- Obama’s regulatory agenda will cost U.S. economy $143B next year: report
- Patriot Act author on James Clapper: Fire, prosecute him
- Russia P.M. Medvedev: No amnesty for political prisoners
- Michigan GOP Senate hopeful reminds government is the ‘servant’
- Christmas, by Congress: Members mull a 15-cent tax on trees
- U.S. unemployment falls to five-year low of 7 percent; 203K jobs added
- World mourns Nelson Mandela and celebrates his life; burial set for Dec. 15
- Bill O’Reilly reminds: Nelson Mandela ‘was a communist’
- John Boehner says GOP should support gay candidates: ‘I do’
- Grass-Whopper: Pan-fried cricket burgers go over big in New York City
CIA releases papers from 9/11 file
Reveal budget concerns affecting its effort to find bin Laden
Question of the Day
In the months before the terrorist attacks of September 2001, the CIA unit dedicated to hunting for Osama bin Laden complained that it was running out of money, and analysts considered the likelihood of catching the terrorist leader to be extremely low, according to government records published this week.
The declassified documents, dated from 1992 to 2004, are heavily blacked out and offer little new information about what the United States knew about the al Qaeda plot before 2001. Many of the files are cited in the 9/11 Commission report, published in 2004.
The commission determined the failure that led to 9/11 was a lack of imagination, and U.S. intelligence agencies failed to connect the dots that could have prevented the attacks.
Though few new details are revealed in the documents, the files offer more historical context for the years surrounding the deadliest terror attack on U.S. soil.
The National Security Archive obtained the documents through a Freedom of Information Act request and published them on its website Tuesday. The archive is a private group seeking transparency in government.
“Need forward movement on supplemental soonest,” said a heavily blacked-out document titled “Islamic Extremist Update.”
The supplemental budget was still being reviewed by the National Security Council and White House Office of Management and Budget. Because of budgetary constraints, the bin Laden unit would move from an “offensive to defensive posture,” the document said.
This meant that officials feared they would have to shelve some of their more-elaborate proposals to track al Qaeda and instead rely on existing resources.
The “Uzbek Initiative,” referenced in the same document, was one of the more- expensive programs the CIA ran at the time, according to a source familiar with the initiative. The program involved paying off CIA tipsters who monitored bin Laden followers traveling through Uzbekistan.
The documents do not make clear whether the portion of the budget in question was passed. But they hint at complaints detailed publicly after the 9/11 attacks by previous directors of the bin Laden unit that the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations did not fully appreciate the severity of the threat.
The documents also show that U.S. officials were concerned that bin Laden was using Afghanistan’s national airline to smuggle vast cash reserves when he was sheltered by Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban mullahs in the late 1990s. The CIA’s “National Intelligence Daily” in June 1999 urged the imposition of sanctions on Ariana Airlines, then controlled by the Taliban, in order to put pressure on bin Laden’s cash flow. His funds reportedly depended heavily on flights from the United Arab Emirates into Afghanistan.
- Spike in battlefield deaths linked to restrictive rules of engagement
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Hack attack: 2 million Facebook, Twitter passwords stolen
- Kill team: Obama war chiefs widen drone death zones
- Obama administration issues permits for wind farms to kill more eagles
- Embryonic stem cell research falls out of favor as scientists go ethical
- EDITORIAL: Our ideological president
- PRUDEN: British press horrified as London's new mayor dares to proclaim the truth
- MILLER: Obamacare enrollees include 101 members of the House of Representatives
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
The Constitution: Every issue, every time. No exceptions, no excuses. And how to get from here to there.
Why can’t humans just be free to be humans?
Get in the middle of all the action inside and outside the boxing ring.
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
White House pets gone wild!