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Special: OIG Report on CIA Accountability With Respect to the 9/11 Attacks

08/23/2007

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was asked to prepare a report of the accountability of CIA officers for performance failures in countering the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, as revealed by earlier congressional hearings. The report was prepared in 2005, but kept secret until August 21 2007.

Responding to congressional pressure, the CIA released a bowdlerized executive summary only, which does not name responsible persons. CIA Director General Hayden and others objected to the release of the report, and Hayden also objects to the report's recommendation that an Accountability Review Board should be set up to judge the persons responsible for the failures.

A report in searchable text form is here: OIG Report on CIA Accountability With Respect to the 9/11 Attacks. Actually the report itself, or what we can see of it, is pretty mild, considering the magnitude and inexplicability of many of the failures. While the report focuses on "little issues" like poor CIA-FBI cooperation and various tactical failures, it doesn't consider the larger question of why radical Islamist terrorism in general, and Al-Qaeda in particular, was not ringing alarm bells everywhere. The report does ask why CIA Director Tenet didn't formulate a plan to eliminate Al-Qaeda. A better question is why neither Tenet or nor anyone in the executive office of two administrations was not treating the threat as a war. After all, Bin-Laden had threatened to destroy the United States in his Fatwas, and Al-Qaeda had already carried out attacks in the SS Cole and on US embassies. Here was a clearly hostile enemy who was not making empty threats. The problem could be seen by anyone who looked, without the need for special intelligence information. Yet the issue was shunted aside.

The great failure perhaps was not the failure of George Tenet. A CIA director is not supposed to formulate policy. The great failure was the failure of the executive branch, which failed to identify a clear and present danger, and to put into operation an emergency plan to deal with it.

Read the report and draw your own conclusions:

OIG Report on CIA Accountability With Respect to the 9/11 Attacks

Ami Isseroff

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Original text copyright by the author and MidEastWeb for Coexistence, RA. Posted at MidEastWeb Middle East Web Log at http://www.mideastweb.org/log/archives/00000614.htm where your intelligent and constructive comments are welcome. Distributed by MEW Newslist. Subscribe by e-mail to mew-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. Please forward by email with this notice and link to and cite this article. Other uses by permission.

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