Michael Scheuer, who resigned Nov. 12 after running the CIA office that tracked Osama bin Laden, was last Friday's guest. He wrote the recent best-seller "Imperial Hubris: Why the West Is Losing the War on Terror." Here are excerpts from his remarks:
"He is clearly an odd combination of 12th century theologian and a 21st century CEO. He is what historians in the 19th century would have called a worthy opponent. You don't need to like him, but you do need to respect him simply because he has a greater ability to hurt the US than we have ever really acknowledged."
"We really don't have any idea how big Al Qaeda is.... I would be very hesitant to tell the American people that Al Qaeda was either dysfunctional or dispersed - or on the edge of extinction."
"The world is going their way. We are losing virtually everywhere in the Islamic world - in terms of propaganda, in terms of lives, in terms of stability. [Bin Laden] has to think that the fire he is trying to start is beginning to catch...."
"Very seldom do intelligence failures come from the lack of intelligence. It comes from the lack of action."
"I am a CIA partisan.... I am not in any way attacking the institution. Our leadership, I think, has been surprisingly mediocre since the days of [Director William] Casey."