From: Otis Willie
Subject: CIA, FBI Chiefs to Talk at Inquiry
Organization: The American War Library
NNTP-Posting-Date: Sat, 15 Jun 2002 17:42:47 EDT
Date: Sat, 15 Jun 2002 21:42:47 GMT
CIA, FBI Chiefs to Talk at Inquiry
(EXCERPT) Sat Jun 15, 2:22 AM ET, by PETE YOST, Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) - The congressional panels examining CIA ( news - web
sites) and FBI ( news - web sites) errors leading up to the Sept. 11
attacks will look for answers next week from the agencies' leaders.
CIA Director George Tenet and FBI Director Robert Mueller are expected
to appear Tuesday and Wednesday before a joint session of the House
and Senate intelligence committees looking into the September attacks.
Sen. Richard Shelby ( news, bio, voting record) of Alabama, the
ranking Republican on the intelligence committee, said the appearance
of "these two very important witnesses" behind closed doors could
delay plans to open the closed hearings starting June 25. Their
appearances might extend into that week, he said.
"We want to make sure we're ready for opening the hearings," Shelby
said. "A lot depends on what happens next week. We should not let the
calendar drive this investigation. Take as much time and follow leads
wherever they go."
The House and Senate intelligence panels are looking into problems
that preceded the attacks, including the failure of security agencies
to share information and follow leads about possible terror attacks by
Osama bin Laden ( news - web sites)'s al-Qaida network.
Tenet told lawmakers in an open Feb. 6 session of the Senate
Intelligence Committee that he would welcome the review of the CIA's
"It is a record of discipline, strategy, focus and action," he said.
"We are proud of that record. We have been at war with al-Qaida for
over five years."
In response to a question by Shelby, Tenet also said, "Is there a
piece of information out there, sir, that nobody saw? That's not the
On Friday, Shelby said that Tenet "was in denial basically" in
providing the assurance to the committee in February.
"He was the only person in the room who thought there were no massive
intelligence failures; he was standing alone," Shelby said of Tenet's
Tenet and Mueller will be the second and third witnesses to appear
before the joint inquiry, which began June 4. On Tuesday, the panel
heard from Richard A. Clarke, President Bush ( news - web sites)'s
cyberterrorism adviser and former President Clinton ( news - web
sites)'s counterterrorism coordinator.
Much criticism has been focused on the FBI for its lack of an
aggressive response to a memo written by a Phoenix agent in July and
the arrest of Zacarias Moussaoui in August. The Phoenix memo warned
that U.S. flight schools might be training terrorist pilots. In the
Moussaoui case, FBI headquarters blocked an aggressive investigation
of the flight school student, now charged with conspiring in the Sept.
The CIA, meanwhile, has been accused of doing too little to warn about
two of the eventual Sept. 11 hijackers, including Khalid Almihdhar,
whose name the agency had known for more than a year and a half before
the Sept. 11 attacks.
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