By Amy Alkon
shared this story
from Advice Goddess Blog.
American Spies Don’t Need More Spy-Power; They Just Need To Get Off Their Asses
The Obama admin claim that we need to have the NSA’s bulk collection of Americans’ phone records to prevent terrorist attacks is a stinking load.
CNN National Security analyst Peter Bergen writes that we had sufficient intel pre-PATROIT Act to stop 9/11 and a host of other terrorist attacks on and off American soil — if only we’d effectively used the intel we had:
On Friday in New York, Judge William H. Pauley III ruled that NSA’s bulk collection of American telephone records is lawful. He cited Alexander’s testimony and quoted him saying, “We couldn’t connect the dots because we didn’t have the dots.”
But is it really the case that the U.S. intelligence community didn’t have the dots in the lead up to 9/11? Hardly.
In fact, the intelligence community provided repeated strategic warning in the summer of 9/11 that al Qaeda was planning a large-scale attacks on American interests.
Here is a representative sampling of the CIA threat reporting that was distributed to Bush administration officials during the spring and summer of 2001:
— CIA, “Bin Ladin Planning Multiple Operations,” April 20
— CIA, “Bin Ladin Attacks May Be Imminent,” June 23
— CIA, “Planning for Bin Ladin Attacks Continues, Despite Delays,” July 2
— CIA, “Threat of Impending al Qaeda Attack to Continue Indefinitely,” August 3
The failure to respond adequately to these warnings was a policy failure by the Bush administration, not an intelligence failure by the U.S. intelligence community.
The CIA itself also had its own spectacular failure in the run up to 9/11, which wasn’t a failure to collect intelligence, but a failure of information sharing. The CIA had quite a bit of information about two of the hijackers and their presence in the United States before 9/11, which the agency didn’t share with other government agencies until it was too late to do anything about it.
The government missed multiple opportunities to catch al Qaeda hijacker Khalid al-Mihdhar when he was living in San Diego for a year and a half in the run up to 9/11, not because it lacked access to all Americans phone records but because it didn’t share the information it already possessed about the soon-to-be hijacker within other branches of the government.
The shoe bomber and mass murdering Major Hasan were just two of the others not stopped when we had more than adequate reason to do so.
Bergen gets it:
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