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T3 B22 Public Hearing Fdr- Tab 17- Questions for Tenet 098

T3 B22 Public Hearing Fdr- Tab 17- Questions for Tenet 098

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02/05/2013

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CLANDESTINE& COVERT
ACTION
SUGGESTED
QUESTIONS
FOR
GEORGE
J.
TENET
Designated
Commissioners: Fred Fielding
&
Jamie Gorelick
1)
A
Global Strategy
of
Renditions
and
Disruptions.
The
CIA
pursued
a
global
strategy
of
renditions
and disruptions for
going
after
al
Qaeda
in the
period
before
9-
11.
The
DCI
has
testified
that these
efforts
prevented
a
number
of
terrorist
attacks
and
saved American lives.
a. How
effective
were
the
CIA's global
efforts
at
disrupting
al
Qaeda cells
before
9/11?b.
Given that
al
Qaeda
was
turning
out
thousands
of
operatives
from
its
training
camps,
how much impact did a rendition strategy have on staunchingterrorism before
9/11?
2)
Covert Action Strategy.
The CIA
needed
a new
strategy
in
terrorist
safe-havens
such
as
Afghanistan,
where
the
U.S. government
was
unable
to
gain
the
cooperation
of
the
Taliban
movement
in
arresting
or
extraditing
Bin
Ladin.
The CIA was
usingproxy forces
in
Afghanistan
to
plan
operations against
Bin
Ladin
as
early
as
1997.
Beginning
in
August 1998,
the CIA
employed
proxy forces
to
carry
out
covert actions
against
Bin
Ladin
and his
principal lieutenants.
This
strategy continued until
9/11.
a.
What
was the
CIA's
covert action strategy
for
attacking
Bin
Ladin
and al
Qaedain theAfghanistan
terrorist sanctuary
afterthe
East
Africa
Embassy
bombings
in
August
1998?
b. What were the goals of this strategy, and how effective was it in meeting
these
goals?c. Would arresting or eliminating Bin Ladin in August 1998 have stopped the
9/11attacks?
In
mid-1999,
the CIA
introduced
a new
operational strategy called "The Plan,
"
to
expand
proxy
options
for
going
after
Bin
Ladin,
and
develop
more unilateral sources
(as
opposed to relying
onoreign
liaison).
d. How did the
CIA's covert action strategy
for
attacking
Bin
Ladin
and alQaeda
in the Afghanistan terrorist sanctuary change with the implementation
of
"The Plan"?e. How
effective
was "The
Plan"
in attacking Bin Ladin and al Qaeda?
-1-
 
In
late 2000,
the CIA
developed
an
offensive
initiative
for Afghanistan. It
involvedincreasing support
to
anti-Taliban groups,
and a
major
effort
to
back NorthernAlliance forces
to (i) try to
postpone
a
victory
by the
Taliban army
and
(ii)
tie
downal Qaeda fighters inAfghanistan.TheBush administration builtonthese
plans
as
part
of
their
Afghan
policy.
f.
What
was the CIA
doing
to
attack
Bin Ladin and al
Qaeda
in the first 8
months
of the
Bush administration that
was
effectively different than what
it
had
been doing during
the
Clinton administration?
g. How
different
was the
Bush
administration's covert
action strategy developed
before
9/11
from
what
the CIA had
already
been
pursuing?
h. If
implemented before
9/11, how
effective
do you
think this strategy wouldhave
been inreducingthe terrorist threat?
3) Capture vs.
Kill.
National Security Adviser Samuel
Berger
testified
to the
Commission under oath thathesent
specific
languageto the
DCI,
regarding covertaction authorities against
Bin
Ladin, which said:
you may
kill him.
He
also said thatthese authorities contained explicit language sayingUBLcouldbekilled.TheNationalCoordinator forCounterterrorism Richard Clarke
testified
to theCommission under oath that he had told the DCI that the president wanted Bin Ladin
dead,
and was assured by
Tenet
that he knew exactly what the
policymakers'
intentwas.
a.
Please
describe
your understanding
of
what
the
policymakers' intent
was in
employing
covert
action against
Bin
Ladin
in
Afghanistan from August
1998
to the end of the
Clinton administration.
Did you think the
intent
was for the
CIA
to use its
assets
to
kill
Bin
Ladin?
b. Was it
your understanding that
the CIA was
given covert action authority
to
kill
Bin
Ladin?
4) The
Assassination
Ban.
Senior legal advisers
in the
Clinton administration havetold usthat, even
before
August 1998, theyhaddetermined thatanorder fromthepresident
to
kill
Bin
Ladin
in a
covert action would
not
violate Executive Order12333, banning assassination. Killing Bin Ladin, they explained, would be
justifiedin
terms
of
self-defense
according
to the law
of
armed
conflict.
a.
Was it
your understanding
at the
time that
E. O.
12333
was
applicable
in the
case
ofBin
Ladin?
b. Was it
your understanding that
if the CIA had
beenordered
to
kill
Bin
Ladin
this
would have been
a
violation
of the
assassination
ban?
c. Was it
your understanding that
if Bin
Ladin were killed
in the
context
of a
capture operation that
this
was not a
violation
of the
assassination
ban?
-2-
 
5)
Sufficient
Covert
Action Authority.
Some working-level
officers
in the
CIA's
Counterterrorist Center (CTC) have told us they never had the covert authority
they
wanted
to
effectively
go
after
Bin
Ladin
before
9/11.
They
complained that theirabilityto go
after
Bin Ladin was inhibited by the act that they could
only
kill himwithin the context
of
a capture operation, and that consequently their assets did notthink
the
U.S. government
was
serious about wanting
to
kill
Bin
Ladin.
a.
In
your opinion,
did the CIA
receive
appropriate
and
sufficient covert
action
authority
to go
after
Bin
Ladin before
9/11?
b.
Did you
ever
express
to the
policymakers,
at any
point before
9/11,a
concern
that
the CIA had
insufficient covert
action
authority
to go
after
Bin
Ladin?
c. Did you
ever
ask for
authorities
regarding
Bin
Ladin before
9/11
that
you did
not
get?
6) CIA Direct Action in Afghanistan.
After
9/11,
the CIA used its own personnel togreat
effect
in Afghanistan against
al
Qaeda
and Taliban
forces,
operating in an
extremely
dangerous environment.
Why did the CIA
never
put its own
personnel
on the
ground
in
Afghanistan before
9/11
in
order
to
capture
or
kill
Bin
Ladin?
7)
Capabilities
of the
Tribal
Assets.
DCI
Tenet
told
the
Commission that
in
spring1998
he
"turned
off"
an
operation
to
capture
Bin
Ladin using
CIA
employed
Afghan
tribal assets. He said this decision was based on the recommendation
of
his
chief
operational
officers.
The
operation's
prospect
of
success was described to him at thetime
as
less than 30%.
a.
Where
were
the
weak
points
of
this operation?
Did
your
operational
officershave confidence
in the
ability
of the
tribal
assets
to
carry
out the
operation?
b.
What
was the estimated
likelihood
of the
operation
being
successful,
as apercentage?
What would have
been an
acceptable
percentage,
that
is, alikelihood of
success
that
would have
led you to
approve
the operation?
For three years, from August 1998 through to
9/11,
the CIA continued to employthese
Afghan
tribal assetstomount
offensive
operations againstBinLadinand al
Qaeda
in Afghanistan. About
half
a dozen times during this period the assets
reportedly
attempted to ambush Bin Ladin. By fall 1999,
briefings
by theCounterterrorist Center (CTC) stated the
tribals'
chances
of
success in capturing BinLadin as less than 10%. [Note: the
CIA's
new operational strategy for going
after
Bin
Ladin
and al
Qaeda, "The Plan
"
introduced
in
all 1999,
was in
part
a
response
to
this understanding thatthe CIAcouldnot
rely
solelyon thetribalstocaptureBinLadin].
-3-

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