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The wrong kind of respect

16/09/2009

I wonder if the CIA’s former bin Laden-hunter Michael Scheuer is angrier:

a)    that an excerpt from his latest book is also the latest in English-language propaganda for al Qaeda in the special 9/11 issue of Jihad Recollections [h/t Jarret Brachman];
b)    or, that the same issue says his archenemy, the late John O’Neill (former FBI Counterterrorism Chief), was Osama bin Laden’s ‘greatest rival’ and the guy who ‘had the potential of uncovering al-Qa’idah’s international army’ (table of contents and page 20).

I am going with ‘b’ (he is probably is happy about ‘a’), considering the well-known rivalry between Scheuer and O’Neill.  Lawrence Wright explains in his Pulitzer Prize winning book on al-Qaeda and 9/11:

They were the two men most responsible for putting a stop to bin Laden and a-Qaeda, and yet they disliked each other intensely – an emotion that reflected the ingrained antagonism of the organizations they represented.

September 11, 2001 was O’Neill’s first day as head of security of the World Trade Center. He was last seen heading back into the south tower after the planes had hit.

Scheuer had this to say about O’Neill at a 2007 congressional hearing (p. 31):

Mr. DELAHUNT. And John O’Neill…you had this to say about him: ‘Mr. O’Neill was interested only in furthering his career in disguising the rank incompetence of senior FBI leaders.’

Mr. SCHEUER. Yes, sir. I think I also said that the only good thing that happened to America on 11 September was that the building fell on him, sir.

According to CQ’s Jeff Stein, after Scheuer said that, ‘the room for once fell silent.’

Stay classy, Mr. Scheuer.