A California high school teacher's strong stance on sneezes lands his class on the RidicuList.
We have new information on what the American-turned-terrorist, Anwar al-Awlaki, had hoped to do here in the United States.
There's word it involved chemical weapons. He was killed today in a U.S. drone attack in Yemen. And, in Crime and Punishment, a paramedic delivers damning testimony on day 4 of the Michael Jackson death trial. See why he says Doctor Conrad Murray's story just didn't add up. Plus, the RidicuList and more.
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Editor's Note: Tonight on AC360°, Anderson interviews Ali Soufan, a former top FBI Special Agent who's been on the legal frontiers in the fight against Al Qaeda. He'll give us an insider's perspective on the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, a major figure in al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Read an excerpt from his book and tune in at 8pm ET.
By Ali H. Soufan with Daniel Freedman
So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will win a hundred times in a hundred battles.
—Sun Tzu, The Art of War
“You can’t stop the mujahideen,” Abu Jandal told me on September 17, 2001. “We will be victorious.” We sat across a rectangular table from each other in a nondescript interrogation room with unadorned white walls in a high-level national security prison in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen. The prison was operated by the country’s central intelligence agency, the Political Security Organization (PSO), the complex also serving as its headquarters. PSO officials in traditional Yemeni dress were ranged on plastic chairs along one wall, observing the conversation. Abu Jandal—the name means “father of death”—was the most senior al-Qaeda operative in custody; he had served as Osama bin Laden’s personal bodyguard and trusted confidant. We got to him through Fahd al-Quso, a Yemeni al-Qaeda operative involved in the October 12, 2000, bombing of the USS Cole. Quso had identified, in a photograph shown to him the previous evening, a man whom we knew to be Marwan al-Shehhi, who was on board United Airlines Flight 175 when it crashed into the south tower of the World Trade Center. Shehhi had once stayed at a safe house in Afghanistan operated by Abu Jandal.
I gave my partner, Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) special agent Robert McFadden, a bemused look. He raised his eyebrows and smiled at Abu Jandal. Only training and experience enabled Bob and me to smile and appear relaxed, because below the surface we were seething. “You’ll find that you have underestimated America,” I replied, speaking in Arabic, “but tell me, why do you think you’ll be victorious?”
Reporter's Note: Ever since President Obama was inaugurated, I have written him letters. He never writes back. Just fyi.
Dear Mr. President,
I’ve said it before, and I’m sure I’ll say it again; you just have to hand it to that Joe Biden! I’m sure you read or heard his comment: “Even thought 50-some percent of the American people think the economy tanked because of the last administration, that’s not relevant, because we are in charge.”
I realize that such a statement probably caused coronaries in the White House Press Office. I can just imagine the swirling red lights and sirens going off. Ha! But I have to tell you, I don’t think there is any room for alarm.
If your team is being honest with itself, you have to admit that what he said was spot-on- dead-to-rights-true-blue true. Yes, a lot of Americans still believe the Bush administration bears a lot of blame for what has happened in the economy. And yes, economic measurements indicate that the economy was well into its nosedive before you even put your hand on the Bible and took the oath.
But that was pushing up on three years ago now. You are in charge. And just as it would be unfair to lay all the problems at your doorstep, it would be equally wrong to suggest that you bear no responsibility either. And honestly, would you have it any other way?
You have to believe that your policies matter, and you need America to believe that too; which means you need them to assess both your successes and failures with the economy. You can’t have one without the other.
You know what Biden does for your White House? He saves you from too much of that political doublespeak in which both parties engage, and which drives voters crazy. He lays it on the line. And I think if you ask most voters, that encourages them and builds their faith more than all the talking points in the world.
So happy Friday. Call if you get a moment. Or have Biden call. He seems to like talking anyway. Ha!
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