Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Report: CIA Blundered on AbdulMutallab

This wouldn't have happened if Leon Panetta was still alive.
The father of terrorism suspect Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab talked about his son with someone from the CIA and a report was prepared, but the report was not circulated outside the agency, a reliable source told CNN's Jeanne Meserve on Tuesday.

Had that information been shared, the 23-year-old Nigerian who is alleged to have bungled an attempt to blow up a jetliner before it landed in Detroit, Michigan, on Christmas Day might have been denied passage on the Northwest Airlines flight, the source said.

The source's comments came shortly after President Obama blamed "a mix of human and systemic failures" for the incident and directed that preliminary findings into the matter be delivered to the White House by Thursday.

Earlier this week, a senior Obama administration official said AbdulMutallab's father warned officials at the U.S. embassy in Nigeria in November that he believed his son was under the influence of religious extremists.
Good to see CNN is judicious enough in its reporting to avoid using trhe dreaded M-word.

This just in. Panetta indeed is still with us. Not that anyone would notice.
The White House has published an internal memo to calm tension between CIA director Leon Panetta and Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair, who is seeking increased control over covert operations, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.

The classified order asserts the Central Intelligence Agency's direct authority over secret missions abroad, but also reminds the agency to work closely with Blair, who heads the US intelligence establishment, a US intelligence official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.

According to the LA Times, Blair was seeking more control over missions that include drone strikes and paramilitary operations in Pakistan.

Blair and Panetta have also clashed over the last month over the role of the CIA in Afghanistan, which Blair reportedly believes is too focused on the hunt for Taliban insurgents and is de-emphasizing the collection of intelligence at the local level.

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