The Shadows in the Cave

I recently watched The Power of Nightmares: The Shadows in the Cave, a BBC documentary.  Some of its findings are contested, but I consider it startling even if only half of it is true:

  • It may be that al-Qaeda is no more formal an organization than the average businessperson’s professional network.
  • The “dirty” part of dirty bombs apparently causes virtually no harm.
  • Counter-terrorism prosecutors have used lack of criminal activity as evidence of “sleepers” and claim to have found secret messages in ordinary-looking home videos and doodles.

I’m not sure if I agree with the documentary’s emphasis on neoconservatists being the driving force behind American counter-terrorism.  Regardless of the political philosophy, I recall the first 12-18 months of reactions following 9/11 were widely supported across all parts of society.

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