Tuesday, July 13, 2004

John Lehman out to get the CIA

9/11 panel rejects Iraq-Qaida tie: "The report, which is expected to be made public several days before the panel's mandated deadline of July 26, will also probably be unwelcome at the White House because it will document management failures at senior levels of the Bush administration that kept the government from acting aggressively on intelligence warnings in spring and summer 2001 of an imminent, catastrophic terrorist attack, the officials said.

Commission members said the final report would not single out particular government officials by name for intelligence or law-enforcement blunders before Sept. 11. But they said the report would offer criticism of several agencies for their performance during both the Bush and Clinton administrations, especially the FBI and CIA, and call for an overhaul of the nation's counterterrorism efforts.

The officials declined to detail the report's recommendations but said it would call for a shakeup of the FBI's domestic counterintelligence program and for equally broad changes at the CIA and other intelligence agencies, possibly by adding to the authority of the director of central intelligence to oversee the work of agencies beyond the CIA.

The panel's expected call for change at the CIA would be bolstered by the findings of a Senate Intelligence Committee report made public Friday, which blamed the agency for systematically exaggerating the evidence that Iraq had stockpiled chemical and biological weapons and was pursuing nuclear arms, the central justification for last year's invasion.

'We don't need to point fingers in our report, because people will be able to judge the facts for themselves,' said John Lehman, a Republican commissioner who was Navy secretary in the Reagan administration.

Lehman has said he expects the commission's work to result in 'revo"


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