PDD 39 - SUBJECT: U.S. Policy on Counterterrorism (U)
PDD 39 - SUBJECT: U.S. Policy on Counterterrorism (U)
Wed Mar 24 16:13:40 2004

PDD 39 - SUBJECT: U.S. Policy on Counterterrorism (U)

It is the policy of the United States to deter, defeat and respond vigorously to all terrorist attacks on our territory and against our citizens, or facilities, whether they occur domestically, in international waters or airspace or on foreign territory. The United States regards all such terrorism as a potential threat to national security as well as a criminal act and will apply all appropriate means to combat it. In doing so, the U.S. shall pursue vigorously efforts to deter and preempt, apprehend and prosecute, or assist other governments to prosecute, individuals who perpetrate or plan to perpetrate such attacks. (U)

We shall work closely with friendly governments in carrying out our counterterrorism policy and will support Allied and friendly governments in combating terrorist threats against them. (U)

Furthermore, the United States shall seek to identify groups or states that sponsor or support such terrorists, isolate them and extract a heavy price for their actions. (U)


PDD 39: US Policy on Counter-terrorism
... Executive Orders ] PDD 39: US Policy on Counter-terrorism PDD 39, issued
June 1995, addresses the US policy on counter-terrorism. In ...

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... The National Coordinator To achieve this new level of integration in the fight against
terror, PDD-62 establishes the Office of the National Coordinator for ...

Searched the web for PDD 62.

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KEAN: Mr. Director?

TENET: Governor, thank you.

I've submitted a very long statement, and it is not my intention to read that statement and I want to stay under the 10-minute deadline so we can get to questions, which is probably more productive in any event.

KEAN: Thank you, sir.

TENET: I welcome this opportunity to testify before you and the American people on the intelligence community's decisive role in the war on terrorism.

What I will offer today, both in my statement and in my answers to your questions, is a personal perspective.

Nothing I have worked on is more important or more personal. I'm a New Yorker. And like many others in our country, I have friends who were killed in the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania. The fight against this enemy has shaped my years as director of Central Intelligence. September 11th is a tragedy that we will all carry with us for the rest of our lives.

The community that I'm privileged to lead and represent has also lost officers in this war. Those who now fight this battle through long days and nights are devoted to a single mission: trying to ensure that the terrorists who committed these atrocities will never live in peace.

I have worked for two different administrations, two different political parties. Both sets of policy-makers care deeply about the challenge of terrorism. The first group lived through the terrorist phenomenon and wrestled with difficult issues thoughtfully and diligently. The second group, this administration, was working hard before September 11th to devise a comprehensive framework to deal with Al Qaida based on the best knowledge that we in the intelligence community could provide, and during this time the intelligence community did not stand still.

You, as the commission, must evaluate all of this. I, as the director of central intelligence, must tell you clearly that there was no lack of care or focus in the face of one of the greatest dangers our country has ever faced.

The recent years of this war are well publicized, but the early years are not. For us, the conflict started long ago, after we witnessed the emergence of bin Laden and Al Qaida in the early '90s.

Bin Laden was only starting to expand his reach when we saw him as an emerging threat during his time in Sudan. In 1996, he moved to Afghanistan. We characterized him as one of the most active financial sponsors of Islamic fundamentalist terrorism.

During his years in Sudan, bin Laden was not yet the center for terrorist operational planning that he became in Afghanistan. But we were concerned about him enough that in January of 1996 we created a dedicated component the counterterrorism center, the bin Laden issue station, that was staffed by officers from multiple agencies with the mission of disrupting his operations. We also issued the earliest of what turned out to be a long series of warnings about bin Laden and Al Qaida, and I believe those warnings were heeded.

This terrorism problem changed fundamentally after bin laden moved to Afghanistan in 1996. The country had become a haven of where terrorists could disseminate their ideology, plot, fund-raise and train for attacks around the world.

In 1998, bin Laden issued a fatwa telling all Muslims it was their duty to kill Americans and their allies, civilian and military, wherever they may be.

We recognized, through our collection analysis and disruption efforts of the '90s, that we had to change to meet this evolving threat. We had captured and rendered terrorists for years, but we knew we needed to go further to penetrate the sanctuary bin Laden found in Afghanistan. We knew that because our technical coverage was slipping, Al Qaida's operational security was high. We were taking terrorists off the street, but the threat level persisted.

And while we were collecting, we continued to build a coalition of friendly services around the world that would expand our regional access.

So we did change. We developed a new baseline strategy in 1999. Simply we called it The Plan. We worked on The Plan through the summer. We told our customers and counterparts in Washington all about it.

Under this plan, we developed a broad array of both human and technical sources. Our efforts were designed to disrupt the terrorists and their plots, collect information, recruit terrorist spies, all to support new operational initiatives.

To penetrate bin Laden's sanctuary, we also worked with Central Asian intelligence services and with the Northern Alliance and its leader, Ahmed Shah Masood, on everything from technical collection to building an intelligence capability, to potential renditions.

And we developed a network of agents inside Afghanistan who were directed to track bin Laden. We worked with friendly tribal partners for years to undertake operations against him.

Our human intelligence rose markedly from 1999 through 2001. By September 11th, a map of Afghanistan would show that these collection programs, human networks, were in place in numbers to nearly cover the country.

The array meant that when the military campaign to topple and destroy the Taliban began in October of 2001, we were able to support it with an enormous body of information and a large stable of assets. These networks gave us the platform from which to launch the rapid take-down of the Taliban.

The worldwide coalition we built allowed us to respond during periods of high threat. The millennium period was the first of a series of major coordinated operations among a coalition of countries. I told the president to expect between five and 15 attacks against the United States.

We disrupted terrorist attacks that saved lives. They were actions in 50 countries involving dozens of suspects, many of whom were followed, arrested or detained.

During the same time period, we conducted multiple arrests in East Asia, leading to the arrest or detention of 45 members of the Hezbollah network in a totally separate operation.

During the Ramadan period in the fall of 2000, we helped break up cells planning attacks against civilian targets in the Gulf.

TENET: These operations netted anti-aircraft missiles and hundreds of pounds of explosives and brought a bin Laden facilitator to justice. We began to fly the Predator in the reconnaissance mode in this time.

Finally, during the summer of 2001, reacting to a rash of intelligence reports, I personally contacted a dozen of my foreign counterparts. This intense period, and thanks to our partner's work, led to arrests and detentions in Bahrain, in Yemen, in Turkey. It led to disruptions in two dozen countries. We helped halt, disrupt or uncover weapons caches and plans to attack U.S. diplomatic facilities in the Middle East and Europe.

In a few minutes, I've described what thousands of people did over the course of years in this country and overseas. But despite these efforts, we still did not penetrate the plot that led to the murder of 3,000 men and women on that Tuesday morning. Since September 11th, we've worked hard to enhance intelligence, but also improve the integration of this government. We've strengthened our ties to law enforcement, from having officers work jointly in the field in this country to breaking down walls that impeded cooperation, thanks to the Patriot Act. We have a new Terrorist Threat Integration Center. We have made much more comprehensive and integrated effort to fill critical gaps we had in our process of watch-listing potential terrorists. We have a Department of Homeland Security.

All of this is to make a final key point: As a country, you must be relentless on offense, but you must have a defense that links visa measures, border security, infrastructure protection and domestic warnings in a way that increases security, closes gaps and serves a society that demands high level of both safety and freedom.

We collectively did not close those gaps rapidly or fully enough before September 11th. We have learned and are doing better in an integrated environment that allows us to respond faster and more comprehensively than three years ago. And much more work needs to be done.

Mr. Chairman, the war ahead is going to be complicated and long. You need an intelligence community, you need a Homeland Security Department, and we need stamina to continue in this fight because it's going to go on for many years.

Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

KEAN: Thank you very much.

Commissioner Fielding, is now going to lead our questioning, followed by Commissioner Gorelick.

FIELDING: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Everybody bear with me. I don't know how long my voice is going to last this morning.

Mr. Director, Mr. Deputy Director, thank you very much for coming. And let us all express our appreciation to you both for the awesome task that you have and for the loyal service you've given to your country. And we really appreciate your cooperation with our commission in its work.

I would like to start today by trying to put into context the testimony you've given and the written testimony you've given us. And in that regard, I would be appreciative if you would explain to us and describe to us how you communicated intelligence to President Clinton and to his national security advisers.

In periods of high threat or in periods particularly subsequent to the East Africa bombings in particular, we met with the president directly and in other time periods as well. So that was principally the way we interacted with them.

FIELDING: And what would be the role of the national security adviser in that?

TENET: The national security adviser's role is, obviously, he ran the principals committee meetings that I sat at. He saw the president every day. He discussed the intelligence with him. The national security adviser and I met once a week, talked daily, or, you know, a number of times a week on these kinds of matters. So there was an intimate interaction with him during this time period.

FIELDING: Now, I think all of us are -- we're a little surprised to find out that Osama bin Laden was actually being followed by you even to the point of setting up a unit as early as 1997.

TENET: '96, sir.

FIELDING: '96, I'm sorry. But would you also explain not just what the OBL station was, but what the watch facts was? Or at least it's been described to us as watch facts, I'm sorry. It was a OBL situation report.

TENET: Well, first of all, the unit we created -- obviously the thought process behind it was we saw a phenomenon here that we were quite worried about. And we wanted to take a group of people off-line to focus on this exclusively, grow it over time and help us understand how to drive operations and analysis against this phenomenon.

The watch facts -- I don't know what you call it -- I guess there was almost a daily report -- I guess this is what the watch facts is -- that we sent to senior policy-makers during different time periods.

FIELDING: Well, see, that's what I was really trying to define, because we'd heard about this report and then it was prepared four or five times a week for most of the Clinton administration, but I'm trying to determine to whom it went.

TENET: I believe that was something we sent to Sandy Berger.

Is that correct, John?

MCLAUGHLIN: That's my recall, yes.

FIELDING: OK. And is our information correct that it was four, five, six days a week?

MCLAUGHLIN: My recall is it was about five days a week.

TENET: That's my recollection, yes.

FIELDING: All right, thank you.

Now, during the period of transition, what was your specific role, Mr. Director, in the transition to the new administration in regard to the president and to his national security team?

TENET: Well, first, I was trying to figure out whether I was going to keep my job, but that's a separate issue.



FIELDING: Who did you consult on that?

TENET: That's classified, sir.


FIELDING: I accept that, sir.

TENET: During this time period, there was a transition team and obviously we prepared transition books and lots of papers for the transition team. I believe your staff statement even indicates that I actually -- we actually -- the deputy director of operations and I met with the president, talked about bin Laden.

I'll be candid with you: The deputy director for operations has a clear recollection of this session. I don't have nearly as clear recollection. We talked about terrorism in this time period.

And obviously, as the new administration was formed up, early on Dr. Rice and Stephen Hadley came out and thoroughly reviewed the authorities that we had on terrorism and the basis from which we were proceeding. So there was a fair discussion about this phenomenon even early on.

FIELDING: Were there any marked changes in your relationship with the White House administration?

TENET: Well, the principal difference is that I would see the president every day to conduct the daily brief with our briefer usually six days a week. So this president wanted a face-to-face contact and so I was in the Oval Office with him or at Camp David every day of the week.

FIELDING: How did that come about? Was that his specific request?

TENET: He expressed the distinct preference that that's the way we were going to work, and that's the way we did.

FIELDING: Did that task you a little harder on a daily basis?

TENET: Well, it gets your adrenaline flowing early in the morning, sir, and obviously it's important.

FIELDING: What was your interaction in the new administration with the national security adviser?

TENET: Well, as in the previous administration, we would have weekly meetings -- a regular meeting with the national security adviser. Obviously, some weeks, for scheduling purposes, it doesn't happen. But the same kind of relationship: daily phone contact, weekly meetings.`

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