9/11 Panel Calls for Major Changes
The final report of the commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks recommends a major restructuring of the nation’s intelligence community and includes broad criticism of the White House, Congress and other parts of the U.S. government for failing to detect, thwart and better respond to the deadly hijackings, according to panel members and other officials. The book-length report — being readied for public release on Thursday — has been endorsed by all 10 of the bipartisan panel’s members. It features many of the findings that emerged from public hearings and staff investigations, including the conclusion that al Qaeda and Iraq did not form a close working relationship, commission officials said.
But the final report goes beyond the detailed findings of the commission’s staff, scolding Congress for poor oversight of the nation’s counterterrorism efforts and urging specific and dramatic reforms that include creation of a powerful national counterterrorism center, according to administration officials and those involved in drafting the document. The new center would have far greater authority than the Terrorist Threat Integration Center opened by the CIA last year, officials said. The report also recommends a Cabinet-level office and director to oversee the CIA, the FBI and other intelligence agencies, as the New York Times reported yesterday, but one official familiar with the report said that was only part of a broader reorganization aimed at shaking up the intelligence community. The five Republicans and five Democrats on the commission say they have jointly agreed not to discuss details of their recommendations before the report is released.
It should be an interesting read.