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Report of the 9/11 Commission

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Author Topic: Report of the 9/11 Commission  (Read 4297 times)
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« Reply #1440 on: September 08, 2009, 12:41:30 am »

38. For the statistics, see DOS report,"Workload Statistics by Post Regions for All Visa Classes" June 18, 2004. One post-9/11 screening process, known as Condor, has conducted over 130,000 extra name-checks. DOS letter, Karl Hofmann to the Commission, Apr. 5, 2004.The checks have caused significant delays in some cases but have never resulted in visas being denied on terrorism grounds. For a discussion of visa delays, see General Accounting Office report,"Border Security: Improvements Needed to Reduce Time Taken to Adjudicate Visas for Science Students and Scholars," Feb. 2004.We do not know all the reasons why visa applications have dropped so significantly. Several factors beyond the visa process itself include the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System, which requires additional screening processes for certain groups from Arab and Muslim countries; the Iraq war; and per

haps cyclical economic factors. For the cost to the United States of visa backlogs, see National Foreign Trade Council report,"Visa Backlog Costs U.S. Exporters More Than $30 Billion Since 2002, New Study Finds,"June 2, 2004 (online at

39.These issues are on the G-8 agenda.White House press release, "G-8 Secure and Facilitated Travel Initiative (SAFTI)," June 9, 2004 (online at Lax passport issuance standards are among the vulnerabilities exploited by terrorists, possibly including two of the 9/11 hijackers. Three models exist for strengthened prescreening: (1) better screening by airlines, such as the use of improved document authentication technology; (2) posting of border agents or inspectors in foreign airports to work cooperatively with foreign counterparts; and (3) establishing a full preinspection regime, such as now exists for travel to the United States from Canada and Ireland. All three models should be pursued, in addition to electronic prescreening .

40. Among the more important problems to address is that of varying transliterations of the same name. For example, the current lack of a single convention for transliterating Arabic names enabled the 19 hijackers to vary the spelling of their names to defeat name-based watchlist systems and confuse any potential efforts to locate them. While the gradual introduction of biometric identifiers will help, that process will take years, and a name match will always be useful.The ICAO should discuss the adoption of a standard requiring a digital code for all names that need to be translated into the Roman alphabet, ensuring one common spelling for all countries.

41. On achieving more reliable identification, see Markle Foundation task force report, Creating a Trusted Information Network for Homeland Security (Markle Foundation, 2003), p. 72 (online at

42. General Accounting Office report, Mass Transit: Federal Action Could Help Transit Agencies Address Security Challenges, GAO-03-263, Dec. 2002 (online at

13 How to Do It? A Different Way of Organizing the Government

1.The Bush administration clarified the respective missions of the different intelligence analysis centers in a letter sent by Secretary Ridge, DCI Tenet, FBI Director Mueller, and TTIC Director Brennan to Senators Susan Collins and Carl Levin on April 13, 2004.The letter did not mention any element of the Department of Defense. It stated that the DCI would define what analytical resources he would transfer from the CTC to TTIC no later than June 1, 2004. DCI Tenet subsequently told us that he decided that TTIC would have primary responsibility for terrorism analysis but that the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency would grow their own analysts.TTIC will have tasking authority over terrorism analysts in other intelligence agencies, although there will need to be a board to supervise deconfliction. George Tenet interview (July 2, 2004).We have not received any details regarding this plan.

2."TTIC has no operational authority. However,TTIC has the authority to task collection and analysis from Intelligence Community agencies, the FBI, and DHS through tasking mechanisms we will create.The analytic work conducted at TTIC creates products that inform each of TTIC's partner elements, as well as other Federal departments and agencies as appropriate." Letter from Ridge and others to Collins and Levin, Apr. 13, 2004.

3. Donald Rumsfeld prepared statement, Mar. 23, 2004, p. 20.

4. In this conception, the NCTC should plan actions, assigning responsibilities for operational direction and execution to other agencies. It would be built on TTIC and would be supported by the intelligence community as TTIC is now.Whichever route is chosen, the scarce analytical resources now dispersed among TTIC, the Defense Intelligence Agency's Joint Interagency Task Force-Combatting Terrorism (JITF-CT), and the DCI's Counterterrorist Center (CTC) should be concentrated more effectively than they are now.

    * The DCI's Counterterrorist Center would become a CIA unit, to handle the direction and execution of tasks assigned to the CIA. It could have detailees from other agencies, as it does now, to perform this operational mission. It would yield much of the broader, strategic analytic duties and personnel to the NCTC.The CTC would rely on the restructured CIA (discussed in section 13.2) to organize, train, and equip its personnel.
    * Similarly, the FBI's Counterterrorism Division would remain, as now, the operational arm of the Bureau to combat terrorism. As it does now, it would work with other agencies in carrying out these missions, retaining the JTTF structure now in place.The Counterterrorism Division would rely on the FBI's Office of Intelligence to train and equip its personnel, helping to process and report the information gathered in the field.
    * The Defense Department's unified commands-SOCOM, NORTHCOM, and CENTCOM-would be the joint operational centers taking on DOD tasks. Much of the excellent analytical talent that has been assembled in the Defense Intelligence Agency's JITF-CT should merge into the planned NCTC.
    * The Department of Homeland Security's Directorate for Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection should retain its core duties, but the NCTC should have the ultimate responsibility for producing net assessments that utilize Homeland Security's analysis of domestic vulnerabilities and integrate all-source analysis of foreign intelligence about the terrorist enemy.
    * The State Department's counterterrorism office would be a critical participant in the NCTC's work, taking the lead in directing the execution of the counterterrorism foreign policy mission.

The proposed National Counterterrorism Center should offer one-stop shopping to agencies with counterterrorism and homeland security responsibilities.That is, it should be an authoritative reference base on the transnational terrorist organizations: their people, goals, strategies, capabilities, networks of contacts and support, the context in which they operate, and their characteristic habits across the life cycle of operations-recruitment, reconnaissance, target selection, logistics, and travel. For example, this Center would offer an integrated depiction of groups like al Qaeda or Hezbollah worldwide, overseas, and in the United States.

The NCTC will not eliminate the need for the executive departments to have their own analytic units. But it would enable agency-based analytic units to become smaller and more efficient. In particular, it would make it possible for these agency-based analytic units to concentrate on analysis that is tailored to their agency's specific responsibilities.

A useful analogy is in military intelligence.There, the Defense Intelligence Agency and the service production agencies (like the Army's National Ground Intelligence Center) are the institutional memory and reference source for enemy order of battle, enemy organization, and enemy equipment.Yet the Joint Staff and all the theater commands still have their own J-2s.They draw on the information they need, tailoring and applying it to their operational needs.As they learn more from their tactical operations, they pass intelligence of enduring value back up to the Defense Intelligence Agency and the services so it can be evaluated, form part of the institutional memory, and help guide future collection.

In our proposal, that reservoir of institutional memory about terrorist organizations would function for the government as a whole, and would be in the NCTC.

5. The head of the NCTC would thus help coordinate the operational side of these agencies, like the FBI's Counterterrorism Division.The intelligence side of these agencies, such as the FBI's Office of Intelligence, would be overseen by the National Intelligence Director we recommend later in this chapter.

6.The quotation goes on:"It includes gaps in intelligence, but also intelligence that, like a string of pearls too precious to wear, is too sensitive to give to those who need it. It includes the alarm that fails to work, but also the alarm that has gone off so often it has been disconnected. It includes the unalert watchman, but also the one who knows he'll be chewed out by his superior if he gets higher authority out of bed. It includes the contingencies that occur to no one, but also those that everyone assumes somebody else is taking care of. It includes straightforward procrastination, but also decisions protracted by internal disagreement. It includes, in addition, the inability of individual human beings to rise to the occasion until they are sure it is the occasion-which is usually too late. . . . Finally, as at Pearl Harbor, surprise may include some measure of genuine novelty introduced by the enemy, and some sheer bad luck." Thomas Schelling, foreword to Roberta Wohlstetter, Pearl Harbor:Warning and Decision (Stanford Univ. Press, 1962), p. viii.

7. For the Goldwater-Nichols Act, see Pub. L. No. 99-433, 100 Stat. 992 (1986). For a general discussion of the act, see Gordon Lederman, Reorganizing the Joint Chiefs of Staff:The Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986 (Greenwood, 1999); James Locher, Victory on the Potomac:The Goldwater-Nichols Act Unifies the Pentagon (Texas A&M Univ. Press, 2003).

8. For a history of the DCI's authority over the intelligence community, see CIA report, Michael Warner ed., Central Intelligence; Origin and Evolution (CIA Center for the Study of Intelligence, 2001). For the Director's view of his community authorities, see DCI directive, "Director of Central Intelligence Directive 1/1:The Authorities and Responsibilities of the Director of Central Intelligence as Head of the U.S. Intelligence Community," Nov. 19, 1998.

9. As Norman Augustine, former chairman of Lockheed Martin Corporation, writes regarding power in the government,"As in business, cash is king. If you are not in charge of your budget, you are not king." Norman Augustine, Managing to Survive in Washington:A Beginner's Guide to High-Level Management in Government (Center for Strategic and International Studies, 2000), p. 20.

10. For the DCI and the secretary of defense, see 50 U.S.C. § 403-6(a). If the director does not concur with the secretary's choice, then the secretary is required to notify the president of the director's nonconcurrence. Ibid. For the DCI and the attorney general, see 50 U.S.C. § 403-6(b)(3).

11.The new program would replace the existing National Foreign Intelligence Program.
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