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From: Otis Willie
Subject: Three FBI agents on trying to prevent another 9/11
Organization: The American War Library
X-Newsreader: Forte Agent 1.8/32.548
NNTP-Posting-Date: Mon, 29 Dec 2003 16:57:02 EST
Date: Mon, 29 Dec 2003 21:57:02 GMT
Three FBI agents on trying to prevent another 9/11
(EXCERPT) By Faye Bowers |
Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
WASHINGTON - One of the country's top counterterrorism officials still
remembers vividly the moment he lost it. It wasn't in the first few
anxiety-fraught hours after the 9/11 attacks, while he and his
colleagues focused incessantly on who was behind the heinous acts and
whether more were in the works.
It was when he finally made his way home, almost two days later, as
the sun peeped over the horizon. Before falling into bed, he checked
his e-mail. What popped up was a short line from a former co-worker
that said simply: "IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT."
Tears spilled down his cheeks. He still tears up recalling it today.
The personal sense of responsibility for those attacks was - and
remains - overwhelming.
His response offers a rare look into the emotional world of the FBI's
counterterrorism clique - a group of largely faceless bureaucrats
charged with helping to protect the US in the most intense shadow war
on terrorism the nation has ever known.
It is a world that combines public policy and human burden to an
unusual degree. While it is true that no one agency or group is
entirely responsible for safeguarding a nation from attack, the 70 or
so analysts who now make up the FBI's counterterrorism unit lie as
close to the brainstem of the terror war as any.
They are the ones, for instance, who recommended that the US raise the
threat level from yellow (elevated) to orange (high) just before
Christmas. They are the ones responsible for making the call to cancel
the Air France flights from Paris to...
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