President Obama Orders Intelligence Review of Accused Fort Hood Killer
by Steven Emerson
Interview on Fox News
November 12, 2009
Multimedia for this item
NEIL CAVUTO: Oh man, oh man. Can you believe that was one week ago today? And now, some scary, fast moving developments. President Obama, just ordering all Intelligence agencies to give him everything they've got on the accused Fort Hood killer. What does the White House know, and why now, and what do they fear? Terrorism expert Steve Emerson knows this process very well. Steve, what do you think they are piercing together? What do you think they're asking and gaining?
STEVEN EMERSON: Neil, in the last week or so, so much has come out about the radical Islamic leanings and views of the Fort Hood suspect that it would be a dereliction of duty had the President not ordered the preservation of all intelligence and evidence leading up to this attack. Clearly the FBI, the Army CID, Walter Reed Hospital to name a few; were aware of this guy's political views and they were extremist. The fact is, the President up until now, has not ordered the preservation of all intelligence nor has he even deemed this a terrorist attack, which in fact it was. I think that he is doing the prudent thing but it's a little bit late. And the other thing I would point out is that he has appointed John Brennan, the Assistant Director for Homeland Security to be in charge of this process. Mr. Brennan is the guy that basically gave a speech in August saying that Jihad means peace and love and Hizbollah was a good organization and they weren't in fact going to use Jihadist terminology to describe Jihadist terrorists. I think he is appointing the wrong person to collect and preserve the intelligence.
CAVUTO: Now I can understand maybe the reluctance to not immediately jump on the terrorist thing for all the reasons that you've discussed on air and off air before, Steve. That you know, you don't want to scare people and all that. What worries me in the early reports we've gotten over the days since the shooting a week ago is the breakdown in communication between the FBI and their awareness of Hasan, and other authorities not being made aware. This is almost exactly what happened prior to 9/11. I thought we had addressed a lot of these issues.
EMERSON: You are a 100% right. The wall that existed prior to 9/11 which prevented the exchange of intelligence between different agencies that supposedly had disintegrated and been torn down, but in fact when we look at the fact that the FBI had collected messages between Hasan and Anwar Awlaki, who was a Yemeni based Islamic cleric linked to 9/11, and didn't do anything with those messages; didn't transfer them to Army CID, didn't transfer them to the Defense Intelligence Agency, didn't transfer them to other agencies- Then we have to wonder whether in fact the FBI was being politically correct or whether in fact there was a really bad judgment made because those emails clearly would have indicated that Hasan had Islamic radical leanings so I think you are a 100% right to ask that question.
CAVUTO: Scary stuff. Steve Emerson, thank you very much. Steve joins us out of Washington. Good seeing you, Steve.
EMERSON: Good to be here.
Reader comments on this item
And no one listens because...
Submitted by Lori Lowenthal Marcus, Nov 15, 2009 11:33
The people in this government, and not enough of those in any preceding administration, do not listen to experts like Steve Emerson because they fear offending Muslim backlash more than they fear performing their essential job, which is to ensure the security of this country. In fact, it's worse than that. People like Emerson are the ones who are vilified and called extremist and racist and other vile appellations, while extremist, racist murderers like Hasan are treated with kid-gloves.