- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 13, 2001

U.S. intelligence agencies are working to track down remaining terrorists and their supporters following Tuesday's attacks, as critics called for increased spying effort against extremists.
CIA Director George J. Tenet said that the agency is one of the leaders in the search for the "sponsors of these unspeakable acts."
Meanwhile, Pentagon officials told Fox News yesterday that staff members for two Republican senators are seeking support to call for Mr. Tenet's resignation. The network said staffers for Sens. Richard C. Shelby of Alabama and Fred Thompson of Tennessee were seeking Pentagon backing for the CIA director's ouster.
Mr. Tenet, in a message to CIA employees, stated that the battle against terrorism is hard. "The shield of fanaticism — wielded by those ready to forfeit their lives to achieve their twisted dreams — is not easily pierced," Mr. Tenet said. "But it has been pierced before and it will be pierced again."
The director was referring to the difficulty of getting intelligence from tight-knit terrorist groups
Mr. Tenet said that while the agency failed to stop the latest terrorist actions at the Pentagon and New York's World Trade Center, "thousands" of lives were saved by CIA officers.
He vowed that the CIA will "run to ground a vicious foe" and make sure that the terrorists "must never know rest, ease, comfort."
On Capitol Hill, Mr. Shelby, the ranking member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, criticized Mr. Tenet for his leadership of the CIA.
Asked if he has confidence in the CIA director, Mr. Shelby said: "That's up to the president of the United States. I don't want to make a judgment on that."
But he added, "We cannot afford anything less than the best. We can do better with our intelligence agencies."
"I think there's going to be a renewed effort [to spend money on intelligence]. People are going to start listening that were not listening for the last three or four years here in the Senate.
"We should do whatever it takes to have the very best intelligence agency that we can afford. And we can afford more.
"This was not an intelligence success, clearly," Mr. Shelby said. "We have had great successes in intelligence. But this was an intelligence failure.
"It was an intelligence failure when our embassies were bombed in Africa. It was an intelligence failure when we didn't know that the Indian government was going to resume testing nuclear weapons several years ago. We could go on and on."
Mr. Shelby said he has sought more funds for intelligence programs, including the electronic eavesdropping National Security Agency.
The terrorist attacks have silenced lawmakers who say intelligence agencies are no longer needed, Mr. Shelby said.
"We do need a stepped-up, beefed-up intelligence agency," he said. "And we've got to put the resources into them. We've got to train the right people. We've got to recruit the best and the brightest of Americans to serve in our intelligence agencies because that is the front line. It is probably the most valuable investment we can make."
Fox News reported that Mr. Shelby was trying to get the chairman of the committee, Sen. Bob Graham, Florida Democrat, to join him in seeking Mr. Tenet's resignation.
Former CIA Director F. James Woolsey said new restrictions on intelligence gathering were imposed on the CIA during the Clinton administration that have made it difficult to thwart terrorist attacks.
"Guidelines were issued that deter recruitments of people with human rights violations in their backgrounds," Mr. Woolsey said.
The restrictions may work for recruiting foreign government officials, he said.
"But if your are trying to recruit inside Hezbollah or Osama bin Laden's organization, there is nobody in there but human rights violators," Mr. Woolsey said.
Mr. Woolsey said the restrictions have a chilling effect on CIA efforts to recruit spies who can help in the battle against terrorism.
The guidelines should be lifted, he said.
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld told reporters that disclosures of "classified information dealing with operations" were hampering efforts to "track down and deal with terrorists."
Disclosures of classified information have been "happening daily," he said.
Rep. Porter J. Goss, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, told reporters that federal investigators are pursuing several leads.
Authorities are trying to "catch the perpetrators that have not perished in the tragedy," Mr. Goss, Florida Republican, said. "There had to be some brains behind this. We have some good, promising leads that are obviously being followed."
Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott said intelligence shortfalls are not new.
"This problem has been brewing," he said, noting last year's bombing of the destroyer USS Cole and the bombing of an Air Force barracks in Saudi Arabia.
"We have got to take extraordinary actions," Mr. Lott said. "We've got to deal legislatively with whatever the administration needs for the FBI, the CIA, the Defense Department, to take care of this worldwide threat."
* Dave Boyer contributed to this report.


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