The incident strengthens and encourages all manner of war-mongers. The Weekly Standard’s, Thomas Jocelyn, manages to argue that this episode proves that U.S. torture of detainees at Guantanamo (including Yemenis, who have made up the largest group since January 2008) isn’t the “driving force behind AQAP’s terror” but rather “the terrorists’ jihadist ideology, which the Obama administration spends much of its time ignoring.” (So why worry about provoking ordinary Yemenis with drone missile attacks and the abuse of their countrymen when the underlying cause for hatred of the U.S. is Islamist “jihadism” from Afghanistan to Somalia?)
Liz Cheney, deputy secretary of state for Middle Eastern affairs under the Bush/Cheney administration, appeared on Fox News to argue that al-Qaeda was probing “the weakest spot in our system” by targeting cargo planes and that “that’s why intelligence becomes so important. It’s why I believe that the steps that this president has taken, for example, threatening to prosecute intelligence officials, are so dangerous and damaging for the nation. It’s why the Wikileaks, the leaks are so damaging.”
Cognitive dissonance aside, the reportage on this episode has been fraught with contradictions, leaves many unanswered questions, and serves the interests of those bent on perpetuating and expanding wars based on lies and fear.