Every US agency ‘defeated’ on 9/11


In a preview of the grilling National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice can expect when she fronts the commission on Thursday, members of the bipartisan panel said the September 11 terrorists “fooled every major US government agency”.

“Nineteen men with $US350,000 defeated every single defensive mechanism we had up on the 11th of September, 2001, and they defeated it utterly … it wasn’t even a close call,” commission member Bob Kerrey, a former Democratic senator and one-time presidential aspirant, said in a television interview.

Republican commission member John Lehman said the FBI had failed to penetrate US terrorist cells and had not wanted to share intelligence. And “we had a CIA with a total aversion to covert activities, that had no capacity to penetrate al-Qa’ida, that was not set up really for transnational enemies”.