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From: Sent: To: Timothy J. Naftali [firstname.lastname@example.org] Thursday, March 25, 2004 10:18 AIV Mike Hurley; Warren Bass; Marquittia Coleman
Subject: RE: LBJ Section Dear Mike and Warren, I also meant to add my congratulations on your staff papers which gave structure to the often chaotic details coming out of the hearings themselves. They were also useful as a scorecard as the principals and deputies testified. I will do something more elaborate but there were a couple of ideas I wanted to share now as you turn to the next phase of your work. a) The concepts of "good enough" and "too hard" Tenet spoke of a systemic problem. The deputies from the Reagan-Bush era agree that the system was deeply flawed but they have also said that it was "good enough." In 1986 the USG had the opportunity to review the system when VP Bush headed a task force on CT. The task force did its job and issused a stall-classified internal report (there was a public version and at the Reagan library some of the meeting notes are declassified, so I have reconstructed what I could but you need to see it). The report laid out some of what needed to be done for the system to work. Unless the Clinton folks went back to this in their CT presidential decision memorandum, I suspect that the fixes suggested in 1986 were not implemented. Which brings me to the concept of "too hard." Yesterday Clarke gave, what strikes me in the context of 1968 1993 as bang on, the 'body-bag1 theory of executive reorganization. I believe that despite the fact that the pros in the what I believe was the golden age of pre-9/11 CT (1986-1992) knew that the system was broken, no principal wanted to invest the political capital into a wrenching reorganization of the US domestic security system. EVERYONE in the CT deputies committee, including the FBI people, agreed in 1986 that the problem was the domestic interface between the FBI, CIA and INS. What you should look for is whether Clarke was raising this points in the 1990s. He should have been, but I don't know how conceptually he thought. Yesterday he also presented his practical approach to changing the USG. He said if you drive for the ideal you will get nothing, so you (I'm paraphrasing) do your best and try to get a little mere. You cannot achieve reorganization that way, only a series of bandaids. b) Getting Bin Ladin My concern about the dysfunctionality of the CT system stems from my judgment that 9/11 could have been prevented; but not in the way the Commissioners or the witnesses have said. For some reason, people are keying on getting Bin Ladin as the prophylactic. Indeed if the only way to have prevented 9/11 was to have gotten Bin ladin then, the lack of "actionable" intelligence regarding his whereabout is relevant. But I think the causal link between our inaction and the terrorist attack is much clearer than that.The fact that people on CIA watchlist entered the US at a time of apparently high alert is proof that the CT system, after almost thirty years of discussion, was a Rube Goldberg machine. If one focuses only on the Plot and not on the Man, you can see ways in which the Plot could have been stopped. Just as the Milennium plots were stopped. I found it interesting that after Sandy Berger explained how well the Clinton administration did in stopping those plots that the Commissioners did not ask the Bush people whether they bothered to read Berger's after action report? What lessons for INS and FBI were in that report. Did the report say (point 1) that our system, while not perfect, was good enough. The fact of the matter - and pardon the passion that I have developed after immersing myself in this -- is that the USG allowed itself to have a first-rate foreign intelligence service and a second-rate internal security system. Politics has a lot to do with it - as you can see already in my sections on hijacking. Can you imagine that the USG swallowed the phenomena of 2 hijackings a month for nearly 5 years before instituting 100% passenger screening for guns? But also the lack of interest at the next-to-highest level. Presidents nave always been more concerned
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about terrorism than their chief aides. It is the NSA advisors who have traditionally thwarted CT reform. Usually it is because they did not believe terrorism to be a problem on the scale of US-Soviet relations .NSA advisors rarely let Nixon be Nixon, Ford be Ford or Reagan be Reagan in the area of terrorism. The exception was 1985-86 and the result was Iran-Contra -- well I'd better get back \o work so that you see this. But the other reason was that the National Security advisor is a foreign policy manager, not a domestic crisis person. There was no in the WH whose responsibility it was to think about the structures of US internal security. Even the DCI who is the supervisor of the country's intelligence community has no writ over domestic intelligence. In sum, because of the history of how our institutions were reshaoed in the early Co^d War, we are structurally prepared only for foreign threats. And structure can often drive thinking. I hope the above is useful. Tim. Original Message From: Mike Hurley [mailto:email@example.com] Sent: Thursday, March 25, 2004 7:50 AM To: firstname.lastname@example.org; Warren Bess; Marquittia Coleman Subject: RE: LBJ Section
Good to see you as well at the hearings. Thanks for all the sections you've sent. Yes, a separate memo on lessons the Reagan/Bush (41) people had to unlearn would be interesting. I urge you tc get your thoughts down and tien come in and talk to us. We look forward to it. Mike Original Message From: Timothy J. Naftali [mailto:email@example.com] Sent: Thursday, March 25, 2004 3:04 AM To: Mike Hurley; Warren Bass; Karquittia Coleman Subject: LBJ Section Dear Mike and Warren, Here is the next section. I have left to send you the brief JFK intro, the long Reagan section and the comparatively small GHWB section. Nice seeing you today [and you, too, Marquittia]. I enjoyed the public hearing and once I have exported the last sections have some comments that might be useful to you as you work up your final staff report. I believe that the evidence from 1968-1993 bears out what DCI Tenet said about a systemic failure. What disappointed me about the questioning of Armitage later was that no one asked him whether in restrospect he felt he had to unlearn some of the lessons he had learned in the Reagan-era war on terrorism. I think the answer is "yes," and this explains some of why the Bush team -- with all of its collective foreign-policy experience - was behind the eight ball on this issue. Some of that will be implicit in what I am sending you but the other elements I could tease out for you in a separate memo or in a meeting at your office. Tim.