CIA goes after its watchdog

The work of the CIA’s in-house investigator who found fault with the agency’s handling of the Sept. 11 attacks is being subjected to an internal review, published reports say.

The move, which is highly unusual, has raised concerns that CIA Director Michael Hayden is trying to squelch the investigations of Inspector General John Helgerson, The Los Angeles Times and The New York Times reported Friday, citing anonymous officials.

Helgerson has been aggressive in his investigations of the CIA, criticizing senior figures including former Director George Tenet and officers involved in the agency’s detention of terrorist suspects.

The CIA rarely comments on media reports but on Thursday night the agency sought to play down the newspapers’ characterizations of the review. A CIA spokesman said in a statement that Hayden firmly believes in the work of the Office of the Inspector General.

“Director Hayden … has, since taking the helm at CIA, accepted the vast majority of its findings. His only goal is to help this office, like any office at the agency, do its vital work even better,” CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano said. “That’s why he asked a seasoned observer like Bob Deitz to take a look at the Office of Inspector General and, if need be, suggest specific improvements for consideration by the unit itself.”

Deitz is a longtime adviser to Hayden, the former National Security Agency director, and now serves as his senior counselor at the CIA. “He — like everyone else involved — comes to this task with just one preconception: an absolute belief in the value of an independent, rigorous Office of Inspector General,” Gimigliano said.

Gimigliano would not comment on what kind of improvements in the IG office might be needed or considered. He said that Helgerson was aware of the review and congressional aides have also been briefed.

Helgerson has been highly critical of the CIA. In a report in August, for example, he concluded that Tenet and other senior leaders never developed a comprehensive plan to stop al-Qaida and missed crucial opportunities to thwart two hijackers in the run-up to the Sept. 11 attacks. The agency recently declassified portions of the embarrassing findings under congressional orders.

Helgerson has also been highly critical, in classified reports, of the agency’s treatment of detainees.

The papers said the review was focusing on complaints that Helgerson’s office has not been impartial and has assumed guilt on the part of agency operatives, particularly those who participated in the agency’s detention programs.


  1. SEAL

    There is no lack of evidence that Cheney (at least) participated in facillitating 9/11. It’s all there for anyone to see. There is no probability of “coincidence” that the area around NYC had no protection from an attack by air because there is never any time that the protection does not exist. The entire eastern seaboard is set up that way. Only the highest military or executive authority could order it to stand down. But they would never do that. Leaving NYC unprotected is unimaginable. It is the number two priority right behind Washington DC.

    The protection of this nation is the responsibility of the military. The Vice president is not qualified to to be in command of any part of it. There is no legitimate reason for him to want to take command of it. If he wanted some sort of experimental senario enacted he would ask the military command to conduct it. He would only be an observer. And the military would never conduct any exercise in a manner that would leave the city unprotected. Also, the VP is not the “commander in chief.” The authority for him assuming command had to come from the president.

    I find it impossible to believe that, when Cheney issued whatever order that prevented NYC from being protected, that someone in the military brass did not strongly inform him of the condition. He had to deliberately disregard the fact. Why would he do that? Don’t ask me to believe he is that arrogant or stupid. Cheney has always been known as a knowlegeable promoter and supporter of defense and the military. There would be no reason for him to do it unless he wanted the attack, knew the attack was coming, and when. Any jury of people that could breathe on their own and sit upright would believe that.

  2. Sandra Price

    We will never get the truth out of these federal whores. Most of us realize that had anyone in D.C. bothered to read the security reports we might have been able to stop 9/11 or at least warned the people to be aware of the possibility of an attack.

    America does not breed honest men and women to take responsibility for their positions to the the America people. They are paid whores to protect the White House.

  3. Helen Rainier


    True, true, Sandra. I did some research on this whole issue several months ago, and according to what I was able to turn up, there were over 50 “warning” reports that were referred to our government from foreign intel sources (i.e., foreign governments) warning about 9-11. And they still couldn’t connect any of the dots? Another thing that has struck me as suspicious is the fact that our air defenses were told to “stand down” on that particular day. Seriously, what are the odds that al Queada would happen that same particular day to make their move?

    Couple that with the fact that this was NEVER investigated as a crime scene and Bush’s resistance to forming a commission to find out what went wrong — and it all smells like a conspiracy to me.

    I am so sick and tired of hearing “if you are doing nothing wrong, you have nothing to worry about” with regard to governmental spying on We, the People, but when the same axiom is applied to them, all of a sudden it doesn’t apply is a bunch of elephant apples.

    Oh yes, and OBL is STILL NOT wanted in connection with 9-11 per the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist list. Odd, isn’t it?

    They reek of corruption and complicity. All of them. They all need to be charged with crimes against the country, tried, and sentenced to hard labor — or banished to the 21st century’s equivalent of Devil’s Island — never to be seen nor heard from again.

  4. Ardie

    It has never been ruled out that the Bush Administration knew of the impending attack of 9/11 from the intel they received but purposely did nothing about it; this being a golden opportunity to carry out the sinister plans of PNAC (Plans for a New American Century) which necessitated a Pearl Harbor like attack.

  5. Helen Rainier


    Excellent point — however, doesn’t it seem that if they knew and chose not to do anything then that should constitute criminal negligence.

    Or, so it seems to me.

  6. Ardie

    I think you are right Helen. It does seem to fall within the four corners of criminal negligence. Cheney, in fact ordered NORAD to stand down thus facilitating the probability of the hijacks being successful. In addition, on June 1, 2001 Cheney took control of NORAD which is a first. Again, it can’t be ruled out that the Intel was about 80% certain of a major terrorist attack. Personally, I think that one doesn’t have to prove a conspiracy–criminal negligence is sufficient.