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Sept. 11 Leak Probe Focuses on Sen. Shelby, Paper Reports
Reuters | 01.22.04 | Unknown

Posted on 01/22/2004 12:56:18 AM PST by kcvl

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. Justice Department probe of the leak of classified information about intercepted messages prior to the Sept. 11 attacks is focusing on Sen. Richard Shelby, former chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, The Washington Post reported on Thursday.

The newspaper cited a law enforcement official and congressional sources as saying that the probe has focused on the Alabama Republican who was head of the intelligence panel at the time of the disclosure.

The FBI is trying to determine the source of the leaked information that the super secret National Security Agency (NSA) had intercepted two messages hinting at an impending action on the eve of Sept. 11, 2001, but did not translate them until Sept. 12.

The information was first disclosed publicly on CNN after a 2002 classified hearing in which the director of the NSA spoke to lawmakers behind closed doors.

Citing unnamed sources, The Washington Post reported that a grand jury has been hearing information and has taken testimony from at least two witnesses including Shelby's former press secretary.

Shelby, who now heads the Senate Banking Committee, told the newspaper in a statement that he had never compromised classified information.

"To my knowledge, the same can be said about my staff," the statement said. The Post quoted the statement as saying Shelby had had no contact with investigators for more than a year.

A spokesman for Shelby could not immediately be reached for comment.

The Post said it was unclear how long the 18-month investigation had focused on Shelby or how close the FBI was to concluding the probe.

The NSA, based at Fort Meade, Maryland, is one of the government's most secretive intelligence agencies. Much of its information carries a higher classification than other sorts of intelligence. It is illegal to release classified information.


TOPICS: Breaking News; News/Current Events; US: Alabama
KEYWORDS: cnn; code; codes; codewords; leakprobe; leaks; senrichardshelby; sept11; shelby; washingtonpost; washpost; zeroday
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1 posted on 01/22/2004 12:56:18 AM PST by kcvl
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On June 19, 2002, CNN, citing "two congressional sources," quoted phrases contained in two classified NSA intercepts from Sept. 10, 2001, that hinted of an impending terrorist operation. The intercepts included the phrases "The match begins tomorrow" and "tomorrow is zero day." This information was revealed by NSA's director, Air Force Lt. Gen. Michael V. Hayden, during a closed session of a joint House-Senate panel investigating the Sept. 11 attacks.

CNN reporter Dana Bash, who was credited by her network with getting the scoop, was interviewed by FBI agents, sources said. Her office said yesterday she was traveling with President Bush. She did not return a phone message to comment.

At the time, Vice President Cheney chastised committee members publicly about the disclosure of sensitive information. Critics said the administration was trying to stop public disclosure of embarrassing information about the lapses in intelligence and security surrounding the attacks.

Cheney's criticism prompted the House and Senate intelligence committees to encourage an FBI investigation of themselves. Within two months, FBI agents had the phone records, appointment calendars and schedules of 17 senators and had questioned more than 100 people, including all 37 members of the committee and about 60 staff members.

The agents typically asked lawmakers and staff members if they were willing to take polygraph tests.
2 posted on 01/22/2004 12:59:42 AM PST by kcvl
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To: kcvl
What would be the point of leaking that non-information? It doesn't say a think about where.
3 posted on 01/22/2004 1:07:27 AM PST by McGavin999 (Evil thrives when good men do nothing!)
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To: kcvl
The intercepts included the phrases "The match begins tomorrow" and "tomorrow is zero day."

Upon reading these 2 messages I immediately think that people are going to hijack airplanes and fly them into buildings....(scarcasm )

4 posted on 01/22/2004 1:08:24 AM PST by woofie
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To: kcvl
Was this the info that got Hillary to screech "Bush Knew!" on the Senate floor a while back? If it was, I'd be looking under those rocks.
5 posted on 01/22/2004 1:11:52 AM PST by FranklinsTower
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To: woofie
The entire article doesn't make any sense to me.
6 posted on 01/22/2004 1:12:08 AM PST by kcvl
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To: woofie
Well, the trouble with what Shelby did is that he allowed the people that said those things to know that we knew who they were--that's a problem.

Clearly, this is old news and no matter what the Left says
Bush could not have prevented 9-11. The intel agencies could have--they report to the President, but he is not in every bureau and cannot know every lead and investigation.
The intel people failed and that's that.

A trouble for the Dems is that they neutered the intel agencies and the military since Vietnam and Watergate. Kerry is exposed on this in particular. Edwards is a neophyte with absolutely no nat'l security cred and Clark is bleeping nuts. Dean is not viable. Hillary won't do the trick. I don't think they have anybody that can pass the nat'l security test.
7 posted on 01/22/2004 1:15:02 AM PST by faithincowboys ( Zell Miller is the only DC Democrat not committing treason.)
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To: kcvl
Some cryptic "messages" (which were probably sent in an Arabic dialect) were intercepted on Sept. 10th, probably along with a hundred (a thousand?) other NSA "intercepts", and they were already translated by the 12th? That's pretty fast work.

So, what's the "scoop" here again?
8 posted on 01/22/2004 1:19:43 AM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: kcvl
The entire article doesn't make any sense to me.

In a secret "closed door meeting", the NSA revealed to certain lawmakers that the NSA had intercepted messages ("the match begins tomorrow" and "tomorrow is zero day") on Sept. 10th and had them "translated" by the 12th. (The planes hit the WTC on the morning of the 11th.) We should therefore have known, from these obvious clues, that terrorists were planning to hijack planes and fly them into various major targets. If only the NSA had not tawdled, and if only they employed mind-readers and psychics. The whole thing never would have happened. See, Bush could have, and should have, prevented the whole disater. It's Bush's fault and now he is trying to cover it up. Blah, blah, blah.

It's a non story. No "there" there.

Good night.

9 posted on 01/22/2004 1:34:32 AM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: Lancey Howard
Thanks.
10 posted on 01/22/2004 2:10:55 AM PST by kcvl
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To: faithincowboys
I don't think they have anybody that can pass the nat'l security test.

Unfortunately, this doesn't matter to enough voters. In 1992, Impeached 42 was elected President with a whopping 43% of the popular vote. The public knew he was a draft dodging, skirt chasing, "Southern Lawyer" with no National Security experience yet he still made it into the White House.

11 posted on 01/22/2004 3:04:53 AM PST by XHogPilot
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To: faithincowboys
Bush could not have prevented 9-11. The intel agencies could have-- . . .

Fact or opinion?

12 posted on 01/22/2004 3:18:10 AM PST by leadpenny
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To: Lancey Howard
It's a non story. No "there" there.

The story HERE, if there is one, is that a top GOP Senator is being investigated for leaking classified information.

Did he, or didn't he? Whether or not WE think the information was useful is a different question altogether.

13 posted on 01/22/2004 3:27:09 AM PST by Amelia
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To: kcvl
Prevent terrorism, kill terrorists.
14 posted on 01/22/2004 3:28:44 AM PST by MrBambaLaMamba (Buy 'Allah' brand urinal cakes - If you can't kill the eneny at least you can piss on their god)
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To: leadpenny
The Intel agencies knew little more about 9/11 beforehand than we did. Trust me.

There had been chatter for years about hijacking airplanes and flying them into buildings. The bldgs mentioned were all over the world.

I recall that I read about it in the newspapers sometimes, for crying out loud. If Bush knew, then so did Shrillary.
15 posted on 01/22/2004 3:32:15 AM PST by jimtorr
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To: jimtorr
That has been my thought process over the years. When I was flying for a living I flew in and out of National (Reagan). Either the north or south approach didn't take too much imagination to see what could happen if a pilot or someone else was bent on suicide. That is the way I always thought it would happen. A suicide corporate pilot could break off on final and be in the Capitol Dome in seconds.
16 posted on 01/22/2004 3:52:14 AM PST by leadpenny
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To: Lancey Howard
So, what's the "scoop" here again?

The issue is that how we obtained those messages is far more important than what they contained. By leaking these messages, a vital source of intelligence may have been compromised.

Maybe Mohammed, a key Al Qaeda contact person, is sitting somewhere in Denmark, communicating via PGP-encrypted email. He thinks it's secure, and doesn't realize that NSA broke his key a long time ago. He occasionally sends something really important. Along comes Senator Bigmouth, who blabs that on Sept. 10, someone said, "the match begins tomorrow" and "tomorrow is zero day". That sounds awfully familiar to Mohammed, who checks his (encrypted) communications, and realizes that SOMEHOW, his communication channel is not secure, so he ditches it for something else.

17 posted on 01/22/2004 4:45:37 AM PST by Physicist (Sophie Rhiannon Sterner, born 1/19/2004: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/1061267/posts)
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To: woofie; Dog
Upon reading these 2 messages I immediately think that people are going to hijack airplanes and fly them into buildings....(scarcasm )

That's what I was thinking also

18 posted on 01/22/2004 5:01:43 AM PST by Mo1 (Join the dollar a day crowd now!)
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To: Physicist
Excellent summation.
19 posted on 01/22/2004 5:09:33 AM PST by Quilla
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To: Physicist
That sounds awfully familiar to Mohammed, who checks his (encrypted) communications, and realizes that SOMEHOW, his communication channel is not secure, so he ditches it for something else.

Yep, that's the problem. Whoever released the info should not have been so specific (eg. the quote). However, after watching "Clear and Present Danger" on TV the other day, I'd have to say that it isn't a secret that we intercept all kinds of communications.

Another question I have is whether the "match begins tomorrow" stuff actually referred to 9/11. Did it? Or was it just more blabbing by jihadists? How many times since 9/11 have we been told of "chatter" about impending attacks that never happened?

BTW, congratulations on your new daughter.

20 posted on 01/22/2004 5:11:41 AM PST by mikegi
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To: kcvl
National Police tend to develop such behavior patterns whenever they are given too much budget, too many employees, and thus have too much time and money on their hands.

Because of their job description, they are, after all, first cousin to the NKVD and the Gestapo. National police forces tend to be harder to rein in when they become abusive; and sooner or later, they do become abusive because they exercise real power.

Long ago, Lord Acton accurately said "power corrupts - ansolute power corrupts absolutely."

The wasteful and abusive part of this search is that is is based on a line which has no site specific content. Nor does this statement contain and content about what is "going to occur".

Thise empty statement is being chased by empty headed agents probably sent on this useless chase by some 'Top 'Crat' with too much budget and too many employees.

Suggestion: Empty the Top 'Crat's job description and reduce the agency budget.
21 posted on 01/22/2004 5:25:49 AM PST by GladesGuru (In a society predicated upon liberty, it is essential to examine principles - -)
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To: kcvl
OOOOHHHHHHHH, tomorrow is Zero Day.

And we were take what action with that information.

We had similar 'warnings' since 9/11 that have prompted the terror warned level to rise.

Did we shut down the airlines, close the banks, stop all commerce?

This is ridiculous and seems to be nothing more than a hit piece on the administration.

22 posted on 01/22/2004 5:49:57 AM PST by OldFriend (Always understand, even if you remain among the few)
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To: kcvl
Makes perfect sense.......Shelby is in a heap of trouble.
23 posted on 01/22/2004 6:06:45 AM PST by Dog ("America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our Country")
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To: OldFriend
This isn't directed at Bush.....this is aimed at Shelby.
24 posted on 01/22/2004 6:08:12 AM PST by Dog ("America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our Country")
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To: Dog
Shelby has an 'R' along side his name.....further, he used to be a demonrat but changed when he had a big time run in with slick willie.
25 posted on 01/22/2004 6:19:09 AM PST by OldFriend (Always understand, even if you remain among the few)
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To: XHogPilot
In 1992, Impeached 42 was elected President with a whopping 43% of the popular vote. The public knew he was a draft dodging, skirt chasing, "Southern Lawyer" with no National Security experience yet he still made it into the White House.

Thank you, Ross.

26 posted on 01/22/2004 6:20:41 AM PST by bankwalker (If you want to reap in the fall, then you must sow in the spring.)
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To: OldFriend
It has nothing to do with an R behind his name......Shelby likes to run his mouth to reporters.... he needs to get called on it. This leak caused some damamge to Bush and the White House....so if Shelby leaked it.....he needs to be punished.
27 posted on 01/22/2004 6:22:07 AM PST by Dog ("America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our Country")
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To: kcvl
The information was first disclosed publicly on CNN after a 2002 classified hearing

This is Reuters disinformation. If CNN got it, it almost certainly came from one of the Democrap senators or aides.

28 posted on 01/22/2004 6:55:30 AM PST by expatpat
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To: expatpat
bttt
29 posted on 01/22/2004 7:06:46 AM PST by lainde (Heads up...We're coming and we've got tongue blades!!)
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To: Dog
I am a resident of Alabama and Shelby is my senator ... Shelby is pretty much in tune with me philosophically and ideologically ... however, he is an absolute slug-bug of a human being and I have not ever, nor will I ever, cast a vote for him. When he comes up for re-election, I either vote Libertarian or abstain.
30 posted on 01/22/2004 7:09:07 AM PST by GB
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To: expatpat
I agree with you -- if CNN got this information right after the hearing, it came from a DemocRAT. Looks to me like another Reuters smear campaign. First Sen Shelby, then Republicans in the Senate, and then leads to the President as the final smear -- that's how Reuters operates. They take rumors/opinion and turn them into facts in their articles time and time again. Comparing AP and Reuters articles on the same news sometimes can make you wonder if they are writing about the same topic.

I thought Grand Jury testimony was classified.
31 posted on 01/22/2004 7:09:32 AM PST by PhiKapMom (AOII Mom -- Support Bush-Cheney '04)
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To: leadpenny
I think Moussaui should have been a red flag, they seemed not to connect the dots.

I think the whole culture of the intel agencies is wrong for the threats we face.

They didn't communicate, no human intel, no arabic translators.

Truth be told, the whole thing could have been avoided at Clinton and Gore pushed airlines to fortify the cockpit doors, unfortunately they took campaign money instead.

My point is 9-11 was a gross intel failure and the agencies charged with protecting the nation dropped the ball--that's not even arguable.
32 posted on 01/22/2004 7:11:14 AM PST by faithincowboys ( Zell Miller is the only DC Democrat not committing treason.)
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To: XHogPilot
Well, that was after the Cold War and we didn't think we had any enemies. Thus, the obnoxious line, "It's the economy stupid" (screw foreign policy)worked.
33 posted on 01/22/2004 7:13:50 AM PST by faithincowboys ( Zell Miller is the only DC Democrat not committing treason.)
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To: OldFriend
I don't believe Shelby would tell a CNN reporter this stuff.

Do we have a suspect for the anthrax mailings yet?
34 posted on 01/22/2004 7:18:18 AM PST by petitfour
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To: woofie
Upon reading these 2 messages I immediately think that people are going to hijack airplanes and fly them into buildings....(scarcasm )

Democrats operate on a 20/20 hindsight principal as part of their policy regarding Republicans.

35 posted on 01/22/2004 7:18:52 AM PST by smith288 ("YEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWWWWW" - Howard Dean)
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To: faithincowboys
We have oversight committees in both Houses of Congress. We have Congress itself and we have the Office of the Presidency. They all represent us. Any chance we all should accept responsibility for what did or did not happen?
36 posted on 01/22/2004 8:00:35 AM PST by leadpenny
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To: Dog
Something is fishy here. Shelby does not seem capable of something like this, but I guess anything is possible, but.......

Just wondering out loud - if the dems have a someone inside Shelbys office or if they broke into his information themselves? It's happened before. Something just doesn't seem right to me.

37 posted on 01/22/2004 8:00:35 AM PST by b4its2late (Amazing!! You just hang something in your closet for a while, and it shrinks.)
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To: kcvl
"The match begins tomorrow" "Tomorrow is zero hour."

Yep that would be enough for me to shut down every airline in the nation. Issue a state of emergency for the entire country and tell everyone to stay at home and hunker down. Too bad the bad guys did NOT give us SOONER notice so that we could all have purchased our gas masks, duct tape and potassium iodate pills.

38 posted on 01/22/2004 8:08:39 AM PST by PISANO (God Bless our Troops........They will not TIRE - They will not FALTER - They will not FAIL!!!!!)
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To: leadpenny
No,that is ridiculous.

The agencies are charged with national security and Jane Q. Public in Omaha with the three kids and the SUV is not culpable for their stunning failures.
39 posted on 01/22/2004 8:17:55 AM PST by faithincowboys ( Zell Miller is the only DC Democrat not committing treason.)
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To: woofie
Right. And I'm sure there's coding in there that describe the specific locations involved since we do have quite a few flights taking off each day. :-)
40 posted on 01/22/2004 8:20:30 AM PST by plain talk
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To: faithincowboys
No, Congress and the President set the agenda, and they are us.

Unless you can find the person or persons who blew it, you're blowin' smoke. Agencies are not responsible. People are. Name names.
41 posted on 01/22/2004 8:24:01 AM PST by leadpenny
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To: PhiKapMom
One wonders if the same 'exploitation" that occurred with Judiciary computers (see link ) was possible here....
42 posted on 01/22/2004 8:25:12 AM PST by hobbes1 (Hobbes1TheOmniscient® "I know everything so you don't have to" ;)
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To: leadpenny
Oh, so the FBI and CIA need to be told to protect the American people. I didn't know that.

SO where do I go from here, do I have to tell a ditch digger to dig, a bus driver to drive a bus....

You're argument is just really bad. So universal accountability is what you're pushing, are you sure you're not a liberal.

I guess I'm responsible for Barney Frank's gay prostitution ring and Bill Clinton's perjury.
43 posted on 01/22/2004 8:52:23 AM PST by faithincowboys ( Zell Miller is the only DC Democrat not committing treason.)
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To: Physicist; Amelia
Your points are well made.

But at that level, you can take it a step further - - maybe it actually took a month to translate the intercepts. Or, maybe there were intercepts which translated completely differently than what was reported. Maybe there were actually no intercepted messages at all. Or there were ten intercepts.

Selective "leaks" and disinformation is part of the game. I will never believe that the NSA (or the CIA, or the DIA) would sit down and spill everything they know to a group of "lawmakers". They may throw them a bone, or use them to further certain intelligence gambits, but they don't give away the store, no way.

Regards,
LH
44 posted on 01/22/2004 8:55:00 AM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: Lancey Howard
They should have read the msgs on Art Bell...then we would could come up with some good theories!
45 posted on 01/22/2004 10:00:49 AM PST by BurbankKarl
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To: faithincowboys
Re: your post #32,

You are so right!
46 posted on 01/22/2004 1:09:31 PM PST by XHogPilot
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To: b4its2late
Shelby was the senator calling for an investigation into who knew what right after 9/11.
He was asking for Tenet's resignation immediately at the time.
47 posted on 01/22/2004 2:10:35 PM PST by peekaboo
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To: woofie
I don't think anyone should have leaked anything, but...to me, {begin sarcasm} the intercepted messages definitely say they were about to hit the continental U.S.A. and probably NYC and DC if I had to venture a guess {end sarcasm}.

Seriously, the alphabet agencies and the State Dept. knew something was going to go down somewhere in the world beginning in the summer of 2001 -- they just thought it was to take place overseas like most other error acts do, uh, did. For crying out loud, the intercepted messages -- unless they contained more info than revealed, or unless there are other messages or other intel not cited -- would give no one a real clue as to where a hit was to happen or even how unless one had supernatural divining powers.

48 posted on 01/22/2004 2:15:30 PM PST by Donna Lee Nardo
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To: Physicist
That's Fabulous!

Sophie is so cute.

Great to see the rest of your brood!

Hope everyone is still doing well.

Good luck getting some sleep.

My Laura is 10 months old yesterday.
49 posted on 01/22/2004 4:33:53 PM PST by GEC
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To: faithincowboys
Oh, so the FBI and CIA need to be told to protect the American people. I didn't know that.

I didn't know that either. I thought it was Donald Rumsfeld and the Department of Defense charged with that responsibility. The FBI is the investigative arm of the US Government and answerable to the President through the Attorney General. The CIA and it's Director does analysis and provides intelligence assessments to the Executive Branch.

SO where do I go from here, do I have to tell a ditch digger to dig, a bus driver to drive a bus....

Childish remark.

You're argument is just really bad. Oh, OK! So universal accountability is what you're pushing, are you sure you're not a liberal.

What's with the name calling?

I guess I'm responsible for Barney Frank's gay prostitution ring and Bill Clinton's perjury.

No, I don't think you're responsible for those things. Are you?

BTW, you still didn't name any names or point to a "smoking gun."

50 posted on 01/22/2004 7:00:41 PM PST by leadpenny
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