Alphabet City at 911 probe: AG’s, FBI, CIA

mini_pop_sn.jpg Tuesday (04/13/04):
9:30am – 11:00am Louis J. Freeh (former Dir. FBI)
11:00am – 12:30pm Janet Reno (former AG)
12:30pm – 1:30pm Break
1:30pm – 2:00pm Staff statement
2:00pm – 3:30pm Thomas J. Pickard (ex Acting Dir. FBI)
—— Amb. J. Cofer Black (CIA Counterterrorism)
3:30pm – 4:45pm John Ashcroft (AG)

Wednesday (04/14/04):
9:00am – 9:30am Staff Statement
9:30am – 11:00am George J. Tenet (Dir. CIA)
11:00am – 1:00pm Mr. John O. Brennan (Terrorist Threat Integration)
—— Lt Gen Patrick M. Hughes (Homeland Security)
—— Mr. John S. Pistole (FBI Counterterrorism)
—— Mr. James L. Pavitt (Dep. Operations CIA)
1:00pm – 2:00pm Break
2:00pm – 2:30pm Staff Statement
2:30pm – 4:30pm Robert S. Mueller III (Dir. FBI)
—— Ms. Maureen Baginski (FBI)
4:30pm Hearing concludes. Press Availability.

Schedule from the (9-11 commission official site).

Preview of the questioning:

Much of the questioning of Ashcroft and others today is expected to center on the summer of 2001, when the U.S. government was experiencing an unprecedented surge in intelligence information indicating plans for a terrorist attack by al Qaeda. On Sept. 10 of that year, Ashcroft formally denied a $50 million request from the FBI to hire more counterterrorism agents and intelligence researchers, according to witnesses and Justice Department documents. Pickard, who took over as acting director after Freeh left in June 2001, has privately told the commission that he was frustrated by Ashcroft’s lack of interest in terrorism, officials familiar with his remarks say. …

“Since I became director of the FBI in September 2001, the Department of Justice and the attorney general have provided substantial support to FBI budget requests, including increases for our counterterrorism needs,” said Mueller, who is scheduled to testify tomorrow. But a budget document dated Oct. 12, 2001, shows that the White House slashed an emergency request for FBI counterterrorism funds by two-thirds and that Ashcroft, working within those limits, cut the FBI’s request for items such as computer networking, foreign-language intercepts and cybersecurity. (04/13/04 WP/Eggen)

A second memo given to “senior government executives” omitted several salient details that were included in the August 06, 2001 PDB:

Just one day after President Bush received a pre-Sept. 11 briefing on al-Qaida’s effort to strike on U.S. soil, senior government executives received a similarly titled memo that excluded information about current threats and investigations, say federal officials who have read both documents. The Aug. 7, 2001 memo, known as the senior executive intelligence brief or SEIB, didn’t mention the 70 FBI investigations into possible al-Qaida activity that Bush had been told of a day earlier in a memo entitled “Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in U.S.,” the officials said Monday … [The memo] also did not mention a threat received in May 2001 of a U.S.-based explosives attacks or say that the FBI had concerns about recent casing of buildings in New York, the officials told The Associated Press. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the senior executives’ memo remains classified. (04/13/04 AP/Solomon)

Web access: NPR
C-Span has live streaming video and audio
CNN has it on CNN Radio (see the right hand column)

Update: added excerpt from AP article
Update: added times to schedule


Comments: 1


IMHO, the SOP of the FBI and DOJ under this AG and his CINC were, and remain, FUBAR. And all their CYA aimed at the previous CINC is just a bunch of BS.


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