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Senior CIA Officer Hits 9/11 Panel

"It will take us another five years of work to have the kind of clandestine service our country needs. There is a creative, innovative strategy to get us there that requires sustained commitment and funding... The transformation is well under way, but our investments in capability must be sustained." - Tenet, pictured, in testimony April 14, 2004
AP
The "anonymous" author of a best-selling book attacking the way the U.S. handled the war on terror has written a scathing letter to the 9/11 commission criticizing the CIA and the panel.

Michael Scheuer, the author of "Imperial Hubris," is a senior CIA officer who at one time headed the agency's hunt for Osama bin Laden. The New York Times obtained a copy of the letter Scheuer wrote to the panel.

Scheuer criticized the commission and the CIA for failing to hold anybody personally responsible for the intelligence failures that preceded the Sept. 11 terror attack.

Scheuer's letter said the commission's final report "seems to deliberately ignore those who were clearly culpable of negligence or dereliction," the Times reported.

"By finding no one culpable, you will allow the mindset that got America to 9/11 to endure and thrive in whatever new community structure is established," Scheuer wrote.

Scheuer wrote "Imperial Hubris" under the pseudonym "anonymous" and promoted the book without disclosing his identity. But since the book's publication, he has been identified by name by a number of news organizations.

"You never mention that the D.C.I. [CIA Director George Tenet] starved and is starving the bin Laden unit of officers while finding plenty of officers to staff his personal public relations office, as well as the staffs that handled diversity, multiculturalism, and employee newsletters," Scheuer wrote to the panel in a letter dated July 31, according to the Times.

The newspaper said Scheuer had testified privately before the commission, which had no comment on his letter.