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11 Foresight--and Hindsight

  1. Roberta Wohlstetter, Pearl Harbor:Warning and Decision (Stanford Univ. Press, 1962), p. 387.
  2. Intelligence Community analytic report, "The Foreign Terrorist Threat in the United States," NIE 95-13, July 1995, pp. v, vii-viii, 10-11, 13, 18.
  3. Intelligence Community analytic report, "The Foreign Terrorist Threat in the US: Revisiting Our 1995 Estimate," ICB 97-8, Apr. 1997, p. 1.
  4. For Bin Ladin being mentioned in only two other sentences, see ibid.
  5. Titles are drawn from articles in the National Intelligence Daily and the Senior Executive Intelligence Brief.
  6. John McLaughlin interview (Jan. 21, 2004).
  7. Ibid.; Pattie Kindsvater interview (Sept. 12, 2003).
  8. Tim Weiner, "U.S. Hard Put to Find Proof Bin Laden Directed Attacks," New York Times, Apr. 13, 1999, p. A1.
  9. Paul R. Pillar, Terrorism and U.S. Foreign Policy (Brookings Institution Press, 2001), p. 23; see also ibid., pp. 5, 21-22.
  10. For a concise statement of the role of the national estimate process, see Task force sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations, Making Intelligence Smarter:The Future of U.S. Intelligence (Council on Foreign Relations, 1996), pp. 34-35 (additional views of Richard Betts).
  11. Waldo Heinrichs, Threshold of War: Franklin D. Roosevelt and American Entry into World War II (Oxford Univ. Press, 1988), p. 215.
  12. For the response being routine, see Gordon Prange,At Dawn We Slept:The Untold Story of Pearl Harbor (McGraw-Hill, 1981), pp. 732-733. For a brief summary of these routines and the reasons why the intercepts were not properly digested, see Graham Allison and Philip Zelikow, Essence of Decision, 2d ed. (Longman, 1999), p. 194, n. 72.
  13. PDBs were not routinely briefed to congressional leaders, though this item could have been in some other intelligence briefing. It was not circulated in the NID or SEIB. For the September 1998 report, see Intelligence report, "Terrorism: Possible Attack on a U.S. City," Sept. 8, 1998.
  14. For the August report, see Intelligence report, "Terrorism: Alleged Threat by Arab Terrorists to Attack the World Trade Center in New York," Aug. 12, 1998. An FAA civil aviation security official believed the plan was improbable because Libyan planes were required to operate within airspace limitations and the Libyans did not possess aircraft with the necessary range to make good on the threat. Jack S. interview (June 13, 2004). On September 30, 1999, the FAA closed the file on the August report after investigation could not corroborate the report, and the source's credibility was deemed suspect. FAA report, Transportation Security Intelligence ICF Report 980162, undated; but see FAA/TSA rebuttal to the Joint Inquiry's Sept. 18, 2002, staff statement, undated, p. 1 (stating that the FAA did not formally analyze this threat). The Algerian hijackers had placed explosives in key areas of the cabin. However, there was some speculation in the media based on reports from a passenger aboard the plane that the hijackers had discussed crashing it into the Eiffel Tower. FAA report, FAA Intelligence Case File 94-305, undated.
  15. For Murad's idea, see chapter 5, note 33.
  16. For Clarke's involvement in the 1996 Olympics, see Richard Clarke interview (Dec. 18, 2003). For the 1998 exercise, see Chuck Green interview (Apr. 21, 2004); NSC briefing paper, Nov. 10, 1998.
  17. For the report of the National Transportation Safety Board, see NTSB report, "Aircraft Accident Brief," Mar. 13, 2002 (online at http://www.ntsb.gov/Publictn/2002/aab0201.htm). For the early 2000 CSG discussion, see NSC note, CSG SVTS agenda, Jan. 31, 2000.
  18. 18. Richard Clarke testimony, Mar. 24, 2004.
  19. FAA memo, Office of Civil Aviation Security Intelligence, "Usama Bin Ladin/World Islamic Front Hijacking Threat," Intelligence Note 99-06, Aug. 4, 1999, pp. 5-6.
  20. Ibid.
  21. As part of his 34-page analysis, the attorney explained why he thought that a fueled Boeing 747, used as a weapon, "must be considered capable of destroying virtually any building located anywhere in the world." DOJ memo, Robert D. to Cathleen C., "Aerial Intercepts and Shoot-downs:Ambiguities of Law and Practical Considerations," Mar. 30, 2000, p. 10. Also, in February 1974, a man named Samuel Byck attempted to commandeer a plane at Baltimore Washington International Airport with the intention of forcing the pilots to fly into Washington and crash into the White House to kill the president. The man was shot by police and then killed himself on the aircraft while it was still on the ground at the airport.
  22. For NORAD's hypothesis of aircraft as weapons, see, e.g., Ralph Eberhardt interview (Mar. 1, 2004). For the 2001 Positive Force 01 exercise, see DOD briefing (Apr. 29, 2004); Tom Cecil and Mark Postgate interview (June 7, 2004).
  23. For the Gates report's recommendations, see DCI task force report, "Improving Intelligence Warning," May 29, 1992. For strengthening of the warning official, see DCI memo, "Warning," July 17, 1992. For the recommendations languishing, see Charles Allen interview (Sept. 22, 2003). For CTC having responsibility for warning, see Robert Vickers interview (Sept. 17, 2003). For the Board's warnings, see, e.g., Community Counterterrorism Board report, "Intelligence Community Terrorist Threat Advisory: Bin Ladin Orchestrating Possible Anti-US Attacks," June 30, 2000.
  24. CIA briefing materials, "DCI Update," Aug. 23, 2001.
  25. James Pavitt interview (Jan. 8, 2004). For more on this meeting, see Condoleezza Rice meeting (Feb. 7, 2004); George Tenet interview (Jan. 28, 2004).
  26. For the briefing to the President-elect, see James Pavitt interview (Jan. 8, 2004). The CIA's formal analysis of what would happen if Bin Ladin alone was removed as compared with the importance of shutting down the sanctuary was offered in several places. See, e.g., CIA analytic report, "Likely Impact of Taliban Actions Against Al Qaeda," Feb. 21, 2001 (provided as background for Tenet meetings with Rice on Feb. 23 and Mar. 7, 2001).
  27. Richard Clarke testimony, Mar. 24, 2004.
  28. Mike interview (Dec. 11, 2003) (reading from CIA email, Mike to Winston Wiley, Aug. 27, 1997).
  29. For President Bush's statement of al Qaeda's responsibility for the Cole attack, see White House transcript, "Address to a Joint Session of Congress and the American People," Sept. 20, 2001 (online at http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2001/09/20010920-8.html).
  30. 30. For Pavitt's view, see James Pavitt interview (Jan. 8, 2004).
  31. Hugh Shelton interview (Feb. 5, 2004). Zinni was concerned about excessive collateral damage caused by Tomahawk strikes. See Anthony Zinni interview (Jan. 29, 2004).
  32. For Shelton's view, see Hugh Shelton interview (Feb. 5, 2004). For Cohen's view, see William Cohen interview (Feb. 5, 2004).
  33. Russell Honore interview (Oct. 29, 2003).
  34. James Pavitt interview (Jan. 8, 2004).
  35. Ibid.
  36. Cofer Black interview (Dec. 9, 2003).
  37. Rich interview (Dec. 11, 2003).
  38. CIA memo, Tenet to Gordon and others, "Usama Bin Ladin," Dec. 4, 1998, p. 2.
  39. See, e.g., Joan Dempsey interview (Nov. 12, 2003); Jeff B. interview (Dec. 11, 2003); Louis Andre interview (Nov. 10, 2003); Mary C. interview (Oct. 25, 2003); Maureen Baginski interview (Nov. 15, 2003); Thomas Wilson interview (Dec. 4, 2003). Assistant DCI Charles Allen did redouble his efforts to coordinate and improve collection at the tactical level, but this was not a plan to address larger weaknesses in the fundamental capabilities of the intelligence community. See Charles Allen interview (Sept. 22, 2003).
  40. For Dempsey's action, see Joan Dempsey interview (Nov. 12, 2003). For Minihan's view, see Joint Inquiry interview of Kenneth Minihan, Sept. 12, 2002. For the CIA viewing the memorandum as intended for non-CIA intelligence agencies, see Dave Carey interview (Oct. 31, 2003).
  41. George Tenet interview (Jan. 22, 2004); James Pavitt interview (Jan. 8, 2004).
  42. For the New York Times article about the Jordanian arrests, see Reuters, "Jordan Seizes 13 and Links Them to Afghan Explosives Training," New York Times, Dec. 16, 1999, p. A13. For the Ressam story being on the front page, see, e.g., Sam HoweVerhovek with Tim Weiner, "Man Seized with Bomb Parts at Border Spurs U.S. Inquiry," New York Times, Dec. 18, 1999, p. A1. For television coverage, see Vanderbilt University Television News Archive, Dec. 13, 22-31, 1999.


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