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highsea
08-01-2004, 05:44 PM
President Clinton's national security adviser, Samuel R. Berger, rejected four plans to kill or capture Osama bin Laden, worrying once that if the plans failed and al Qaeda launched a counterattack, "we're blamed."

According to the September 11 commission's 567-page report, released Thursday, Mr. Berger was told in June 1999 that U.S. intelligence agents were confident about bin Laden's presence in a terrorist training camp called Tarnak Farms in Afghanistan.

Mr. Berger's "hand-written notes on the meeting paper," the report says, showed that Mr. Berger was worried about injuring or killing civilians located near the camp. Additionally, "If [bin Laden] responds" to the attack, "we're blamed," Mr. Berger wrote.

The (9/11 comission) report also says that Richard Clarke, Mr. Berger's expert on counterterrorism, presented that plan to get bin Laden because he was worried about the al Qaeda leader's "ambitions to acquire weapons of mass destruction."

These revelations come as Mr. Berger is under investigation by the Justice Department for smuggling several copies of classified documents that dealt with the Clinton administration's anti-terror policies out of the National Archives.

According to the report, the first plan of action against bin Laden presented to Mr. Berger was a briefing by CIA Director George J. Tenet on May 1, 1998. Mr. Berger took no action, the report says, because he was "focused most" on legal questions.

Another opportunity to strike at bin Laden occurred on Dec. 4, 1999, according to the report, when Mr. Clarke suggested carrying out an attack on an al Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan in the last week of the year. "In the margin next to Clarke's suggestion," the report states in a footnote, "Berger wrote, 'no.' "

Finally, in August of 2000, five months before Mr. Clinton left office, Mr. Berger was told that aerial surveillance from a Predator drone suggested another opportunity to kill bin Laden.

Mr. Clarke told Mr. Berger that the imagery captured by the Predator was "truly astounding," and expressed confidence that more missions could find bin Laden. Mr. Berger, however, "worried that a Predator might be shot down, and warned Clarke that such an event would be a 'bonanza' for bin Laden and the Taliban."

Frank J. Gaffney, a former assistant secretary of defense for international security policy under President Reagan, said the September 11 report makes it clear that the Clinton administration "didn't take terrorism terribly seriously."

"Their approach to terrorism was like their approach to national security in general," Mr. Gaffney said. "They certainly didn't pursue it in any consistent and robust way."
The article (http://www.washingtontimes.com/national/20040723-111413-2905r.htm)

<font color="red"> This just highlights how weak the Clinton administration was on al-qaeda. They had bombed the WTC in '93, the Cole, The US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and still Berger was afraid to strike back for fear of bad publicity.

I believe Kerry had slated Sandy Berger to be his National Security Advisor if he wins in November. All I an say is I'm glad Berger got caught stealing those classified documents from the National Archives, because it will effectively prevent Kerry from giving him the job to screw up again. </font color>

-CM

crawdaddio
08-01-2004, 09:33 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote highsea:</font><hr>

<font color="red"> This just highlights how weak the Clinton administration was on al-qaeda. They had bombed the WTC in '93, the Cole, The US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and still Berger was afraid to strike back for fear of bad publicity.

I believe Kerry had slated Sandy Berger to be his National Security Advisor if he wins in November. All I an say is I'm glad Berger got caught stealing those classified documents from the National Archives, because it will effectively prevent Kerry from giving him the job to screw up again. </font color>

-CM

<hr /></blockquote>

I agree with you. However, Bush had our boys in OBL's backyard, and decided to pull out before the job was done. I think if we had really focused on it, OBL would have been captured long ago.

The blame game is fun from here behind our computers, and there's plenty to go around.

"But Mr. German says F.B.I. officials sat on his request, botched the investigation, falsified documents to discredit their own sources, then froze him out and made him a "pariah." He left the bureau in mid-June after 16 years and is now going public for the first time - the latest in a string of F.B.I. whistle-blowers who claim they were retaliated against after voicing concerns about how management problems had impeded terrorism investigations since the Sept. 11 attacks.

"What's so frustrating for me," Mr. German said in an interview, a copy of the Sept. 11 commission report at his side, "is that what I hear the F.B.I. saying every day on TV when I get home, about how it's remaking itself to fight terrorism, is not the reality of what I saw every day in the field."

............."He also wrote, "Opportunities to initiate proactive investigations that might prevent terrorist acts before they occur, which is purported to be the F.B.I.'s number one priority, continue to be lost, yet no one is held accountable."

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/08/02/politics/02whistleblower.html?8br

There are serious lapses in our ability to gather and act upon vital information concerning our national security. I don't think installing a cabinet based anti-terrorist organization will help. It will be too close to the executive branch, and policies and investigations will be even more biased and/or swayed.

highsea
08-01-2004, 09:58 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote crawdaddio:</font><hr> I agree with you. However, Bush had our boys in OBL's backyard, and decided to pull out before the job was done. I think if we had really focused on it, OBL would have been captured long ago.
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/08/02/politics/02whistleblower.html?8br

There are serious lapses in our ability to gather and act upon vital information concerning our national security. I don't think installing a cabinet based anti-terrorist organization will help. It will be too close to the executive branch, and policies and investigations will be even more biased and/or swayed. <hr /></blockquote>If you are referring to Tora Bora, you're right. That was probably our best shot at OBL after overthrowing the Taliban. I wouldn't say we pulled out, we still have 20,000 troops over there, which is about all there ever was.

It was indiginous troops that did most of the fighting in Afghanistan, with air support and specops from us. The fiasco in Tora Bora shows the difference between their troops and ours. We never would have let them slip away under a phony cease-fire agreement.

As far as your article, I couldn't access the link, I was asked to register. Maybe you can repost it in it's entirety. Sounds like the guy was a long-term FBI guy, but I don't know what capacity. It sounds like his complaints go back quite a ways, but I can't really tell.

As far as a cabinet based anti-terrorism organisation, what would you say would be preferable? I think that is what the 9/11 commission is recommending, no? The President is commander in chief, so if we are going to prosecute the war on terrorism as a war, then the organisation needs close proximity to the President (cabinet level). If we are going to treat it as a law enforcement problem, then you are right, it needs to be under the Justice Dept (FBI).

However you slice it, it still falls under the Executive branch, because that is the way our gov't is set up. There is no place under the Legislative or Judicial branches for such an organisation to exist. Trying to place such an organisation under the Legislative or Judicial can only create chaos. Think about it.

eg8r
08-02-2004, 06:48 AM
[ QUOTE ]
As far as your article, I couldn't access the link, I was asked to register. Maybe you can repost it in it's entirety. <hr /></blockquote> Here it is, and it is long...

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote NYT:</font><hr>Another F.B.I. Employee Blows Whistle on Agency
By ERIC LICHTBLAU

Published: August 2, 2004


ASHINGTON, Aug. 1 - As a veteran agent chasing home-grown terrorist suspects for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Mike German always had a knack for worming his way into places few other agents could go.

In the early 1990's, he infiltrated a group of white supremacist skinheads plotting to blow up a black church in Los Angeles. A few years later, he joined a militia in Washington State that talked of attacking government buildings. Known to his fellow militia members as Rock, he tricked them into handcuffing themselves in a supposed training exercise so the authorities could arrest them.

So in early 2002, when Mr. German got word that a group of Americans might be plotting support for an overseas Islamic terrorist group, he proposed to his bosses what he thought was an obvious plan: go undercover and infiltrate the group.

But Mr. German says F.B.I. officials sat on his request, botched the investigation, falsified documents to discredit their own sources, then froze him out and made him a "pariah." He left the bureau in mid-June after 16 years and is now going public for the first time - the latest in a string of F.B.I. whistle-blowers who claim they were retaliated against after voicing concerns about how management problems had impeded terrorism investigations since the Sept. 11 attacks.

"What's so frustrating for me," Mr. German said in an interview, a copy of the Sept. 11 commission report at his side, "is that what I hear the F.B.I. saying every day on TV when I get home, about how it's remaking itself to fight terrorism, is not the reality of what I saw every day in the field."

Mr. German refused to discuss details of the 2002 terrorism investigation, saying the information was classified.

But officials with knowledge of the case said the investigation took place in the Tampa, Fla., area and centered on an informant's tip about a meeting between suspected associates of a domestic militia-type group and a major but unidentified Islamic terrorist organization, who were considering joining forces. A tape recording of the meeting appeared to lend credence to the report, one official said.

Law enforcement officials have become increasingly concerned that militant domestic groups could seek to collaborate with foreign-based terrorist groups like Al Qaeda because of a shared hatred of the American government. This has become a particular concern in prisons.

The Tampa case is not known to have produced any arrests. But Mr. German, in an April 29 letter to several members of Congress, warned that "the investigations involved in my complaint concern very active terrorist groups that currently pose significant threats to national security."

He also wrote, "Opportunities to initiate proactive investigations that might prevent terrorist acts before they occur, which is purported to be the F.B.I.'s number one priority, continue to be lost, yet no one is held accountable."

The Justice Department's inspector general is investigating Mr. German's case, reviewing both how the F.B.I. handled his complaints and whether he was retaliated against as a result, an official there said.

Donna Spiser, an F.B.I. spokeswoman, said that the bureau "thoroughly investigates all allegations of wrongdoing," but that it could not comment on Mr. German's case because of the continuing investigation.

Some law enforcement officials remain somewhat skeptical of Mr. German's claims. But several prominent senators who have been privately briefed on the case in recent weeks said they were troubled by what they learned.

"Retaliating against F.B.I. agents and employees who point out problems or raise concerns seems to be becoming the rule, not the exception," said Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa. He noted that Robert S. Mueller III, acting director of the bureau, "has said many times that whistle-blower retaliation is unacceptable, yet it looks like some F.B.I. bureaucrats haven't gotten the message."

(Page 2 of 2)



The F.B.I. has wrestled with accusations from a number of employees who said they were discouraged from voicing concerns, including Coleen Rowley, the Minneapolis agent who protested the handling of the Zacarias Moussaoui terror case in August 2001. In a report disclosed just last week, the inspector general found that complaints by an F.B.I. linguist, Sibel Edmonds, about the bureau's slipshod translation of terrorism intelligence, played a part in her dismissal in 2002.

In Mr. German's case, Senator Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, said that "when an F.B.I. agent with a distinguished record questions whether terrorism leads are being followed, the F.B.I. needs to listen." He said Mr. German's complaints "reflect the kind of insularity the 9/11 commission identified as a major management failing in the F.B.I.'s antiterrorism work."

Indeed, Mr. German's assertions echo concerns raised about the F.B.I. in the commission's report.

The commission said that while the bureau had made progress in overhauling counterterrorism operations, its investigation "also found gaps between some of the announced reforms and the reality in the field." One concern was that the F.B.I.'s 56 field offices still retain the power to reallocate agents and resources to local concerns that may diverge from national security.

Mr. German's account of what he considers undue restraint in pursuing terrorism leads may give pause to civil libertarians who have accused the F.B.I. of rushing to judgment and using overly aggressive tactics in some terror cases.

At the same time, however, his assertions raise questions about whether the bureau has fixed some of the bureaucratic problems that stymied terrorism investigations before the Sept. 11 attacks, and his perspective could add grist to the debate over restructuring intelligence operations.

Mr. German, in his letter to lawmakers, cited "a continuing failure in the F.B.I.'s counterterrorism program," which he said was "not the result of a lack of intelligence, but a lack of action."

Officials said Mr. German also complained internally about a second case in the Portland, Ore., area in 2002 in which he said he was blocked from going undercover to pursue a domestic terrorism lead. That case was also thought to center on a militia group suspected of plotting violence.

In the Tampa case, officials said Mr. German complained that F.B.I. officials had mishandled evidence concerning a suspected domestic terrorist group and failed to act for months on his request in early 2002 to conduct an undercover operation. That failure, he said, allowed the investigation to "die on the vine."

While Mr. German would not confirm the location of the investigation, he said in an interview at the office of his Washington lawyer, Lynne Bernabei, that his problems intensified after he complained about the management of the case in September 2002. He said F.B.I. officials whom he would not name backdated documents in the case, falsified evidence and falsely discredited witnesses in an apparent effort to justify their approach to the investigation. He cited institutional inertia, even after Sept. 11.

"Trying to get approval for an operation like this is a bureaucratic nightmare at the F.B.I.," he said.

Mr. German said that beginning in late 2002, he took his concerns to his supervisors at the F.B.I. and to officials at headquarters in Washington, including Mr. Mueller himself, in an e-mail message that he said went unanswered. He also went to the Justice Department's inspector general and, frustrated by what he saw as a languishing investigation, brought his concerns this spring to several members of Congress and the Sept. 11 commission.

In the meantime, Mr. German said, his career at the F.B.I. stalled, despite what he said was an "unblemished" record and an award for his work in the Los Angeles skinhead case.

Soon after raising his complaints about the 2002 terrorism investigation, he was removed from the case. And, he said, F.B.I. officials wrongly accused him of conducting unauthorized travel, stopped using him to train agents in "proactive techniques" and shut him out of important domestic terrorism assignments.

"The phone just stopped ringing, and I became a persona non grata," he said. "Because I wouldn't let this go away, I became the problem."

For now, he has no job and is uncertain about his future.

"My entire career has been ruined, all because I thought I was doing the right thing here," he said.

<hr /></blockquote> eg8r

crawdaddio
08-02-2004, 07:28 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote highsea:</font><hr> If you are referring to Tora Bora, you're right. That was probably our best shot at OBL after overthrowing the Taliban. I wouldn't say we pulled out, we still have 20,000 troops over there, which is about all there ever was.
<font color="red">I thought we had about 30-40,000 at the height of the invasion. The important ones such as intel officers, versed in arabic and, as you mentioned, specops were pulled out in prep for Iraq way too early, IMO. </font color>

It was indiginous troops that did most of the fighting in Afghanistan, with air support and specops from us. The fiasco in Tora Bora shows the difference between their troops and ours. We never would have let them slip away under a phony cease-fire agreement.
<font color="red">C'mon, dude, we (our tactical people) didn't have any knowledge of the operation? I don't think you can lay all the blame on the Afghan troops. If we weren't supplying our boys at the most critical point(near capture of OBL), then we really screwed up. My point exactly. </font color>

As far as your article, I couldn't access the link, I was asked to register. Maybe you can repost it in it's entirety. Sounds like the guy was a long-term FBI guy, but I don't know what capacity. It sounds like his complaints go back quite a ways, but I can't really tell.
<font color="red">Thanks to eg8r for posting it. He was a 16(?) year veteran, and he's not the only one the FBI Has canned for complaining about being brickwalled. </font color>

As far as a cabinet based anti-terrorism organisation, what would you say would be preferable? I think that is what the 9/11 commission is recommending, no? The President is commander in chief, so if we are going to prosecute the war on terrorism as a war, then the organisation needs close proximity to the President (cabinet level). If we are going to treat it as a law enforcement problem, then you are right, it needs to be under the Justice Dept (FBI).
<font color="red">Yes, that is what the 911 comm. reccommended. I think it should be dealt with under law enforcement, as you mentioned. Make some SERIOUS changes in the FBI and CIA that will be upheld. </font color>

However you slice it, it still falls under the Executive branch, because that is the way our gov't is set up. There is no place under the Legislative or Judicial branches for such an organisation to exist. Trying to place such an organisation under the Legislative or Judicial can only create chaos. Think about it. <hr /></blockquote>

<font color="red">I agree, but if this is created in the white house, I think investigators will be influenced by admin. policy to find what they want to find and lose their objectivity. We are already losing our civil liberties which, quite frankly, scares the living hell out of me. It is a slippery slope. You give a man an inch, and he thinks he is a ruler. Look at our right to free speech and protest. At the DNC, people were forced into the "freedom pit". People were searched at random without probable cause. You can now be detained without being notified of the reason. You must have I.D. on you at all times. I know we want to stop another 911, but at what cost? Giving up the freedoms were trying to protect?
"If you give up liberty in exchange for security, then you deserve neither liberty or security."
(paraphrasing Thomas Jefferson, I think?)
</font color>

highsea
08-02-2004, 02:03 PM
Well, I didn't post this thread to talk about OA. It was about Berger's actions as Clinton's National Security Adviser. If you want to talk about Bush's policies in Afghanistan, start a thread, and I will discuss it.

You came back with a story about a disgruntled FBI agent, and a complaint that a new cabinet based anti-terrorism organisation would be too close to the Executive branch. Where do you think the Justice Dept. is? (Hint: It's not the Legislative or Judicial. You have 3 guesses)

Sometimes I think you need to brush up on your civics. Anyway, do you have anything relevant to say about the OP?

-CM

crawdaddio
08-02-2004, 05:52 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote highsea:</font><hr> Anyway, do you have anything relevant to say about the OP?

-CM <hr /></blockquote>

Sure. I think Berger was a man trying to do his job. Every action taken by our military has political and foreign affair ramifications (unless done secretly and illegally, which is often the case). It is foolish to think that any administrator with this kind of power will not weigh these issues before action is taken. There could be a number of reasons why he would not OK the operations, that we simply don't know (your link is only one article of reference and not necessarily fact).

Now, I'm not defending his actions (or non-actions), only questioning the reasons. I would also extend this sentiment to the reference I made to Bush not taking his chance either.

You, or I, can find articles and "evidence" supporting either side of the fence.

As far as the national archives issue goes, I have read accounts that stated the only papers he removed were his personal notes (which is illegal also, I think). I don't know what the truth is, but I will consider him innocent until proven guilty.

Wally_in_Cincy
08-03-2004, 06:37 AM
A guy called in to Hannity's show yesterday. He said when the reporters start pressuring Dubya to get the Intelligence Czar in place he should say "Before going forward with that we are going to wait and find out what was in the top-secret papers that Sandy Berger lifted" /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

highsea
08-03-2004, 11:38 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote crawdaddio:</font><hr>Sure. I think Berger was a man trying to do his job. Every action taken by our military has political and foreign affair ramifications (unless done secretly and illegally, which is often the case). <font color="red">Do you have any examples, or is this just speculation on your part? Note also that the National Security Adviser is not the final say on military action. That's the president's job. Berger never let these plans get past his desk. He decided on his own as to the merit of Tenet's proposals. Shouldn't Clinton have at least been in the loop? </font color>

It is foolish to think that any administrator with this kind of power will not weigh these issues before action is taken. <font color="red"> I will repeat, he is just an ADVISOR! He has no final say on anything! By scratching these plans, he effectively silenced the DCI. Shouldn't Clinton have at least been given the chance to hear Tenet's and Clark's thoughts on this? Clinton gave way too much veto power to Berger, imo.</font color>

There could be a number of reasons why he would not OK the operations, that we simply don't know (your link is only one article of reference and not necessarily fact). <font color="red"> Well, I'm citing the 9/11 comission report. I am not quoting the Michigan Militia here... </font color>

Now, I'm not defending his actions (or non-actions), only questioning the reasons. I would also extend this sentiment to the reference I made to Bush not taking his chance either. <font color="red"> I also would like to know the reason. I'm not setting blame for 9/11 here. We know who is to blame for that. </font color>

You, or I, can find articles and "evidence" supporting either side of the fence. <font color="red"> I'm just citing the 9/11 commission. I think we can all agree that is a non-partisan and factual report. </font color>

As far as the national archives issue goes, I have read accounts that stated the only papers he removed were his personal notes (which is illegal also, I think). I don't know what the truth is, but I will consider him innocent until proven guilty. <font color="red"> Yes, it is illegal for him to take his notes. I wonder what those notes were, that he felt he had to sneak them out in his socks? Christ, that's where I hid my pot when I was a kid! Berger's own behavior makes it a little difficult for me to presume innocence here. But you know what? We'll never know. Berger saw to that, and the documents no longer exist.</font color> <hr /></blockquote>

crawdaddio
08-03-2004, 10:40 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote highsea:</font><hr> Do you have any examples, or is this just speculation on your part? <hr /></blockquote>

Chile, 1970's.

[ QUOTE ]
On Sept. 16, William Broe, chief of the CIA's Western Hemisphere division, met with Helms and other senior CIA officers.

The Director (of Central Intelligence) told the group that President Nixon had decided that an Allende regime in Chile was not acceptable to the United States. The President asked the Agency to prevent Allende from coming to power or to unseat him. The President authorized ten million dollars for this purpose, if needed. Further, the Agency is to carry out this mission without coordination with the Departments of State or Defense. . . . The Director said he had been asked by Dr. Henry Kissinger . . . to meet with him on Friday, 18 September, to give him the Agency's views on how this mission could be accomplished. <hr /></blockquote>

http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/ciachile.htm

Haiti, 1991 and 2004.

[ QUOTE ]
Well, to tell you about Stanley Lucas, and he is the program officer for the International Republican Institute, or I.R.I.'s Haiti program. I.R.I. is active in 50 countries worldwide on a mission to “promote democracy”. In many of their programs, through their means, what they have demonstrated is something quite different. They have demonstrated -- I.R.I has demonstrated a penchant for backing opponents in regimes deemed hostile to the U.S. and specifically to conservative interests, and I.R.I.'s program in Haiti has been probably its most bellicose thanks to Stanley Lucas.

.............It's unheard of for someone like Lucas to actually sabotage a U.S. Ambassador. Lucas threatened two embassy officials and told them they would be fired once the real -- “Real” U.S. policy was implemented. In 2003, Curran was forced to resign in disgust because of Lucas's activities and the fact that Bush administration seemed to give Lucas their tacit approval. A number of embassy officials I spoke to were removed from Haiti by Roger Noriega for opposing what Stanley Lucas was doing in part. So this whole sad episode that led up to the coup was allowed to occur because of Bush's policy of studied neglect in South America.

.............Now, Guy Philippe is the U.S. trained former police chief who led the coup into Port-au-Prince. I.R.I. issued a press release stating they have never dealt with Guy Philippe. I reached Guy Philippe in an interview by cell phone. He told me that he and Stanley Lucas were long-time friends. An embassy official told me on condition of anonymity that he witnessed Lucas conferring with Guy Philippe in Ecuador in 2001, which is where Philippe lived at the time and was trained by U.S. Forces. So I think this raises serious questions about whether the International Republican Institute actually collided with the violent insurgents who attacked the presidential palace and drove Aristide out by force. <hr /></blockquote>

http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=04/07/20/1327215

highsea
08-04-2004, 12:37 AM
So tell me again how these are examples of secret illegal actions takes by the US military?

crawdaddio
08-04-2004, 06:29 AM
Is it not illegal to fund or aid the overthrowing of a democratically elected leader of a sovereign nation?

Many people have been tortured and killed because of the US's fear of communism and terrorism. The actions taken by our gov. only fuel the fire of hatred for America. We perpetuate terrorist acts by our forcing of "democracy" upon people who simply want to live their lives. The snake eating it's own tail....

If that is not illegal, it should be. It is wrong.