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Joint Statement

Joint Statement

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Published by thedailybeast

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Published by: thedailybeast on Aug 11, 2011
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08/16/2011

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Joint Statement from George J. Tenet, Cofer Black and Richard Blee
August 11, 2011Richard Clarke was an able public servant who served his country well for many years. But his recentlyreleased comments about the run up to 9/11 are reckless and profoundly wrong.Clarke starts with the presumption that important information on the travel of future hijackers to theUnited States was intentionally withheld from him in early 2000. It was not.He wildly speculates that it must have been the CIA Director who could have ordered the informationwithheld. There was no such order. In fact, the record shows that the Director and other senior CIAofficials were unaware of the information until after 9/11.The handling of the information in question was exhaustively looked at by the 9/11 Commission, theCongressional Joint Inquiry, the CIA Inspector General and other groups.The 9/11 Commission quite correctly concluded
that “
It appears no one informed higher levels of 
management in either the FBI or CIA about the case.”
In early 2000, a number of more junior personnel (including FBI agents on detail to CIA) did see travelinformation on individuals who later became hijackers but the significance of the data was notadequately recognized at the time.Since 9/11 many systemic changes have been made to improve the watchlisting process and enhanceinformation sharing within and across agencies.Building on his false notion that information was intentionally withheld, Mr. Clarke went on tospeculate--which he admits is based on nothing other than his imagination--that the CIA might havebeen trying to recruit these two future hijackers as agents. This, like much of what Mr. Clarke said in hisinterview, is utterly without foundation.Many years after testifying himself at length before the 9/11 Commission but making no mention of hiswild theory, Mr. Clarke has suddenly invented baseless allegations which are belied by the record andunworthy of serious consideration.We testified under oath about what we did, what we knew and what we didn't know. We stand by thattestimony.###

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