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Posted on 09/15/2001 1:32:09 AM PDT by Uncle Bill

The Failure of U.S. Intelligence and the Road Ahead for America
Charles R. Smith
Thursday, Sept. 13, 2001

Osama bin Laden is an American creation. He worked for the CIA as a freedom fighter during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Bin Laden is well trained in the arts of secure communications, unconventional warfare, and he even knows how to fire the U.S.-made Stinger missile; all gratis the Central Intelligence Agency.

If anyone had a lead on bin Laden it should have been the CIA. The CIA has extensive contacts inside Afghanistan and Pakistan. Yet, the CIA missed his attack on the USS Cole.

The CIA relies on the NSA and its great ring of American listening satellites. The NSA missed the Pakistan nuclear tests and did not intercept bin Laden until after the events of Sept. 11.

Where Is the NSA?

The super-secret National Security Agency has grown deaf over the years but not due to advancement of Internet technology. As former NSA Director Adm. McConnell noted, the NSA is overwhelmed by the absolute volume of messages. If you intercept a hundred million messages a day, which do you try to read?

Attempts to blame the Internet and not being able to read bin Laden's e-mail are lame excuses for wasting billions on ineffective equipment and software. Satellites are great at tracking military targets but are useless against a terrorist cell that uses hand written notes carried by trusted couriers.

Why are the directors of the CIA and NSA still in place? Why has CIA head George Tenet not tendered his resignation like Adm. Kimmel after Pearl Harbor?

Former FBI Director Louis Freeh has much responsibility to bear for not detecting and preventing this act. Freeh and his boss at the Department of Justice, Janet Reno, turned the federal law enforcement system into an international joke. The spectacular failures of the FBI under Freeh's directorship are too numerous to mention except one.

Freeh placed his trusted associate Robert Hanssen into his last position with the FBI as counter-intelligence director in New York City. The same Robert Hannsen later confessed to being a Russian spy. If anyone is not qualified to comment on what to do after September 11 - it is Louis Freeh.

Where is the FAA?

The FAA should have stopped the attack at the airports. Yet, the FAA is also known as the "tombstone" agency for good reason. It is not designed as a law enforcement agency, but it has the security responsibility for airports. Again, the warnings were there. FAA and GAO investigators have been able to easily penetrate secure areas inside U.S. airports and critical air control facilities.

"In assessing the adequacy of computer security at the FAA earlier this year we found significant weaknesses that compromise the integrity of FAA's air traffic control operations," states a 1998 GAO testimony.

"This review resulted in a number of findings too sensitive to discuss in today's open hearing; accordingly, my statement will refer only to findings and recommendations contained in the unclassified version of our limited official use report. We can tell you openly, though, that we found evidence of air traffic control systems that had been penetrated, and critical ATC data had been compromised."

The Air Force has horrible communications with the FAA. The very first role of the U.S. Air Force is to control American airspace. The USAF failed. A city air and missile defense system is clearly necessary. U.S. air defense has suffered decades of neglect. Our cities and critical industries are vulnerable to air and missile attack.

The Air Force must keep an active strip alert aircraft ready to intercept incoming attacks. This will require more pilots, more planes and more training. Fighter pilots must have the standing authority to shoot down a hijacked airliner if necessary.

We must also institute area defense of critical targets. We saw Patriot missiles outside of Tel Aviv. We now see an Aegis missile warship sitting just off the waters of New York. U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine jet fighters are flying constant patrols in and around the shores of America. Perhaps it is time for a Patriot battery or two in metropolitan areas and at critical sites.

The restarting of the sky marshal program is clearly needed, but that is simply not enough. The next attack will come in an unexpected location. The training to be passive hostages is over. The actions of a brave few in the sky over Pennsylvania may have saved thousands on the ground and it now serves as an example. We must fight back.

It is not time to sit idle and let the thugs take over but band together to fight for our very lives. Anyone, anywhere can thwart an act of future terror sometimes only with a single word to authorities ahead of time. Be aware.

Bin Laden has an extensive network of friends and associates from various nationalities spanning the globe. His operatives are well trained to blend into the population and look ordinary. The urge to vent on obvious minorities will serve only to distract energy that should instead be focused on the real enemy.

Know we are under attack. There are professional foreign soldiers working on American soil trying to kill you. In a 1999 interview, GRU Col. Stanislav Lunev told me of trained soldiers from various nations that work and live here in America. These professionals are armed with stored caches of weapons and bombs. They are here waiting for a day of future activation and combat on U.S. soil.

Col. Lunev also noted that Russia and China had even prepositioned nuclear, chemical and biological weapons on American soil with the intent of destroying our nation. Immediately after that interview, arms caches were found in Europe.

Former President Bill Clinton and most of America have ignored the information.

The Next One

In short, Sept. 11 was bad but the next one will be worse. In 1999, I wrote that a single business jet armed with a suitcase bomb could fly to ground zero with satellite navigation accuracy and a GPS autopilot. Such an unmanned flight in the crowded skies of Washington D.C. would go unnoticed until the final fatal second.

The surprise nuclear attack could kill the entire U.S. leadership in a one fatal stroke. U.S. military leaders in the Pentagon, the White House, Congress, the Supreme Court, and nearly a million American citizens will die in a single flash.

The price of freedom is too often measured in blood. We, the people of the United States, are the targets of World War III. Missiles are aimed at our cities and professional soldiers are on our soil trying to kill our leaders and us.

Nations harbor terrorists; nations provide support, homes, bases, money and cooperation. Afghanistan, Sudan, Libya, Syria, Iran, Iraq and North Korea provide training bases for suicide terrorists. These terrorists serve as free-lance mercenaries and often assume this role directly as unconventional forces working for the host military.

Nations also suffer the consequences of war. In this war all targets are strategic. When we go on the offensive we should be prepared to use all the weapons in the U.S. inventory. There must not be any quarter given. The only way to deal with a Kamikaze is to kill him before he kills you. We must send them to hell.

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 911; bushknew
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Comment #21 Removed by Moderator

To: Uncle Bill; madrussian; malarski; Askel5; GROUCHOTWO; Zviadist; kristinn; Free the USA...
22 posted on 11/18/2001 12:50:29 AM PST by CommiesOut
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To: OKCSubmariner; roughrider; CommiesOut
Regarding the WH codes: Didn't Insight mag. report that during the Lewinski scandal the Mossad had tapped into their WH conversations?
23 posted on 11/18/2001 4:36:51 AM PST by GROUCHOTWO
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During the 9/11 attacks, were the codes of concern codes associated with Air Force One or the White House or both? Hanssen's possible role with the Russians may still be an explanation if they passed the codes to ME terrorists.
24 posted on 11/18/2001 8:45:12 AM PST by OKCSubmariner
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Comment #25 Removed by Moderator

To: Black Jade; Uncle Bill

26 posted on 11/21/2001 4:03:00 AM PST by philman_36
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To: Uncle Bill
27 posted on 11/21/2001 4:19:45 AM PST by Quix
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To: Black Jade
Thanks for the ping.

Hopefully people will begin to wake up and see how the people we are supposed to be trusting are playing deadly games with our lives.

It literally makes me want to vomit.

28 posted on 11/21/2001 6:30:29 AM PST by Aerial
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To: Uncle Bill
From some reports I have read...the CIA is a terrorist organization itself.
29 posted on 11/21/2001 6:32:28 AM PST by Aerial
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To: Aerial

Hmmmm ... well, you know what they say: "takes one to know one."
I suppose the opinion of the Soviets might be considered "expert" on the subject of terrorist sponsors.

30 posted on 11/21/2001 7:13:05 AM PST by Askel5
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Comment #31 Removed by Moderator

To: Black Jade; OKCSubmariner
Bush asks Daschle to limit Sept. 11 probes - January 29, 2002

Dick Cheney asks Daschle to Limit Sept. 11 probes

NOTE: London Report: Bin Laden May Hit NYSE - Date of Article: "October 5, 1999"

US agents told to back off bin Ladens after George W. Bush Became President

David Schippers represents several FBI agents who state that they are not being permitted to arrest certain terrorists. The agents and Jayna Davis had knowledge of the 9/11 attacks on Manhattan, prior to the attack, and attempted to provide that information to Attorney General John Ashcroft, but were unable to get past staffers and Ashcroft did not return calls to Schippers.

CIA Paid Afghans To Track Bin Laden - For 4 Years

CIA agent alleged to have met Bin Laden in July

We’ve Hit the Targets’
"Could the bombers have been stopped? NEWSWEEK has learned that while U.S. intelligence received no specific warning, the state of alert had been high during the past two weeks, and a particularly urgent warning may have been received the night before the attacks, causing some top Pentagon brass to cancel a trip. Why that same information was not available to the 266 people who died aboard the four hijacked commercial aircraft may become a hot topic on the Hill."

Bush's Faustian Deal With the Taliban
"$43 million to the Taliban rulers of Afghanistan"

"Freeh placed his trusted associate Robert Hanssen into his last position with the FBI as counter-intelligence director in New York City."

Israeli Security Issued Urgent Warning To CIA Of Large-Scale Terror Attacks

The Daily Telegraph
By David Wastell in Washington and Philip Jacobson in Jerusalem
September 16, 2001

ISRAELI intelligence officials say that they warned their counterparts in the United States last month that large-scale terrorist attacks on highly visible targets on the American mainland were imminent.

The attacks on the World Trade Centre's twin towers and the Pentagon were humiliating blows to the intelligence services, which failed to foresee them, and to the defence forces of the most powerful nation in the world, which failed to deflect them.

The Telegraph has learnt that two senior experts with Mossad, the Israeli military intelligence service, were sent to Washington in August to alert the CIA and FBI to the existence of a cell of as many of 200 terrorists said to be preparing a big operation.

"They had no specific information about what was being planned but linked the plot to Osama bin Laden and told the Americans that there were strong grounds for suspecting Iraqi involvement," said a senior Israeli security official.

The CIA has said that it had no hard information that would have led to the prevention of the hijacking, but the FBI said it believed that cells operating within America and totalling at least 50 terrorists were behind last week's devastating hijacks; the names of new suspects are being added to the list daily.

America's intelligence agencies are being widely blamed for their failure to predict the attacks, or anything like them, and for not discovering any of the terrorist cells before the hijackings on Tuesday. Some of those who took part had lived in the US for months, or even years.

Evidence that a clear Israeli warning was delivered to American authorities, but ignored, would be a further blow to the reputation of the CIA, which is under fire for its failure last week.

An administration official in Washington said: "If this is true then the refusal to take it seriously will mean heads will roll. It is quite credible that the CIA might not heed a Mossad warning: it has a history of being overcautious about Israeli information."

For years, staff at the Pentagon joked that they worked at "Ground Zero", the spot at which an incoming nuclear missile aimed at America's defences would explode. There is even a snack bar of that name in the central courtyard of the five-sided building, America's most obvious military bullseye.

This weekend, five days after that target was struck with devastating effect by a hijacked plane, the joking has stopped.

It is far from certain that any military commander would have had the courage to recommend shooting down a passenger airliner, even in the unprecedented circumstances of last Tuesday.

For three of the four airliners hijacked last week, however, the question did not even arise. Two pairs of combat fighters were scrambled into action but did not get near enough to shoot any of them down.

Norad, the command headquarters in Colorado responsible for defending all of North America from air attack, was notified of the first hijack at 8.38am and six minutes later two F-15 fighter jets were ordered into the air from Otis airforce base on Cape Cod.

Before they could take off, however, the first hijacked airliner crashed into the World Trade Centre's north tower at 8.46am. Six minutes later the two military jets were airborne, but when the second hijacked airliner hit the south tower shortly after 9am they were still 70 miles from Manhattan.

The only successful action against the hijackers was taken by passengers of the fourth airliner, whose heroic decision to fight back led to its crashing into the fields of Pennsylvania.

The reason lies in the strict distinction America draws between civil and military power, combined with the fact that until last week nobody had confronted the possibility that a terrorist hijacker might turn kamikaze pilot.

Although Norad has its own radar system to track aircraft over the US, its prime task is to watch for hostile aircraft approaching America from outside. "We assume anything originating in US airspace is friendly," said a spokesman.

For the same reason, the 20 or so American fighter planes on permanent full alert in case of a suspect intruder, were deployed at half a dozen bases in the likeliest flightpaths of an attack from the former Soviet Union, several hundred miles from New York or Washington DC.

All aircraft flying over American airspace are monitored and controlled by a network of 20 regional Federal Aviation Authority air traffic control centres, backed up by individual airport control towers. Military aircraft under Norad control can intervene with domestic traffic only if called on for help by their civilian colleagues.

That is what happened on Tuesday, but in no case was there apparently enough time after the FAA's warning for fighter planes to reach the hijacked airliners.

More puzzling, there were 45 minutes between air traffic controllers losing contact with the third airliner, which took off from Dulles airport just outside Washington, and its crash on to the Pentagon.

At that point, however, the aircraft was still flying on its intended course westwards. It may not have been until later, possibly after a passenger's mobile phone call to the Justice Department, that the civil authorities finally twigged what was happening.

It was not the military but civilian air traffic controllers at Washington's Reagan National Airport - tipped off by their colleagues at Dulles - who alerted the White House to the fact that an unauthorised jet was flying at full throttle towards it.

As shaken White House staff began a frantic evacuation, the aircraft banked, performed a 270 degree turn and sailed past lines of aghast drivers on expressways to crash explosively into the west side of the Pentagon.

If the airliner had approached much nearer to the White House it might have been shot down by the Secret Service, who are believed to have a battery of ground-to-air Stinger missiles ready to defend the president's home.

The Pentagon is not similarly defended. "We are an open society," said a military official. "We don't have soldiers positioned on the White House lawn and we don't have the Pentagon ringed with bunkers and tanks."

It emerged last night that two F-16 fighters took off from Langley airforce base in Virginia just two minutes before the American Airlines Boeing 767 crashed into the Pentagon, again too late to have a chance of intercepting.

Only the fourth hijacked airliner, which was less than 30 minutes from Washington when it crashed, might have been successfully intercepted: air traffic controllers at a regional centre in Nashua, New Hampshire, told a Boston newspaper that at least one F-16 fighter was in hot pursuit, and defence officials confirmed that the fighters already launched from Langley were on their way to intercept the flight when passengers apparently took matters into their own hands.

Deep inside the Pentagon, in the hardened bunkers of the National Military Joint Intelligence Centre, senior officials were said to be "stunned" by the terrorists' achievement.

Within minutes of the attack American forces around the world were put on one of their highest states of alert - Defcon 3, just two notches short of all-out war - and F-16s from Andrews Air Force Base were in the air over Washington DC.

A flotilla of warships was deployed along the east coast from bases in Virginia and Florida, with two aircraft-carriers to help protect the airspace around New York and Washington DC. Off the west coast, a further 10 ships put to sea to take up station close to the shore.

Extra Awacs aerial reconnaissance aircraft were sent aloft to ensure that nothing other than military aircraft flew in American airspace - a home-grown version of the "no-fly zones" enforced for many years over Iraq. For much of the rest of the week, the unsettling roar of F-15 and F-16 fighters patrolling the skies high above America's biggest cities replaced the usual rumble of commercial airliners.

On Friday, in a tacit admission that America must in future be better prepared, Donald Rumsfeld, the Defence Secretary, announced that fighters were being put on a 15-minute "strip" alert at 26 bases nationwide.

There was anger among politicians at what many saw as the failure of the intelligence services, and some officials on Capitol Hill began canvassing support for a move to force George Tenet, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, originally appointed by Clinton, to step aside.

James Traficant, a Democratic congressman from Pennsylvania, said that for years Congress had poured billions of dollars of largely unscrutinised funding into America's intelligence services, "yet we learnt of every one of these tragedies from Fox News and CNN"- two television channels. Senator Richard Shelby, a Republican member of the Senate intelligence committee, said it was "a failure of great dimension".

There are moves to address one severe shortcoming noted by many critics: the CIA's reliance on technological rather than "human" means to gather information, and its weakness as a means of finding out what Osama bin Laden is up to.

During the Clinton administration, Congress banned the CIA from recruiting as a paid informer anyone with a criminal record or who was guilty of human rights violations. James Woolsey, another former CIA director, said: "Inside bin Laden's organisation there are only people who want to be human rights violators. If you don't recruit them then you don't recruit anyone."

ISRAELI SPIES IN AMERICA - Accuracy in Media(AIM) - By Reed Irvine and Cliff Kincaid

FBI Probes Espionage at Clinton White House - Insight Magazine

U.S. Police and Intelligence Hit by Spy Network

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4

The CIA in the New World Order

David Schippers represents several FBI agents who state that they are not being permitted to arrest certain terrorists. The agents and Jayna Davis had knowledge of the 9/11 attacks on Manhattan, prior to the attack, and attempted to provide that information to Attorney General John Ashcroft, but were unable to get past staffers and Ashcroft did not return calls to Schippers.

Obstruction in terror investigations - FBI agent alleges feds stopped probes that may have prevented 9-11

CIA Dragnet Failed To Stop Terror Attacks

CIA and FBI - Prior Knowledge

Prior Knowledge - CIA - FBI - NSA

FBI 'Ignored Leads'

"If you don't get hit by a North Korean ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile) over the next five years, chances are you will suffer a horrible, premature death when Osama bin Laden poisons your hometown water supply."
CIA intelligence chief John Gannon

32 posted on 02/02/2002 1:46:49 AM PST by Uncle Bill
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To: OKCSubmariner
Remembrance Archive: Free Republic Threads From 9-11-01

Click me:

33 posted on 02/02/2002 2:00:55 AM PST by Uncle Bill
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To: OKCSubmariner
Probing September 11

Washington Times | 1/20/02

Posted on 1/20/02 2:00 AM Pacific by kattracks

Four months have passed since the September 11 attacks, long enough for us to be able to start looking, soberly and intently, at why our intelligence and defense establishments didn't detect the threat and prevent the disasters. America needs to know how the events of September 11 came to pass and what needs to be done to prevent anything like them from happening again. Plans for congressional commissions and all sorts of other inquiries are being tossed around. But, before we get any further along, we need to be sure that the mechanism chosen and the people involved are aimed at an investigation, not an inquisition. In other words, the fault of individuals is one aspect of the investigation, but it is important, as well, that we probe what went wrong with our defenses.

Investigators can learn a lot from the commission that investigated the Pearl Harbor disaster, which is the only comparable event in our history subjected to this type of scrutiny. In the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, America wanted to know who was to blame. Obviously someone was: How else could the Japanese catch us unaware and destroy much of our Pacific Fleet so easily? Despite being led by Supreme Court Justice Owen Roberts, the investigation made more than its share of mistakes. The Roberts Commission didn't take much of the testimony of senior military officers under oath. The commissioners weren't given access to the secret "Magic" reports, which were decoded Japanese diplomatic and military messages from both before and after the attack. Also, the investigation was done too quickly. Only seven weeks after the attack, the commission reported that the on-scene commanders, Rear Adm. Husband Kimmel and Maj. Gen. Walter Short, were guilty of dereliction of duty. Indeed, they were.

Congress and President Bush will soon have to sort out the proposals for how the events of September 11 will be investigated. One is for the House and Senate Select Committees on Intelligence to conduct a joint investigation, and there are proposals to set up panels of 10 to 12 members. The number of commissioners is less important than who they are and what they are tasked to do. The commission should be composed of experts in intelligence, law enforcement and the armed forces. The commission must not only be given access to all of the secret materials it desires, it should be briefed on and offered access to what we have. It should be given the power to subpoena people and records, include people who are not government employees, and it may need an adjunct panel of representatives of our overseas allies. The commission should be chartered to act in two stages: first, to investigate what happened and report the facts; second, to draft an agenda of changes needed to reduce, if not eliminate, our vulnerability to terrorism. Congress may not be able to resist convening its own investigation, but it probably should do so only after the experts make their report.

CIA 'ignored warning' on al Qaeda

Financial Times
By Gwen Robinson in Washington
January 12, 2002

A former US intelligence agent has alleged that the CIA ignored detailed warnings he passed on in 1998 that a Gulf state was harbouring an al-Qaeda cell led by two known terrorists.

When FBI agents attempted to arrest them, the Gulf state's government provided the men with alias passports, the former agent claims.

The allegation is contained in a controversial new book on US intelligence operations in the Middle East by Robert Baer, a former case officer in the CIA's directorate of operations.

The book, See No Evil, is to be published later this month featuring blacked-out sections which obscure passages that the CIA's publications review board claimed were classified.

An excerpt is being published this weekend by the US magazine Vanity Fair.

After months of acrimonious negotiation last year with the CIA over passages of the book, Mr Baer added further detail after the September 11 terrorist attacks on the US.

Among fresh details are an account of how, after he left the CIA in 1997 and became a consultant in Beirut, Mr Baer was advising a prince in a Gulf royal family.

A military associate of the prince, he said, had last year warned Mr Baer that a "spectacular terrorist operation" was being planned and would take place shortly.

Mr Baer said he also provided him a computer record of "hundreds" of secret al-Qaeda operatives in the Gulf region, many in Saudi Arabia. Mr Baer said that in August 2001, at the military officer's request, he offered the list to the Saudi Arabian government. But an aide to the Saudi defence minister, Prince Sultan, refused to look at the list or to pass them (the names) on.

On the al-Qaeda cell in the Gulf state, which is not named in the book, Mr Baer claims the two men who led the cell, Shawqi Islambuli and Khalid Shaykh Muhammad, escaped arrest and settled in Prague.

The information Mr Baer gave to the CIA was not followed up, he said.

In the book, Mr Baer also claims: That in 1996, Osama bin Laden established a strategic alliance with Iran to co-ordinate terrorist attacks against the US. In 1995, the National Security Council intentionally aborted a military coup against Saddam Hussein, partly orchestrated by Mr Baer, who at the time was working to help organise the opposition. In 1991, the CIA intentionally shut down its operations in Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia.

Some of Mr Baer's charges, such as the White House's decision to withdraw support from the Iraqi opposition, are in the public realm.

But a former CIA analyst who specialised in the Middle East said on Friday night: "What's new, and potentially explosive, is the detail - this book will definitely put focus on the issue of the CIA and State Department's handling of the Iraqi opposition."

FAA security took no action against Moussaoui

"Do you realize how serious this is? The man wants training on a 747. A 747, fully loaded with fuel, could be used as a weapon," - "AUGUST 2001"

Flight School Warned FBI of Suspicions

CIA reportedly warned FBI about one suspect

"In 1995, the CIA and the FBI learned that Osama bin Laden was planning to hijack U.S. airliners and use them as bombs to attack important targets in the U.S."

Why the Bojinka Blackout?


Suspected foreign bombers caught in Philippines

Congressman: FBI Ignored Repeated Warnings

34 posted on 02/02/2002 4:23:14 AM PST by Uncle Bill
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To: OKCSubmariner
Preparing for the Terrorist Threat - "January 15, 2001"

Spy Agency Destroys Data, Angering Others In Probe

The Boston Globe
By John Donnelly
October 27, 2001

WASHINGTON - Analysts at the super-secret National Security Agency, acting on advice from the organization's lawyers, have been destroying data collected on Americans or US companies since the Sept. 11 attacks - angering other intelligence agencies seeking leads in the antiterrorist probe, according to two people with close intelligence ties.

Some Central Intelligence Agency analysts and staff members of the House and Senate intelligence committees fear that important information that could aid in the investigation, and perhaps even redirect it, is being lost in the process.

In heated discussions with the CIA and congressional staff, NSA lawyers have turned down requests to preserve the intelligence because the agency's regulations prohibit the collection of any information on US citizens. The lawyers said that preserving the information would invite lawsuits from people whose names appear in the surveillance reports, according to the two, both of whom are former senior US officials.

But people familiar with the NSA, including some who have worked for it, dismiss the idea that the agency needed to destroy the information immediately. Although that's been the NSA's practice in the past, they believe the NSA's own rules allow it to change that practice in the face of the threat of terrorism.

They believe the real reason behind the agency's stance is its longstanding distaste for sharing raw data with other intelligence organizations.

''There are some people in law enforcement who are very unhappy about it, because they need investigative leads,'' said Vincent Cannistraro, former director of counterterrorism at the CIA.

The NSA spies on foreigners and foreign governments, using high-tech operations to intercept phone calls, e-mail messages, and faxes around the world; collecting data from satellite operations; and translating documents in foreign languages.

By law, the NSA cannot spy on a citizen of the United States, an immigrant lawfully admitted to this country for permanent residence, or a US corporation. But it can, with court permission, target foreigners inside the United States, including diplomats.

If, in the course of surveillance, NSA analysts learn that it involves a US citizen or company, ''they are dumping that information right then and there,'' said the second official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

''There's a view of a lot of people in the intelligence community who say, `Wait a minute, it could be useful to the FBI; let them look at it.' It's been the subject of some heated discussion between the agency [CIA] and the NSA,'' said the official.

The NSA yesterday declined to comment on the issue. The CIA also declined to comment.

In the aftermath of the air attacks, former US officials and analysts say that information-sharing has proceeded fairly well between the CIA and the FBI. But their relationships with the NSA have not significantly changed, the officials said. The NSA - which is based in Fort Meade, Md., and operates under the Department of Defense - distributes analysis summaries of its intelligence-gathering to a select number of senior US officials, but it doesn't give its raw data - for example, the transcripts from wiretaps - to anyone. It is such raw data that are especially prized by intelligence analysts because they provide more context and leads than the distilled summaries.

It was unclear whether the government's new Homeland Security Office, led by former Pennsylvania governor Tom Ridge, could help mediate the dispute, current and former officials said.

The antiterrorism bill signed by President Bush yesterday does not address the NSA's sharing of domestic data. It does, however, give the FBI greater freedom to share some of its investigative material with other intelligence agencies.

US Representative Charles F. Bass, a New Hampshire Republican who had served for four years on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said he knows of a long list of problems arising from the rules governing the NSA, as well as the NSA's culture of keeping information in-house.

''I think it could be the biggest information problem that we face,'' Bass said in an interview. ''If somebody is abroad and they even mention the name of an American citizen, bang, off goes the tap, and no more information is collected.'' Once a US citizen or corporation is mentioned, NSA's rules dictate that it must stop that surveillance.

Bass said there should be a further examination of facilitating intelligence sharing. ''For four years, I listened to stories of intelligence failures, and it wasn't due to incompetence of anyone in the system, but that the system is so arcane.''

A congressional outcry in the mid-1970s on US intelligence abuses against American citizens led to many of the federal regulations strictly prohibiting the CIA and NSA from domestic spying.

One senior US intelligence official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said those civil liberty safeguards remain as important today.

''The NSA has good and longstanding reasons to destroy information collected domestically,'' the official said. ''If they do anything short of destroying the information, that smacks of domestic spying, and we have been through that before and don't want to do it again.''

The intelligence official said the NSA did share information ''in cases to ward off a threat.''

But the former US officials said many investigators now were extremely frustrated that many possible leads stemming from the Sept. 11 attack weren't being followed because of the NSA position.

''The intelligence committee staffs on the Hill are pounding hard to get something done on this,'' said one of the former officials. ''It should be done now, but it's going to take this government six months at a minimum to get its act together and get everyone in the intelligences communities in sync.''

Cannistraro said the intelligence agencies have made strides in recent years.

But the issues now with the NSA, he said, illustrate that much more could be done.

National Security Agency Defends Eavesdrop Use
Under attack from privacy advocates in the U.S. and Europe, the director of the National Security Agency said Wednesday that his agency snoops on Americans only under rigid controls and never engages in foreign economic espionage for U.S. corporations."

How the National Security Agency is monitoring you

National Security Agency: Enemy of the State?

Click me:

FR Recent Echelon


ECHELON: America's Secret Global Surveillance Network

Britain's spy posts accused of listening in on business

US Accused of 'Promis' Information Warfare (Echelon)

London Helps Washington Spy on Europe

Ex-NSA expert warns of concealed backdoors

Who's Reading Your Mail? Feds Have Their Eye on You

35 posted on 02/02/2002 7:05:16 AM PST by Uncle Bill
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Comment #36 Removed by Moderator

Comment #37 Removed by Moderator

To: Black Jade; Uncle Bill
You guys rock!
38 posted on 02/04/2002 8:48:23 PM PST by nunya bidness
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To: Black Jade
Someone Someone Gate
39 posted on 02/04/2002 9:22:11 PM PST by Spar
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To: Uncle Bill
Wasn't Shawqi Islambuli one of the chief planners of the '98 embassy bombings?
40 posted on 02/05/2002 3:47:43 AM PST by aristeides
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