Pushed Out

Let's remember the name John P. O'Neil for a moment.

O’Neil was the head of the FBI's counter-terrorism unit during the Clinton years and the early months of the Bush years. He was the guy who chased Usama bin Laden around since the embassy bombings and the bombing of the USS Cole. He was the guy who sent the agents out code three in Peshawar, Pakistan when the U.S. finally grabbed Ramzi Yousef, the Iraqi responsible for the plot to blow up the world trade center in 1993.

O'Neil died in the collapse of the World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11. He'd been pushed out of the FBI and had taken the job as head of security at the World Trade Center.

Why was he pushed out of the FBI? Evidently because he was getting too close to the Saudis and that was uncomfortable in high places before Sept. 11. But he was also the guy who was saying there was an important connection between bin Laden, Al Qaeda and Iraq and Saddam Hussein.

When people argue that Iraq was a mistaken target, they should look back at what John P.O'Neil had to say about that. When he put his finger on the map to locate the center of terrorism against America he pointed at Saudi Arabia -- the hijackers were from there -- and Iraq.

I talk about that subject in my new book, “Hating America the New World Sport” and, by the way I’ll be signing copies of that book and saying hi to folks at Bookends in Ridgewood, New Jersey about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday night.

That's My Word.

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