U.S. War on Terrorism and Fallout from 11 September 2001 Attacks

Reportage to 31 December 2002


Materials presented chronologically.

Johnston, David. "Former F.B.I. Director Faults Lawmakers on Terror Fight." New York Times, 9 Oct. 2002. [http://www.nytimes.com] 

Testifying on 8 October 2002 before the joint congressional committee investigating the 9/11 attacks, former FBI Director Louis J. Freeh "faulted lawmakers ... for failing to approve bigger budgets that he said were vital to the F.B.I.'s antiterror effort.... Freeh said he fought throughout his eight-year tenure to make terrorism a high priority, but was hobbled by a lack of money and legal restraints that hampered the bureau in penetrating terror networks."

Thomas, Evan, with Mark Hosenball, Tamara Lipper, and Michael Isikoff. "Shadow Struggle." Newsweek, 14 Oct. 2002, 29-31.

As Washington prepares for a war against Iraq, "there are real and serious divisions between Bush's war cabinet and the spy agencies that serve it, as well as troubling splits within the intelligence community itself…. [T]he CIA and FBI have done better in cooperating with each other, [b]ut close observers worry about the resistance of the intelligence community to real reform."

At the same time, the "CIA old boys … fear that high-risk covert operations will go bad…. They worry that if CIA analysts bend to political pressure from Bush's right-wing ideologues and play up the Iraqi threat, they will later be accused of cooking the books. The analysts fear that they will miss the one clue to the coming terror attack that is buried in the mountain of tips, leads and clues that inundate the CIA and FBI every day…. The spooks are very wary that they will be double-crossed by Congress….

"The hawks today are no more trusting of the CIA than they were in the 1970s. Though careful to praise the agency for working well with U.S. Special Forces to chase the Taliban out of Afghanistan…, these Bush hard-liners say the agency is both timid and wrong on Iraq…. The Pentagon is working around the CIA's caution by relying on its own spy shop -- the Defense Intelligence Agency -- and it may use U.S. Special Forces to handle covert operations that would ordinarily be carried out by CIA operatives."

Priest, Dana. "CIA Is Expanding Domestic Operations." Washington Post, 23 Oct. 2002, A2. [http//:www.washingtonpost.com

The CIA "is expanding its domestic presence, placing agents with nearly all of the FBI's 56 terrorism task forces in U.S. cities.... Separately, the CIA is undertaking what one intelligence official called a 'concerted effort' to increase the number of case officers working in the agency's domestic field offices. Those offices, directed by the National Resources Division, are staffed by officers from the clandestine service."

For material on the CIA's use of a missile fired from a Predator UAV to kill an al Qaeda leader in Yemen in November 2002, click HERE.

Priest, Dana, and Dan Eggen. "Bush Aides Consider Domestic Spy Agency." Washington Post, 16 Nov. 2002, A1. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

According to government officials and intelligence experts, "President Bush's top national security advisers have begun discussing the creation of a new, domestic intelligence agency that would take over responsibility for counterterrorism spying and analysis from the FBI."

Priest, Dana. “CIA Feels Strain of Iraq and Al Qaeda: Some Gaps Filled by Shifting Staff." Washington Post, 17 Nov. 2002, A26. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

After 9/11,"the CIA pulled about 160 analysts from [other] jobs ... and turned them into counterterrorism specialists. The transfer ... made certain things easier.... The [15] units already had offices and computers, and they knew how to work as a team. But there were costs." For example, "most were novices to the terrorism world."

Nasif, Nicholas. "Tenet Given Assurances that No al-Qa'ida Cells Infiltrated Lebanon." Beirut al-Nahar in Arabic, 28 Nov. 2002.

[Excerpts from FBIS Translated Text] "A security official has recently returned from Washington after three days of meetings with CIA Director George Tenet and his assistants for terrorism and Middle Eastern affairs. The talks dealt with the security cooperation between Lebanon and the United States within the framework of the US-led international campaign on terror....

"As a result of the discussions, Tenet and his aides expressed satisfaction with stability in Lebanon and with the cooperation of the Lebanese security services with the CIA station in the American Embassy in Beirut. This is a constant and accurate cooperation in the fight against terrorism. The Lebanese authorities deal seriously with the information they receive from the CIA station, and they regularly supply the station with information within the anti-terror plan."

Bonner, Raymond. "Report Tracks Terror Trail of an Islamic Group." New York Times, 12 Dec. 2002. [http://www.nytimes.com]

"The terrorist attack on the nightclub in Bali that killed nearly 200 people in October was the work" of Jemaah Islamiyah, "a radical Islamic organization that carried out a series of bombings of churches across Indonesia two years ago, according to a comprehensive report" released on 11 December 2002. The report was prepared by the International Crisis Group, "a private multinational organization based in Brussels."

Risen, James, and David Johnston. "Bush Has Widened Authority of C.I.A. to Kill Terrorists." New York Times, 15 Dec. 2002. [http://www.nytimes.com]

"The Bush administration has prepared a list of terrorist leaders the Central Intelligence Agency is authorized to kill, if capture is impractical and civilian casualties can be minimized, senior military and intelligence officials said. The previously undisclosed C.I.A. list includes key Qaeda leaders like Osama bin Laden and his chief deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, as well as other principal figures from Al Qaeda and affiliated terrorist groups, the officials said..... Despite the authority given to the agency, Mr. Bush has not waived the executive order banning assassinations, officials said. The presidential authority to kill terrorists defines operatives of Al Qaeda as enemy combatants and thus legitimate targets for lethal force."

Allen, Mike. "Gilmore Panel Backs New Terrorism Agency." Washington Post, 16 Dec. 2002, A2. [http//:www.washingtonpost.com

The fourth annual report by the federal terrorism commission headed by former Virginia governor James S. Gilmore III warns against "transforming the FBI into 'a kind of secret police' focused only on preventing attacks." The report, issued on 16 December 2002, "recommends that the government dedicate the FBI to law enforcement and create an independent intelligence fusion agency that would coordinate information about potential attacks and report to President Bush. The commission suggests that the new agency, the National Counter Terrorism Center, should be staffed by intelligence analysts transferred from the FBI, CIA and other agencies."

Priest, Dana, and Barton Gellman. "U.S. Decries Abuse but Defends Interrogations." Washington Post, 26 Dec. 2002, A1. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

"Deep inside the forbidden zone at the U.S.-occupied Bagram air base in Afghanistan,... sits a cluster of metal shipping containers.... [They] hold the most valuable prizes in the war on terrorism -- captured al Qaeda operatives and Taliban commanders.

"Those who refuse to cooperate inside this secret CIA interrogation center are sometimes kept standing or kneeling for hours, in black hoods or spray-painted goggles, according to intelligence specialists familiar with CIA interrogation methods. At times they are held in awkward, painful positions and deprived of sleep with a 24-hour bombardment of lights -- subject to what are known as 'stress and duress' techniques.

"Those who cooperate are rewarded with creature comforts.... Some who do not cooperate are turned over -- 'rendered' in official parlance -- to foreign intelligence services whose practice of torture has been documented by the U.S. government and human rights organizations."

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