Do you think people will remember the events of September 11th two hundred years from now?
Well, the after effects are still being felt from when the USS Intrepid exploded in Tripoli Harbor on September 4, 1804, an event still well remembered by naval historians and the people of Somers Point, New Jersey who are still waiting for the return of the remains of their native son, Richard Somers.
It is only now, two hundred and four years later that the issues we fought for then are finally being resolved, and the events of the first Barbary Pirate war are being recognized for their signifiance today.
Not only are Americans fighting for the same values and principles that they fought for two centuries ago, but the first US naval officers and midshipmen are the ones who established those values and priniples.
LIBYA AND OSAMA BIN LADEN
In 1998, four years after two German anti-terror agents were killed in Libya, Libyan leader Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, through Interpol, indicted Osama bin Laden [file # 1998/20032] because of his association with the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), one of the terrorist organizations President Bush listed after the Sept. 11 attacks as one whose assets were frozen worldwide.
According to some published reports ["Bin Laden: The Forbidden Truth" by Charles Brisard & Guillaume Dasquie and NYT, 11/12/01 p.13-6 ], bin Laden was in Libya at the time of the murders, and MI5, the British military counter-intelligence service attempted to get the LIFG to assassinate Qaddafi.
On March 16, 1998, Libya issued the first international arrest warrant against Osama bin Laden and three accomplices for murder, which was released by Interpol on April 15, 1998 [For complete document see: Appendix II, p. 155-159, "Bin Laden: The Forbidden Fruit"].
PRESIDENT CLINTON & BIN LADEN
On July 17, 1998, U.S. DOJ prosecutors issue an historic subpoena ordering President William Clinton to testify before a grand jury regarding the Monica Lewinsky affair, which would distract and preoccupy the Justice Department, the FBI and the President while Osama bin Laden planned and organized his attacks against the United States.
On August 21, 1998, President Clinton launched ineffective Tomahawk missile strikes at bin Laden’s Afghanistan camps, without consulting John O’Neil, the FBI’s counter-terrorism specialist, who claimed outdated intelligence was used in selecting targets. Clinton is criticized for "Wagging the Dog," or attempting to kill bin Laden to distract attention from the Lewinsky affair.
[See: "The Man Who Warned America – the Life and Death of John O’Neill, the FBI’s Embattled Counter Terror Warrior" by Murray Weiss, Regan Books/Harper-Collins, 2003, p. 430 ]
Bill Kelly can be reached at: Billkelly3@gmail.com