Thursday, December 31, 2009

The President's security review

Politico claims to have seen the report that the President will receive today on the security and intelligence reviews of what went wrong to allow Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to gain an American visa and board that Northwest flight. If you read their summary of the reports, what sticks out is that we knew all this yesterday from leaked news reports.
Here’s what you can expect to hear in coming days:

1) The U.S. government had received several worrisome reports about Abdulmutallab, including a warning from the man’s father. The CIA says the his name didn’t surface until November, but an earlier report about a person of interest known internally as “the Nigerian” was received in August.

2) Several clues to the unfolding plot were not shared sufficiently within the intelligence community. The CIA and the National Counterterrorism Center, which was created on the recommendation of the 9/11 Commission, did not adequately alert the FBI or others who might have acted on information they received.

And agencies did not trigger their own alarms by connecting clues about the suspect with other available data, which might have shown he posed a high risk. “Listmasters didn’t link up some of the data points that were vague but available,” a knowledgeable official said.
If Politico's report of the probe's finding is correct we can face the conclusion that the security forces leaked their own side of the story before that news could be given the President. He could have gone to Memeorandum and found out the same info.

When it comes to CYA, they're all remarkably quick to get the information out. Just imagine if they worked that fast before their A needed to be C'ed.

UPDATE: The Washington Post has the same story. Apparently, they're leaking this thing all over the place.

AJ Strata flags this report from The American Spectator.
"We have agreements with a number of different countries that work with us cooperatively on intelligence matters," says the State Department employee. "A number of the treaties work through our justice departments or foreign offices or intelligence and interior or homeland security agencies. Several departments here in Washington got the information from London and it didn't trigger anything within our own system.

This employee says that despite statements from the Obama Administration, such information was flagged and given higher priority during the Bush Administration, but that since the changeover "we are encouraged to not create the appearance that we are profiling or targeting Muslims. I think career employees were uncomfortable with the Bush procedures and policies and were relieved to not have to live under them any longer."

.... The State source says that several schools, particularly those with ties to the British Muslim community, have come under tighter scrutiny over the past five years, and when foreign nationals with Muslim backgrounds apply to those schools, it is red flag for British security offices.

"I'm not saying that this kind of screw up might not have happened in the Bush Administration," the State source says, referring to the Christmas Day snafu. "I'm just saying that a number of us were encouraged to have a different mindset about such intel and such individuals, and today, we are encouraged not to have that same mindset."
Granted this is an anonymous State Department report, but it was just such anonymous reports that the New York Times lapped up when the sources were trashing President Bush's policies. And it is quite believable that there would be career officials left over in even the State Department that would reacted angrily to instructions to be more sensitive to charges of profiling Muslims. Sure, most of them would have been happy to get those instructions, but there is always someone who is a contrarian. And in the light of what happened with Major Hassan and the Fort Hood shootings, such a person might have leaked this story. We'll see if such leakers have more stories and want to get a bigger audience by leaking to the MSM. And if the MSM would treat such a story with the same 'delicacy' they showed for security leaks during the Bush administration.