In a classic Friday-afternoon document dump, a CIA memo written by then-agency head George Tenet in 2005 has been released, incriminating the Bill Clinton administration in crippling anti-terror efforts. Stephen Dinan of the Washington Times writes:
The Clinton administration had bankrupted the intelligence community and refused to let the CIA prioritize anti-terrorism over other major priorities in the late 1990s, leaving the agency stretched too thin in the days ahead of the 2001 terrorist attacks, former Director George J. Tenet said in a 2005 document declassified Friday.
Mr. Tenet, who was head of the agency at the time of the Sept. 11 attacks and has taken severe criticism for not anticipating and heading them off, said in the document that he took the threat of Osama bin Laden very seriously, and put major effort into trying to penetrate al-Qaeda, beginning as far back as 1998.
Clearly, Tenet is covering his posterior. But:
“Even though senior policy makers were intimately familiar with the threat posed by terrorism, particularly those in the previous administration who had responded to major attacks, they never provided us the luxury of either downgrading other high priority requirements we were expected to perform against, or the resource base to build counterterrorism programs with the consistency that we needed before September 11,” Mr. Tenet wrote.