Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Attack on the USS Cole and Broken Promises By Three Presidents

You would think that after 8 years since the attack on the USS Cole that some kind of justice in a court of law would have been delivered against the Cole bombers. But as of yet no American court has taken any action against the bombers in that attack in which 17 American sailors were brutally murdered, and 39 other sailors were wounded. The Forgotten Cole attack has become a national embarrassment for our nation in more ways than one. Yet our Presidents and politicians will go to any lengths to keep the truth of the Cole attack, the subsequent failed investigation, and the release of most of the killers from ever being corrected. And why? Politics plain and simple.

The attack happened on President Clinton's watch. He promised, "That justice would be served." and that the killers would be found and prosecuted. They have not. Instead some of the people in his administration which helped to mishandle the investigation into the Cole attack were promoted and rewarded. While those few individuals who attempted to shed light on the truth had their careers ruined.

And then President Bush took took the attitude of "it did not happen on my watch." and that "he did not want to be bothered chasing flies" Those flies turned into passenger jets crashing into the World Trade Center. And Bush and our nation paid dearly for his decision not to pursue the Cole investigation in a aggressive manner. After 9/11 Bush got wise and all fired up to take action on terrorism to his credit. He stated" Every terrorists must be made to live as an international fugitive with no place to settle or organize, no place to hide, no government to hide behind and not even a safe place to sleep." If only he had turned those words into action against President Saleh's regime which has aided and abetted terrorism for years now.

But he allowed just the opposite to occur with the Cole bombers in Yemen. His administration stood by and watched as the Cole bombers were pardoned, given reduced sentences, and not even tried for the attack. His support for President Saleh of Yemen did not waver until the last days of his administration. By then it was too late to take any action against Saleh's regime which was protecting the Cole bombers, which Bush had promised that he would not tolerate. By the time Bush left office President Saleh had turned Yemen into a terrorist haven, and had gotten away with the murder of 17 Innocent sailors. Yemen is now a stronghold for Al-Qaeda. And all the Cole bombers are living as free men in Yemen, some with 5 million dollar bounties on their heads. Two of the Cole bombers were allowed to travel from Yemen to Iraq to become Suicide bombers. Hamound al-Hitar a former Supreme Court of Justice in Yemen justified their actions,"Iraq was not part of the dialogue program." The two Iraq/Cole bombers had been placed in Yemen's Jihad Rehab Program as punishment. That program only requires that terrorists make a promise to Saleh, and Allah not to kill any more Americans. And Saleh has stated publicly that his Jihad Rehab will not endorse more strict and harsh consequences that the American government has asked for. Yet our own government is providing more money to build a much nicer and more comfortable Jihad Rehab Center for him.

Sheik Abdul al-Zindani of Yemen who founded and runs the al-Man University has been designated as a sponsor of Al-Qaeda by UN 1267 Sanctions Committee, yet President Saleh has not frozen his assets, and or barred him from traveling. Whats worse is that some of his students were implicated in the attack on the Cole, and one of his most infamous graduates was the American traitor John Walker Lindh. He is still spewing out his hate filled sermons about Jews and American. He has recently been behind efforts to build Jihad Camps for wanted be terrorists to go and fight against Israel.

Our government has returned ex-Gitmo terrorists back to Saleh of Yemen to meet his demands that they be freed. He has also recently freed over 170 Al-Qeada terrorists from his prisons. Yet he refuses to extradite the killers of our son, while our own government bends over backwards to make this supporter of Al-Qaeda happy. Another Cole bomber, Al-Quso escaped from prison like most Al-Qaeda terrorists in Yemen have and still do. Saleh did not even bother to tell the American government about his escape. They had to read about in the paper like I did. And he is still free in Yemen. Al-Badwai was pardoned by Saleh himself after escaping from prison at least two times, and has a 5 million dollar reward on his head as well. Hamdi al-Ahdal who was the second in command of Al-Qaeda in Yemen at the time of the Cole attack was considered a major victory in the war on terror by Bush when he was caught in Yemen. But to noones surprise he was not even tried for his part in the Cole attack and or other attacks that he helped to facilitate. Instead he was tried for supporting terrorism and released with time served. 3 years. Upon his capture he had revealed the names of wealthy Yemenis, and Saudis who helped to fund the Cole and French tanker Limburg attacks. There was no comment by the Bush administration after his release. Saif al-Adel was named as an un-indicted co-conspirator in the planning of the Cole attack and is living free in Iran. Bin Attash another Cole bomber is being held at Gitmo, but was not charged with the Cole attack for some unknown reason.

And then we have Al-Nashir who's trial we were getting ready to leave for when Obama dismissed the charges against him. And of course before that he had signed the order to close Gitmo, and to relocate the terrorist here to the states where they will be able to obtain constitutional rights. There are other terrorists involved in the attack on the Cole which I have not listed at this time. But they are all free.

Al-Qaeda views the attack on the Cole as one of their greatest victories, and even made a propaganda, and recruiting film about it. The producer of that film Al Bahlul was sentenced to life in prison at Guantanamo last November at Guantanamo, which my wife and I were lucky enough to attend and testify at. But so far al-Bahlul has been the only Al-Qaeda terrorist held accountable in a court of law by our nation. Some other Cole bombers were taken out by missles in the war. Except the ones taken out by missles in the war. Like many other Americans we thought that the Military Commissions and the tribunals was a fair system for the terrorists to be tried in. And now that the new report states that there is no torture and or abuse at Gitmo we cannot understand why Obama took the action that he did, unless it was only for political reasons. Obama will never satisfy the ACLU and the Human Rights Groups and their claims of rampant torture of the terrorists. Not unless he gives them what they really want, constitutional rights for the terrorists.

It was during the last year of the Bush administration that Senator Cornyn had worked to obtain us a Judicial Hearing, at the request of my wife and myself. We finally thought that our government was going to set things right for the murdered sailors, and their families. But then along comes our new President Obama and does everything in his power to set what little progress had been made in the forgotten Cole attack back to square one. He not only closes Guantanamo, but dismisses the charges against al-Nashiri the Cole bomber. And the Judicial hearing is canceled by Senator Leahy. Leahy now finds it more important to go after individuals in the Bush administration for torture of the terrorists, then to let the truth be know about the forgotten Cole tragedy.

The good news out of all these setbacks is the growing numbers of Americans who have decided to take up our issue of the Forgotten Cole Attack. We are now being helped by such people as our towns publisher of the newspaper, more Americans who are writing stories on the Internet about our battle with the government, Internet radio shows, Americans who are signing the petition to keep Gitmo open, and writing their congressman to demand action, and some 9/11 families who want to keep Gitmo open too. Its a good beginning in so short a time since Obama intervened on the terrorists behalf.

The plight of the forgotten murdered and the wounded sailors is not political, its about right and wrong. Its about standing up for our military men and women who put their lives on the line for us every day. And some who actually give their lives so we may keep ours. Its about ensuring that justice prevails over politics. People have asked me why do I continue to fight after being ignored by our government for so long. Its simple really. Our murdered son can no longer speak for himself. If we his parents do not speak out for him than who will? Our government has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that they will not, and that if they do their words are meaningless, and hollow. Our son deserves the same rights if not more so than his murderers. And even though the killers and President Saleh of Yemen have more support than we do at this time from our government, I am confident that with time our Government will come to its senses and have these terrorists tried by the Military Commissions in tribunals where they belong.


  1. USS Cole Revisited

    The Seventeen killed, and thirty-nine wounded on the USS Cole most likely could have been avoided it appears, after a military investigation. Although CentCom was aware of terror attacks against U.S. Ships in the area, it may not have been aware that the captain of the USS Cole, Cmdr Lippold, as Senator Warner put it, Lippold had "exhibited questionable qualities of judgment, forehandedness, and attention to detail.

    That was based upon the fact that the Cole crew did not take any of the precautionary procedures they were trained to do, and adheranced to the Rules Of Engagement (they were not permit to fire upon the atttackers) that were inappropiate in that situation.

    The tragedy of the men killed and wounded in that event is that those fine men were caught in a perfect storm where a cavalair CentCom commander scheduled a ship with an untrained crew and a caption with questionable competance to a port in known to be a vipers nest of terrorists.

    Yes, al qaeda killed those men, we are at war that no acknowledges, but it was the questionable judgment, forehandedness, and attention to detail of CentCom's Commander Gen. Zinni who tasked refueling at that port, the Chief of Navy Operations Adm Ver Clark who was responsible for vetting the port, and the Cole's captain who was negligent in preparing his crew and protecting his ship.

    It was reckless disregard on the part of everyone concerned, and the only one's who paid for that error were those gallant men on the USS Cole.

    Ciro Verdi, Retired Analyst

  2. The true fact of the matter is that the CNO and CentCom had the means to protect the Cole with an unmanned survalience boat that they refused to utilize at the time. Many have said, they did not want the American people to think there could be a threat of terror.And many more have speculated that this unmanned surface vehicle (USV) which had been fully advanced in it's technology,and did several missions in the middle east just prior to the Cole attack, would interfere with big dollar Military programs favored by the CNO and other high ranking officials.Actually,this USV would have completed the mission without fatalities and without wasting tax dollars.The unclassified documents were finaly released after CNO Vern Clark retired in 2005.