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Dan Marcus
From: Sent: To: Cc: Mike Hurley Monday, February 16, 2004 1:42 PM Philip Zelikow Mike Hurley

Subject: Lunch with Roger Cressey


You'll recall that I checked with you about the propriety of meeting with Roger Cressey who had been asking me for some time to lunch. You gave me the green light and asked that I write up any highlights of our discussion. They follow: • I met with Roger last Friday (February 13) at "Cos!" on 17th and G. He was pressed for time, as was I, so the lunch lasted less than 30 minutes. • He said that he and Dick had just gotten back (the day before) from a business trip (for their "GoodHarbor" consulting firm) to the UAE, where they met with members of the royal family. (I refrained from asking whether Dick planned to go on any expeditions with the Emiratis to their falconry/hunting camp in Kandahar.) • Roger said that Dick felt he had been treated fairly by the commission. He indicated that Dick was pleased that we had devoted substantial time to talking to him. He asked about our extension. I told him what had been in the press, i.e., that the White House now supported a 2-month extension but Congress had not yet acted so nothing was definite. It was pretty clear Roger has been in touch with a number of the people we have interviewed and, based on what he's learned from them, he thinks he has an idea of what issues we're interested in. I just listened in passive/receive mode. He said: o The CSG was designed to move quickly on operational matters, and those who say that approach detracted from broader policy considerations misunderstood the lethality and fast-breaking nature of the al Qaeda threat. o George Tenet was a weak leader. He "declared war" but nothing really changed. CIA continued to fund CT efforts out of supplementals. This was a failure of leadership. o The military failed to step up and do its share (the same theme he and Dick stressed in their interviews). Why didn't we seize ground and set up a base of operations inside Afghanistan pre-9/11 ? he asked. How hard would that


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have been? I asked whether the NSC ever proposed this. He said no, not specifically. He then asked why the NSC had to propose everything. Why couldn't CIA and/or SecDef, or the Chairman been making aggressive proposals? Again, he cited this as a failure of leadership at the principals' level. He then offered an analogy that I actually kind of like: "There are two kinds of lawyers. There are those who give you a hundred reasons why you can't do something that you think is important to do. And, there are those who understand the importance of what you're trying to do and tell you how you can make it happen, what you need to do to 'get to yes.'" CIA, the FBI, and DoD operated exactly like the former group of lawyers, when what was needed were people who understood the threat and were leaning forward to figure it out and implement what needed to be done to protect the country. • Overall, he said that what Dick and he were trying to do was "elevate" the al Qaeda issue above other foreign policy and national security priorities. Additional tidbits: Roger said the consulting business was tough. GoodHarbor is doing fine and has a niche in the cyber-security arena. One of Dick's close friends is Randy Beers, who is John Kerry's foreign policy/national security adviser. Roger said that even if Kerry is nominated and manages to win the election, he thinks Dick will continue his consulting business rather than step back into government. "Dick's worn out from the struggle." Mike