Thursday, January 14, 2010

How Not to Counter Terrorism

By Coleen Rowley and Other Intelligence Veterans
January 14, 2010 (Originally Published June 18, 2007)

Given the effort that many of us have put into suggestions for reform, how satisfying it would be, were we able to report that appropriate correctives have been introduced to make us safer.

Read on.


Anonymous said...

Pretty interesting blog you've got here. Thanks the author for it. I like such themes and anything connected to this matter. BTW, why don't you change design :).

Anonymous said...

USA still want people to believe that they are rich although they have 10 trillions dollars debt. So they are using multiple agencies to do the job of one. How does it suppose to be effective if there are so many co-ordication problems ???

To be effective, USA must stream line and close down all except one agency to fight terrorist.

This would reduce debt and increase effectiveness.

The database is a stupid idea. Terrorist can use fake passport.
People sharing the same name as terrorist will bar from plane.

loudmouthsays said...

Your article was informative and confirms my views [that's always nice!], but you didn't mention some important factors underlying the terrorism - the Islamist fanaticism supported by the Wahabist regime in Saudi Arabia, and the incredible fundamentalist ignorance of the Islamist mindset and belief system. These attitudes result not only in attacks on America and its allies, but on other Muslims who are not fanatics, or at least as fanatical as the Islamists, and who are trying to make a place for themselves in the 21st century. Many Muslims have left their backward homelands to escape the craziness and do speak out about the problem.

carp said...

All the talk of terrorism is kind of ridiculous. The whole point of terrorism, is to make people afraid. The best thing we can do is.... ignore it as much as possible.

This guy didn't even manage to blow up the plane. Looking for specific plots in specific places failed. The plot also failed.

So will everything else. It will fail because its so rare and amorphous. You may as well be fighting "evil". It is just ridiculous.

You want to go after the criminals who mastermind plots? Great. You want to think you can predict the plots, catch them and stop them all? You are just wrong.

Its all just crazy and we should stop trying. We should disband the CIA, roll back the DHS, turn airport security back to the airports and airlines to deal with, and realize none of it made us any safer... just poorer.

Anonymous said...

After listening to all the garbage delivered by our politicans and media shills on terrorism an article such as this filled with common sense and intelligent assessments brings tears to my eyes. We are being led by the blind. We find ourselves being led by the likes of George Bush, Richard Cheney, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Barack (the mouth) Obama and the like. Very discouraging. Bob Charron, Raleigh, NC.

Nat Parry said...

I have almost finished reading Naomi Klein's excellent book, The Shock Doctrine, and what I have come to realize is that these policies are not about making us "safer". The DHS was set up as an empty shell of a government agency with the goal of outsourcing as much as possible to private contractors. It simply acts to transfer public monies into private coffers, much as the "Coalition Provisional Authority" did in Iraq.

The security state that we find ourselves living in is now one of the world's biggest cash cows, an economic bubble much like the dot-com craze in the 90s. Giant firms like Booze Allen Hamilton are receiving lucrative government contracts to produce the illusion of security, and that's all it is, an illusion. It's all about the money.

Bill from Saginaw said...

If you like this analysis from Colleen Rowley and VIPS, I suggest you take a look at a lengthy article by Peter Baker in the 1/17/10 New York Times Magazine titled "Obama's War Over Terror: An inside look at the struggle to remake antiterrorism policy."
Mr. Baker is identified as White House correspondent for the NY Times and the magazine.

1. Discussing serious concerns at the National Counterterrorism Center about an international terrorist plot to disrupt Barack Obama's inauguration day address (which ultimately turned out to be a bogus "poison pen" threat) Baker wrote:

"[Hillary] Clinton immediately put her finger on a problem. According to participants, she asked, What should Obama do if he is in the middle of his inaugural address and a bomb goes off somewhere on the mall....?"

"Among those in the room was Robert Gates, who served two years as Bush's defense secretary and would remain in that post under Obama. Gates would eventually stay away from the inauguration in a secret location. With no other member of Obama's cabinet confirmed by the Senate, Gates - an incumbent cabinet officer who also had the imprimatur of the newly elected commander in chief - was the most logical person in the line of succession to take over the presidency should the worst happen."

Think about that for just a minute.

2. According to Baker, although Obama continued many Bush global war on terror policies he had criticized on the campaign trail, what was particularly unsettling to career intelligence operatives from the Bush/Cheney era was new Attorney General Eric Holder's decision to release the legal memos regarding approval of torture and to investigate a CIA inspector general's report of potential serious criminal wrongdoing by detainees' interrogators.

"Michael Hayden, the last CIA director under Bush, was willing to say publicly what others would not... Hayden recalled warning Jim Jones, Obama's national security adviser, last spring not to alienate the CIA by dredging up the past. 'You're about to spend the next 46 months without a clandestine service,' Hayden recalled saying. 'If these [CIA] guys don't think you have their back, they're not going to be very adventurous.'"

3. And as to the Christmas underwear bombing, "the Obama team's initial public response was less than sure-footed...... Obama was singing Christmas carols with his family at a rental house in Hawaii when a military aide arrived to tell him that someone tried to blow up a plane over Detroit....."

"While on vacation he was given an 80-page review of the Fort Hood shooting; it looked at how much information about Hasan was not well circulated within the federal government. The night after his [Obama's] first statement, the president's advisers learned that something similar happened in the Detroit case: the government possessed National Security Agency-intercepted conversations that could have helped to stop Abdulmutallab if they had been shared widely."

President Robert Gates?

Did General Hayden's old friends back at NSA and CIA send our new commander in chief a partisan surprize for the Christmas holiday season, just to remind him who he was beholden to?

Bill from Saginaw

John L.Opperman said...

Only touched upon with "killing only recruits more 'terrorists' ", The only way to stop so-called terrorism, is...STOP Doing It.
I appreaciate the sentimates of the authors and signers of this peice, but it wrongly accepts the need or value of the agency, absent a lawful and moral US foriegn policy.
Ravaging other people by destroying their economy and infrastructure, subverting their politics and society. attacking-invading-occupying their country, physically-violently abusing, molesting-murdering their people, bringing various degrees of violence and destruction to them and their country, all of which "we" have been doing virtually non-stop since WW2.
Stop terrorism? Stop doing it.
Stop enabling a government/establishment that's most energenic interests and energies are to rape and pilliage the world for profit and control. It's name is capitalism. You can't fix it, spraying perfume on the rotting corpse of a criminal system. Replace it.
~John L.