Members of the federal Sept. 11 commission are dismayed by persistent problems at the FBI, and plan to reconsider the bureau’s role as the nation’s lead domestic intelligence agency, reports the Los Angeles Times. The comments from Jamie S. Gorelick, former Deputy U.S. Attorney General, indicate that the FBI is likely to face fresh scrutiny when members of the Sept. 11 panel reconvene unofficially this summer to issue a report card on their reform recommendations.
Gorelick said commission members increasingly believe that the FBI has faltered or failed to address problems in intelligence sharing and counter-terrorism operations. “We have been taken aback collectively” by the FBI’s persistent breakdowns since the report was issued, Gorelick told a hearing yesterday. Remarks from Gorelick and others reflect growing skepticism over the progress of reforms by FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III. Other speakers, who were not members of the commission, included Richard Thornburgh, former U.S. attorney general, and John Gannon, a former senior CIA official who previously served as chairman of the National Intelligence Council.