On 9/11, SecDef Rumsfeld was on the Charlies Brennan radio show (as he frequently is) and seemingly connected the Beirut bombing, in which 241 Marines were killed, to al-Qaeda.
BRENNAN: ...You know, five years ago we were attacked by al Qaeda. And I know a lot of listeners want to know, is it possible that we'll ever beat al Qaeda? It seems as if there are more recruits on all continents right now, Mr. Secretary.
SECRETARY RUMSFELD: Well, there have been recruits for many, many years, I mean, if you think about it. We were attacked in the Marine barracks in Beirut back in the mid- -- early 1980s; lost 241 Marines. The USS Cole was attacked in Yemen some years later. Other countries have been attacked -- London and Madrid and Bali. This is not a totally new phenomenon. What's new is the fact that they are raising money, and recruiting, and attempting to destabilize moderate Muslim governments in the world to try to reestablish a caliphate...
Besides repeating the old line of a monolithic terrorist movement, the SecDef then goes on about how we haven't altered our ways in response to terrorism: "We have not altered our behavior. We are still flying airplanes, and we're still going about our business." Um, bad link because we have altered our behavior with regard to flying airplanes. Go to an airport for either domestic or international commercial air service recently, Mr Secretary?
But, Beirut and AQ? or even AQAM (AQ & Associated Movements)? Please don't disrespect the Marines who died that day like this.