Sunday, July 12, 2009

US govt review questions effectiveness of wiretaps

AFP
CIA officials said much of the reporting received thanks to the program "was vague or without context."

WASHINGTON (AFP) — A US government probe has concluded that a secret wiretap program launched after the September 11, 2001 attacks had a "limited role" in preventing fresh strikes.

The report found that most intelligence officials "had difficulty citing specific instances" when the National Security Agency?s covert wiretapping in the country contributed to successes against terrorists.

Many senior intelligence community officials, the document said, believed that the program "filled a gap in intelligence collection" thought to exist.

The report was compiled by the inspectors general of five government agencies, including the Central Intelligence Agency, and the Departments of Defense and Justice.

It admitted that FBI agents, CIA analysts and officers and other officials "had difficulty evaluating the precise contribution" of the program "to counterterrorism efforts because it was most often viewed as one source among many available analytic and intelligence-gathering tools."

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