More than a decade after the attacks on New York’s World Trade Center, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has released a report from its Office of the Inspector General outlining “systemic problems” within the agency which led to the agency’s failure to detect the al Qaeda-initiated attack.
“Concerning certain issues, the (Inspector General’s) team concluded that the (CIA) and its officers did not discharge their responsibilities in a satisfactory manner,” the report states.
Among the report’s conclusions, the CIA did not violate any law and misconduct was not alleged in the gathering of intelligence prior to the hijackings. Although portions of the report were censored for security reasons, the report did, however, specifically cite Saudi Arabia’s suspected ties to al Qaeda. The largest segments obscured in the report were related to Saudi Arabia.
15 of the 19 hijackers on September 11th were Saudis.
Cursory look at this report would make it clear there are certain dangers in our society with which we are unable to contend. An often maligned agency, it is entirely plausible to absolve the CIA from malfeasance.
In face of the CIA withholding large sections of the report related to Saudi Arabia, one would not be engaging in calumny to assail the Saudis for credible links to al Qaeda or other terror networks. Saudi Arabia still preserves a glacial silence today. The Saudis remain silent for their own reasons; perhaps the House of Saud refuses to confront its own corroded ideals or Riyadh cannot bear to revisit their culpability in directing and systemizing the work of terrorist organizations.
It must be borne in mind that the United States has reached our own moment of introspection: Washington must carefully re-examine our complicated relationship with countries which clutch ideological parallels with terror networks. Despite the CIA’s report on intelligence failure prior to the World Trade Center attack, the last time the agency acted on an inspired hunch, it resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden, who had been granted sanctuary in Pakistan, another putative ally of the U.S.
The Saudis are now occupied in military action against outgrowths of their work.[CNN] [cia.gov]