4,146. 10/17/2002

In his prepared testimony before the Joint Inquiry Committee on October 17, 2002, CIA Director George Tenet made it clear, “that in every case where [then-President Bill] Clinton’s Cabinet discussed cruise missile strikes, a decisive problem was the lack of absolute certainty that bin Laden was present. Tenet concluded that the CIA’s strategy against bin Laden had to be reexamined. Early in 1999, Tenet ordered the Counterterrorist Center to begin a ‘baseline’ review of the CIA’s operational strategy against bin Laden. He wanted the entire operation turned upside down, looked at from fresh angles. From the White House, [Counterterrorism Coordinator Richard] Clarke lobbied Tenet for change, arguing that neither [Michael] Scheuer [Chief] at the bin Laden unit nor senior managers such as [Deputy Director of the CIA’s Counterterrorist Center] Paul Pillar were the right leaders for a campaign against bin Laden.”

 – Steve Coll, Ghost Wars, Page 451

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