Shades of intelligence failures past? Blame game percolating
The shooting rampage that killed 13 people at Fort Hood in which a Muslim Army psychiatrist is the suspected gunman has set off a chain of inquiries into who knew what when.
In the post-9/11 era, government officials want to show that they are doing everything they can to protect the public and, when something happens, that they will get to the bottom of it.
The FBI says there is no information that Major Nidal Malik Hasan was involved in a “broader terrorist plot.”
U.S. officials say intelligence agencies learned that Hasan contacted an anti-American cleric in Yemen who was sympathetic to al Qaeda and relayed the information to law enforcement authorities, but it’s unclear whether any action was taken.
President Barack Obama has ordered an inventory of all intelligence in U.S. government files related to Hasan, and a review of how any intelligence was handled by government agencies.
Members of Congress are talking about launching congressional investigations.
It has only just begun.
But the bottom line in the usual Washington blame game is going to be finding who messed up.
After the Sept. 11 attacks and the large-scale revamping of U.S. intelligence operations in which a whole new entity was created — the Director of National Intelligence — that is no small question.
“There is still a reluctance among different (intelligence and law enforcement) actors to share across what they consider to be their own turfs. It seems difficult to understand,” counterterrorism expert Evan Kohlmann said.
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Photo credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque (soldiers at Fort Hood memorial service), Reuters/Jessica Rinaldi (Obama at Fort Hood memorial ceremony)