Why Aren’t We Connecting the Dots on Iran?

Upon leaving NBC Nightly News in December 2004, Tom Brokaw was asked if there was any story he regretted failing to cover.  His response?  Failing in “connect(ing) the dots on terrorism” prior to 9/11.

As we recovered from the shock of 9/11, many Americans wondered why we did fail to “connect the dots” — properly combine and analyze — and then act on the intelligence we were gathering.  Three years earlier, a little known terrorist by the name of Usama bin Laden had declared war against the U.S. Perhaps perceived as no more than the inconsequential leader depicted in the movie The Mouse that Roared, al-Qaeda’s top terrorist evoked little serious concern.  The result was devastating as 9/11 caught us by surprise.

When Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, completes the role he has scripted for himself in detonating a nuclear weapon within the next two years with a view to targeting Israel and/or the U.S., the same question will be asked. Once again, we will be in shock.  Soon after we may again be struggling to recover from a devastating attack that caught us by surprise.


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