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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Maybe the I is for Incompetence?

Jack Kelly has another interesting column on the FBI:

Article published Saturday, January 20, 2007

More FBI bumbling

JUST before New Year's, the investigations subcommittee of the House International Relations committee issued a report that criticized the thoroughness of the FBI investigation into the Oklahoma City bombing.

I wrote a column about it. The column drew this nastygram from retired FBI agent Weldon Kennedy:

"How can you write such garbage - full of rumor, innuendo, and just plain falsehoods? The FBI has to deal in facts and has done so with incredible success for the last 50 years."

The subcommittee said the FBI ought not to have abandoned its search for John Doe Number 2; that there is substantial credible evidence he was with Timothy McVeigh on the day of the bombing and is of Middle Eastern extraction.

The FBI also should have pursued evidence linking McVeigh to a neo-Nazi compound in eastern Oklahoma and evidence indicating a connection between McVeigh's convicted accomplice, Terry Nichols, and Ramzi Yousef, mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the subcommittee report said.

I also mentioned the investigative reporting of Peter Lance, who said the FBI suppressed information indicating a tie between Mr. Yousef and the destruction of TWA flight 800 in order to protect a corrupt FBI agent (who was indicted on four counts of murder last March chiefly on the basis of the information Mr. Lance reported).

Mr. Kennedy headed the investigation into the Oklahoma City bombing and understandably is sensitive to criticism of it. I asked him twice to specify what he considered false, but he did not respond.

In the absence of specifics, Mr. Kennedy's word should not be taken as gospel. In an interview with CNN on June 3, 2002, Mr. Kennedy said:

"Even in the Moussaoui case, there's a lot of uproar over the fact that there was a failure to obtain a warrant to search his computer. The computer was searched and guess what? There was nothing significant on there pertaining to 9/11."

Three days later the Washington Post reported:

"Amid the latest revelations about FBI and CIA lapses prior to the Sept. 11 attacks, congressional investigators say it is now clear that the evidence that lay unexamined in Zacarias Moussaoui's possession was even more valuable than previously believed.

"A notebook and correspondence of Moussaoui's not only appears to link him to the main hijacking cell in Hamburg, Germany, but also to an al-Qaeda associate in Malaysia whose activities were monitored by the CIA more than a year before the terror attacks on New York and Washington."

In three books (A Thousand Years for Revenge, Cover Up, and Triple Cross), Mr. Lance detailed FBI bumbling in the war on terror and the tendency of the FBI to promote the bumblers.

Bill Gertz, national security writer for the Washington Times, has written an equally disturbing book, Enemies, about how foreign spies have been eating the FBI's lunch.

Enemies focuses chiefly on the case of Katrina Leung, who was permitted to pass along critical national secrets for years after she'd confessed to being a spy because the two FBI agents who were supposed to be monitoring her were sleeping with her. Neither of those agents was punished....