Credit goes to the 9/11 Commission for discovering these latest new orbits in the political planetary system.
But then, will the discovery have lasting significance? Because the Administration seems to have gained a stronger hand over the news cycle over the past week, there is a perception in the press that the flow of explosive findings coming out of the 9/11 Commission are just a temporary bleed for the Administration to endure.
Just like the findings that no tangible link existed between Iraq and al Qaeda (see my funky chart) I think these latest developments are momentous.
First, Republican member John F. Lehman said on “Meet the Press” that, prior to 9/11, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia had “been paying a kind of blackmail by allowing a kind of free operations” to Islamic radicals connected with Al Qaeda, in order to prevent any attacks inside their borders.
Then, Commission Chairman Thomas Kean, on “This Week With George Stephanopoulos.” made this statement: “There’s no question the intelligence services in Pakistan were very much for the Taliban and worked with the Taliban very, very strongly, because they thought that was a help for them in their war with India and then their problems with Iran,” Kean said. “The Taliban and Al Qaeda became almost the same organization, Al Qaeda being the military arm, in some ways, of the Taliban.”
Besides the political implications, what makes this latest disclosure from the 9/11 Commission especially ominous is the possibility that these dynamics are not just historical, but still relevant.