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What is al Qaeda learning from the 9/11 Commission? How will we know?

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Learning is a two way street, and I am not speaking of Republicans and Democrats. We know that al Qaeda and other skilled militants "go to school on us," watching us, our military posture, our attack and defense procedures, our weapons (so that they can defeat, copy, or obtain), and our leverage points.

Nowhere amid the political slanging and efforts to 'pin my tail on your donkey,' do I see anyone asking, What are they learning from the 9/11 Commission and its proceedings - both public testimony and unclass commission documents? What do they see that we dwell upon and what we ignore? What changes in their operations and tradecraft might we expect from their analyses, i.e., what will they stop doing and start doing? How will we know, e.g., what precursors or fuzzy events will signal a shift?

While these questions have passed in and out of mind during the proceedings, a datum that Pickard (acting Director FBI) shared today drove it home.

This is an excellent opportunity for open-source collection and analysis to take an untainted look at the accumulated public record. My concern is that we are in such a spasm of self-discovery and blame fixing, that no one is performing an analysis on our proceedings. Failure to do so can open a window for an unexpected attack.

Gordon Housworth



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