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9-11Commission Hearing 2004-03-24

9-11Commission Hearing 2004-03-24

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Published by: jrod on Apr 28, 2009
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05/11/2014

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PANEL I DAY TWO OF THE EIGHTH PUBLIC HEARING OF THE NATIONALCOMMISSION ON TERRORIST ATTACKS UPON THE UNITED STATESRE: INTELLIGENCE POLICY AND NATIONAL POLICY COORDINATION
 
CHAIRED BY: THOMAS KEAN, FORMER GOVERNOR (R-NJ)
 
 WITNESS: CIA DIRECTOR GEORGE TENET
 
216 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING, WASHINGTON, D.C.
 
8:33 A.M. EST, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 24, 2004 MR. KEAN:
I'd like to call today's hearing to order.Yesterday we looked at the diplomatic and military aspects ofnational counterterrorism policy leading to September 11th 2001.We heard from the current and the former secretaries of state anddefense. Today we'll hear about intelligence policy and nationalpolicy coordination.Our first panel will investigate the CIA's efforts to disruptal Qaeda operations and bin Ladin in the Afghanistan sanctuary.Shedding light on all this with Director of Central IntelligenceGeorge Tenet.Before we hear from him, we'll begin as we did yesterday withthe staff statement. These statements are informed by the work ofthe Commissioners as well as the staff, and represent the staff'sbest effort to reconstruct the factual record. Judgments andrecommendations are for commissioners and the Commission to make,which we will do during the course of our work, and mostimportantly in our final report.Delivering the statement on the role of intelligence policyand national counterterrorism policy will be our executivedirector, Dr. Philip Zelikow and our deputy executive director,Chris Kojm.
 MR. ZELIKOW:
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Members of theCommission, with your help, your staff has developed initialfindings to present to the public on the use of our intelligenceagencies in countering terrorism. These findings may help framesome of the issues for these hearings and inform the developmentof your judgments and recommendations.Today we will focus on the role of the Central IntelligenceAgency as an instrument of national policy. The issues -- I wantto emphasize this -- the issues related to the collection ofintelligence, analysis and warning, and the management of theintelligence community will be taken up at the Commission's
 
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hearing next month, by the way in which we expect to hear fromDCI Tenet again. This report reflects the results of our work sofar. We remain ready to revise our understanding of events areour investigation progresses.This staff statement represents the collective effort of anumber of members of our staff. Alexis Albion, Michael Hurley,Dan Marcus, Lloyd Salvetti and Steve Dunne did much of theinvestigative work reflected in this statement. For this area ofour work, we were fortunate in being able to build upon a greatdeal of excellent work already done by the congressional JointInquiry. The Central Intelligence Agency has cooperated fully inmaking available both the documents and interviews we've neededso far on this topic.I'd now like to turn to our deputy executive director andformer deputy assistant secretary of State for intelligence,Christopher Kojm.
 MR. KOJM:
Thank you. The CIA plays a dual role incounterterrorism. Like other members of the intelligencecommunity, the CIA is an intelligence producer. It collects andanalyzes foreign intelligence and provides this information topolicymakers. When directed by the President, the CIA is alsoresponsible for executing policy through the conduct of covertaction.The director of central intelligence, from whom you will hearthis morning, also has dual responsibilities. He is thePresident's senior intelligence advisor. He is also the head ofan agency, the CIA, that executes policy. In speaking with theCommission, DCI Tenet was blunt, quote, "I am not a policymaker,"end of quote. He presents intelligence and offers operationaljudgments, but he says it is ultimately up policymakers to decidehow best to use that intelligence. Quote, "It is their job tofigure out where I fit into their puzzle," end of quote, Tenetsaid.Both the DCI and the deputy director for operations, JamesPavitt, invoked lessons learned from the Iran-contra scandal: TheCIA should stay well behind the lines separating policymaker frompolicy implementer. "The CIA does not initiate operations unlessit is to support of policy directive," said Tenet. For Pavitt,the lesson of Iran-contra was, quote, "We don't do policy fromout here, and you don't want us to," end of quote.
 
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Yet, as a member of the National Security Council, the DCI isone of a handful of senior officials who advises the President onnational security. The DCI's operational judgments can and didinfluence key decisions on the U.S. government's policy toward alQaeda. In the case of al Qaeda, the line between policymaker andpolicy implementer is hard to discern.Renditions. Under the presidential directives in the Clintonadministration, Presidential Decision Directive 39 and PDD 62,the CIA had two main operational responsibilities for combatingterrorism, rendition and disruption. We will first discuss theCIA's support with renditions. In other words, if a terroristsuspect is outside of the United States, the CIA helps to catchand send him to the United States or a third country. Overseasofficials of CIA, the FBI and the State Department may locate theterrorist suspect, perhaps using their own sources. If possible,they seek help from a foreign government. Though the FBI is oftenpart of the process, the CIA is usually the main player, buildingand defining the relationships with the foreign governmentintelligence agencies and internal security services.The CIA often plays an active role, sometimes calling uponthe support of other agencies for logistical or transportationassistance. Director Tenet has publicly testified that 70terrorists were rendered and brought to justice before 9/11.These activities could only achieve so much. In countrieswhere the CIA did not have cooperative relationships with localsecurity services, the rendition strategy often failed. In atleast two such cases when the CIA decided to seek the assistanceof the host country, the target may have been tipped off andescaped. In the case of bin Ladin, the United States had nodiplomatic or intelligence officers living or working inAfghanistan. Nor was the Taliban regime inclined to cooperate.The CIA would have to look for other ways to bring bin Ladin tojustice.Disruptions. Under the relevant directive of the Clintonadministration, foreign terrorists who posed a credible threat tothe United States were subject to, quote, "preemption anddestruction," end of quote, abroad, consistent with U.S. laws.The CIA had the lead.Where terrorists could not be brought to justice in theUnited States or a third country, the CIA could try to disrupttheir operations, attacking the cells of al Qaeda operatives oraffiliated groups. The CIA encouraged foreign intelligence

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