There is an editorial in the New York Times today regarding Al Qaeda and 9-11 attacks. Will Congress ever take an interest in getting to the bottom of just what really went wrong?
The Deafness Before the Storm
By Kurt Eichenwald, New York Times, September 10, 2012
An excerpt from the editorial:
The direct warnings to Mr. Bush about the possibility of a Qaeda attack began in the spring of 2001. By May 1, the Central Intelligence Agency told the White House of a report that “a group presently in the United States” was planning a terrorist operation. Weeks later, on June 22, the daily brief reported that Qaeda strikes could be “imminent,” although intelligence suggested the time frame was flexible.There was another briefing on July 10. Followed by an assessment by the FBI that prohibited then Attorney General, John Ashcroft, from flying on commercial airlines. And then came the now infamous August 6 briefing, "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S." As time goes on, more and more information continues to trickle out - history will not be kind to those who ignored the warnings.
But some in the administration considered the warning to be just bluster. An intelligence official and a member of the Bush administration both told me in interviews that the neoconservative leaders who had recently assumed power at the Pentagon were warning the White House that the C.I.A. had been fooled; according to this theory, Bin Laden was merely pretending to be planning an attack to distract the administration from Saddam Hussein, whom the neoconservatives saw as a greater threat. Intelligence officials, these sources said, protested that the idea of Bin Laden, an Islamic fundamentalist, conspiring with Mr. Hussein, an Iraqi secularist, was ridiculous, but the neoconservatives’ suspicions were nevertheless carrying the day.
The unit that Kirk von Ackermann was once a member of, DO5 or the Asymmetric Threat Division, was shut down by mid-2001. DO5 was actively engaged in conducting analysis of bin Laden long before it was acceptable to do so.
Which brings us to von Ackermann's former colleague, IRONMAN, the unnamed intelligence officer who has worked tirelessly to get someone to pay attention. IRONMAN filed a formal complaint charging that the Joint Forces intelligence Command had not disclosed all original material relating to the 9/11
Appendix B. (U) Scanned JFIC Response:From IRONMAN's complaint published at Truthout:
2. Did your agency have information prior to Sept 11, 2001, to suggest that international terrorist cells were operating within the United States? If so, please set this information aside for review by the staff of the Joint inquiry.
ANSWER: No, but prior to Sept 11, 2001, neither JFIC nor JFCOM tracked terrorist activity in the United States. The United States was not part of JFCOM's AOR.
(U) Contrary to JFIC's formal report to the JCS staff, JFIC had a direct and assigned purview on international terrorism against the U.S., to include the operations of al-Qa'ida and the 9/11 attackers. JFIC was directly responsible to both Joint Forces Command (JFCOM) and its subordinate, Joint Task Force-Civil Support (JTF-CS) for all-source intelligence anaiysis of international terrorism against the U.S. To ensure the quality of such analysis, JFlC's commanding officer [redacted] established the Asymmetric Threat Branch (DO5), charged with reporting on asymmetric threats, especially terrorism. [redacted] was subsequently promoted to JFCOM J2. As a RADM and PACOM J2, she established another Asymmetric Threat branch at PACOM.)And on it goes.
(U) The Asymmetric Threat Branch in JFIC was a forerunner of current all-source fusion centers. Unlike other analytical offices in the intelligence community, DO5 members had a wide mix of skilis in all six intelligence disciplines - HUMINT, OSINT, COMINT, ELINT, IMINT, and MASINT. Consequently, DO5 was abie to develop and use all-source, original analysis in a manner probably then unprecedented within the intelligence community. DO5 began preparing a wide range of original analysis on asymmetric warfare, especially terrorism, from mid-1998 until mid-2001.
EXCLUSIVE: New Documents Claim Intelligence on Bin Laden, al-Qaeda Targets Withheld From Congress' 9/11 Probe
By Jeffrey Kaye and Jason Leopold, Truthout, June 13, 2011
Attachment - Unclassified FOIA Response
More info and links at the JFIC tag below.