Wednesday, August 22, 2007

More Finger Pointing Over 9/11

Well, that and more confusion.

I guess I was of the belief that the 9/11 Commission had stated that there were barriers between the CIA and FBI that would have disallowed the sharing of this type of information. (Instituted by the Clinton Administration.)
The 19-page report, prepared by the agency’s inspector general, also says 50 to 60 C.I.A. officers knew of intelligence reports in 2000 that two of the Sept. 11 hijackers, Nawaf al-Hamzi and Khalid al-Mihdhar, may have been in the United States. But none of those officers thought to notify the Federal Bureau of Investigation about the potential domestic threat, the report says, evidence of what it calls a systemic failure.
But since this journalistic prancing around the facts doesn't actually discuss the 9/11 Commission findings around the topic I guess I'll have to look to the blogsphere or go back and re-read the report. (ugh)
Many of the report’s findings about bureaucratic breakdowns that allowed the 19 hijackers to elude the authorities and carry out the attacks have been documented elsewhere, principally by the Sept. 11 commission, but this report by John L. Helgerson, the C.I.A. inspector, was the first to recommend that top agency officials face a disciplinary review.

The full report by the inspector general, totaling several hundred pages, remains classified. As spelled out in the executive summary that was released on Tuesday, the report found neither “a single point of failure” nor a “silver bullet” that would have allowed the C.I.A. to prevent the Sept. 11 attacks. It found that no agency employee violated the law and that none of their errors amounted to misconduct.

Still, you would have thought that there would have been some sanction. I don't like this point:
The recommendation that the agency establish an “accountability board” to determine possible disciplinary action was rejected in October 2005 by Mr. Goss, who was the C.I.A. director and who argued that that punishing top officials “would send the wrong message to our junior officers about taking risks.”
I think it would have been a good lesson. The problem is that they didn't actually take any risks, they just let it sit on the table. And in reality, the people that run the CIA are political appointees and don't ever seem to get sanctioned. If the inner workers understand the liability, maybe they would be the ones to ensure that things are done correctly when the threat is higher.

This report doesn't really do much to solve anything though. Just more political tango.

1 comment:

BobG said...

In other words, everyone just sat on their thumbs and repeated, "It ain't my job..." over and over.