The following is a press release sent by The National Whistleblower Center
FBI DEPOSITION OF MUELLER: CATCHING THE DC SNIPER SAME AS TRYING TO CATCH BIN LADEN
Newly Released FBI Documents Disclose Grave Deficiencies in the War on Terrorism
Washington, D.C. December 13, 2006. The National Whistleblower Center, a nationally recognized watchdog group, released today extensive sworn and documentary evidence concerning the FBI?s actual response to the attacks of September 11, 2001. The documents include the sworn deposition of every major FBI manager responsible for the creation of the FBI?s post September 11 counterterrorism division and the implementation of the FBI?s ?War on Terror,? including the sworn depositions of FBI Director Robert Mueller, former Director Louis Freeh, and numerous other senior officials in the bureau?s post-9/11 counterterrorism program. Most of the material has not previously been released to the general public.
Perhaps the most startling revelation was contained in a 2005 deposition of FBI Director Robert Mueller, when he testified that the skills needed to capture the DC sniper were the same skill sets he was looking for in FBI mangers assigned lead the campaign against sophisticated Middle Eastern terrorist organizations, such as Al Qaeda. The Mueller deposition, released in its entirety, contains the following exchange:
QUESTION: In terms of the sniper case, do you think background experience running the sniper case would provide a manager with the expertise they would need to manage an intelligence-based counter-terrorism operation?
MUELLER: Yes, I think absolutely it would give, contribute to his ability to handle counter-terrorism, whether it be intelligence based or responsive to an act, absolutely.
In addition to providing the complete documentation supporting recent investigative exposes on NBC Nightly News and the Washington Post, the material includes substantial documentation of misconduct in the FBI's response to the 9/11 attacks which have not previously been released to the public, including:
* After 9/11, no efforts were made to recruit managers into the FBI who had experience with Al Qaeda or other Middle Eastern terrorism groups (Pikus Deposition);
* After 9/11 no changes made to the FBI?s terrorism-related promotional policies, including no effort to recruit Arabic speakers, no effort to require counterterrorism experience among managers, no effort to recruit managers with knowledge or expertise in the Middle East (Pikus Deposition);
* After 9/11, the FBI?s top counterterrorism official, Dale Watson, believed that the only ?skill sets? needed by FBI agents to ?better identify, penetrate and/or prevent a future Osama bin Laden-style terrorist attack? was knowledge of the ?Attorney General guidelines for counter-terrorism and counter-intelligence investigation(s)?.
* The FBI manager placed in charge of the investigation into the hijacking of Flight 77 (the plane that attacked the Pentagon), Ellen Knowlton, had no terrorism background and had never conducted a counterterrorism operational investigation.
* A sworn statement from a FBI supervisor documenting the fact that high level FBI managers could not tell the difference between Bassem Youssef (who won awards for his work in counterterrorism) and another FBI agent with an Arabic sounding name who was the subject of an internal investigation for failing to perform a counterterrorism investigation.