Thursday, October 21, 2004

The plot thickens

The CIA recently finished an exhaustive seventeen month study into intelligence failures that led to the 9/11 attacks. The Congressional intelligence committees ordered the study nearly two years ago. The study was conducted by an eleven member group of CIA employees, was completed in June, and reportedly specifically identifies Bush administration officials whom allegedly turned a blind eye to the threat of terrorism. The report by the CIA inspector general’s office could potentially be embarrassing to the Bush administration.

Democrat Congresswoman Jane Harman and the chair of the Congressional Intelligence Committee, Republican Peter Hoekstra sent a letter two weeks ago requesting the release of the report. CIA officials have refused to release the report until sometime after the election. According to the New York Times, several families of 9/11 met personally with CIA director Porter Goss to demand release of the report. Goss still refuses to make the results public despite public pressure, demands from victims' families, and requests made by congressional committees.

By law, the only justification that Goss would have for squelching release of this study would be that it contained sensitive info that would endanger national security if it were made public. From what anonymous sources within the CIA have said the report pulls no punches and directly fingers senior Bush administration officials for ignoring terrorism.

Why is the report being held in limbo? Why are congressional committees getting the stiff arm? If the Bush administration truly has nothing to hide regarding its conduct prior to 9/11 then why not release this report?