Spencer Ackerman wrote a series of “exposes” that supposedly exposed “Islamophobia” in government counterterror training — that is, truthful information about Islam and jihad. See here and here for details. The Obama Administration readily complied when Islamic supremacists took up Ackerman’s “findings” and demanded that counterterror material be scrubbed of all mention of Islam and jihad in connection with terrorism. That left intelligence agents woefully unprepared to deal properly with or even to understand the information they were getting from Russia (and possibly also Saudi Arabia) about Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s jihad activities — and that in turn led to his not being watched as he gathered material for bombs and plotted the Boston Marathon jihad attacks.
So with the murders in those jihad attacks, Spencer Ackerman has blood on his hands. And now he is complaining that the Obama Administration’s self-evaluation is unlikely to be thorough. He should be grateful for that. If it were thorough, it would lead directly to him.
“Spy Chief Apparently Knows How Boston Intel Probe Will End,” by Spencer Ackerman for Wired, April 30 (thanks to Mike):
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, shown here at a 2008 ribbon-cutting, says there’s no intelligence failure in Boston “” before his inspector general completes a report into how spy agencies shared data on the suspects. Photo: U.S. Air Force
An inquiry into whether U.S. intelligence agencies could have done more to help prevent the Boston Marathon bombing is just getting started. But America’s top spy is already convinced that the deadly April 15 attacks do not represent an intelligence failure.
As Bryan Bender of the Boston Globe first reported, the inspector general overseeing the 16 U.S. spy agencies will conduct a “broad review” of how the intelligence community handled whatever information it had about the bombings.
That review did not come at the behest of James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, the nominal boss of those spy agencies. Shawn Turner, a spokesman for Clapper, says it’s an independent initiative of the Intelligence Community Inspector General along with the internal watchdogs for the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security.
Yet before the inquiry has concluded, Clapper is satisfied “” as he first said last week, before any review even got started “” that the intelligence agencies didn’t drop the ball on Boston.
“Director Clapper believes that every agency involved in collecting and sharing information prior to the attack took all the appropriate steps,” Turner emailed Danger Room. “He also believes that it is prudent an appropriate for there to be an independent review of those steps to ensure that nothing was missed.”
Clapper’s remarks carry the impression that there’s little the factual inquiry can tell him that will change his mind. Inspectors general are supposed to be independent; rarely do the heads of their agency publicly announce conclusions about the subjects of ongoing inquiries.
The review does not have a broad mandate. “It is limited to a review of the handling of information related to the suspects prior to the attack,” Turner said, adding that it is “not an investigation.”
The FBI has acknowledged that it interviewed deceased bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev in 2011 after receiving a tip Russian intelligence that he was an Islamist extremist. When it didn’t find information about anything illicit he had done, it dropped the issue. But on a tip from that foreign intelligence agency, the CIA lobbied to put Tsarnaev’s name in a government database “” albeit one containing the names of half a million people, and which does not authorize law enforcement to take action. The Department of Homeland Security learned that the elder Tsarnaev was traveling to Russia in 2012 “” which investigators suspect might be a critical moment for his radicalization “” but not upon his return to the United States.