11-14-2007, 08:30 PM
From interview with Lawrence web page (http://) O'Neill was a really brilliant and extremely flawed man. Even as early as 1996, he was alerting his superiors that al Qaeda and bin Laden posed a real threat to America, despite the fact that for years after that, the director of the FBI was assuring the White House that al Qaeda posed no threat to the homeland. So, there was an antagonism between O'Neill and his superiors. He was always agitating, kind of a Cassandra figure, in some respects. And of course, the things that happened, that he predicted, did come true. He said, based on early information, that the attacks in east Africa on the American embassies, in Kenya and in Tanzania -- he said those were al Qaeda. And the headquarters didn't believe him. But it was shown to be true. He said that the [USS] Cole bombing was al Qaeda, and he got control of that investigation. He said that they're going to attack us again, they're going to hit us here. He said to his friends, when he resigned from the Bureau, and they said, "You'll be safe now, John, because you're going to work at the Trade Center and they've already struck there." He said, "No, they'll come finish the job." So, in a way, I don't think of it as being ironic that he went to the Trade Center. It seemed more an acceptance of destiny, in some respects, kind of Greek in terms of his understanding that he had fallen, and he kind of accepted that he instinctively put himself at ground zero.