Shortly after 9/11, when the nation's airports were closed, it's long been rumored that three Saudi men were allowed to fly out of the country. For three years the White House has denied the flight ever occurred. It did.


For those of us who like to carry the greatest document ever in their pocket....


Throughout history, even the bitterest of enemies have commonly begun peace negotiations while the fighting still raged. And right now, smack in the middle of our self-styled war on terror, it may also make sense for us to start exploring possible paths to peace.

John Arquilla, a professor of defense analysis at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School,argues that negotiating with terrorists is the answer. Arquilla notes that every conflict since WWII the U.S. has engaged in has resulted in some negotiated compromise.

The biggest obstacle? Political will. Appearing weak before the America voters is an almost unthinkable position for politicians. But before the political ramifications are played at home it's worth entertaining the thought that a negotiated settlement offers another way. Is it capitulation that will only serve to bolster the courage of the "evil-doers"? Or is it a rational response to address an almost unfathomable conflict? Will a negotiated peace hold when almost all the actors on one side are a loosely connected group beholden neither to statehood nor the dictates of elections? What lessons have been learned from the success and failures of similar, previously negotiated settlements? Is it weakness or pragmatism to look for alternatives to absolute victory over terrorism?