Yes, you read the title correctly.
It’s a new theory out there which advances the preposterous notion that President Bush is responsible for the Fort Hood massacre.
I’m not kidding. You can read the post here.
The advocate of this brave idea begins by citing the case of poor communication between various agencies which is supposed to be the center of blame for 9/11. The theory continues with President Bush’s “failure” to remedy the situation which has been allowed to fester to the point where the Fort Hood massacre couldn’t be stopped even though the proper authorities knew about it. The author then posits that “Bush didn’t do his job” and hopes that “Obama will recognize this as a high priority and do something.”
What a pile of horse shit.
Here’s a Real Case of Deliberate Obstruction
Yesterday, Congressman Peter Hoekstra, Ranking Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, charged that the Obama White House intervened to keep him from obtaining critical information regarding the Fort Hood murders.
A member of the Committee since 2001, Hoekstra is responsible for providing Congressional oversight as the United States battles a global war on terror and Congress works to modernize and reform the U.S. Intelligence Community.
Several members of Congress, particularly Michigan Rep. Peter Hoekstra, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, have also called for a full examination of what agencies knew about Hasan’s contacts with a radical Muslim cleric in Yemen and others of concern to the U.S.
Hoekstra confirmed that government officials knew of about 10 to 20 e-mails between Hasan and the radical imam, beginning in December 2008.
Lawmakers have announced they want their own investigations and are frustrated with what they view as a less-than-forthcoming administration.
Nixon era abuses
Warrantless electronic surveillance of foreign powers has historically been a tool of presidents during war time or time of international tension. President Franklin Roosevelt conducted wire taps prior to World War II and the use of electronic eavesdropping by U.S. intelligence agencies expanded greatly during the Cold War in the 1960s and 1970s.
However, events during the Nixon administration raised concerns about the abuse of presidential power when conducting wiretaps.
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, President Nixon was concerned about unrest caused by the ongoing war in Vietnam War and the civil rights movement. Nixon asked the CIA and the National Security Agency, intelligence organizations charged with foreign surveillance, to eavesdrop on U.S. Citizens The domestic spying program targeted the political activities of members of the anti-war and civil rights movements including singer Joan Baez, the family of Martin Luther King Jr. and members of a group called the White Panthers.
The White Panthers were charged with bombing a CIA office in Michigan in 1968. During the trial, prosecutors submitted into evidence conversations taped by federal agents without a warrant on the authority of President Nixon’s attorney general, John Mitchell.
In 1971, Mitchell submitted a sworn statement defending his actions saying the surveillance was necessary to protect the nation from “attempts of domestic organizations to attack and subvert the existing structure of the government.”
However, the Supreme Court disagreed. In 1972 the Supreme Court ruled unanimously to prohibit warrantless electronic surveillance of domestic organizations. The freedoms protected by the Fourth Amendment “cannot properly be guaranteed if domestic security surveillance may be conducted solely within the discretion of the executive branch,” wrote Justice Lewis Powell, a Nixon appointee.
More intelligence abuses came to light during the Watergate investigation and in a lengthy New York Times article by Seymour Hersh published in 1974. As a result, the Senate convened a special investigative committee headed by Sen. Frank Church, D-Idaho, to investigate the intelligence abuses.
Convinced that congressional oversight of the intelligence community was necessary to protect the public from such abuses, the intelligence committee later became a permanent fixture of both the House and Senate.
Source:PBS Report on Domestic Security
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act
In 1978, the Democrat controlled Congress (from 1977 to 1981) passed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
This law regulated intelligence collection directed at foreign powers and agents of foreign powers in the United States. It was a compromise. FISA did not require traditional court approval of a warrant, but established a special new court, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), to review requests for surveillance pursuant to this law. The department of Justice created an Office of Intelligence Policy and Review (OlPR). OIPR would be responsible, inter alia, for presenting surveillance applications to the FISA court.’
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 prescribes procedures for the physical and electronic surveillance and collection of “foreign intelligence information” between “foreign powers” and “agents of foreign powers” (which may include American citizens and permanent residents suspected of being engaged in espionage and violating U.S. law on territory under United States control).
To use FISA, the government must show probable cause that the “target of the surveillance is a foreign power or agent of a foreign power.”
The law is the result of extensive investigations by Senate Committees into the legality of domestic intelligence activities. These investigations were led separately by Sam Ervin (D-NC) and Frank Church (D-ID) in 1978 as a response to President Richard Nixon’s usage of federal resources to spy on political and activist groups, which violates the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Able Danger and 9/11
According to a former defense intelligence official and a Republican member of Congress, during the Clinton Administration, more than a year before the Sept. 11 attacks, “a small, highly classified military intelligence unit identified Mohammed Atta and three other future hijackers as likely members of a cell of Al Qaeda operating in the United States.”
Representative Curt Weldon of Pennsylvania, and the former intelligence official report that in the summer of 2000, the team, known as Able Danger, “prepared a chart that included visa photographs of the four men and recommended to the military’s Special Operations Command that the information be shared with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.”
On the basis that Mr. Atta, and the others were in the United States on valid entry visas, under American law, “United States citizens and green-card holders may not be singled out in intelligence-collection operations by the military or intelligence agencies.” Consequently, the recommendation was rejected and the information was not shared.
“That protection does not extend to visa holders, but Mr. Weldon and the former intelligence official said it might have reinforced a sense of discomfort common before Sept. 11 about sharing intelligence information with a law enforcement agency.”
Source: New York Times (Something tells me I shouldn’t be relying on the New York Times for in-depth reporting, but there it is.)
The joint House and Senate Intelligence Committees’ report of pre-September 11 intelligence failures produced a report which describes the ‘wall’ as
a series of restrictions between and within agencies constructed over a period of 60 years. It is the result of legal, policy, institutional and personal factors.
A once-secret report released by the Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States entitled “Legal Barriers to Information Sharing:The Erection of a Wall Between Intelligence and Law Enforcement Investigations” reports on the history of tensions between intelligence and law enforcement agencies.
Issues regarding the sharing of information between intelligence and criminal investigations did not arise suddenly in the summer of 2001. There was a long history of concerns about how the FBI collected intelligence activities within the United States and what was done with the information that it gathered.
The FBI’s domestic intelligence gathering dates from the 1930s. With World War II looming FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, at President Franklin Roosevelt’s direction, added to the FBI’s duties investigation of possible espionage, sabotage, or subversion. After the war, foreign intelligence duties were assigned to the newly established Central Intelligence Agency. The CIA was expressly precluded from engaging in domestic law enforcement activities.’ Domestic intelligence responsibilities remained with the FBI.
The report states further on the restrictions placed upon intelligence agencies
It is important to understand what these procedures did and did not do. First, these procedures only applied to information gathered by the FBI as part of an intelligence investigation. They did not control information gathered by the CIA or the NSA.
In December 1999, during the high terror alert surrounding the Millennium, OIPR presented an unprecedented number of FISA applications to the court. Because of existing related criminal) cases, including the prosecutions of the 1998 East Africa embassy bombings suspects and the outstanding indictment against Bin Ladin,’ OIPR and the court agreed that additional information sharing controls were needed to ensure that the new FISAs were intended to gather foreign intelligence, not enhance exiting criminal matters.
As a result, at a time when portions of the Justice Department were considering to modify the 1995 procedures to increase information sharing, elsewhere more barriers to such sharing were being erected.
The case of Mihdhar and Nawaf
The report by the Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States describes the efforts of agents in the intelligence community who were investigating the movements of 2 participants in the 9/11 attacks who were working with information which they felt had to be ignored because of the restrictions outlined by FISA.
In December 1999 the NSA had picked up the movements of Khalid al Mihdhar and an individual then only identified as Nawaf. Mihdhar was linked him to a terrorist facility in the Middle East. He was tracked to Kuala Lumpur where he met with other then unidentified individuals. Some photographs were taken of these individuals on the streets of Kuala Lumpur. The surveillance trailed off when three of the individuals moved on to Bangkok on January 8,2000. The NSA reporting regarding the links to the facility and Mihdhar’s travel was disseminated to the intelligence community, including the FBI. The reports, however, bore caveats that precluded sharing the contents with FBI criminal investigators without first obtaining Office of Intelligence Policy and Review (OIPR) permission. The CIA reports regarding the surveillance were not disseminated outside CIA.
In late May and early June 2001 an FBI analyst assigned to the investigation of the October 2000 bombing of the USS Cole was investigating an individual involved in the Cole attack named Fahd al Quso, The analyst knew that Quso had traveled to Bangkok in January 2000 to give money to Tawfiq bin Attash, aka Khallad. Khallad was believed tohave been a liaison between the attackers and Usama bin Ladin. A CIA analyst who had been working on Cole-related issues suggested showing some photographs to FBI agents in New York who were working on the Cole case and had interviewed Quso.
The FBI analyst was given three surveillance photographs from the January 2000 Kuala Lumpur meeting to show to the New York agents. She was told one of the individuals was named Khalid al Mihdhar. She was not told why the photographs had been taken or why the Kuala Lumpur travel might have been significant. When the FBI analyst did some research of past intelligence reports, she found the original NSA reports on the planning for the Kuala Lumpur meeting. Because the CIA had not disseminated itsreporting) the analyst did not locate any of its reports on the meeting.
On June 11, 2001, the FBI analyst, an FBI analyst on detail to the CIA, and the CIA analyst who had suggested showing the photographs to the agents, went to New York to meet with the Cole investigators. At one point in the meeting, the FBI analyst showed the three photographs to the agents and asked whether they recognized Quso in any of them. The agents asked questions about the photographs – Why were they taken? Why were these people being followed? Where are the rest of the photographs?
The only information the FBI analyst had regarding the meeting – other than the photographs – were the NSA reports that she had found. These reports, however, contained caveats that their contents could not be shared with criminal investigators without OIPR’s permission. Therefore, the analyst concluded she could not pass the information contained in these reports to the agents. She did not ask OIPR for permission to share these reports. She did not explain to the agents about the caveats but merely said she could not share the information due to “the wall.”
The CIA analyst at the meeting knew much more about the Kuala Lumpur meeting. No one at the meeting asked him what he knew; he did not volunteer anything. He later told investigators that as a CIA analyst he was not authorized to answer FBI questions regarding CIA information. The FBI analyst said that she assumed that if the CIA analyst had the answers to the agents’ questions, he would have volunteered them.
The report’s conclusion on these pre-September 11 intelligence sharing failures states,
… the failures in the summer of 2001 were … the result of … the ‘failure of individuals to understand … why the information could not have been shared.
The Irony Literally Kills Us
So there we have it.
In their attempts to prevent abuses of power such as those conducted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, President Nixon, et. al., Democrats craft laws to make it illegal for our intelligence agencies to share intelligence (Able Danger) which could have been used to help prevent 9/11 resulting in the deaths of over 3,000 Americans.
Making it worse, as seen in the case of Mihdhar and Nawaf, the bill also served to obfuscate the use of the law to the degree where it actually prevented the sharing of information when in fact, there were no legal barriers to doing so.
While there are individuals “out there” who honestly believe George W. Bush was responsible for the Ft. Hood shootings of 51 service men and women resulting in 13 deaths, with the evidence presented above, it appears the fault actually lies with members of the Democrat Party.
How’s THAT for a theory?