CIA source is adamant that Pillar was not risk averse while at NIO: that when he ran the desk, he was aggressive, quick, demanding, tireless. "A fabulous officer," is the quote, and this is admiration from an American hero who jumped into the darkness of the ummah and directed deadly fire while under fire, a man who made history that will remain a thousand years. Am not qualifying: When a hero tells you that Pillar is first-rate, then Pillar is first-rate. Critical is that Pillar is an analyst, not operations. Said to be straitlaced, stern, most conservative, and this probably means politically as well as professionally. Pillar is an Army vet, Vietnam era. Have not read his book, Terrorism and Foreign Policy, but am sending for it and will interview Pillar soon enough. Pillar now at Georgetown.
Source says that Pillar does not overstate and is a cautious opiner.
Puzzle how he responds to his face on the front page above fold of the decidedly thrashing-about, slab-sided, pet-whining Gore-Kerry-Clinton-Dean broadsheet of the WaPo. Puzzle if Pillar can control how he is used by men and women who have never jumped into darkness or directed men who are in darkness and need eyes.
Also, the intel war for Afghan, Iq, Syr, Ir, has many versions now being told. Pillar's version fits some of the stories I hear. Something is profoundly disconnected between political apparatus and national security apparatus and war fighters. But then Pillar was an analyst at NIO Mideast during the moment in history that the ummah launched on New York. There was not and is not clarity on intel from ummah. All is shadows, a thousand years of shadows. War-fighting on the basis of probabilities of shadows' being real WMD machines is a sleepless endeavor.
Smile at wit of me writing for Nation. Katrina V is a long time friend, same for her husband Steve Cohen: I know them to be patriots and passionate political thinkers. I have never won an argument with either of them. I keep trying.
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