Mideastweb: Middle East

The 9-11 Commission Report
Notes to Chapter 6

Released July 26,  2004

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500 NOTES TO CHAPTER 6


6 From Threat to Threat

1. President Clinton was a voracious reader of intelligence. He received the President’s Daily Brief (PDB), Senior Executive Intelligence Brief (SEIB), and the State Department’s intelligence updates daily, as well as other products episodically. Berger, Clarke, and Chief of Staff John Podesta received daily Bin Ladin “Situation Reports” from the CIA detailing Bin Ladin’s reported location and movements. Berger told us he would tell President Clinton if there was anything in these reports that he needed to know. Samuel Berger interview (Jan. 14, 2004). Information on distribution of Bin Ladin Situation Reports provided to the Commission by CIA.

2. President Clinton spoke of terrorism in numerous public statements. In his August 5, 1996, remarks at George Washington University, he called terrorism “the enemy of our generation. ” He usually spoke of terrorism in two related contexts: new technologies and the greater openness engendered by post--Cold War globalization; and weapons of mass destruction (WMD), especially--and increasingly over time--the threat from biological and chemical weapons. President Clinton repeatedly linked terrorist groups and WMD as transnational threats for the new global era. See, e. g. , President Clinton remarks, “On Keeping America Secure for the 21st Century, ” Jan. 22, 1999 (at the National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D. C. ), in which he spoke directly to these topics.

3. President Clinton spoke of theY2K computer problem in his January 19, 1999, State of the Union address. OnY2K concerns, see John Podesta interview (Jan. 15, 2004). On concerns about extremist groups exploiting millennial opportunities, see, e. g. , CIA briefing materials, CTC for the DCI, “Millennium Threat, ”Dec. 16, 1999.

4. Judith Miller, “HolyWarriors: Dissecting aTerror Plot from Boston to Amman, ” NewYork Times, Jan. 15, 2001, p. A1;CIA analytic report, “Bin Ladin’s Terrorist Operations:Meticulous and Adaptable, ” CTC 00-400117, Nov. 2, 2000 (appendix B:“Bin Ladin’s Role in the Anti-U. S. ‘Millennial’ Plots”).

5. Ibid. On Hoshar and Hijazi, see Jason Burke, Al Qaeda: Casting a Shadow of Terror (I. B. Tauris, 2003), p. 188. Khaldan and Derunta were terrorist training camps in Afghanistan controlled by Abu Zubaydah. While the camps were not al Qaeda facilities, Abu Zubaydah had an agreement with Bin Ladin to conduct reciprocal recruiting efforts whereby promising trainees at the camps could be invited to join al Qaeda. See Intelligence report, interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, July 10, 2002.

6. Miller, “Holy Warriors, ” Jan. 15, 2001; CIA analytic report, “Bin Ladin’s Terrorist Operations, ” Nov. 2, 2000 (appendix B).

7. CIA analytic report, “Bin Ladin’s Terrorist Operations, ” Nov. 2, 2000 (appendix B).

8. FBI electronic communication, “Ahmed Ressam;Usama bin Ladin; Sbih Benyamin; Lucia Garofalo; Bouabide Chamchi, ”Dec. 29, 1999; Miller, “Holy Warriors, ” Jan. 15, 2001. The Encyclopedia is a multivolume instruction manual containing lessons on weapons handling, tactics, covert operations, bomb making, and other topics. The manual was originally created in the late 1980s by Afghanistan-based extremists, who considered it essential for waging terrorist operations and guerrilla warfare in the jihad against the Soviets. For more on the origins of the Encyclopedia, see Intelligence report, interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, June 24, 2003. Although Deek’s precise role within the extremist community is unknown, his name appears variously as a staff member, instructor, and technical guru for the Khaldan and Derunta terrorist training camps in Afghanistan. Intelligence has revealed no extant links to the al Qaeda inner circle. For more on Deek, see FBI electronic communication, “Usama Bin Laden;Penttbomb; Taliban, ” May 25, 2002.

9. Testimony of Dale Watson before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Feb. 9, 2000, p. 4; Miller, “Holy Warriors, ” Jan. 15, 2001.

10. Testimony of Dale Watson before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Feb. 9, 2000, pp. 3--4; FBI electronic communication, “Ahmed Ressam;Usama bin Ladin; Sbih Benyamin; Lucia Garofalo; Bouabide Ghamchi, ” Dec. 29, 1999; Miller, “Holy Warriors, ” Jan. 15, 2001. On the fate of Hoshar and Hijazi’s accomplices, see DOS cable, Amman 05158, “Security Court Convicts UBL Suspects of Plotting, ” Sept. 18, 2000.

11. NSC note, Clarke to Berger, Dec. 4, 1999; Richard Clarke interview (Jan. 12, 2004). In the margin next to Clarke’s suggestion to attack al Qaeda facilities in the week before January 1, 2000, Berger wrote “no. ”

12. NSC memo, Berger to President Clinton, Dec. 9, 1999.

13. NSC email, Clarke to Berger, Dec. 14, 1999. The State Department, through the U. S. embassy in Riyadh, also asked the Saudis to relay the same threat to the Taliban. The diplomat said the United States was delivering “a strong and unmistakable message to the Taliban that should such attacks occur, they and Bin Ladin will be subject to swift and serious response. ” See DOS cable, Riyadh 003900, “Saudis on USG Warning to Taliban Concerning UBLThreats, ”Dec. 14, 1999. Berger wrote President Clinton that the State Department’s warning seemed to barely register with the Taliban. See NSC memo, Berger to President Clinton, terrorist threat at the millennium, Dec. 18, 1999.

14. See NSC memo, talking points for Zinni, Dec. 20, 1999; Anthony Zinni interview (Jan. 19, 2004); NSC email, Clarke to Berger, Dec. 22, 1999 (in which Clarke writes that “the Milam mission has largely failed”); NSC memo, Riedel re Milam call (attached to the Clarke email).

15. George Tenet interview (Jan. 22, 2004); George Tenet prepared statement, Mar. 24, 2004, p. 22.

16. Randy Moss interview (Feb. 6, 2004). In sending the draft MON to the CIA, the NSC’s senior director for intelligence programs, Mary McCarthy, cited only the August 1998 and July 1999 MONs as relevant prece NOTES TO CHAPTER 6 501


dents--indicating that these new authorities were limited to using the capture and rendition approach. There was no indication that this MON authorized kill authority, although lethal force could be used in self-defense. See NSC memo, McCarthy to CIA, Dec. 1999.

17. CIA cable, “DCI message and update on Millennium threat, ”Dec. 20, 1999; NSC email, Cressey to Berger’s office and others, Dec. 23, 1999.

18. Trial testimony of Ahmed Ressam, United States v. Mokhtar Haouari, No. S4 00 Cr. 15 (S. D. N. Y. ), July 3, 2001 (transcript pp. 536--569); July 5, 2001 (transcript p. 624); FBI report of investigation, interviews of Ahmed Ressam, May 10, 2001;May 24, 2001. Ressam’s recruitment by Abderraouf Hannachi (a Khaldan alumnus) is noted in Deposition of Ahmed Ressam, In re: Letters Rogatory, August 1, 2001 (S. D. N. Y. ), Jan. 23, 2002 (transcript pp.

32--33). See also PBS Frontline broadcast, “Trail of a Terrorist, ”Oct. 25, 2001 (online at www. pbs. org/wgbh/pages/ frontline/shows/trail).

19. Trial testimony of Ressam, United States v. Haouari, July 3, 2001 (transcript pp. 570--584);FBI report of investigation, interview of Ressam, Aug. 7, 2001.

20. FBI report of investigation, interview of Ressam, May 10, 2001; Hal Bernton, Mike Carter, David Heath, and James Neff, “The Terrorist Within: The Story Behind One Man’s Holy War Against America, ” Seattle Times, June 23--July 7, 2002 (part 11, “The Ticking Bomb”).

21. Trial testimony of Ressam, United States v. Haouari, July 5, 2001 (transcript p. 605); Deposition of Ressam, In re: Letters Rogatory (S. D. N. Y. ), Jan. 23, 2002 (transcript p. 23).

22. Trial testimony of Ressam, United States v. Haouari, July 3, 2001; Bernton, Carter, Heath, and Neff, “The Terrorist Within, ” June 23--July 7, 2002 (part 6, “It Takes a Thief ”). A friend of Ressam’s, Fateh Kamel, would pay Ressam for stolen passports, credit cards and other identity documents. Kamel is now serving eight years in prison in France for activities related to association with terrorist enterprises. Bruce Crumley, “FightingTerrorism:Lessons from France, ” Time, Sept. 24, 2001 (online at www. time. com/time/nation/article/0, 8599, 176139, 00. html). Ressam testified that he also sold stolen documents to Mohktar Haouari. See trial testimony of Ressam, United States v. Haouari, July 5, 2001 (transcript pp. 631--632).

23. PBS Frontline broadcast, “Trail of a Terrorist. ” Leo Nkounga was the document broker and an illegal alien in Canada from Cameroon who failed to surrender himself for deportation in 1993. Canadian deportation order, Adjudication file no. AOT93-0077, Sept. 15, 1993. He said he obtained two genuine Canadian passports for Ressam by submitting fake baptismal certificates to Canadian authorities. CBC News broadcast, Disclosure, “Target Terrorism, ” Mar. 26, 2002 (online at www. cbc. ca/disclosure/archives/020326_leo/resources. html). Ressam told border officials that he did not have a visa for Pakistan because he was only transiting on his way to India. FBI report of investigation, interview of Ressam, May 15, 2001, p. 7.

24. FBI case profile (part of materials provided to Dale Watson), “Abdelghani Meskini, ” Feb. 8, 2000. Meskini, who spoke English, was to drive Ressam and to give him money, but Ressam never showed since he was arrested at the border. Meskini was arrested on Dec. 30, 1999, and charged with material support and interstate fraud. See Testimony of Dale Watson before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Feb. 9, 2000, pp. 11--12. On passports and visas provided by Haouari, see United States v. Haouari, 319 F. 3d 88, 91 (2d Cir. 2002).

25. INS alien file, No. A73603119, Abdel Hakim Tizegha. There is no record of Tizegha’s entry into the United States.

26. Trial testimony of Ressam, United States v. Haouari, July 5, 2001 (transcript pp. 605--607, 613); FBI report of investigation, interview of Ressam, May 10, 2001; Opening Statement, United States v. Ahmed Ressam, No. CR99-

666C JCC (W. D. Wash. ), Mar. 13, 2001 (transcript p. 33).

27. Trial testimony of Diana Dean and Mark Johnson, United States v. Ressam, Mar. 13, 2001 (transcript pp. 116, 165). On the unraveling of the Ressam case, see Bernton, Carter, Heath and Neff, “The Terrorist Within, ” June 23--July 7, 2002 (part 15, “Puzzle Pieces”).

28. Trial testimony of Mark Johnson, United States v. Ressam, Mar. 13, 2001 (transcript p. 124).

29. NSC memo, Berger to President Clinton, terrorism threat at the millennium, Dec. 9, 1999.

30. NSC email, Clarke to Berger, Dec. 11, 1999.

31. Samuel Berger interview (Jan. 14, 2004); George Tenet interview (Jan. 22, 2004).

32. NSC memo, Berger to President Clinton, terrorist threat at the millennium, Dec. 18, 1999.

33. NSC email, Clarke to Berger, roadmap for Small Group, Dec. 22, 1999; NSC email, Cressey to Berger and others, Dec. 23, 1999.

34. NSC memo, “The Millennium Terrorist Alert--Next Steps, ” undated (attached to NSC draft memo, “Review of Terrorism Alert and Lessons Learned, ” Jan. 3, 2000). In the original document, the quotation is underlined, not italicized. See also NSC memo, “Principals Meeting: Millennium Terrorism, ” undated (likely Dec. 1999); NSC email, Clarke to Berger, roadmap for Small Group, Dec. 22, 1999.

35. NSC email, Clarke to Berger, roadmap for Small Group, Dec. 22, 1999.

36. Samuel Berger interview (Jan. 14, 2004). See also Richard Clarke interview (Jan. 12, 2004); Roger Cressey interview (Dec. 15, 2003).

37. Trial testimony of Diana Dean, United States v. Ressam, Mar. 13, 2001 (transcript p. 124).


502 NOTES TO CHAPTER 6


38. Vanderbilt University, Television News Archive, Dec. 22, 1999--Jan. 4, 2000.

39. On the FBI’s standard operating procedure, see Samuel Berger interview (Jan. 14, 2004); John Podesta interview (Jan. 15, 2004); James Steinberg interview (Dec. 4, 2003); Richard Clarke interviews (Dec. 18, 2004; Jan. 12, 2004); Paul Kurtz interview (Dec. 16, 2003).

40. See James Steinberg interview (Dec. 4, 2003). According to Steinberg, the millennium crisis was the only time that the FBI effectively shared information with the NSC. Before that, White House officials complained, they got nothing from the FBI--and were told that they were being deliberately kept out of the loop on grounds of propriety. See also Samuel Berger interview (Jan. 14, 2004);Richard Clarke interview (Jan. 12, 2004);Roger Cressey interview (Dec. 15, 2003). In fact, it was completely appropriate for the NSC to be briefed by the FBI on its national security investigations. Moreover, the legal bar to sharing information was often exaggerated. Only information actually presented to the grand jury could not be disclosed. See Rule 6(e) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, which establishes rules for grand jury secrecy.

41. Intelligence report, Activities of Bin Ladin associates, Dec. 29, 1999; Intelligence report, review of 9/11 hijackers’ activities, Sept. 23, 2002; CIA cable, “Activities of Bin Ladin Associate Khalid Revealed, ” Jan. 4, 2000.

42. Intelligence report, meetings between Khallad and perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks, May 30, 2003.

43. Intelligence report, Activities of Bin Ladin associates, Jan. 2, 2000; CIA cable, “Activities of Bin Ladin Associate Khalid Revealed, ” Jan. 4, 2000; CIA email, CTC to NSA, Another UBL related report, Jan. 3, 2000.

44. CIA cable, “Activities of Bin Ladin Associate Khalid Revealed, ” Jan. 4, 2000. His Saudi passport--which contained a visa for travel to the United States--was photocopied and forwarded to CIA headquarters. This information was not shared with FBI headquarters until August 2001. An FBI agent detailed to the Bin Ladin unit at CIA attempted to share this information with colleagues at FBI headquarters. A CIA desk officer instructed him not to send the cable with this information. Several hours later, this same desk officer drafted a cable distributed solely within CIA alleging that the visa documents had been shared with the FBI. She admitted she did not personally share the information and cannot identify who told her they had been shared. We were unable to locate anyone who claimed to have shared the information. Contemporaneous documents contradict the claim that they were shared. DOJ Inspector General interview of Doug M. , Feb. 12, 2004; DOJ Inspector General interview of Michael, Oct. 31, 2002; CIA cable, Jan. 5, 2000; DOJ Inspector General report, “A Review of the FBI’s Handling of Intelligence Information Related to the 9/11 Attacks, ” July 2, 2004, p. 282.

45. CIA cables, “Identification of UBL Associate Khalid Transiting Dubai, ” Jan. 4, 2000;“UBL Associate Travel to Malaysia--Khalid Bin Muhammad bin ‘Abdallah al-Mihdhar, ” Jan. 5, 2000;“Arrival of UBL Associate Khalid Bin Muhammad bin ‘Abdallah al-Mihdhar, ” Jan. 6, 2000.

46. CIA cable, “UBL Associates Travel to Malaysia and Beyond--Khalid Bin Muhammad bin ‘Abdallah al- Midhar, ” Jan. 6, 2000.

47. CIA cable, “UBL Associates Depart Malaysia, ” Jan. 8, 2000.

48. CIA cable, “UBL Associates: Flight Manifest, ” Jan. 9, 2000. None of the CIA personnel at CIA headquarters or in the field had checked NSA databases or asked NSA to do so. If this had been done, on the basis of other unreported intelligence associated with the same sources, analysts would have been able to quickly learn “Nawaf ” was likely Nawaf al Hazmi. Such analysis was not conducted until after 9/11. After 9/11 it also was determined that Salahsae was part of a name being used by Tawfiq bin Attash, also known as Khallad. One reason he was traveling around East Asia at this time is that he was helping to plan possible hijackings on aircraft in connection with an early idea for what would become the 9/11 plot.

49. CIA cable, “Efforts to Locate al-Midhar, ” Jan. 13, 2000. We now know that two other al Qaeda operatives flew to Bangkok to meet Khallad to pass him money. See chapter 8. That was not known at the time. Mihdhar was met at the Kuala Lumpur airport by Ahmad Hikmat Shakir, an Iraqi national. Reports that he was a lieutenant colonel in the Iraqi Fedayeen have turned out to be incorrect. They were based on a confusion of Shakir’s identity with that of an Iraqi Fedayeen colonel with a similar name, who was later (in September 2001) in Iraq at the same time Shakir was in police custody in Qatar. See CIA briefing by CTC specialists (June 22, 2004);Walter Pincus and Dan Eggen, “Al Qaeda Link to Iraq May Be Confusion over Names, ” Washington Post, June 22, 2004, p. A13.

50. Richard interview (Dec. 11, 2003); CIA briefing materials, UBL unit briefing slides, Jan. 3--Jan. 14, 2000; Intelligence reports, “UBL Situation Report, ” Jan. 5, 10, 12, 2000; CIA email, Rob to John and others, “Malaysia-- for the record, ” Jan. 6, 2000.

51. CIA cable, “Efforts to Locate al-Midhar, ” Jan. 13, 2000.

52. CIA cable, “UBL Associates: Identification of Possible UBL Associates, ” Feb. 11, 2000.

53. CIA cable, “UBL Associates: Identification of Possible UBL Associates, ”Mar. 5, 2000. Presumably the departure information was obtained back in January, on the days that these individuals made their departures. Because these names were watchlisted with the Thai authorities, we cannot yet explain the delay in reporting the news. But since nothing was done with this information even in March, we do not attribute much significance to this failure alone.

54. See, e. g. , Joint Inquiry testimony of GeorgeTenet, Oct. 17, 2002, pp. 110--112;DOJ Inspector General interview of John, Nov. 1, 2002.


NOTES TO CHAPTER 6 503


55. CIA briefing, CTC Update, “Islamic Extremist Terrorist Threat, ” Jan. 5, 7, 2000; George Tenet interview (Jan. 22, 2004). Tenet described the millennium alert as probably the most difficult operational environment the CIA had ever faced.

56. NSC memo, Clarke to Berger, “Post-Millennium Soul Searching, ” Jan. 11, 2000.

57. NSC memo, “Review of Terrorism Alert and Lessons Learned, ” Jan. 3, 2000 (draft). This paper is part of a packet Clarke sent to Deputy Attorney General Thompson, copying White House officials, on Sept. 17, 2001.

58. NSC memo, McCarthy to Berger, need for new strategy, Jan. 5, 2000.

59. NSC memo, Kurtz to Berger, roadmap for March 10 PC meeting, Mar. 8, 2000.

60. NSC memo, Cressey to Berger, Summary of Conclusions for March 10, 2000, PC on Millennium After- Action Review, Apr. 3, 2000; Samuel Berger letter to the Commission, “Comments on Staff Statements 5--8, ”May 13, 2004, p. 9.

61. NSC memo, “The Millennium Terrorist Alert--Next Steps, ” undated.

62. DOS memo, Sheehan and Inderfurth to Albright, “Pakistan Trip Report--A Counterterrorism Perspective, ” Jan. 26, 2000; DOS cable, Islamabad 00396, “Inderfurth Delegation Meeting with General Musharraf, ” Jan.

24, 2000.

63. In February 2000, the CIA began receiving information about a possible Bin Ladin--associated plot to attack Air Force One with Stinger missiles if President Clinton visited Pakistan; this information was deemed credible by early March. The CIA also reviewed reported threats to the President in Bangladesh and India. CIA briefing, “Reported Plan To Attack U. S. Presidential Plane If HeVisits Pakistan, ”Feb. 18, 2000; NSC email, Clarke to Berger, terrorism update, Feb. 29, 2000; CIA briefing, chief of CTC for the President, “Threats to the President’s Visit to Asia, ” Mar. 2, 2000; NSC memo, Kurtz, “Summary of Conclusions of March 14, 2000 Meeting on Clinton Trip to South Asia;” NSC email, Kurtz to Berger, two new threats to assassinate the President in Bangladesh, Mar. 16, 2000. Berger told us that the Secret Service was vehemently opposed to a presidential visit to Islamabad; it took the extraordinary step of meeting twice with the President and offering very serious warnings. Samuel Berger interview (Jan. 14, 2004).

64. President Clinton meeting (Apr. 8, 2004). President Clinton told us he offered Musharraf aid and help in improving U. S. -Pakistani relations. A conversation that day between the two leaders in the presence of several close advisers is described in DOS cable, State 073803, “Memorandum of the President’s Conversation with Pervez Musharraf on March 25, 2000, ” Apr. 19, 2000. A third meeting was apparently held in front of additional aides. Berger told that President Clinton did not want to press the Bin Ladin issue too heavily at the main meeting because ISID (Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate) members were present. Samuel Berger interview (Jan. 14, 2004).

65. NSC email, Camp for Berger, “Musharraf ’s Proposed Afghanistan Trip, ”May 8, 2000. Clarke wrote Berger that Musharraf seemed to have “said the right things to Omar. ” NSC email, Clarke to Berger, May 11, 2000.

66. DOS cable, Islamabad 002902, “Summary of May 26, 2000 Meeting Between Pickering and Musharraf, ” May 29, 2000.

67. DOS cable, Islamabad 79983, “DCI Meets with Chief Executive General Musharraf, ” June 21, 2000. Musharraf agreed to create a counterterrorism working group to coordinate efforts between Pakistani agencies and the CIA. Tenet noted that he was not asking the Pakistanis to deliver Bin Ladin next Tuesday; the DCI said he was “ambitious, but not crazy. ”

68. DOS cable, State 185645, “Concern that Pakistan is Stepping up Support to Taliban’s Military Campaign in Afghanistan, ” Sept. 26, 2000.

69. UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1333, Dec. 19, 2000. UNSCR 1333 also called for countries to withdraw their officials and agents from the Taliban-held part of Afghanistan. Sheehan said that the new UN sanctions were aimed at the Taliban’s primary supporters: Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Michael Sheehan interview (Dec. 16, 2003).

70. Madeleine Albright prepared statement, Mar. 23, 2004, p. 11; Madeleine Albright interview (Jan. 7, 2004).

71. Michael Sheehan interview (Dec. 16, 2003).

72. The CIA appears to have briefed President Clinton on its “Next Steps and New Initiatives” in February 2000, noting the need to hire and train the right officers with the necessary skills and deploy them to the right places, as well as to work with foreign liaison. The CIA noted in its briefing that the President should press foreign leaders to maintain pressure on terrorists. See CIA briefing materials, “Targeting the Terrorists: Next Steps and New Initiatives, ” Feb. 1, 2000 (for the President); NSC email, Cressey to Berger, “CT Briefing for Clinton, ” Feb. 8, 2000.

73. For the CTC’s perspective, see CIA briefing materials, “Talking Points for the DCI for the Principals Committee meeting on Terrorism:The Millennium Alert--After Action Review, ” Mar. 9, 2000. Deputy Chief of CTC Ben Bonk noted in the talking points that the CTC had obligated 50 percent of its fiscal year 2000 budget by Jan.

31, 2000, spending about 15 percent of its budget directly on the millennium surge. He stated that without a supplemental, it would be impossible for the CTC to continue at its current pace, let alone increase the operational tempo. On Tenet meeting with Berger, see George Tenet interview (Jan. 28, 2004).


74. Joan Dempsey interview (Nov. 12, 2003); George Tenet interview (Jan. 22, 2004). Tenet called the supple

504 NOTES TO CHAPTER 6


mental appropriation “a lifesaver. ” See, for example, the request for supplemental appropriations in CIA briefing materials, “Targeting the Terrorists: Next Steps and New Initiatives, ” Feb. 1, 2000 (for the President).

75. Richard Clarke interview (Feb. 3, 2004).

76. James Pavitt interview (Jan. 8, 2004).

77. Richard Clarke interviews (Dec. 18, 2003; Feb. 3, 2004).

78. CIA memos, summary of weekly Berger/Tenet meeting, Apr. 5, 12, 2000; NSC memo, “April 19, 2000 Agenda for Deputies Committee Meeting on CT:The MillenniumThreat FY00 and FY01 Budget Review;”NSC memo, “Summary of Conclusions of April 18, 2000 CSG Meeting, ”Apr. 26, 2000. On May 2, 2000, Berger was updated on budget issues relating to the CIA and other agencies; there was agreement on the most critical items to be funded, but not on the source of that funding. In CIA’s case, it had already reprogrammed over $90 million, but Tenet wanted to use most of this money on non-counterterrorism programs. NSC memo, Kurtz to Berger, “Budget Issues, ” May 2, 2000. On June 29, 2000, the President authorized raising the CIA’s covert action funding ceiling. NSC memo, McCarthy to CSG, “DCI Wants to Raise Funding Ceiling, ” May 8, 2000; NSC memo, McCarthy to others July 7, 2000 (appendix on authorities). But funding issues in other agencies remained unresolved. Clarke complained that neither Treasury nor Justice would identify offsets. Clarke encouraged OMB to tell both departments that if they would not identify offsets then OMB would. NSC email, Clarke to Rudman and Mitchell, May 9, 2000. On August 1, 2000, Clarke wrote Berger that one of five goals by the end of the Clinton administration was to secure appropriations for cybersecurity and millennium after-action review projects. NSC memo, Clarke to Berger, “Goals andWildcards, ”Aug. 1, 2000. As late as September 2000, Clarke was advising Berger that unfunded counterterrorism requests continued to be his number one priority. NSC note, Clarke to Berger, Sept. 9, 2000.

79. Executive Order 13099 (Aug. 20, 1998); Rick Newcomb interview (Feb. 4, 2004); Robert McBride interview (Nov. 19--20, 2003); NSC memo, Kurtz to Berger, June 28, 2000. OFAC did freeze accounts belonging to Salah Idris, the owner of the al Shifa facility bombed in response to the East Africa embassy bombings. Idris filed suit against his bank and OFAC. OFAC subsequently authorized the unfreezing of those accounts. James Risen, “To Bomb Sudan Plant, or Not:A Year Later, Debates Rankle, ” New York Times, Oct. 27, 1999, p. A1. The inability to freeze funds is attributed in part to a lack of intelligence on the location of Bin Ladin’s money, OFAC’s reluctance or inability to rely on what classified information there may have been, and Bin Ladin’s transfer of assets into the hands of trusted third parties or out of the formal financial system by 1998. Even if OFAC had received better intelligence from the intelligence community, it would have been powerless to stop the bulk of the problem. Al Qaeda money flows depended on an informal network of hawalas and Islamic institutions moving money from Gulf supporters to Afghanistan. These funds would not therefore have touched the U. S. formal financial system. OFAC’s authorities are only against U. S. persons, financial institutions, and businesses. Frank G. and Mary S. briefing (July 15, 2003); Rick Newcomb interview (Feb. 4, 2003).

80. Executive Order 13129;Treasury memo, Newcomb to Johnson, “Blocking of Taliban-Controlled Assets, ” undated (probably Oct. 18, 1999).

81. DOS cable, State 184471, Sept. 30, 1999; 18 U. S. C. § 2339B.

82. The Financial Action Task Force, a multilateral government organization dedicated to standard setting, focused on money laundering, particularly as it related to crimes such as drug trafficking and large-scale fraud that involved vast amounts of illegally procured money. Although the UN General Assembly adopted the International Convention for the Suppression of Financing Terrorism in December 1999, the convention did not enter into force until April 2002.

83. Doug M. interview (Dec. 16, 2003); Frank G. interview (Mar. 2, 2004). See also Mike interview (Dec. 11, 2003), setting forth the goals of the UBL station; none relate specifically to terrorist financing. Another witness recalled that the UBL station made some effort to gather intelligence on al Qaeda financing, but it proved to be too hard a target, the CIA had too few sources and, as a result, little quality intelligence was produced. Ed G. interview (Feb. 3, 2004). Some attributed the problem to the CIA’s separation of terrorist-financing analysis from other counterterrorism activities. Within the Directorate of Intelligence, a group was devoted to the analysis of all financial issues, including terrorist financing. Called the Office of Transnational Issues (OTI), Illicit Transaction Groups (ITG), it dealt with an array of issues besides terrorist financing, including drug trafficking, drug money laundering, alien smuggling, sanctions, and corruption. ITG was not part of the CTC, although it rotated a single analyst to CTC. Moreover, OTI analysts were separated from the operational side of terrorist financing at CTC, which planned operations against banks and financial facilitators. William Wechsler interview (Jan. 7, 2004); Frank G. and Mary S. briefing (July 15, 2003).

84. CIA analytic report, “Funding Islamic Extremist Movements:The Role of Islamic Financial Institutions, ” OTI 97-10035CX, Dec. 1997.

85. Mike interview (Dec. 11, 2003).

86. CIA analytic reports, “Usama Bin Ladin: Some Saudi Financial Ties Probably Intact, ”OTI IR 99-005CX, Jan. 11, 1999;“How Bin Ladin Commands a Global Terrorist Network, ” CTC 99-40003, Jan. 27, 1999; “Islamic Terrorists: Using Nongovernmental Organizations Extensively, ” CTC 99-40007, Apr. 9, 1999.


NOTES TO CHAPTER 6 505


87. See NSC memo, Kurtz to Berger, June 28, 2000; NSC document, TNT to Berger, Nov. 3, 1998, roadmap for Small Group, undated. The problem continued until 9/11. Intelligence reporting was so limited that one CIA intelligence analyst told us that, unassisted, he could read and digest the universe of intelligence reporting on al Qaeda financial issues in the three years prior to the 9/11 attacks. Frank G. and Mary S. briefing (July 15, 2003).

88. Richard Clarke interview (Feb. 3, 2004); see, e. g. , NSC memo, Clarke to CSG, “Concept of Operations for Task Force Test of the Foreign Terrorist Asset Tracking Center, ” Nov. 1, 2000;Treasury memo, Romey to Sloan, “FTAT SCIF, ” May 17, 2001;Treasury memo, Newcomb to Sloan, “Response to Romey Memo, ” May 23, 2001. Despite post-9/11 declarations to the contrary, on the eve of 9/11 FTAT had funds appropriated, but no people hired, no security clearances, and no space to work. Treasury memo, Newcomb to Dam, “Establishing the Foreign Asset Tracking Center, ”Aug. 3, 2001. One Treasury official described CIA’s posture as “benign neglect” toward the Foreign Terrorist Asset Tracking Center (FTATC), and characterized the CIA as believing that financial tracking had limited utility. Treasury memo, Mat Burrows to O’Neill, “Your PC on Counterterrorism on 4 September, ” Sept. 4, 2001. National Security Advisor Rice told us she and her staff had determined by spring 2001 that terrorist financing proposals were a good option, so Treasury continued to plan to establish an office for 24 financing analysts. Condoleezza Rice meeting (Feb. 7, 2004). In fact, as noted above, Treasury failed to follow through on the establishment of the FTATC until after 9/11.

89. This assessment is based on an extensive review of FBI files and interviews with agents and supervisors at FBI Headquarters and various field offices.

90. Although there was an increased focus on money laundering, several significant legislative and regulatory initiatives designed to close vulnerabilities in the U. S. financial system failed to gain traction. Some of these, such as a move to control foreign banks with accounts in the United States, died as a result of banking industry pressure. Others, such as the regulation of money remitters within the United States, were mired in bureaucratic inertia and a general antiregulatory environment. In any event, it is an open question whether such legislative or regulatory initiatives would have significantly harmed al Qaeda, which generally made little use of the U. S. financial system to move or store its money.

91. Treasury report, “The 2001 National Money Laundering Strategy, ” Sept. 2001.

92. NSC email, Berger’s office to executive secretaries, “Millennium Alert After Action Review, ” Mar. 9, 2000.

93. PDD-62, “Protection Against Unconventional Threats to the Homeland and Americans Overseas, ” May 22, 1998, pp. 8--9; NSC email, Berger’s office to executive secretaries, “Millennium Alert After Action Review, ” Mar. 9, 2000.

94. PDD-62, May 22, 1998; PDD-39, “U. S. Policy on Counterterrorism, ” June 21, 1995, p. 2.

95. NSC email, Berger’s office to executive secretaries, “Millennium Alert After Action Review, ” Mar. 9, 2000.

96. PDD-62, May 22, 1998, p. 9. Congress had authorized the Alien Terrorist Removal Court at the request of the Justice Department in 1996, and it was established in 1997. Clarke noted the court had not been “highly useful. ” NSC email, Berger’s office to executive secretaries, “Millennium Alert After Action Review, ” Mar. 9, 2000. Indeed, it had not been used at all.

97. PDD-62, May 22, 1998, p. 8; NSC memo, Clarke, “Summary of Conclusions for March 31, 2000 Millennium Alert Immigration Review Meeting, ”Apr. 13, 2000. One provision from PDD-62 not updated and reiterated in 2000 was a directive to CIA to ensure that names (and aliases) of terrorists were collected and disseminated to State, INS, and the FBI in a timely way, so that the border agencies could place them on a watchlist and the FBI could identify them in the United States.

98. NSC email, Berger’s office to executive secretaries, “Millennium Alert After Action Review, ” Mar. 9, 2000.

99. Richard Clarke interview (Feb. 3, 2004);Samuel Berger interview (Jan. 14, 2004);Scott Fry interview (Dec.

29, 2003); Scott Gration interview (March 3, 2004); NSC email, Clarke to Berger, Mar. 2, 2000. Clarke apparently took the comment as a presidential instruction to take another look at what additional actions could be taken against Bin Ladin. Given diplomatic failures to directly pressure the Taliban through Pakistan, the NSC staff saw increased support to the Northern Alliance and Uzbeks as alternative options. NSC memo, “The MillenniumTerrorist Alert-- Next Steps, ” undated.

100. A good account of the episode is found in Steve Coll, GhostWars:The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 (Penguin, 2004), pp. 487--491; see also ibid. , pp. 495--496, 502--503, 517--519; Richard interview (Dec. 11, 2003). “Richard” told us the attack had already occurred when CIA headquarters heard about it;“within this building, they were breathless, ” he remarked. The CIA concern was apparently over possible casualties and whether, by sharing intelligence with Massoud on Bin Ladin’s possible location, the CIA might have violated the assassination ban. Tenet did not recall the incident, saying it was no doubt just “a blip” on his screen within the context of the millennium alerts. George Tenet interview (Jan. 22, 2004). The incident was, however, noticed by the NSC counterterrorism staff, which pointedly asked to be kept in the loop in the future. NSC memo, “Review of Terrorism Alert and Lessons Learned, ” Jan. 3, 2000 (draft).

101. See, e. g. , CIA officers’ visits to Tashkent noted in CIA briefing materials, DCI Update, “Islamic Extremist Terrorist Threat, ” Feb. 18, 2000; CIA briefing materials, EXDIR Update, Visit to Tashkent, Apr. 5, 2000. CTC teams were deployed to Afghanistan to meet with Massoud on March 13--21, 2000, and possibly on April 24--28,


506 NOTES TO CHAPTER 6


2000. CIA briefing materials, EXDIR Update, “Islamic ExtremistTerroristThreat, ”Mar. 6, 2000;CIA briefing materials, “CTC PowerPoint, ” Apr. 3, 2000. Massoud’s representatives also met with Clarke, the State Department’s Michael Sheehan, and CIA senior managers in Washington. CIA briefing materials, “DDO Update, ”May 22, 2000.

102. On Black and Clarke’s positions, see Cofer Black interview (Dec. 9, 2003);Roger Cressey interview (Dec.

15, 2003). On reasons for caution, see, e. g. , Strobe Talbott interview (Jan. 15, 2004).

103. See, e. g. , CIA briefing materials, CTC Update for the DDCI, July 7, 2000 (“Direct engagement with Massoud will enhance our ability to report on UBL and increase retaliation options if . . . we are attacked by UBL”).

104. The deputy chief for operations of CTC, “Henry, ” told us that going into the Afghanistan sanctuary was essential. He and Black proposed direct engagement with Massoud to the CIA’s senior management, but the idea was rejected because of what “Henry” called “a question of resources”--the CIA did not have effective means to get personnel in or out of Afghanistan. When he proposed sending a CIA team into northern Afghanistan to meet with Massoud in August 2000, the idea was turned down; local helicopters were not deemed airworthy, and land access was too risky. Henry interview (Nov. 18, 2003); Henry briefing (Apr. 22, 2004).

105. The alleged attempt was reported on August 10, 2000; see CIA memo, Bonk to McCarthy and Clarke, “Attempted Interdiction of Suspect Bin Ladin’s Convoy, ”Aug. 11, 2000. For doubts as to whether the tribals made this attempt, see Cofer Black interview (Dec. 9, 2003); Richard interview (Dec. 11, 2003).

106. The Joint Chiefs of Staff Warning Order of July 6, 1999, was still in effect. See DOD memo, “Military Response Options, ” Oct. 23, 2000.

107. The 13 options included B-2 bombers, missiles, AC-130 gunships, the armed UAV, and raids to capture and destroy al Qaeda leaders and targets. DOD briefing materials, Joint Chiefs of Staff, “Operation Infinite Resolve Brief, ” June 2000.

108. Scott Gration interview (Mar. 3, 2004). See also Scott Fry interview (Dec. 29, 2003).

109. This quotation is taken from Daniel Benjamin and Steven Simon, The Age of SacredTerror (Random House, 2002), p. 318. President Clinton confirmed that he made this statement. President Clinton meeting (Apr. 8, 2004).

110. President Clinton meeting (Apr. 8, 2004);Hugh Shelton interview (Feb. 5, 2004);William Cohen interview (Feb. 5, 2004).

111. Scott Gration interview (Mar. 3, 2004); Scott Fry interview (Dec. 29, 2003).

112. NSC memo, Clarke to CSG members, “Follow-Up to bin Ladin Review, ” Apr. 25, 2000. See also CIA briefing materials, “DDCI Update, ” Apr. 21, 2000 (J-39 “has decided to do everything possible to support CIA’s UBL efforts”). This reportedly included J-39’s belief that it would be able to pay for all costs--though, as it turned out, that would not be the case. CIA managers were reluctant to go ahead with either the telescope or the Predator options. Executive Director David Carey told us they saw the projects as a “distraction” that would pull personnel and resources away from other, high-priority activities, such as worldwide disruptions. The telescope program, for instance, was considered too challenging and risky for the CIA’s Afghan assets; development continued through the summer, but the idea was eventually dropped. David Carey interview (Oct. 31, 2003); Scott Fry interview (Dec. 29, 2003); Scott Gration interview (Mar. 3, 2004).

113. According to Charles Allen, the CIA’s senior management, especially within the Directorate of Operations, was originally averse to the Predator program mostly because of the expense--approximately $3 million, which the directorate claimed it did not have. Charles Allen interview (Jan. 27, 2004). The argument between CIA and DOD over who would pay for proposed operations continued for months. On the CIA side see, for example, CIA briefing materials, “DDO Update, ”May 22, 26, 2000 (at which the DCI was told that unless funding was identified within the next 10 days, the military advised that the Predator could not be deployed that fiscal year; the military was waiting for an NSC request that it fund the projects). See also NSC memo, Clarke to Tenet, June 25, 2000 (“The other CSG agencies are unanimous that the Predator project is our highest near-term priority and that funding should be shifted to it”). Clarke noted that the CSG plan was to use DOD money to jump-start the program. On the cost-sharing agreement, see NSC memo, Kurtz to Berger, June 28, 2000; NSC memo, “Small Group agenda, ” June 29, 2000. Eventually, “after some pushing, ” the CIA found $2 million from its funds to pay for two months of trial flights. DOD agreed to fund $2. 4 million. NSC memo, Kurtz to Berger, June 28, 2000.

114. NSC memo, Kurtz to Berger, June 28, 2000. On UAV tests, see CIA briefing materials, “DCI Update, ” July 14, 2000. On modifications, see NSC memo, Clarke to Berger, update, July 18, 2000.

115. NSC memo, Clarke to Berger, “Predator, ”Aug. 11, 2000.

116. NSC memo, Cressey to Berger, Aug. 18, 2000 (underlining in the original);NSC memo, Cressey to Berger, Aug. 21, 2000 (attaching informational memo to President Clinton).

117. NSC note, Clarke to Berger, Sept. 9, 2000.

118. John Maher III interview (Apr. 22, 2004). The CIA’s Ben Bonk told us he could not guarantee from analysis of the video feed that the man in the white robe was in fact Bin Ladin, but he thinks Bin Ladin is the “highest probability person. ” (Bin Ladin is unusually tall. ) Ben Bonk briefing (Mar. 11, 2004). Intelligence analysts seem to have determined this might have been Bin Ladin very soon after the September 28 sighting; two days later, Clarke wrote to Berger that there was a “very high probability” Bin Ladin had been located. NSC note, Clarke to Berger, “Procedures for Protecting Predator, ” Sept. 30, 2000.


NOTES TO CHAPTER 6 507


119. NSC note, Clarke to Berger, “Procedures for Protecting Predator, ” Sept. 30, 2000. Clarke pointed to a silver lining: “The fact that its existence has become at least partially known, may for a while change the al Qida movement patterns, ” he wrote, but “it may also serve as a healthy reminder to al Qida and the Taliban that they are not out of our thoughts or sight. ” Ibid.

120. Clarke wrote to Berger that “it might be a little gloomy sitting around the fire with the al Qida leadership these days. ” NSC note, Clarke to Berger, Sept. 9, 2000.

121. For the number of dead and wounded, see Indictment, United States v. Jamal Ahmed Mohammed Ali al- Badawi, No. S12 98 Cr. 1023 (KTD) (S. D. N. Y. filed May 15, 2003), p. 16.

122. See Intelligence report, interrogation of Abd al Rahim al Nashiri, Feb. 21, 2004. For Khallad, see Intelligence report, interrogation of Khallad, Aug. 20, 2003. For Khamri and Nibras’s full names, Quso’s responsibility to film the attack, and Nibras and Quso delivering money, see Indictment, United States v. al-Badawi, May 15, 2003, pp. 13--14. Badawi was supposed to film the attack but had to travel, so he instructed Quso to do it instead. FBI notes, notes of Nov. 11 and 13 executive conference call, Nov. 13, 2000, p. 2. For Quso’s admission of delivering money, see Al S. interviews (Aug. 26, 2003; Sept. 15, 2003).

123. For Bin Ladin’s decision, Nashiri’s trip to protest, and Nashiri’s instructions, see Intelligence report, interrogation of Nashiri, Feb. 21, 2004. For a report that Nashiri did not instruct the operatives to attack, see Intelligence report, interrogation of Nashiri, Nov. 21, 2002.

124. For the attack, see Indictment, United States v. al-Badawi, May 15, 2003, p. 16. For Quso not filming the attack, see FBI report of investigation, interview of Fahd Mohammed Ahmad al-Quso, Feb. 3, 2001, p. 8. Quso apparently fell asleep and missed the attack. See FBI notes, notes of Nov. 11 and 13 executive conference call, Nov.

13, 2000, p. 2.

125. For Bin Ladin’s order to evacuate and subsequent actions, see Intelligence report, interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, Dec. 13, 2003. For Bin Ladin’s, Atef ’s, and Zawahiri’s movements, see Intelligence report, interrogation of Khallad, Sept. 27, 2003.

126. Intelligence report, Terrorism Activities, Oct. 1, 2001.

127. For the media committee, the video, and its effect, see Intelligence report, autobiography of KSM, July 12, 2003; Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Apr. 4, 2003. On the bombing of the Cole sparking jihadist recruitment, see Intelligence report, interrogation of Khallad, Sept. 5, 2003.

128. See Barbara Bodine interview (Oct. 21, 2003); Al S. interviews (Aug. 26, 2003; Sept. 15, 2003). On the problems with having Americans bring firearms into the country, see also NSC email, Clarke to Berger, USS Cole-- situation report for PC meeting, Oct. 13, 2000. U. S. officials cannot travel to a country without the clearance of the U. S. ambassador to that country.

129. For suspicion of Egyptian Islamic Jihad, see NSC memo, Berger to President Clinton, update on Cole attack, Oct. 12, 2000. For McLaughlin’s statement, see John McLaughlin interview (Jan. 21, 2004). In this vein, the State Department advised the investigation not to rush to judgment that al Qaeda was responsible. Barbara Bodine interview (Oct. 21, 2003).

130. ForYemen barring the FBI, see Al S. interviews (Aug. 26, 2003; Sept. 15, 2003). For the CIA’s characterization, see CIA report, threat to U. S. personnel inYemen, Oct. 18, 2000. For the high-level interventions, see Samuel Berger interview (Jan. 14, 2004); Kenneth Pollack interview (Sept. 24, 2003); CIA cable, CIA talking points for Tenet’s call to chief ofYemen intelligence, Oct. 26, 2000. On secondhand information, see John McLaughlin interview (Jan. 21, 2004).

131. FBI notes, notes of Nov. 11 and 13 executive conference call, Nov. 13, 2000; FBI electronic communication, “ Summary of information from Yemen intelligence, ” Jan. 10, 2001.

132. For the FBI agent’s role, see Al S. interviews (Aug. 26, 2003; Sept. 15, 2003). ForYemen providing the photograph, see FBI electronic communication, “Summary of information fromYemen intelligence, ” Jan. 10, 2001. For the source identifying the photograph, see FBI electronic communication, “Source reporting on al Qaeda, ” Jan. 16, 2001.

133. For Khallad’s involvement in the embassy bombings, see FBI report of investigation, interview of Mohammad Rashed Daoud al Owhali, Sept. 9, 1998. For Yemen identifying Nashiri, see FBI electronic communication, “Information provided byYemen intelligence, ” Dec. 17, 2000.

134. Richard Clarke interview (Feb. 3, 2004). Richard Miniter offers an account of the Clinton administration’s deliberations about the Cole in Richard Miniter, Losing Bin Laden: How Bill Clinton’s Failures Unleashed Global Terror (Regnery, 2003), pp. 222--227. Berger told us the account is “a crock. ”Samuel Berger interview (Jan. 14, 2004). Clarke was less critical. Richard Clarke interview (Feb. 3, 2004).

135. For the additional covert action authorities, see NSC memo, McCarthy to Berger, new covert action authorities, Oct. 31, 2000. For Tenet developing options, see NSC memo, Berger to President Clinton, update on Cole investigation, Nov. 25, 2000.

136. For Berger’s authorization, see NSC memo, TNT to Berger, responding to Taliban’s September overture, Oct. 20, 2000. For Berger’s statement, see NSC memo, Berger toTNT, reply to Oct. 20, 2000, memo. For the admin

508 NOTES TO CHAPTER 6


istration working with Russia, see NSC memo, Berger to President Clinton, update on Cole investigation, Nov. 25, 2000.

137. President Clinton meeting (Apr. 8, 2004).

138. Samuel Berger interview (Jan. 14, 2004).

139. In the first ten days after the bombing, between October 13 and 23, at least three high-level briefing items discussed responsibility for the attack. The next such briefing item we can find summarized the evidence for the new Bush administration on January 25, 2001. On the guidance, and the presumed reasons for it, see Barbara Bodine interview (Oct. 21, 2003); Pattie Kindsvater interview (Mar. 29, 2004); Ben Bonk statement during John McLaughlin interview (Jan. 21, 2004); see also John McLaughlin interview (Jan. 21, 2004);Richard interview (Dec. 11, 2003).

140. For Clarke’s statement, see NSC email, Clarke to Berger, Nov. 7, 2000. For the November 10 briefing, see CIA briefing materials, preliminary findings regarding the Cole attack for the Nov. 10, 2000, Small Group meeting, undated (appears to be Nov. 10, 2000). For Berger and Clarke’s communication with the President, see NSC memo, Berger to President Clinton, USS Cole investigation update, Nov. 25, 2000.

141. See Gregory Newbold interview (Sept. 29, 2003);William Cohen interview (Feb. 5, 2004). For Shelton tasking Franks, see DOD memo, Joint Chiefs of Staff tasking, Mod 005 to Joint Planning Directive to U. S. Central Command, Nov. 30, 2000. For Shelton briefing Berger, see NSC memo, Berger to President Clinton, USS Cole investigation update, Nov. 25, 2000. For the 13 options, see also DOD briefing materials, Operation Infinite Resolve Contingency Plan Brief, undated. For the briefing to Kerrick, see DOD briefing materials, briefing to Lt. Gen. Kerrick, Dec. 20, 2000. For the briefing of other DOD officials, see DOD briefing materials, “Evolution of Infinite Resolve Planning, Summary of TLAM Availability (1998--2001), Evolution of the Armed Predator Program, ” Mar. 19, 2004, p. 5.

142. NSC memo, Berger to President Clinton, USS Cole investigation update, Nov. 25, 2000.

143. Ibid. For Clarke’s ideas, see NSC memo, Clarke to Sheehan and Hull, “Ultimatum Strategy with the Taliban, ” Nov. 25, 2000.

144. CIA briefing materials, “Intelligence Assessment:The Attack on the USS Cole, ” Dec. 21, 2000.

145. Ibid.

146. President Clinton meeting (Apr. 8, 2004); Samuel Berger interview (Jan. 14, 2004).

147. For Albright’s advisers, see DOS memo, Inderfuth to Albright, Dec. 19, 2000; DOS memo, Hull and Eastham to Albright, preparation for Principals Committee meeting, Dec. 21, 2000. See also DOS briefing materials, talking points for Principals Committee meeting, Dec. 21, 2000;William Cohen interview (Feb. 5, 2004); Hugh Shelton interview (Feb. 5, 2004).

148. Richard Clarke interview (Feb. 3, 2004)

149. Richard Clarke, Against All Enemies: Inside America’s War on Terror (Free Press, 2004), p. 224. Sheehan has not disavowed Clarke’s quote.

150. George Tenet interview (Jan. 28, 2004).

151. Pattie Kindsvater interview (Mar. 29, 2004). For Clarke’s awareness, see NSC email, Clarke to Cressey, “Considerations, ” Oct. 25, 2000.

152. For the lack of meaningful targets, see Scott Fry interview (Dec. 29, 2003);Walter Slocombe interview (Dec. 19, 2003).

153. CIA memo, Black to Clarke, “NSC Requests on Approaches for Dealing with Problems in Afghanistan, ” Dec. 29, 2000.

154. See Samuel Berger letter to the Commission, “Comments on Staff Statements 5--8, ” May 13, 2004. For the Blue Sky memorandum’s proposals being rolled into proposals considered by the new administration, see George Tenet interview (Jan. 28, 2004); John McLaughlin interview (Jan. 21, 2004). On the internal CIA draft of the Blue Sky memorandum, Deputy Director for Operations James Pavitt added a handwritten note that he posed no objection if the memorandum was for transition discussion purposes, but “I do not believe a proposal of this magnitude should be on the table for implementation” so late in the Clinton administration. He also questioned the proposal for support to Massoud. CIA memo, “Options to Undermine Usama Bin Ladin and al-Qa’ida, ”Dec. 18, 2000.

155. NSC memo, “Strategy for Eliminating the Threat from the Jihadist Networks of al Qida: Status and Prospects, ” undated (appears to be Dec. 29, 2001), attached to NSC memo, Clarke to Rice, Jan. 25, 2001.

156. Ben Bonk interview (Jan. 21, 2004); John McLaughlin interview (Jan. 21, 2004).

157. Robert McNamara, Jr. , interview (Apr. 19, 2004).

158. President Bush and Vice President Cheney meeting (Apr. 29, 2004); Condoleezza Rice meeting (Feb. 7, 2004); James Pavitt interview (Jan. 8, 2004). Pavitt also recalls telling the President-elect that killing Bin Ladin would not end the threat. Vice President--elect Cheney, Rice, Hadley, and White House Chief of Staff--designate Andrew Card also attended the briefing, which took place about a week before the inauguration. The President noted that Tenet did not say he did not have authority to kill Bin Ladin. Tenet told us he recalled the meeting with Bush but not what he said to the President-elect. George Tenet interview (Jan. 28, 2004). He told us, however, that if circumstances changed and he needed more authority, he would have come back to either President Clinton or Pres NOTES TO CHAPTER 6 509


ident Bush and asked for the additional authority. See George Tenet testimony, Mar. 24, 2004. The Blair House CIA briefing is recounted in some detail in Bob Woodward, Bush at War (Simon & Schuster, 2002), pp. 34--35.

159. President Clinton meeting (Apr. 8, 2004).

160. President Bush and Vice President Cheney meeting (Apr. 29, 2004).

161. NSC briefing materials, “CT Briefing for Bush-Cheney Transition Team, APNSA-Designate Rice, “Policy, Organization, Priorities, ” undated. Powell was briefed by the full CSG, at his request.

162. Richard Clarke interview (Feb. 3, 2004);Samuel Berger interview (Jan. 14, 2004);Condoleezza Rice meeting (Feb. 7, 2004); Roger Cressey interview (Dec. 15, 2003); Paul Kurtz interviews (Dec. 16, 2003; Dec. 22, 2003).

163. Condoleezza Rice meeting (Feb. 7, 2004); Stephen Hadley meeting (Jan. 31, 2004). Hadley told us that he was able to do less policy development than in a normal two-month transition.

164. Public references by candidate and then President Bush about terrorism before 9/11 tended to reflect these priorities, focusing on state-sponsored terrorism and WMD as a reason to mount a missile defense. See, e. g. , President Bush remarks, Warsaw University, June 15, 2001.

165. Rice and Zelikow had been colleagues on the NSC staff during the first Bush administration and were coauthors of a book concerning German unification. See Philip Zelikow and Condoleezza Rice, Germany Unified and Europe Transformed:A Study in Statecraft (Harvard Univ. Press, 1995). As the Executive Director of the Commission, Zelikow has recused himself from our work on the Clinton-Bush transition at the National Security Council.

166. Philip Zelikow interview (Oct. 8, 2003).

167. Condoleezza Rice meeting (Feb. 7, 2004).

168. Ibid.

169. Richard Clarke interviews (Dec. 18, 2003; Feb. 3, 2004); Roger Cressey interview (Dec. 15, 2003). As Clarke put it, “There goes our ability to get quick decisions. ” Richard Clarke interview (Feb. 3, 2004). However, Paul Kurtz told the Commission that even though Clarke complained about losing his seat on the Principals Committee on terrorism issues, Kurtz saw no functional change in Clarke’s status. Paul Kurtz interviews (Dec. 16, 2003; Dec. 22, 2003).

170. President Bush andVice President Cheney meeting (Apr. 29, 2004);GeorgeTenet interview (Jan. 28, 2004).

171. President Bush and Vice President Cheney meeting (Apr. 29, 2004).

172. NSC memo, Clarke to Rice, al Qaeda review, Jan. 25, 2001 (italics and underlining of the word urgently in original). Clarke’s staff called on other occasions for early Principals Committee decisions, including in a “100 Day Plan” that called for cabinet-level decisions on the Northern Alliance, Uzbekistan, Predator, and the Cole. See NSC memo, Fenzel to Rice, Feb. 16, 2001. Other requests for early PCs are found in NSC email, Fenzel to Hadley, “Early PC Meeting Priorities, ” Feb. 2, 2001; NSC email, Cressey to NSC Front Office, “TNT Meeting Priorities, ” Feb. 7, 2001; NSC email, Cressey to Moran, “Aid to NA, ”Feb. 12, 2001;NSC memo, Cressey to Rice, Mar. 2, 2001.

173. NSC memo, Clarke to Rice, al Qaeda review, Jan. 25, 2001.

174. The Bush administration held 32 Principals Committee meetings on subjects other than al Qaeda before 9/11. Condoleezza Rice testimony, Apr. 8, 2004;White House information provided to the Commission. Rice told us the Administration did not need a principals meeting on al Qaeda because it knew that al Qaeda was a major threat. Condoleezza Rice meeting (Feb. 7, 2004) Condoleezza Rice testimony, Apr. 8, 2004.

175. CNN broadcast, “CNN Ahead of the Curve, ”Oct. 13, 2000. Vice presidential candidate Dick Cheney also urged swift retaliation against those responsible for bombing the destroyer, saying:“Any would-be terrorist out there needs to know that if you’re going to attack, you’ll be hit very hard and very quick. It’s not time for diplomacy and debate. It’s time for action. ”Associated Press, “Cheney: Swift Retaliation Needed, ” Oct. 13, 2000.

176. George Tenet interview (Jan. 28, 2004).

177. NSC memo, Clarke to Rice, al Qaeda review, Jan. 25, 2001.

178. NSC memo, Clarke to Vice President Cheney, Feb. 15, 2001.

179. CIA briefing materials, “UBL Strategic Overview and USS COLE Attack Update, ” Mar. 27, 2001. These briefing slides appear to have been recycled from slides prepared on Jan. 10, 2001.

180. In early March, Cressey wrote Rice and Hadley that at a belated wedding reception at Tarnak Farms for one of Bin Ladin’s sons, the al Qaeda leader had read a new poem gloating about the attack on the Cole. NSC email, Cressey to Rice and Hadley, “BIN LADIN on the USS COLE, ”Mar. 2, 2001. A few weeks later, Cressey wrote Hadley that while the law enforcement investigation went on, “we know all we need to about who did the attack to make a policy decision. ”NSC email, Cressey to Hadley, “Need for Terrorism DC Next Week, ” Mar. 22, 2001. Around this time, Clarke wrote Rice and Hadley that theYemeni prime minister had told State Department counterterrorism chief Hull that while Yemen was not saying so publicly, Yemen was 99 percent certain that Bin Ladin was responsible for the Cole. NSC email, Clarke to NSC Front Office, “Yemen’s View on the USS Cole, ” Mar. 24, 2001. In June, Clarke wrote Rice and Hadley that a new al Qaeda video claimed responsibility for the Cole. NSC email, Clarke to Rice and Hadley, “Al Qida Video Claims Responsibility for Cole Attack, ” June 21, 2001. Later that month, two Saudi jihadists arrested by Bahraini authorities during the threat spike told their captors that their al Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan had held celebratory parties over the Cole attack. NSC email,


510 NOTES TO CHAPTER 6


Clarke to NSC Front Office and others, “Captured Al Qida Terrorist Met UBL Then Were to Attack US in Saudi Arabia, ” June 29, 2001.

181. President Bush and Vice President Cheney meeting (Apr. 29, 2004).

182. Condoleezza Rice meeting (Feb. 7, 2004);Donald Rumsfeld meeting (Jan. 30, 2004);PaulWolfowitz interview (Jan. 20, 2004); Stephen Hadley meeting (Jan. 31, 2004).

183. See CIA memo, “History of Funding for CIA Counterterrorism, ” Aug. 12, 2002. One of Clarke’s concerns had been the level of funding for counterterrorism in the new administration’s first budget. See, e. g. , NSC memo, Clarke to Vice President Cheney, Feb. 15, 2001.

184. NSC note to Hadley, undated (attached to NSC memo, Cressey to Rice, aid to Northern Alliance and Uzbekistan, Mar. 2, 2001).

185. Condoleezza Rice meeting (Feb. 7, 2004). Rice remembered President Bush using this phrase in May 2001, when warnings of terrorist threats began to multiply. However, speaking on background to the press in August 2002, Richard Clarke described a directive from the President in March 2001 to “stop swatting at flies” and “just solve this problem. ”A reporter then said to Clarke that he understood Bush to have given that direction in May, and Clarke said:“No, it was March. ” Fox News transcript, “Clarke Praises Bush Team in ’02, ”Mar. 24, 2004 (online at www. foxnews. com/printer_friendly_story/0, 3566, 115085, 00. html).

186. Barton Gellman, “A Strategy’s Cautious Evolution:Before Sept. 11, the Bush Anti-Terror EffortWas Mostly Ambition, ” Washington Post, Jan. 20, 2001, p. A1.

187. President Bush and Vice President Cheney meeting (Apr. 29, 2004).

188. NSC notes, John Bellinger notes from March 7, 2001, meeting; NSC email, Cressey to Rice and Hadley, “BIN LADIN on the USS COLE, ”Mar. 2, 2001; CIA briefing materials, Deputies Committee Briefing, “Countering the Threat from al-Qa’ida, ” Mar. 7, 2001.

189. Condoleezza Rice meeting (Feb. 7, 2004). On the Iraq PC, see Bob Woodward, Plan of Attack (Simon & Schuster, 2004), p. 13. On the Sudan PC, see NSC memo, “Summary of Conclusions for March 27, 2001 Principals Committee Meeting on Sudan, ”Apr. 10, 2001;CIA notes, Houdek’s notes on March 27, 2001, Principals Committee meeting. On others, see NSC document, list of meetings, Jan. 20 to Sept. 11, 2001, undated.

190. CIA briefing materials, “U. S. Policy Against Al Qa’ida” (for the Apr. 30, 2001, Deputies Committee meeting). On the DC meeting, see also NSC email, Clarke to NSC Front Office, “Request for DC on al Qida Terrorism, ” Apr. 16, 2001. DCI Tenet had already talked with Rice and Hadley about Bin Ladin and al Qaeda, the Taliban, and the Predator program. See, e. g. , CIA memos, summary of weekly Rice/Tenet meeting, Jan. 24, 2001; Feb. 7, 2001;Mar. 8, 2001 (when Rice received CIA assessments on the possible impact of Taliban actions against al Qaeda and on the likely regional impact of increased aid to anti-Taliban groups in Afghanistan). Both Secretary Powell and Secretary Rumsfeld appear to have already been briefed on these topics by the DCI as well. See, e. g. , CIA briefing materials, talking points on the Predator for DCI meeting with Rumsfeld, Feb. 9, 2001;CIA briefing materials, talking points on Bin Ladin, the Taliban and Afghanistan for DCI meetings with Powell, Feb. 13, 2001; Mar.

13, 2001.

191. NSC memo, Summary of Conclusions for Apr. 30, 2001, Deputies Committee meeting.

192. Ibid.

193. NSC memo, Policy Coordinating Committee (PCC) Chairman’s Summary Paper, “Key Issues for Al-Qida Deputies Meeting, ”Apr. 19, 2001.

194. For threats considered by the CSG, see NSC memo, agenda for March 19 CSG videoconference, Mar.

19, 2001 (agenda item about UBL interest in targeting a passenger plane at Chicago airport); NSC memo, agenda for CSG threat videoconference, May 17, 2001 (agenda item, “UBL:Operation Planned in US”). For Clarke’s concern about an al Qaeda presence in the United States, see NSC briefing materials, TNT to Rice, counterterrorism briefing for Bush/Cheney transition team, undated, which noted that al Qaeda had “sleeper cells” in more than 40 countries, including the United States; NSC memo, “Strategy for Eliminating the Threat from the Jihadist Networks of al Qida: Status and Prospects, ” undated (appears to be Dec. 29, 2000), attached to NSC memo, Clarke to Rice, Jan. 25, 2001, discussing al Qaeda’s presence in the United States. For Clarke’s concerns about an attack on the White House, see NSC email, Clarke to Rice, briefing on Pennsylvania Ave, Mar. 23, 2001.

195. For the President’s announcement, see White House press release, “Statement by the President, Domestic Preparedness Against Weapons of Mass Destruction, ”May 8, 2001 (online at www. whitehouse. gov/news/releases/

2001/05/print/02010508. html).

196. CIA memo, summary of weekly Rice/Tenet meeting, May 29, 2001.

197. Ibid.

198. Richard interview (Dec. 11, 2003).

199. CIA memo, summary of weekly Rice/Tenet meeting, May 29, 2001.

200. NSC memo, Hadley to Armitage, Wolfowitz, McLaughlin, and O’Keefe, “Next Steps on al-Qida, ” June 7, 2001.

201. NSC memo, draft National Security Presidential Directive, undated;Condoleezza Rice testimony, Apr. 8, 2004.


NOTES TO CHAPTER 6 511


202. See, e. g. , Condoleezza Rice testimony, Apr. 8, 2004; Richard Clarke interview (Feb. 3, 2004).

203. Richard Clarke interview (Jan. 12, 2004).

204. Condoleezza Rice meeting (Feb. 7, 2004).

205. DOS cable, State 111711, “Demarche on Threat by Afghan-based Terrorists, ” June 27, 2001. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Marc Grossman knew of Sheehan’s severe demands and instructed Ambassador Milam to reiterate them to the Taliban. Marc Grossman interview (Jan. 20, 2004).

206. In early July 2001, shortly before retiring, Ambassador Milam met one last time with Taliban Deputy Foreign Minister Jalil in Islamabad. Milam tried to dispel any confusion about where Bin Ladin fit into U. S. -Taliban relations--the Saudi terrorist was the issue, and he had to be expelled. DOS cable, Islamabad 3628, “Taliban’s Mullah Jalil’s July 2 Meeting With The Ambassador, ” July 3, 2001. The State Department’s South Asia bureau called for a less confrontational stance toward theTaliban. It opposed a policy to overthrow theTaliban and was cautious about aiding the Northern Alliance. DOS memo, Rocca to Grossman, “Your Participation in Deputies Committee Meeting, Friday, June 29, 2001, ”June 28, 2001;see DOS memo, “Pakistan/Afghanistan DC-Covert Action Issue, ”undated (appears to be mid-June 2001); Richard Armitage interview (Jan. 12, 2004).

207. For the Deputies Committee meeting, see NSC memo, Summary of Conclusions of June 29, 2001, Deputies Committee meeting, undated (attached to NSC memo, Biegun to executive secretaries, July 6, 2001). For officials who were impatient with the pace of the Deputies’ Committee review, see, e. g. , Richard Armitage interview (Jan. 12, 2004); John McLaughlin interview (Jan. 21, 2004). For Clarke’s arguments, see NSC memo, PCC Chairman’s Summary Paper, “Key Issues for Al-Qida Deputies Meeting, ”Apr. 19, 2001. See also Richard Armitage testimony, Mar. 24, 2004; Stephen Hadley meeting (Jan. 31, 2004).

208. For Clarke and Black renewing their push, see, e. g. , Cofer Black interview (Dec. 9, 2003). For Clarke’s suggestion, see NSC email, Cressey to Moran, various matters concerning al Qaeda, Feb. 12, 2001.

209. Condoleezza Rice meeting (Feb. 7, 2004);Stephen Hadley meeting (Jan. 31, 2004);Zalmay Khalilzad interview (Nov. 21, 2003). For Clarke’s view, see NSC memo, Clarke to Rice, al Qaeda review, Jan. 25, 2001.

210. For the draft authorities, see CIA briefing materials, talking points for DCI meeting with Rice on the draft Afghanistan counterterrorism finding and the draft UBL Memorandum of Notification, Mar. 28, 2001. For the draft explicitly stating that the goal was not to overthrow the Taliban, see Jonathan F. interview (Jan. 19, 2004).

211. See NSC email, Clarke to Khalilzad, Crawford, and Cressey, “Option for integrated al Qida-Afghan- Pakistan paper, ” June 30, 2001. For State’s view, see DOS memo, “U. S. Engagement with the Taliban on Usama Bin Laden, ” undated (attached to NSC memo, Biegun to executive secretaries, July 16, 2001).

212. For an outline of the policy, see NSC memo, “Afghanistan:A Comprehensive Strategy, ” undated (attached to NSC memo, Biegun memo to executive secretaries, Sept. 7, 2001). For the September 10 meeting, see NSC memo, Biegun to executive secretaries, Summary of Conclusions for Sept. 10, 2001, Deputies Committee meeting on Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan, Sept. 26, 2001.

213. For the September 10 meeting, see NSC memo, Biegun to executive secretaries, Summary of Conclusions for Sept. 10, 2001, Deputies Committee meeting on Afghanistan, India and Pakistan, Sept. 26, 2001. For Armitage’s view, see Richard Armitage interview (Jan. 12, 2004).

214. Colin Powell prepared statement, Mar. 23, 2004, p. 5.

215. For reviewing the possibility of more carrots, see DOS memo, Hull and Usrey to Grossman, “Deputies Committee Meeting on Terrorism and al Qaida, ” Apr. 20, 2001. For the possibility of lifting sanctions, see Colin Powell interview (Jan. 21, 2004);Richard Armitage interview (Jan. 12, 2004);DOS memo, “Engagement with Pakistan: From Negative to Positive, ” undated (appears to be May 29, 2001).

216. Condoleezza Rice meeting (Feb. 7, 2004).

217. For Rice’s view on Sattar, see Condoleezza Rice meeting (Feb. 7, 2004). For Sattar urging the United States to engage the Taliban, see DOS cable, State 109130, “The Secretary’s Lunch With Pakistani Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar, ” June 22, 2001. For the deputies agreeing to review objectives, see NSC memo, Summary of Conclusions of June 29, 2001, Deputies Committee meeting, undated (attached to NSC memo, Biegun to executive secretaries, July 6, 2001). For Clarke urging Hadley, see NSC memo, Clarke to Hadley, “DC on Pakistan, ” June 27, 2001.

218. See White House letter, President Bush to Musharraf, Aug. 4, 2001. For Rocca’s view, see DOS memo, “Engagement with Pakistan: From Negative to Positive, ” undated (possibly May 29, 2001); Christina Rocca interview (Jan. 29, 2004). For Armitage’s comment, see Richard Armitage interview (Jan. 12, 2004).

219. For the Vice President’s call, see CIA briefing materials, “Efforts to Counter the Bin Ladin Threat, ” Sept.

12, 2001. For Powell’s meetings, see DOS cable, State 041824, “Secretary’s 26 February Meeting With Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah, ” Mar. 8, 2001; DOS cable, State 117132, “The Secretary’s June 29 Meeting With Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah, ” July 5, 2001.

220. Paul Wolfowitz interview (Jan. 20, 2004); Donald Rumsfeld interview (Jan. 30, 2004).

221. For Shelton’s recollection, see Hugh Shelton interview (Feb. 5, 2004). For Sheridan’s departure, see Austin Yamada interview (Dec. 23, 2003); Brian Sheridan interview (Feb. 24, 2004).


512 NOTES TO CHAPTER 6


222. Donald Rumsfeld interview (Jan. 30, 2004). Rumsfeld had been a member of the Bremer-Sonnenberg Commission on Terrorism, created by Congress in 1998.

223. Tommy Franks interview (Apr. 9, 2004).

224. For Annex B, see NSC memo, draft National Security Presidential Directive, undated (attached to NSC email, Biegun to executive secretaries, July 13, 2001). The annex said that Pentagon planning was also to include options to eliminate weapons of mass destruction that the al Qaeda network might acquire or make.

225. Stephen Hadley meeting (Jan. 31, 2004).

226. Condoleezza Rice meeting (Feb. 7, 2004).

227. President Bush and Vice President Cheney meeting (Apr. 29, 2004).

228. Ibid.

229. John Ashcroft interview (Dec. 17, 2003).

230. NSC email, Clarke to Rice and Hadley, “Courtesy call on AG, ” Feb. 22, 2001.

231. On the FBI strategy, see FBI report, Counterterrorism Division, InternationalTerrorism Program, “Strategic Program Plan FY 2001--2006, ” undated (appears to be from summer 2000). On Watson’s recollections, see Dale Watson interview (Jan. 6, 2004). On the FBI budget proposal, see statement of Attorney General John Ashcroft, Hearing on U. S. Federal Efforts to Combat Terrorism before the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies of the Senate Appropriations Committee, May 9, 2001. See DOJ memo, Comments on Staff Statement 12, Apr. 7, 2004.

232. Testimony of John Ashcroft, Hearing on U. S. Federal Efforts to Combat Terrorism before the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies of the Senate Appropriations Committee, May 9, 2001. On DOJ’s priorities, see DOJ memo, Ashcroft to Heads of Department Components, “Guidance for Preparing FY 2003 Budgets, ” May 10, 2001. On Watson’s reaction, see Dale Watson interview (Jan.

6, 2004).

233. DOJ letter, Ashcroft to Daniels, transmitting the Department of Justice FY 2003 budget request, Sept.

10, 2001;Thomas Pickard interview (Jan. 21, 2004). Pickard told us that he approached Ashcroft and asked him to reconsider DOJ’s denial of the FBI’s original counterterrorism budget request in light of the continuing threat. It was not uncommon for FBI budget requests to be reduced by the attorney general or by OMB before being submitted to Congress; this had occurred during the previous administration.

234. In chapter 3, we discuss how this problem arose. By 2001, it had become worse. During 2000, the FBI had erred in preparing some of its applications for FISA surveillance, misstating how much information had been shared with criminal prosecutors and the nature of the walls between the intelligence and law enforcement functions within the FBI. In March 2001, Judge Royce Lamberth, chief judge of the FISA Court, chastised the FBI, sending a letter to Ashcroft announcing he was banning an offending supervisory agent from appearing before the court. Judge Lamberth also met personally with Ashcroft and his acting deputy, Robert Mueller, to complain about the performance of the FBI and the Office of Intelligence Policy and Review (OIPR). Judge Lamberth letter to Ashcroft, Mar. 9, 2001; John Ashcroft interview (Dec. 17, 2003). In May 2001, Ashcroft altered the FISA application process to ensure greater accuracy. See DOJ memo, Ashcroft to Freeh, “The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Process, ” May 18, 2001. In July 2001, the General Accounting Office criticized the way the 1995 procedures were being applied and criticized OIPR and FBI for not complying with the information-sharing requirements of the 1995 procedures. This was the third report in as many years by a government agency indicating that the procedures were not working as planned. In October 2000, December 2000, and March 2001, proposals for reform to the 1995 procedures were put forth by senior DOJ officials. None resulted in reform. One impediment was that the respective DOJ components could not agree on all the proposed reforms. A second impediment was a concern that such reforms would require a challenge to the FISA Court’s position on the matter. This was considered risky because the FISA Court of Review had never convened, and one of the judges had previously voiced skepticism regarding the constitutionality of the FISA statute. Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson did ask the court to accept the modifications described in the text, which were distributed as part of his August 2001 memorandum reaffirming the 1995 procedures. See DOJ memo, Thompson to the Criminal Division, the Office of Intelligence Policy and Review, and the FBI, “Intelligence Sharing, ”Aug. 6, 2001.

235. This tasking may have occurred before Rice’s March 15, 2001, meeting with Tenet. See CIA memo, “Talking Points for DCI Meeting with Rice, ” Mar. 15, 2001. For Rice’s recollections, see Condoleezza Rice meeting (Feb. 7, 2004). Attorney General John Ashcroft told us he told Rice on March 7, 2001, that his lawyers had determined that the existing legal authorities for covert action against Bin Ladin were unclear and insufficient, and that he suggested new, explicit kill authorities be developed. John Ashcroft testimony, Apr. 13, 2004. On the CIA draft documents, see CIA memo, “Talking Points for the DCI on the Draft Afghanistan Counterterrorism Finding and the Draft UBL MON, ”Mar. 27, 2001. For the description of the meeting, see CIA memo, Moseman to Tenet, Mar.

28, 2001.

236. NSC memo, Sturtevant to Griffin, Levin, Krongard, Watson, and others, July 12, 2001.

237. See, e. g. , NSC note, Clarke to Berger, Sept. 23, 2000; Richard Clarke interview (Feb. 3, 2004).


NOTES TO CHAPTER 6 513


238. CIA memo, Black to Clarke, Jan. 25, 2001. For a Joint Staff view, see, e. g. , Scott Gration interview (Mar.

3, 2004). The mission commander for the Predator flights, Air Force Major Mark A. Cooter, had registered his opposition to redeploying the aircraft back in December 2000: “given the cost/benefit from these continued missions it seems senseless. ” DOD letter, Cooter to Alec B. , “Continued Flight Operations, ” Nov. 14, 2000 (attached to CIA memo, Black to DCI and others, Predator Operation, Nov. 17, 2000).

239. See NSC memo, Summary of Conclusions of Deputies Committee meeting, Apr. 30, 2001. This document noted a consensus in favor of reconnaissance missions commencing in July. But DDCI McLaughlin told us that he and Black believed that no such decision had been made at the meeting. Hadley told us he believed that a decision had been made at the meeting to fly such missions. See John McLaughlin interview (Jan. 2, 2004). See also CIA briefing materials, “Summary of April 30, 2001 Deputies Committee meeting, ” May 3, 2001; Stephen Hadley meeting (Jan. 31, 2004). For Rice’s perspective, see Condoleezza Rice meeting (Feb. 7, 2004).

240. Allen described the “quibbling” over financing the Predator program as “ridiculous. ” Charles Allen interview (Jan. 27, 2004). For a CIA senior management perspective, see, e. g. , John McLaughlin interview (Jan. 21, 2004). The Defense Department’s view is suggested in CIA briefing materials, “Summary of April 30, 2001 Deputies Committee meeting, ” May 3, 2001.

241. George Tenet interview (Jan. 28, 2004); Charles Allen interview (Jan. 27, 2004).

242. John Maher III interview (Apr. 22, 2004); Scott Gration interview (Mar. 3, 2004); John Jumper interview (Mar. 3, 2004).

243. On Hadley’s efforts and directions, see NSC memo, Hadley to McLaughlin, Wolfowitz, and Myers, “Re: Predator, ” July 11, 2001. On Rice’s intervention, see Condoleezza Rice meeting (Feb. 7, 2004).

244. On the Deputies Committee meeting, see NSC memo, Biegun to executive secretaries, July 31, 2001; CIA memo, Campbell to McLaughlin, Pavitt, and others, Aug. 2, 2001. The White House told us that it cannot find a formal Summary of Conclusions for this meeting.

245. NSC memo, Hadley to Armitage, Wolfowitz, Myers, and McLaughlin, resolving Predator issues, Aug. 3, 2001 (including McLaughlin’s handwritten comment); NSC email, Clarke to Rice and Hadley, “Need to place a call to Tenet, ”Aug. 8, 2001.

246. John Maher III interview (Apr. 22, 2004); John Jumper interview (Mar. 3, 2004); see also Scott Gration interview (Mar. 3, 2004).

247. NSC memo, Clarke to Rice, “Observations at the Principals Meeting on Al Qida, ” Sept. 4, 2001 (text italicized here is underlined in the original).

248. Ibid.

249. Ibid.

250. Condoleezza Rice testimony, Apr. 8, 2004.

251. CIA memo, Black to Tenet, Sept. 4, 2001.

252. Various interviews with participants, as well as the Maher memo (see note 255 below), make it clear that the meeting focused on Predator, not the presidential directive.

253. Condoleezza Rice meeting (Feb. 7, 2004).

254. Ibid. ; NSC memo, Cressey to Rice, September 4 PC on counterterrorism, Sept. 3, 2001.

255. CIA memo, Maher to limited group, “Principals Committee meeting, Sept. 4, 2001, ” Sept. 4, 2001. We have not found a formal summary of conclusions, which would usually be prepared after a Principals Committee meeting.

256. Ibid.

257. Ibid.

258. Ibid.

259. NSC memo, Clarke to CSG members, Sept. 7, 2001.

260. On Massoud’s assassination, see Coll, Ghost Wars, pp. 574--575. On the Sept. 10 meeting, see NSC memo, Biegun to executive secretaries, “Summary of Conclusions for Sept. 10, 2001 Deputies Committee meeting on Afghanistan, India and Pakistan, ” Sept. 26, 2001. Note that the agenda for this meeting, distributed on September 7, 2001, listed its topics as “Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan”;the Summary of Conclusions, written after 9/11, flipped the order of the topics.

261. NSC memo, Hadley to Tenet, Sept. 10, 2001.

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