Sunday, June 19, 2005

The Old Boy Network -- Protecting You From Terrorists. Feel Safer Yet?

The top honchos at the FBI admit they didn't consider expertise in the Mideast or terrorism when promoting people to fight terrorism in the wake of 9/11.

FBI agent Bassem Youssef began questioning the Bureau's brass under oath. He wanted to show he was passed over for promotions. Special Agent Youssef claimed what he knew wasn't as important as who others knew when it came to getting promotions.

The Associated Press has gotten its hands on hundreds of pages of testimony that seem to indicate the "old boy network" trumps expertise when it comes to how the FBI chooses to protect Americans against terror.

The guy who got the FBI's key job as top terrorist fighter right after 9/11 admitted he had no experience going after terrorists. Dale Watson was used to bank robberies:

"A crime scene in a bank robbery case is the same as a crime scene, you know, across the board."

Yeah. But John Dillinger never stole jumbo jets for a heist. And never killed 3,000 people in a single hold-up.

Mr Watson has left the job. His successor, Executive Assistant Director Gary Bald says his anti-terror expertise has come as "on-the-job-training." Been there. That's how I learned the ropes -- bagging groceries as a teenager. (Miami Herald)

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