Richard Clarke, former White House counterterrorism czar, believes that former CIA director, George Tenet and other top aides hid intelligence that could have prevent the 9/11 attacks, reports The Daily Beast, which got its information from interviews taken for a radio documentary timed to the 10th anniversary of the attacks.
Clarke speculates--and readily admits he cannot prove--that the CIA withheld the information because the agency had been trying to recruit the terrorists, while they were living in southern California under their own names, to work as CIA agents inside Al Qaeda. After the recruitment effort went sour, senior CIA officers continued to withhold the information from the White House for fear they would be accused of "malfeasance and misfeasance," Clarke suggests.
The 9/11 Commission has looked into allegations that top CIA officials knew about this case, and have concluded that no top level employees were aware of it. In this joint statement, George Tenet along with top aides, Cofer Black and Richard Blee, calls Clarke's speculation a figment of his imagination, denying his charges.
This, like much of what Mr. Clarke said in his interview, is utterly without foundation. Many years after testifying himself at length before the 9/11 Commission but making no mention of his wild theory, Mr. Clarke has suddenly invented baseless allegations which are belied by the record andunworthy of serious consideration. We testified under oath about what we did, what we knew and what we didn't know. We stand by that testimony.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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