Goss Rejects Discipline For CIA 9/11 Failures
CIA Director Porter J. Goss said yesterday that the officers cited by its internal accountability board as being most responsible for the 9/11 failures “are amongst the finest we have.}
CIA Rejects Discipline For 9/11 Failures (WaPo, A1)
The CIA will not seek to hold any current or former agency officials, including ex-director George J. Tenet, responsible for failures leading up to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, CIA Director Porter J. Goss said yesterday, despite a recommendation by the agency’s inspector general that he convene an “accountability board” to judge their performance.
Goss’s decision, coming four years after hijackers commandeered four jets and killed nearly 3,000 people, appeared to end the possibility that a high-level official will be held responsible for what several investigations found to be significant failures throughout the government. The inspectors general of the departments of State, Justice and Defense completed their own investigations without publicized disciplinary actions taken against anyone.
The CIA’s report, which severely criticized actions of senior officers, will remain classified, Goss said in his announcement, which was welcomed by some former officials mentioned in the document but assailed by families of victims of the attacks.
Goss said in his statement that the voluminous report by CIA Inspector General John L. Helgerson “unveiled no mysteries,” and that making it public would only bring harm to the agency when it is trying to rebuild. Goss said the report in no way suggests “that any one person or group of people could have prevented 9/11.” “Of the officers named in this report,” he said, “about half have retired from the Agency, and those who are still with us are amongst the finest we have.”
While I understand Goss’ reluctance to create a climate in the Agency that makes keeping a low profile the most effective way to career advancement, it’s quite odd to think that no one there is responsible for any of the series of bunders that took place. Of course, four years after the fact is a bit late to send much of a message, anyway. Or, at least, any good ones.