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The Failure of U.S. Intelligence and the Road Ahead for America

Thursday, 13 September 2001 12:00 AM

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.

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.

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. 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.

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.

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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...
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Thursday, 13 September 2001 12:00 AM
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