Barton Gellman

A - L


Gellman, Barton. "Annan Suspicious of UNSCOM Role: U.N. Official Believes Evidence Shows Inspectors Helped U.S. Eavesdrop on Iraq." Washington Post, 6 Jan. 1999, A1. "Did the UNSCOM Inspectors Eavesdrop?" Washington Post National Weekly Edition, 11 Jan. 1999, 15.

"U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan has obtained what he regards as convincing evidence that United Nations arms inspectors helped collect eavesdropping intelligence used in American efforts to undermine the Iraqi regime."


Gellman, Barton. "Before Sept. 11, Unshared Clues and Unshaped Policy." Washington Post, 17 May 2002, A1. []

On 5 July 5 2001, "the White House summoned officials of a dozen federal agencies to the Situation Room. 'Something really spectacular is going to happen here, and it's going to happen soon,' the government's top counterterrorism official, Richard Clarke, told the assembled group, according to two of those present." The group included the FAA, along with the Coast Guard, FBI, Secret Service, and INS.

"Clarke directed every counterterrorist office to cancel vacations, defer nonvital travel, put off scheduled exercises and place domestic rapid-response teams on much shorter alert. For six weeks last summer, at home and overseas, the U.S. government was at its highest possible state of readiness -- and anxiety -- against imminent terrorist attack.... As late as July 31, the FAA urged U.S. airlines to maintain a 'high degree of alertness.' All those alert levels dropped by the time hijackers armed with box cutters took control of four jetliners on the morning of Sept. 11."


Gellman, Barton. [Series of two articles]

1. "Broad Effort Launched After '98 Attacks." Washington Post, 19 Dec. 2001, A1. []

"Beginning on Aug. 7, 1998, the day that al Qaeda destroyed the U.S. embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, [U.S. President Bill] Clinton directed a campaign of increasing scope and lethality against [Osama] bin Laden's network that carried through his final days in office.

"In addition to a secret 'finding' to authorize covert action,... Clinton signed three highly classified Memoranda of Notification expanding the available tools. In succession, the president authorized killing instead of capturing bin Laden, then added several of al Qaeda's senior lieutenants, and finally approved the shooting down of private civilian aircraft on which they flew.

"The Clinton administration ordered the Navy to maintain two Los Angeles-class attack submarines on permanent station in the nearest available waters, enabling the U.S. military to place Tomahawk cruise missiles on any target in Afghanistan within about six hours of receiving the order....

"The lines Clinton opted not to cross continued to define U.S. policy in his successor's first eight months. Clinton stopped short of using more decisive military instruments, including U.S. ground forces, and declined to expand the reach of the war to the Taliban regime that hosted bin Laden and his fighters after 1996."

2. "Struggles Inside the Government Defined Campaign." Washington Post, 20 Dec. 2001, A1. []

"By any measure available, Clinton left office having given greater priority to terrorism than any president before him. His government doubled counterterrorist spending across 40 departments and agencies.... Clinton devoted some of his highest-profile foreign policy speeches to terrorism, including two at the U.N. General Assembly. An interagency panel, the Counterterrorism Strategy Group, took on new weight in policy disputes.... And the foreign policy cabinet, by the time it left office, had been convening every two to three weeks to shape a covert and overt campaign against al Qaeda.

"But neither Clinton nor his administration treated terrorism as their top concern, because it was not. Without the overriding impetus provided by Sept. 11, the war on terror in the 1990s lost as many struggles inside government as it won. Steps to manage risk moved forward readily. Some of the harder initiatives, hurried through these past three months by President Bush, foundered then on money, bureaucratic turf, domestic politics and rival conceptions of national interest."

[Terrorism/90s & 01/Gen]

Gellman, Barton. "CIA Weighs 'Targeted Killing' Missions." Washington Post, 28 Oct. 2001, A1. []

"Armed with new authority from President Bush for a global campaign against al Qaeda, the Central Intelligence Agency is contemplating clandestine missions expressly aimed at killing specified individuals."

[CIA/00s/01; Overviews/Legal/Assassination; Terrorism/01/WTC]

Gellman, Barton. "Controversial Pentagon Espionage Unit Loses Its Leader: Rumsfeld Reportedly Moving Ahead With Plans to Expand Team's Intelligence Work Worldwide." Washington Post, 13 Feb. 2005, A8. []

Reserve Army Col. George Waldroup, leader of the Pentagon's new espionage unit, the Strategic Support Branch, "has resigned his position." A DIA spokesman said "Waldroup, an Army reservist, returned to civilian life last weekend after an initial period of active duty expired. He acknowledged that Waldroup's status was renewable."

[MI/00s/Gen & Humint]

Gellman, Barton. "Covert Unit Hunted for Iraqi Arms: Amid Raids and Rescue, Task Force 20 Failed To Pinpoint Weapons." Washington Post, 13 Jun. 2003, A1. []

According to military and intelligence sources, Task Force 20, an Army Special Forces unit "operating in Iraq since before the war began in March, has played a dominant but ultimately unsuccessful role in the ... hunt for weapons of mass destruction." Among its other assignments, Task Force 20 "captured Palestinian guerrilla leader Mohammed Abbas in Baghdad in mid-April and the Iraqi scientists nicknamed Mrs. Anthrax and Dr. Germ; it fought a bloody battle behind Iraqi lines to prevent a catastrophic release of floodwaters from the Haditha Dam; and it retrieved Pfc. Jessica Lynch, an Army prisoner of war, from a hospital in Nasiriyah."

[MI/Ops/Iraq/03 & SpecOps]

Gellman, Barton. "The Fallout from a Botched Assassination Try." Washington Post National Weekly Edition, 13 Oct. 1997, 14-15.

The failed Israeli effort on 25 September 1997 to assassinate Hamas leader Khaled Meshal in Amman "threatens the already shaky hopes for peace in the region." Gellman reviews both the known operational details of the Israeli operation and its immediate repercussions.


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