“In the immediate aftermath of the destruction of the World Trade Center, the finger of guilt was directed toward the only plausible author for such a sophisticated and ruthless act of terror – Osama bin Laden.
Throughout the late ’90′s, we were informed that bin Laden had declared war on America by reason of the American military presence on Saudi soil in the wake of the Persian Gulf War. We were told how bin Laden, ensconced in Afghanistan, headed up a world-wide terror franchise whose sophistication and global reach dwarfed that of the Iranian-financed Hizballah or Islamic Jihad (previously, the most widely known of the terror organizations among the masses in the Middle East). Bin Laden’s organization, al-Qaida, was presented to us as something entirely new in the annals of terrorism – a far-flung, sophisticated empire of terror, possessing – possibly – weapons of mass destruction, while having no clear or viable state sponsor behind it (as the Afghani Taliban were merely its resident protectors). In short, by September 11, the United States now had a bona fide enemy – and, as they say in criminal justice parlance, a suspect with motive, means, and opportunity.”