‘A Very Long and Very Bloody War’

A former CIA analyst is critical of the Bush administration’s war on terrorism. But his solution — a re-evaluation of foreign policy and then even bloodier engagement — doesn’t endear him to the left or the right. Interview by Michael Stoll, Newsdesk.org
Michael Scheuer is the author of Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror (Potomac Books, 2004). He headed the CIA’s Osama bin Laden task force from 1996 to 1999, and last summer published the book anonymously. Scheuer argues that Osama bin Laden is not a madman with an apocalyptic vision, but rather a sane and charismatic figure whose anti-American rhetoric appeals to large numbers of Muslims. In contrast to Bush administration pronouncements that America’s enemies despise our way of life, Scheuer says bin Laden has been quite clear that he is opposed to policies of the United States, not its character.