The Secret in the CIA's Back Pocket

I've always thought that one of the most astonishing about the way the Bush administration handled 9/11 is that no one was held to account. Not the people who didn't get the warnings to the president, not the White House for ignoring that warning if it did get to it, not the Air Force personnel that failed to scramble in time to intercept the third plane, not the CIA for having lousy intelligence -- nothing. And even the 9/11 Commission eschews assigning blame to specific institutions or people.

Apparently, the CIA has been working on its own report on 9/11 which does assign blame and treats some people pretty harshly. But, as Robert Scheer reports on Alternet, we're not about to see it before the elections:

According to the intelligence official, who spoke to me on condition of anonymity, release of the report, which represents an exhaustive 17- month investigation by an 11-member team within the agency, has been "stalled." First by acting CIA Director John McLaughlin and now by Porter J. Goss, the former Republican House member (and chairman of the Intelligence Committee) who recently was appointed CIA chief by President Bush.


The official stressed that the report was more blunt and more specific than the earlier bipartisan reports produced by the Bush-appointed Sept. 11 commission and Congress.


"What all the other reports on 9/11 did not do is point the finger at individuals, and give the how and what of their responsibility. This report does that," said the intelligence official. "The report found very senior-level officials responsible."


Let's hope those senior-level officials will lose their jobs on November 2.
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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.