Ray McGovern on Intelligence Failures
Good commentary from former CIA analyst Ray McGovern:
The short answer to the second sentence is: Yes, it is inevitable that "certain plots will succeed."
A more helpful answer would address the question as to how we might best minimize their prospects for success. And to do this, sorry to say, there is no getting around the necessity to address the root causes of terrorism or, in the vernacular, "why they hate us."
If we don't go beyond self-exculpatory sloganeering in attempting to answer that key question, any "counter terrorism apparatus" is doomed to failure. Honest appraisals would tread on delicate territory, but any intelligence agency worth its salt must be willing/able to address it.
Delicate? Take, for example, what Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the "mastermind" of 9/11, said was his main motive. Here’s what the 9/11 Commission Report wrote on page 147. You will not find it reported in the Fawning Corporate Media (FCM):
"By his own account, KSM’s animus toward the United States stemmed…from his violent disagreement with U.S. foreign policy favoring Israel."
This is not the entire picture, of course. Other key factors include the post-Gulf War stationing of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia, widely seen as defiling the holy sites of Islam.
Add Washington’s propping up of dictatorial, repressive regimes in order to secure continuing access to oil and natural gas -- widely (and accurately) seen as one of the main reasons for the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Not to mention the Pentagon’s insatiable thirst for additional permanent (sorry, the term is now "enduring") military bases in that part of the world.
The most effective step would be to release the CIA Inspector General report on intelligence community performance prior to 9/11. That investigation was run by, and its report was prepared by an honest man, it turns out.
It was immediately suppressed by then-Acting DCI John McLaughlin -- another Tenet clone -- and McLaughin’s successors as director, Porter Goss, Michael Hayden, and now Leon Panetta.
Accountability is key. If there is no accountability, there is total freedom to screw up, and screw up royally, without any thought of possible personal consequences.
Not only is it certain that we will face more terrorist attacks, but the keystone-cops nature of recent intelligence operations ... whether in using cell phones in planning kidnappings in Italy, or in allowing suicide bombers access to CIA bases in Taliban-infested eastern Afghanistan ... will continue. Not to mention the screw-up in the case of Abdulmutallab.
Posted on January 15, 2010 at 7:22 AM • 53 Comments