Clicking on banner ads enables JWR to constantly improve
Jewish World Review June 11, 2002 / 1 Tamuz, 5762

Art Buchwald

Art Buchwald
JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
Ann Coulter
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
James Glassman
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Marianne Jennings
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
John Leo
Michelle Malkin
Jackie Mason
Chris Matthews
Michael Medved
Kathleen Parker
Wes Pruden
Sam Schulman
Amity Shlaes
Roger Simon
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports

Don't let them know | The question everyone in Washington is asking about the terrorists who crashed into the Pentagon is, "When did the CIA know about them and when did the FBI find out?"

It appears the CIA was tracking Khalid Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi, members of al-Qaida, who were linked to terrorism involving the bombing of the Navy destroyer Cole. Almihdhar came in and out of the U.S. on visas to meet with other suspects. The CIA kept track of him through 2000 and 2001.

Originally the CIA denied they had information on Khalid after he was listed as one of the suicide bombers. Rumor has it they keep their information secret to save their behinds.

There are two sides to every story. First I went to the CIA and talked to Mr. X.

"Why did you not tell the FBI before Sept. 11 that you were tracking down Almihdhar?"

"Ever since the traitor Robert Hanssen turned out to be a spy for the Russians we haven't trusted the FBI," he said.

"But at least you could have dropped off an e-mail to tell them you were on to something important."

"The FBI's computers are so old they would never have gotten it. Besides, Almihdhar was our terrorist and not theirs. They are always taking credit for everything we do."

"Almihdhar entered and left the country many times. If you had told the FBI, they would have told the Immigration and Naturalization Service to look out for him."

"We didn't want to tip our hand. Besides, Almihdhar might lead us to bin Laden."

"Rumor has it that the head of CIA ordered his people to shred all the papers so no one would find out about the fiasco."

He said angrily, "Go take a flying lesson."

I then went over to the FBI to hear their story.

Agent 342 told me, "The first time the FBI found out about the CIA's tracking is when we read it on Yahoo. It was squeezed in between an advertisement for suntan oil and a trip to Jamaica. It took us three weeks to break the code. When we found out it was from the CIA, we went ballistic."

"Why didn't you go over to the CIA headquarters and find out what was going on?"

"The CIA is in Virginia and we're in Washington, so we have no jurisdiction over them."

"Are you planning to have better relations with the CIA?"

"Its up to them. After all, they have all the secrets. There is talk that the White House wants the agencies to work together, but it's not easy after they stuck it to us."

"What is the difference between the CIA and the FBI?"

"They have rogue agents and no one knows what they're doing. We have whistleblowers, so everyone knows what we're doing."

Like this writer's work? Why not sign-up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment on JWR contributor Art Buchwald's column by clicking here.

06/06/02: The FBI changes its ways
06/04/02: RED ALERT
05/28/02: Malice On Purpose: I'm scared!
05/23/02: Barbie Doll
05/21/02: Why Bermuda?
05/19/02: White collar prisons
05/15/02: Those in depression
05/09/02: Mother's Day in the market
05/07/02: Salary negotiations
04/26/02: Homeland security
04/24/02: The greatest breakthrough
04/18/02: Conflict of Interest
04/15/02: The Sign That Couldn't
04/11/02: It's Cherry Blossom Time
04/08/02: The Young Audience
03/31/02: Safe Deposit for Sale
03/26/02: Au Revoir to Soft Money
03/21/02: Andersen Defense Fund?
03/19/02: Celebrity kickers
03/15/02: A Mickey Mouse solution
03/13/02: Shadow government in the sandbox
03/07/02: The Way It Is
03/05/02: Not telling the truth
03/01/02: Book flogging
02/27/02: The players are mad

© 2002, TMS