9/11 Commissioner: Terror Plot Shows Danger of Putting ‘All Our Intelligence and Military Resources in Iraq’

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"9/11 Commissioner: Terror Plot Shows Danger of Putting ‘All Our Intelligence and Military Resources in Iraq’"

This morning on CNN, former 9/11 commissioner Tim Roemer argued that the recent terror plot in Britain illustrated why we need to direct resources from Iraq to the global terrorist threat. Roemer said, “It’s very important that we don’t put all our intelligence and military resources in Iraq and take our eye off the ball in other places in the world.”

He also emphasized that “it’s very important that we capture Osama Bin Laden” because Bin Laden is producing “CNN quality tapes” and “communicating with hundreds of millions of potential jihadist and trying to get them to sign up.” Watch it:

[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2006/08/roemer.320.240.flv]

It’s been four years, ten months and twenty-five days since President Bush pledged to capture Bin Laden “dead or alive.”

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Full transcript:

ROEMER: We need to finish the job in Afghanistan. We need to capture Osama bin Laden. These are unfinished parts of the agenda. Afghanistan is backsliding. We are sending more NATO troops there. We are running into more problems in the south. More sorties are going on there then maybe even in Iraq and we’re having problems with the Tora Bora hills and trying to find Osama bin Laden and Zawahiri who seem very confident these days releasing their tapes and these are CNN studio quality tapes that they are putting out there these days communicating with hundreds of millions of potential jihadists and trying to get them to sign up.

O’BRIEN: You mention more problems potentially than Iraq, that’s a little bit of a quote of what you just said. Are you suggesting that maybe we should be withdrawing resources and money out of Iraq and putting it into capturing Osama bin Laden and in Afghanistan and other things? I mean at the end of the day, right, it comes down to ‘X’ number of dollars can be spent in certain things. Where do you put that money?

ROEMER: I don’t think you can cut and run from Afghanistan. I think you really have to finish the job there. We started out well. We did some things innovatively there with special operation forces and our CIA recruiting Muslim Americans to help. We did a great job there initially and now we’re seeing some backsliding and some lack of progress there, and I think it’s very important to finish the job in Afghanistan. It’s very important that we don’t put all our intelligence and military resources in Iraq and take our eye off the ball in other places in the world and it’s very important that we capture Osama bin Laden and we are not letting him release a tape every few months trying to motivate and inspire and recruit new jihadists.

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