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Thread: CIA Inspector General's 9/11 Report Released

  1. #1
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    CIA Inspector General's 9/11 Report Released

    "In essence, the Commission could have produced a final product where the resulting conclusions and recommendations could be trusted. Instead, at the end of the day, what we got were some statements that truly insulted the intelligence of the American people. Violated our loved ones’ memories, and might end up hurting us, one day soon.

    One such statement is that 9/11 was a ‘failure of imagination’. A failure of whose imagination? What exactly does that mean? When you have a CIA director with his hair on fire, a system blinking red, 52 FAA warnings, an August 6th, 2001, PDB entitled ‘Bin Laden Determined to Strike in the United States’, leads on several 9/11 hijackers including Alhazmi, Almihdhar and Marwan Al-Shehi, warnings from many foreign governments, a Phoenix memo warning of Islamic extremists taking flying lessons, the arrest of would-be terrorist Zacarias Moussauoui, facts imparted to one agent, Agent Frasca at the RFU at the FBI, 9/11 was truly a failure alright.

    But I would certainly not call it a failure of imagination.

    Once again these warnings and threats were not received in a vacuum. Nor were they so common an occurrence that they should have been ignored in the wholesale and brazen manner in which they were.

    To me it seems rather clear that there were enough warnings making their way to the appropriate people that meant that the proverbial dots should have and could have been connected. And thus, in light of all the incoming information in 2001, exactly whose failure was it to understand that our new enemy was terrorism, exactly who failed us by not having the agencies do anything in a defensive posture to protect Americans from just this possibility?" - 9/11 Family Member Lorie Van Auken at the 2005 9/11 Congressional Briefing


    Tenet’s C.I.A. Unprepared for Qaeda Threat, Report Says

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/21/wa...hp&oref=slogin

    By DAVID STOUT and MARK MAZZETTI
    Published: August 21, 2007

    WASHINGTON, Aug. 21 — The former head of the Central Intelligence Agency, George J. Tenet, recognized the danger posed by Al Qaeda well before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, but failed to adequately prepare the C.I.A. to meet the threat, according to an internal agency report that was released in summary form today.

    Mr. Tenet was sometimes too occupied with tactics instead of strategy, and he was lax in promoting an information-sharing environment within the C.I.A., the inspector general’s office of the agency says in a report released today.

    An inspector general’s team that reviewed the agency’s performance found that C.I.A. officers “from the top down” worked hard against Al Qaeda and its leader, Osama bin Laden, before the Sept. 11 attacks.

    “They did not always work effectively and cooperatively, however,” the team concluded, in what amounted in part to sharp criticism of Mr. Tenet’s management skills and style.

    “The team found neither ‘a single point of failure’ nor a ‘silver bullet’ that would have enabled the intelligence community to predict or prevent the 9/11 attacks,” the inspector general’s office said. “The team did find, however, failures to implement and manage important processes, to follow through with operations and to properly share and analyze critical data.”

    “The agency and its officers did not discharge their responsibilities in a satisfactory manner,” the report said at one point. The document was completed in June 2005 but was kept classified until now.

    No C.I.A. employee violated the law, nor did any of their errors amount to misconduct, according to the review team led by Inspector General John Helgerson.

    Mr. Tenet, who resigned from the C.I.A. in 2004 and was succeeded by Porter J. Goss, has defended his and his agency’s actions, and he did so again today. The C.I.A.’s anti-terrorism efforts were embodied in “a robust plan, marked by extraordinary effort and dedication” long before Sept. 11, 2001, Mr. Tenet said in a statement.

    “Without such an effort, we would not have been able to give the president a plan on Sept. 15, 2001, that led to the routing of the Taliban, chasing Al Qaeda from its Afghan sanctuary and combating terrorists across 92 countries,” Mr. Tenet said. Furthermore, he said, an inspector general’s report in August 2001 praised the agency’s anti-terrorism efforts.

    The current head of the C.I.A., Gen. Michael V. Hayden, issued a statement making clear that he did not favor publication of the inspector general’s report because, he thought, it would “consume time and attention revisiting ground that is already well plowed.”

    The report was released today as required by Congress, which recently endorsed the recommendations of the independent, bipartisan commission that investigated the Sept. 11 attacks.

    The report’s executive summary was made public at midday Eastern time on the agency’s web site, www.cia.gov.

    In some ways it is reminiscent of the findings of the Sept. 11 commission. That body concluded that “a failure of imagination” had made intelligence agencies unable to fully discern the growing peril of Al Qaeda, and that communication lapses within the C.I.A. and the Federal Bureau of Investigation and between those agencies had hobbled efforts to “connect the dots” of intelligence data and effectively pursue Al Qaeda terrorists, even after some of them had entered the United States.

    The inspector general’s report said that, while its team differed with some findings of the Senate and House intelligence committees, which also investigated the failures leading up to the Sept. 11 attacks, “it reaches the same overall conclusions on most of the important issues.”

    An internal investigation at the F.B.I. also found fault with some of its actions before the Sept. 11 attacks. But, while some officials in both the F.B.I. and C.I.A. have come under heavy criticism, none has been disciplined.

    The head of the C.I.A. was once in charge of all federal intelligence agencies. That was the case during Mr. Tenet’s tenure, and the report noted that he said as far back as 1998 that “we are at war” with Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden.

    However, the document went on, Mr. Tenet and his top aides failed to create “a documented, comprehensive plan to guide the counterterrorism effort at the intelligence community level.” One meeting “soon devolved into one of tactical and operation, rather than strategic, discussions,” the report said.

    It concluded that Mr. Tenet “did not use all of his authorities” in leading a strategic effort against Osama bin Laden, and that “the management approach” within the C.I.A.’s counterterrorism center “had the effect of actively reinforcing the separation of responsibilities” among key units.

    Statement by George J. Tenet on C.I.A. Report

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/21/wa...ref=washington

    In August of 2001, the Office of the Inspector General produced an insightful and valuable review of CIA’s counterterrorism efforts. Unfortunately, it is not the one released today.

    Just weeks before 9/11, the Office of the IG reported that “The DCI Counterterrorist Center (CTC) is a well-managed component that successfully carries out the Agency’s responsibilities to collect and analyze intelligence on international terrorism and to undermine the capabilities of terrorist groups.” The report went on to say: “CTC fulfills interagency responsibility for the DCI by coordinating national intelligence, providing warning and promoting effective use of Intelligence Community resources on terrorism issues.” The report noted that “CTC’s resources have steadily increased over the last five years with personnel growing by 74 percent during that period and the budget more than doubling. The Center’s comparatively favorable resource situation allows it not only to expand its own programs but also to support operations against terrorists and liaison relationships that DO (Directorate of Operations) area divisions otherwise could not fund.”

    The August 2001 report stated that “relationships with the FBI have been vastly improved” and further informed us “CTC’s relationship with NSA has improved dramatically since the last inspection.”

    The IG recommended no actions to me to improve our operations against terrorism. It did correctly note that the people of CTC were extraordinarily hard working and were facing a monumental task combating the tide of terrorism. The August 2001 report is sharply at odds with what is being released today.

    After 9/11, with the clarity of hindsight, the IG, while acknowledging that “the DCI was actively and forcefully engaged in the counterterrorism efforts of the CIA . . . [and] was personally engaged in sounding the alarm about the threat to many different audiences,” nevertheless criticized me for not having a strategic plan to fight terrorism and inadequately marshalling resources for such an effort. In these later judgments, the IG is flat wrong.

    There was in fact a robust plan, marked by extraordinary effort and dedication to fighting terrorism, dating back to long before 9/11. Without such an effort, we would not have been able to give the President a plan on September 15, 2001 that led to the routing of the Taliban, chasing al Qa’ida from its Afghan sanctuary and combating terrorists across 92 countries. The IG report rightly praises the “most effective interagency effort against UBL [Usama Bin Laden]” as the work of the Assistant DCI for Collection from the early months of 1998 to 9/11. But it fails to note that this effort was at my direction and was regularly monitored by me. This plan was based on actions that were taken over a sustained period using the assets of the Intelligence Community to collect intelligence against al Qa’ida, to develop relationships with key foreign intelligence services, to develop networks of assets inside the Afghan sanctuary, and to develop innovative technologies to deal with an illusive target. All of this was done pursuant to my direction, as quoted in the IG report, that there be “no resources or people spared in this effort, either inside the CIA or the Community.”

    The latest IG report is equally wrong regarding resources. Although resources available for everything else at CIA went down or stayed flat, counterterrorism resources were going up. The IG report fails to understand where we were starting from or the geopolitical context that the intelligence community faced. We had to try to rebuild a seriously under-funded intelligence community across the board. During the 1990s, as a Community, we had lost 25 percent of our people and tens of billions of dollars in investment compared to the 1990 baseline. The rebuilding of the entire Community was essential to bolstering our counterterrorism efforts and enabling us to address all the intelligence priorities established by the President. For me, however there was no priority higher than fighting terrorism. The IG fails to understand how intensely I pushed the counterterrorism issue because he failed to interview either me or policymakers from either the Clinton or Bush Administrations on this matter. Had he done so he might have learned that I was relentless in seeking additional funding for the Intelligence Community in general and counterterrorism in particular. I wrote the Administration in 1998 and 1999 imploring for more money to rebuild U.S. intelligence. When only a small portion of what I requested was made available, I went outside established channels to work with then-Speaker Gingrich to obtain a $1.2 billion budgetary supplemental for the intelligence community.

    The IG’s report released today also vastly under appreciates the challenges faced and heroic performance of the hard working men and women of the CIA in general and CTC in specific. As the 9/11 Commission report says: “Before 9/11, no agency did more to attack al Qa’ida than the CIA.” The hard work, skill and selfless dedication of Agency officers saved countless lives and enhanced the security of our country. No IG Report will ever change that reality.

    I do not want my comments here to be misconstrued as saying that CIA’s performance prior to 9/11 was beyond reproach. We did not obtain the tactical information which may have allowed us to thwart the 9/11 attacks. As I said to the 9/11 Commission: “No matter how hard we worked — or how desperately we tried — it was not enough. The victims and the families of 9/11 deserved better.”

    But just as we owed it to the country to do better — the CIA IG owed it to the nation and the men and women of the intelligence community to do a better job in reviewing the circumstances that led to the tragedy of September 11th.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  2. #2
    simuvac Guest
    Pretty much the kind of bullshit I expected it would be.

    Interesting to see the NY Times following the neocon line and overtly blaming Tenet in its headline.

    Hayden's comment sounds like Bush on the 9/11 Commission: Hayden opposed publishing the CIA report because it would distract agents -- sounds like Bush's "an independent commission will distract from the War on Terra" nonsense.

    I'd like to see the report itself, to see if there are any useful tidbits in it. This summary of the report sounds like the same ol' same ol'.

  3. #3
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    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by simuvac
    Pretty much the kind of bullshit I expected it would be.

    Interesting to see the NY Times following the neocon line and overtly blaming Tenet in its headline.

    Hayden's comment sounds like Bush on the 9/11 Commission: Hayden opposed publishing the CIA report because it would distract agents -- sounds like Bush's "an independent commission will distract from the War on Terra" nonsense.

    I'd like to see the report itself, to see if there are any useful tidbits in it. This summary of the report sounds like the same ol' same ol'.
    As soon as I read, "failure of imagination", a little bell went off in my head. I read the Executive Summary, and it makes sure to mention that there was "no instance in which an employee violated the law, and none of the errors discussed herein involves misconduct".
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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