The NSC's Millennium After Action Review declares that the United States barely missed major terrorist attacks in 1999 with luck playing a major role. Among the many vulnerabilities in homeland defenses identified, the Justice Department's surveillance and FISA operations were specifically criticized for their glaring weaknesses. It is clear from the review that actions taken in the Millennium Period should not be the operating model for the U.S. government.
In March 2000, the review warns the prior Administration of a substantial al Qaeda network and affiliated foreign terrorist presence within the U.S., capable of supporting additional terrorist attacks here. [My note: AD info?]
Furthermore, fully seventeen months before the September 11 attacks, the review recommends disrupting the al Qaeda network and terrorist presence here using immigration violations, minor criminal infractions, and tougher visa and border controls.
It falls directly into the AD timeline. In that same post, I note that what Sandy Berger stole was the versions of the after action report:
The missing copies, according to Breuer and their author, Richard A. Clarke, the counterterrorism chief in the Clinton administration and early in President Bush's administration, were versions of after-action reports recommending changes following threats of terrorism as 1999 turned to 2000. Clarke said he prepared about two dozen ideas for countering terrorist threats. The recommendations were circulated among Cabinet agencies, and various versions of the memo contained additions and refinements, Clarke said last night.
Therefore, they were never provided to the Commission, as evidenced by the Commission Report footnotes (#769):
46. NSC email, Clarke to Kerrick,Timeline,Aug. 19, 1998; Samuel Berger interview (Jan. 14, 2004). We did not find documentation on the after-action review mentioned by Berger. On Vice Chairman Joseph Ralstons mission in Pakistan, see William Cohen interview (Feb. 5, 2004). For speculation on tipping off the Taliban, see, e.g., Richard Clarke interview (Dec. 18, 2003).
And to what does footnote (46) refer? On p. 117, Chapter 4, we find this:
Later on August 20, Navy vessels in the Arabian Sea fired their cruise missiles. Though most of them hit their intended targets, neither Bin Ladin nor any other terrorist leader was killed. Berger told us that an after-action review by Director Tenet concluded that the strikes had killed 2030 people in the camps but probably missed Bin Ladin by a few hours. Since the missiles headed for Afghanistan had had to cross Pakistan, the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs was sent to meet with Pakistans army chief of staff to assure him the missiles were not coming from India. Officials in Washington speculated that one or another Pakistani official might have sent a warning to the Taliban or Bin Ladin. (46)How about that? How many times have we heard Clinton say that he missed Bin Ladin by just a few hours? Yet the after-action report is missing, so the Commission relied on Sandy Berger's testimony.
Then the Clarke/Kerrick memo peaked my interest and I found this (#784):
Clarke was nervous about such a mission because he continued to fear that Bin Ladin might leave for someplace less accessible. He wrote Deputy National Security Advisor Donald Kerrick that one reliable source reported Bin Ladin's having met with Iraqi officials, who "may have offered him asylum." Other intelligence sources said that some Taliban leaders, though not Mullah Omar, had urged Bin Ladin to go to Iraq. If Bin Ladin actually moved to Iraq, wrote Clarke, his network would be at Saddam Hussein's service, and it would be "virtually impossible" to find him. Better to get Bin Ladin in Afghanistan, Clarke declared.They could not afford for this info to come out before the election.
Incredible! and Dick Cheney's failure to reveal the medical condition of a private citizen is the top MSM priority.