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No immediate firings expected over intel failures

No immediate firings expected over intel failures

The White House is not expected to announce the firing of any officials over intelligence failures _ for now anyway _ as President Barack Obama prepares to tell Americans more about a botched terrorist attack over Detroit and what else he will do to beef up security.
Eager to fix a glaring breakdown in intelligence sharing and get the incident behind him, Obama will speak Thursday about a declassified account of the near catastrophe on Christmas Day. The White House also plans to release a copy of the report with some detail stripped away for security reasons.
U.S. officials say a 23-year-old Nigerian man with ties to al-Qaida tried to detonate an explosive device aboard a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit. The suspect, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, was indicted Wednesday on charges of attempted murder and other crimes. His father had warned U.S. officials of his extremist ties but that threat was never identified fully by intelligence officials, a breakdown that has drawn intense, candid criticism from the president himself.
It remains unclear whether any top officials from Obama's not-quite-year-old administration will eventually lose their jobs over the debacle. No one lost their job or was censured after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people nine years ago in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania.
"I don't know what the final outcome in terms of hiring and firing will be," White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Wednesday.
But the spokesman added that he would "very seriously" doubt any announcement of abrupt personnel changes during Thursday's flurry of activity.
Richard Ben-Veniste, a member of the 9/11 commission, a bipartisan panel that investigated the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, said firings or discipline may be necessary if the investigation determines that the alleged bomber got on the plane because officials failed to their job.
"We need to look at Christmas 2009 as a wake up call where we dodged the bullet and should use our good fortune in that respect to improve the system and to find out why we continue to have vulnerabilities," he said.
The commission made more than 40 recommendations to improve national security. Ben-Veniste said many of the recommended changes have been put in place. The problem in this instance, he said, was they were not all followed.
Another member of the 9/11 commission, Jamie Gorelick, said the intelligence failures that led to the Detroit incident appear to be failures in execution, not failures of policy or a lack of funding.
"People need to be better at doing their jobs," said Gorelick.


Updated : 2021-10-21 11:07 GMT+08:00