Footnotes of an America United

There were these footnotes to the story of America at war with terrorism.  

American intelligence agencies have been warned of possible terrorist attacks on Sunday, which was the actual Veteran's Day.  But The Washington Times reports that analysts do not believe that had anything to do with the crash of American Flight 587 on Monday.  

The Times reports that the warning, "originated in a north African nation that in the past had been associated with international terrorism."  But officials said the warning was not sufficiently specific to warrant placing the nation on a higher state of alert.  

While some western media are reporting shootings and other alleged atrocities by advancing Northern Alliance fighters, the Times of London heard even more harrowing reports when correspondent Ian Cobain entered the Northern Alliance town of Taloqan with Alliance forces.  

In addition to the reports of executions and mutilations at the hands of the Taloqan, Cobain heard accounts of their torture by children by the Taliban.  One man said he fled his home to hide briefly with his wife and two daughters, leaving his 4-year-old son behind, concealed under blankets.  He returned to find the boy's leg broken by the butt of a rifle, whose imprint could be seen on the floor of his house.  Cobain saying others in Taloqan told of children being beaten in front of their parents, usually because of some alleged offense by the parents.  

Al Jazeera, the Arab news channel based in Qatar the Persian Gulf says its office in Kabul was destroyed by a missile earlier today, as the Northern Alliance moved into the city.  The channel has become controversial, as Usama bin Laden's preferred media outlet, and has been criticized by the U.S. government as a fountain of anti-American propaganda.  

Its offices are located across the street from the Taliban's notorious Ministry for the Suppression of Vice.  An Al Jazeera spokesman said the office was deserted when the missile hit, and no one apparently was hurt.  

In a report on the low priority the Clinton administration assigned to fighting terrorism, USA Today says that Clinton's C.I.A. director James Woolsey never once met with the president after his initial job interview.  Indeed, says the paper, when a light plane crashed into the White House in 1994, Woolsey recalls that, "the joke inside the White House was that Woolsey must still be trying to get an appointment."