Michael Scheuer, the former head analyst at the CIA’s bin Laden unit, has weighed in on the controversy surrounding the Republican Presidential debate held Tuesday May 15, when Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) stated that American foreign policy was a “contributing factor” in the 9/11 attacks.
“They attack us because we’ve been over there; we’ve been bombing Iraq for 10 years.” Paul said. He was then denounced by former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani who said it was “absurd” and that he’d “never” heard such a thing before demanding a retraction.
In an interview with Antiwar.com’s Antiwar Radio on May 18, Scheuer, who was the head analyst at the CIA’s bin Laden unit, Alec Station and authored the books Through Our Enemies Eyes and Imperial Hubris, said “I thought Mr. Paul captured it the other night exactly correctly. This war is dangerous to America because it’s based, not on gender equality, as Mr. Giuliani suggested, or any other kind of freedom, but simply because of what we do in the Islamic World – because ‘we’re over there,’ basically, as Mr. Paul said in the debate.”
Scheuer also agreed with Dr. Paul’s statement in the debate that the war in Iraq was a diversion from capturing or killing Osama bin Laden and that bin Laden was “delighted” that the U.S. is occupying Iraq as it has become a training ground and recruiting tool for new jihadists joining the movement.
Michael Scheuer is a 22-year veteran of the CIA and the author ofThrough Our Enemies Eyes: Osama bin Laden, Radical Islam, and the Future of America and Imperial Hubris: Why the West Is Losing the War on Terror.