-Qaeda leader.”

“The chief of intelligence for the Marine Corps in Iraq recently filed an unusual secret report concluding that the prospects for securing that country’s western Anbar province are dim and that there is almost nothing the U.S. military can do to improve the political and social situation there.”

A Miami Herald investigation found that at least 10 South Florida journalists “received regular payments…total[ing] thousands of dollars” from the Bush administration to appear on U.S. government-run stations aimed at undermining Cuba’s communist government.

Iran is ready to consider complying at least temporarily with a U.N. Security Council demand that it freeze uranium enrichment, which can be used in developing atomic weapons, diplomats told The Associated Press on Sunday.”

A coalition of religious leaders, environmentalists and businesses are screening a new documentary about climate change to evangelical groups across the country. Their aim is to “turn the large and powerful conservative Christian constituency into a voting block united behind making the reduction of greenhouse gases a top priority among politicians.”

Al Qaeda’s second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri released a videotape to coincide with the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, underscoring the fact that he still has not been caught. Addressing the West, Zawahiri said, “Your leaders are hiding from you the true extent of the disaster.”

“The rates of homicide and firearm violence jumped in 2005, ending a decadelong decline, according to a new U.S. Justice Department report.” The National Crime Victimization Survey found that nationwide, homicides increased 4.8 percent, from 16,140 in 2004 to 16,910 last year.

Afghanistan’s ambassador to the U.S., Said Jawad, “called yesterday for more military and economic help from the West, citing a spike in terrorist activity in the past six months and fears that it could spread.”

A growing number of CIA counterterrorism officers are insuring themselves against possible civil lawsuits. “The new enrollments reflect heightened anxiety at the CIA that officers may be vulnerable to accusations they were involved in abuse, torture, human rights violations and other misconduct.”

And finally: The New York Times interviews families of victims of 9/11 and finds that, “while they were at markedly different stages in the healing process, many have found constructive ways of embracing life without forgetting.” Read their stories here.

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