Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pentagon wined and dined the Enemy

It was hard to tell friend from foe in the dark days following 9/11/2001. America's illusion of invulnerability was shattered, and we were desperate to prosecute the attackers while simultaneously reaching out to moderate Muslims. It appears in the rush to reach out, the Pentagon may have invited in the man who is now at the top of the CIA's kill-or-capture list for dinner. And it appears that if they had only asked the CIA at the time, they'd have known it was a bad idea.

Awlaki "was considered to be an 'up and coming' member of the Islamic community. After her vetting, Aulaqi (Awlaki) was invited to and attended a luncheon at the Pentagon in the secretary of the Army's Office of Government Counsel."

Awlaki, a Yemeni-American who was born in Las Cruces, N.M., was interviewed at least four times by the FBI in the first week after the attacks because of his ties to the three hijackers Nawaf al-Hazmi, Khalid al-Mihdhar and Hani Hanjour. The three hijackers were all onboard Flight 77 that slammed into the Pentagon.

Awlaki is now believed to be hiding in Yemen after he was linked to the alleged Ft. Hood shooter Major Nidal Malik Hasan, who e-mailed Awlaki prior to the attack.
Yet more evidence that our issue is not knowing our enemy, but that the various branches of the military, intelligence, and law enforcement disciplines are unwilling or unable to share information. And there is little evidence that the DHS has helped much.


Rob Fay said...

That's why I so enjoy AMC's Rubicon ;)

It is a tricky situation to encourage knowledge sharing, while keeping information confidential. The problem is that in the information sector, information is power, so it's not easy to change the culture.

If interested in learning more, check out a paper I did in grad school on the subject:

shadowmom1 said...

It seems we haven't learned the one thing that might have avoided the 9/11 successes.