Materials presented chronologically.
Myers, Steven Lee, David E. Sanger, and Eric Schmitt. "U.S. Considers New Covert Push Within Pakistan." New York Times, 6 Jan. 2008. [http://www.nytimes.com]
According to senior administration officials, "Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and a number of President Bush's top national security advisers" met on 4 January 2008 to discuss "whether to expand the authority of the Central Intelligence Agency and the military to conduct far more aggressive covert operations in the tribal areas of Pakistan." Options include "loosening restrictions on the C.I.A. to strike selected targets in Pakistan.... Most counterterrorism operations in Pakistan have been conducted by the C.I.A.; in Afghanistan, where military operations are under way, including some with NATO forces, the military can take the lead."
Whitlock, Craig, and Karen DeYoung. "Al-Qaeda Figure Is Killed in Pakistan: Senior Commander Blamed in Bombing at U.S. Afghan Base." Washington Post, 1 Feb. 2008, A1. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]
According to Western officials and the Islamic radical Web site Al-Fajr Media Center, Abu Laith al-Libi, a "senior al-Qaeda commander[,] was killed this week in Pakistan.... The Western officials declined to give details of how Libi died. But there is evidence he was targeted in a missile strike that killed 12 people [on 29 January 2008] in a remote village in northwestern Pakistan."
Warrick, Joby, and Robin Wright. "Unilateral Strike Called a Model For U.S. Operations in Pakistan." Washington Post, 19 Feb. 2008, A1. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]
According to U.S. officials, the missiles fired from a CIA MQ-1B Predator UAV, which killed senior al-Qaeda commander Abu Laith al-Libi in the town of Mir Ali, involved "an unusual degree of autonomy by the CIA inside Pakistan." The officials said that the Pakistani government "was notified only as the operation was underway."
Abramowitz, Michael, and Carrie Johnson. "Bush Fills Key Posts In Homeland Security." Washington Post, 20 Mar. 2008, A13. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]
On 19 March 2008, President Bush named "veteran prosecutor Kenneth L. Wainstein to serve as his White House homeland security adviser." Wainstein will be "responsible for coordinating counterterrorism and homeland security efforts throughout the government. He will chair the Homeland Security Council, a counterpart to the National Security Council."
The President also "named Michael E. Leiter to be director of the National Counterterrorism Center, the principal intelligence organization for analyzing terrorist threats and conducting operational planning for counterterrorism efforts. Leiter, previously the center's deputy director, has been serving as the acting director since his predecessor, John Scott Redd, resigned last fall."
Whitlock, Craig. "After a Decade at War With West, Al-Qaeda Still Impervious to Spies." Washington Post, 20 Mar. 2008, A1. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]
According to U.S. and European intelligence officials, "U.S. spy agencies have had little luck recruiting well-placed informants and are finding the upper reaches of the network tougher to penetrate than the Kremlin during the Cold War."
Harris, Shane. "Interview with John Brennan, Former Director, National Counterterrorism Center, Advisor to Barack Obama." Intelligencer 16, no. 1 (Spring 2008): 7-10. Reprinted from National Journal, 7 Mar. 2008.
The interviewee discusses "restructuring the intelligence community, renewing FISA and debating counterterrorism on the campaign trail."
Lichtblau, Eric. "Senate Approves Bill to Broaden Wiretap Powers." New York Times, 10 Jul. 2008. [http://www.nytimes.com]
"The Senate gave final approval on [9 July 2008] to a major expansion of the government's surveillance powers.... The measure, approved by a vote of 69 to 28,... includes ... legal immunity for the phone companies that cooperated in the National Security Agency wiretapping program [President Bush] approved after the Sept. 11 attacks.... [Bush] promised to sign the measure into law quickly....
"The measure gives the executive branch broader latitude in eavesdropping on people abroad and at home who it believes are tied to terrorism, and it reduces the role of [the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court] in overseeing some operations.... The legislation also expands the government's power to invoke emergency wiretapping procedures. While the N.S.A. would be allowed to seek court orders for broad groups of foreign targets, the law creates a new seven-day period for directing wiretaps at foreigners without a court order in 'exigent' circumstances if government officials assert that important national security information would be lost. The law also expands to seven days, from three, the period for emergency wiretaps on Americans without a court order if the attorney general certifies there is probable cause to believe the target is linked to terrorism."
Lichtblau, Eric. "New Guidelines Would Give F.B.I. Broader Powers." New York Times, 21 Aug. 2008. [http://www.nytimes.com]
"[F]our Democratic senators told Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey in a letter on [20 August 2008] that they were troubled by what they heard" about a Justice Department plan that "would loosen restrictions" on the FBI "to allow agents to open a national security or criminal investigation against someone without any clear basis for suspicion.... The Justice Department said ... that in light of requests from members of Congress for more information," Mukasey "would agree not to sign the new guidelines before a Sept. 17 Congressional hearing."
O'Harrow, Robert, Jr. "Controversy Snarls Upgrade of Terrorist Data Repository." Washington Post, 3 Sep. 2008, A1. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]
In a 21 August 2008 letter, Rep. Brad Miller (D-N.C.), chairman of the House Science and Technology Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight, asked the ODNI inspector general to investigate "the technical failure and mismanagement" of the Railhead project. The program, launched in 2006 at an anticipated cost of $500 million over 5 years, is supposed to improve and eventually replace the current Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE). Operated at the National Counterterrorism Center, TIDE "serves as the central repository of information about more than 400,000 suspected terrorists around the world."
Lichtblau, Eric. "Terror Plan Would Give F.B.I. More Power." New York Times, 13 Sep. 2008. [http://www.nytimes.com]
On 12 September 2008, the Justice Department announced "a plan to expand the tools the Federal Bureau of Investigation can use to investigate suspicions of terrorism inside the United States, even without any direct evidence of wrongdoing.... Under existing guidelines, F.B.I. agents cannot use certain investigative tools in conducting so-called threat assessments as a precursor to a preliminary or full inquiry. The revisions would allow agents to conduct public surveillance of someone, do 'pretext' interviews -- pose as someone other than an agent or disguise the purpose of the questions -- or send in an undercover source to gather information."
Schmitt, Eric, Mark Mazzetti, and Jane Perlez. "Pakistan's Spies Aided Group Tied to Mumbai Siege." New York Times, 8 Dec. 2008. [http://www.nytimes.com]
According to U.S. intelligence and counterterrorism officials, Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Pakistan-based group suspected of conducting the Mumbai attacks, "has quietly gained strength in recent years with the help of Pakistan's" Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). U.S. "officials say there is no hard evidence to link" ISI to the attacks. However, the officials said that "the ISI has shared intelligence with Lashkar and provided protection for it,... and investigators are focusing on one Lashkar leader they believe is a main liaison with the spy service and a mastermind of the attacks."
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