Skip to comments.NYT: Congress Given Internal Report on C.I.A. Role
Posted on 08/24/2005 6:24:44 AM PDT by OESY
Porter J. Goss, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, delivered a long-awaited internal report to Congress on Monday night that is said to give a harsh assessment of the agency's performance before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Mr. Goss, who was chairman of the House Intelligence Committee before his appointment last year as head of the C.I.A., hand-delivered two copies of the classified report to staff members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees.
The copies of the report, which is several hundred pages, were placed in committee safes and were not to be opened at least until Wednesday, said a Congressional official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak with the press on the record.
The report was prepared by the C.I.A.'s inspector general, John L. Helgerson, in response to a request in December 2002 from the joint Congressional inquiry into the attacks. By statute, Mr. Helgerson, who joined the C.I.A. in 1971 and became inspector general in 2002, is the agency's independent watchdog, reporting to Congress as well as to the agency.
A draft report was given to Mr. Goss in October, but he postponed its release so that people criticized for their role in the failure to prevent the 2001 attacks could review and respond to the accusations....
On July 22, Mr. Goss informed Congressional officials in a brief note that the final report had been completed.
The draft report was described by intelligence officials in January as highly critical of George J. Tenet, the former C.I.A. director, and James L. Pavitt, the former deputy director for operations, both of whom retired last year. A spokesman for Mr. Tenet, Bill Harlow, and Mr. Pavitt both took issue with the reported findings in interviews at that time....
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
I'm not sure why we should feel obligated to defend Tenet. He wasn't a "Bush" guy, so to speak.
Let the selective leaks begin! Spun and twisted as to be unrecognizable from the truth.
No surprise here. Tenet should have been dismissed by Bush within a month of 9-11. Instead he keeps him on and when Tenet finally leaves in 2003 Bush awards him with a high honor award.
My thoughts exactly. It's gonna get real murky from here on out. Time to get the hip waders on.
Correction: Tenet left the CIA in June 2004. He was awarded The Presidential Medal of Freedom our nation's highest civil award by Bush.
This report had better be published or I will have to go to my grave believing that Spanish intelligence service was more attuned to the terrorist threat than the CIA was.
In all the investigations into the WMD intelligence failure, the most disgusting thing I read involved Colin Powell's UN testimony. George Tenet and Colin Powell worked late into the evening the night before to make sure everything presented was solid. Meanwhile, down in Valerie Plame's area, they were having doubts about CURVEBALL (bio weapons source) and doubts about the US mapping software shipped with the drones ordered by Iraq. But they wouldn't bring those doubts forward and reassigned anyone who spoke against their conclusions.
These people let our Secretary of State go before the U.N. and present poorly-supported intelligence data. It dealt our nation's credibility a severe blow. Lefties love it because they hate the U.S. Some Democrats don't mind because the Administration that got embarrassed was Republican. However, it will make our government much more hesitant to act in the future and that's bad. Waiting for courtroom-level evidence is how Bin Laden got away in the 90's and, if we're forced back into that mode, we'll pay for it again in American lives.
Valerie and crew deserve to join the list of former CIA employees. Their expertise was worthless when it counted. They came to the wrong conclusion (acceptable) but acted as if it were a "slam dunk" (misleading and unacceptable). Their mendacity hurt our nation in a time of war.
and Bill Clinton?
What about Clinton?
Surely there has to be something regarding Clinton's ignoring al-Qaeda.
Sounds like another whitewash report if Clinton and Reno are not fingered.
I think they should release it ALL; I want to read it myself, word for word.
And let the chips fall where they may.
I have a friend who is in law enforcement and respected throughout the state and even across the nation in that field. He has regular dealings with the FBI. He told me once that the FBI got terribly screwed up during the 1990s.
Clinton and Reno hate law enforcement, he said. Therefore, in law enforcement (which in this should include all intelligence agencies and the military) Clinton and Reno promoted those who likewise hate law enforcement. He said as a result of 8 years of Clintoon, the nation's law enforcement and intelligence agencies have people in the upper ranks who are essentially cannibals in those departments, destroying them from within.
The CIA, IMO, is perhaps the worst case of this.
Don't forget Albright, Burglar, Anthony Lake and assorted other enemies of society all came out of the Carter administration.
You're absolutely correct. Every level of our federal government is infiltrated with communists who despise this country and want to bureaucratically force it to become something it was never intended to be.
Imagine Ramsey Clark in the Carter administration!
Soooooooo who in Congress took it out ???
I comprehend what you mean, perhaps better than you in this case.
You probably mean "release all, except that which is certain to degrade our present intelligence capability".
In this, I agree.
I could not care less what administration or personnel such disclosure would harm, as long as our future capability is preserved.
Of course I should have added that caveat.
August 24, 2005
Another Stranger To The 9/11 Narrative Surfaces
The German news magazine Der Spiegel profiles yet another terrorist linked to the 9/11 attack plot and the Hamburg cell whence it sprang. Luai Sakra surfaced in Turkey, and although he has some apparent stability issues, DS reports that the Syrian has worked as an informant for Western intelligence agencies. Either that, or Sakra knows how to spin fantasies that might cost him his life (h/t: CQ reader Rob P-M):
Two weeks ago, Turkish police arrested an Islamist with ties to many upper tier al-Qaida members. The man not only tried to get asylum in Germany, but claims to have known about the London bombings beforehand and to have helped the 9/11 pilots. ...
Turkish anti-terror officials held the suspected al-Qaida member for four days. Just after his arrest two weeks ago, Sakra admitted to planning strikes against Israeli cruise ships; he hoarded 750 kilograms of explosives for the purpose. When some of those explosives went up in flames, in his Antalya apartment, he fled.
What Sakra told officials during his interrogation suggests a deep jihadist career. The Syrian, who knows weapons as well as he knows his whiskey and wine, has obviously played a far more important role in the terrorist underground than officials first suspected. According to his own testimony, he knew about the London bombings before they happened, and supported the pilots on 9/11.
"I was one of the people who knew the 9/11 perpetrators," Sakra reportedly said in passing during the interrogation, "and I knew the plans and times beforehand." He claims to have provided the pilots with passports and money.
Sakra lived in the German town of Schramberg from September 2000 to July 2001, during the period when the Hamburg cell actively supported Mohammed Atta and the primary leaders of the attack plot. By July 2001, when he left, most of the heavy lifting had been done by those abroad, and the rest of the attack preparation took place in the United States. Sakra would have moved on to a new assignment at that time.
However, according to Sakra, he had plenty of connections to other agencies other than al-Qaeda. He claims to have tipped off the Syrians about the 9/11 attacks, who waited until afterwards to notify the Americans of the tip. The tip, according to DS, accurately predicted that the AQ operation would use commercial aircraft as missiles against buildings in the US. The Turkish media also claim that the CIA made contact with Sakra twice in 2000 but were unable to turn him despite offering Sakra large sums of money. They turned to the Turkish intelligence group MIT, who could not track him down until August 2001, four weeks before the 9/11 attacks -- but released him, apparently without coordinating with the CIA.
Sakra seems like a strange Islamist fanatic. The Turks found plenty of pharmaceuticals on him during his latest arrest, and his mood swings suggest that he may be bipolar. He drinks alcohol, doesn't pray much, and his career as described by DS looks more like a free agent than true believer. Sakra claims to not only have trained with Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Afghanistan but to have fought in Fallujah for his network.
The Turks have him in custody due to the kidnap and murder of a Turkish truck driver in Iraq, and his description of the event complements the video record almost perfectly. However, they consider him a reliable witness as his story coordinates well with estblished facts about al-Qaeda and their operations.The DS report clearly takes Sakra seriously.
The Germans will want to thoroughly investigate Sakra's stay in Germany very carefully, and the CIA should join them. He may prove worthless in the long run, but he might have interesting information about the kinds of connections the AQ plotters had with other espionage agents in Germany during that same period, especially the two Iraqis arrested in February 2001. It should surprise no one that Sakra's name doesn't appear at all in the 9/11 Commission report, nor any hint that Syrian intelligence informed the US about the attacks after they occurred. That may mean that Sakra has no credibility; however, if he checks out, it may be yet another dot that the Commission either ignored or missed while making the connections that pleased them.
Addendum: I would agree that a healthy dose of skepticism should accompany this development. He sounds like a fantasist, an dthe pharmaceuticals don't add to his credibility. It sounds like the Turks take him seriously for reasons of their own, though, and if he was mixing up some explosives in Antalya, he's at least dangerous ... to himself.