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Institute for Public Accuracy
APRIL 13, 2004
2:45 PM
CONTACT:  Institute for Public Accuracy
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020
David Zupan, (541) 484-9167
9-11 Commission: Role of the FBI

WASHINGTON - April 13 -

    A writer for the Village Voice with a focus on civil liberties and author of the book 'The War on the Bill of Rights and the Gathering Resistance', Hentoff said today: "A primary problem of interagency cooperation, then as now, is the imperious culture of the FBI. As police chiefs around the country still say, the FBI is a reluctant sharer of information."

    Martin is director of the Center for National Security Studies. She said today: "The issue that needs to be more fully addressed is who and what the FBI was investigating before 9/11, when they missed the real terrorists who were planning the 9/11 attacks. Former Attorney General Reno confirmed that there were no legal barriers to information sharing that excused the FBI's failures to identify the 9/11 hijackers. No case has been made that the PATRIOT Act was necessary to fix those failures. Nor has any case been made for creating a domestic CIA."

    Executive director of the Center for Democracy and Technology and author (with David Cole) of the book' Terrorism and the Constitution', Dempsey said today: "Unfortunately, the PATRIOT Act solved very little. The problem was not in the laws, but in the cultures and institutional turf wars among agencies. Eliminating constitutional checks and balances and judicial controls has not made us any safer. Nor are we going to solve the information collection and sharing problems that still plague our counterterrorism efforts by creating a new bureaucracy. A domestic intelligence agency cut loose from the criminal justice system would not only threaten civil liberties, it might worsen gaps in information sharing. Instead, we need a virtual reorganization of intelligence to promote information sharing, subject to privacy guidelines, oversight and accountability."


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