911 panel report: CIA & FBI were just paper tigers

By Noble Johns

After almost two years of investigating the 911 failures of our government and its intelligence agencies, the American people now find out that not only was there no intelligence (pun intended), but these fools were not just unintelligent, they were more than stupid! Not only, as we say in the dirty South, "these dogs won’t hunt," but these damn sorry dogs wouldn't even bark!

Over the past fifty years, we have paid these bitches in the CIA & FBI over a trillion dollars for doing nothing, and now we find out that these bitches can’t catch cold.
Consider this, we need to run all of them bitches out of Washington because they ain’t nothing but a bunch of paper tigers who will get us all killed if we don’t get them bitches out of town.

For example, the chairman of the panel investigating the attacks of September 11, 2001, said his commission found that the "United States government was simply not active enough in combating the terrorist threat before 9/11."

Thomas Kean and his fellow panelists are citing a a "failure of imagination" that they say kept U.S. officials from understanding the al Qaeda threat before the attacks on New York and Washington.

The independent National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States released its findings on Thursday in a 570-page report, which also offers recommendations for reforming U.S. security agencies.

In a news conference Thursday, Kean said that the United States is "faced with one of the greatest security challenges in our long history."

"Every expert with whom we spoke told us an attack of even greater magnitude is now possible and even probable. We do not have the luxury of time," Kean said.

"We must prepare and we must act. The al Qaeda network and its affiliates are sophisticated, patient, disciplined and lethal."

Commission member James Thompson said the proposed reforms were urgent and said Congress and the president have a duty to act quickly.

"If these reforms are not the best that can be done for the American people, then the Congress and the president need to tell us what's better," the former Illinois governor said.

"But if there is nothing better, they need to be enacted and enacted speedily because if something bad happens while these recommendations are sitting there, the American people will quickly fix political responsibility for failure and that responsibility may last for generations and they will be entitled to do that."

Commission member Jamie Gorelick said the panel has made a strong effort to show the factual basis behind the recommendations.

She warned that "policymakers ignore that at their peril.

"There are bad consequences to being in the middle of a political season and there are also good ones," she said, "because everyone who is running for office can be asked, 'Do you support these recommendations?'"

Earlier, Kean and Vice Chairman Lee Hamilton briefed President Bush on the report Thursday morning and presented a copy to him in the White House Rose Garden.

Bush told reporters that the report contained "some very constructive recommendations" about changing U.S. intelligence and domestic security agencies.

"I look forward to studying their recommendations and look forward to working with responsible parties within my administration to move forward on those recommendations," Bush said.

As expected, the report calls for a national intelligence chief and a counterterrorism center modeled on the military's unified commands.

It also proposes that a joint congressional committee be created to oversee homeland security.

Bush said he would study its recommendations and "where the government needs to act, we will."

The report concluded that the emergence of al Qaeda in the late 1990s "presented challenges to U.S. governmental institutions that they were not well-designed to meet."

"The most important failure was one of imagination," commissioners wrote. "We do not believe leaders understood the gravity of the threat."

The report concluded that although "imagination is not usually a gift associated with bureaucracies," because previous al Qaeda attacks used vehicles to deliver explosives, "the leap to the use of other vehicles such as boats ... or planes is not far-fetched."

The unanimous report of the 10-member, bipartisan panel found that neither Bush nor predecessor President Bill Clinton grasped the depth of the terrorist threat posed before the suicide hijackings that killed almost 3,000 people.

"Given the character and pace of their policy efforts, we do not believe they fully understood just how many people al Qaeda might kill, and how soon it might do it," the commission found. "At some level that is hard to define, we believe the threat had not yet become compelling."

It also said there were limits to what the CIA was able to achieve by using proxies to try to capture Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants in Afghanistan.

Commissioners found that terrorism was not the overriding national security concern for the U.S. government before the attacks and that missed opportunities to thwart the hijackings were symptoms of a broader inability by the government to adapt to new challenges.

Missed opportunities

The report lists missed "operational opportunities" it said could have hindered or broken up the plot, blamed largely on lack of communication between the CIA and FBI.

"Information was not shared, sometimes inadvertently or because of legal misunderstandings," commissioners found.

"Analysis was not pooled. Effective operations were not launched. Often, the hand-offs of information were lost across the divide separating the foreign and domestic agencies of the government."

It says the CIA did not put 9/11 hijacker Khalid Almihdhar on a "watch list" or notify the FBI when it learned he had a U.S. visa in January 2000.

Nor did it develop plans to track Almihdhar or hijacker Nawaf Alhazmi when they learned he had obtained a U.S. visa and flown to Los Angeles, or notify the FBI when it learned in January 2001 that Almihdhar had met with a major figure in the plot to bomb the USS Cole in Yemen.

For its part, the report found the FBI failed to recognize the significance of Almihdhar and Alhazmi's arrival in the United States or the significance of al Qaeda member Zacarias Moussaoui's training and beliefs after his arrest in Minnesota in August 2001.

Nor did it tie information about those three men "to the general threat reporting about imminent attacks."

"Since the plotters were flexible and resourceful, we cannot know whether any single step or series of steps would have defeated them. What we can say with a good deal of confidence is that none of the measures adopted by the United States government before 9/11 disturbed or even delayed the progress of the al Qaeda plot," Kean said.

The document will be on sale in bookstores for $10. It will also be available online and through the Government Printing Office.

The bipartisan panel was established by Congress to investigate the events before, during and immediately after the attacks of September 11, 2001.

U.S. leaders did not understand the "gravity of the threat."
* The United States wasn't prepared to meet al Qaeda's challenges.
* Terrorism wasn't the chief security concern of the Bush or Clinton administrations.
* Failures to thwart 9/11 highlight agencies' inability to adapt to new problems.
* CIA effectiveness was limited by use of intermediaries to pursue Osama bin Laden.
* Information and analysis wasn't shared across agencies.

Establish a Cabinet-level intelligence director
* Establish a single counterterrorism center
* Create a single, joint congressional committee to oversee homeland security

Two hijackers weren't put on watch lists before arriving in the United States.
* Hijackers weren't trailed once here.
* Information linking known terrorists to a hijacker wasn't shared.
* Zacarias Moussaoui's arrest wasn't linked to a heightened threat.
* False statements on visa applications weren't discovered.
* Manipulated passports weren't recognized.
* No-fly lists weren't updated with names from terrorist watch lists.
* Airline passengers weren't thoroughly screened.
* Planes weren't prepared for the possibility of suicide hijackings.

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