Did Ollie Know?
Date Added: Sept. 25, 2002
One constant following a terrible event is people frequently find evidence that the events could have been avoided. Problem is, hindsight is 20-20, even when what you're seeing is just a mirage. No, we didn't know 15 years before 9/11 how dangerous Osama bin Laden would become. And there isn't some political hopeful to blame for letting him slip through our fingers.
How many of you remember this "grilling session" that Oliver North went through by the Democrats trying to "get" the Republican administration? Now some of the same democrats and other new liberals are trying to deter President Bush from doing what is right for America.
Forward from a lecture attendee:
I was at a lecture in the DC area the other day where they played a video of Oliver North during the Iran-Contra deals during the Reagan administration. I was only 14 back then but was surprised by this particular clip.
There was Ollie in front of God and Country getting the third degree. But what he said stunned me. He was being drilled by some senator I didn't recognize who asked him;
'Did you not recently spend close to $60,000 for a home security system?'
Oliver replied, 'Yes I did sir.'
The senator continued, trying to get a laugh out of the audience, 'Isn't this just a little excessive?'
'No sir,' continued Oliver.
'No. And why not?'
'Because the life of my family and I were threatened.'
'Threatened? By who.'
'By a terrorist, sir.'
'Terrorist? What terrorist could possibly scare you that much?'
'His name is Osama bin Laden.'
At this point the senator tried to repeat the name, but couldn't pronounce it, which most people back then probably couldn't. A couple of people laughed at the attempt. Then the senator continued. 'Why are you so afraid of this man?'
'Because sir, he is the most evil person alive that I know of.'
'And what do you recommend we do about him?'
'If it were me I would recommend an assassin team be formed to eliminate him and his men from the face of the earth.'
The senator disagreed with this approach and that was all they showed of the clip.
It's scary when you think 15 years ago the government was aware of Osama bin Laden and his potential threat to the security of the world. I guess like all great tyrants they start small but if left untended spread like the virus they truly are.
In the months that followed the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, tales ran rampant of obvious but ignored evidence that those terrible events could have been prevented if the government had taken action when they first suspected a terrorist problem. Often, the claims made are based on half-truths and fuzzy memories.
The exchange recounted above basically happened, but the terrorist North identified was Abul Nidal, not Osama bin Laden. In 1987, bin Laden was technically on our side - a U.S.-backed freedom fighter against the soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Nobody knew Osama bin Laden was "evil" in 1987, nor did anyone publicly advocate his assassination. This is clearly a case of our fallible memories rewriting history.
The most popular version of this chain at the time falsely identified the questioning senator as Al Gore, despite the fact that Gore wasn't even involved in these hearings. In 2003, the chain morphed again, this time pointing an accusatory finger at Democratic presidential hopeful John Kerry. Look for it to be dusted off again in 2007 and 2008 to sling mud in the face of the latest political frontrunner-du-jour.
Break this Chain!
References: Snopes.com, Common-Sense Radio with Oliver North