Could intel leaks lead to terrorist attacks?
Catherine Herridge on how to solve America's threatened security
- Duration 11:47
- Date Jun 13, 2012
Catherine Herridge on how to solve America's threatened security
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Hi welcome back to death country.
-- -- you normally see in various parts of the world are certainly in Washington.
Talking about a terrorist many counterterrorism and hearings on Capitol Hill.
We got -- here today.
As her she's going to talk to us about the intelligence list right.
What's going I think.
I think -- fundamental point is being missed here and we spent.
The better part of this week in Washington focusing.
And the type or style of investigation right that we're gonna have right now it's being.
But by two US attorneys who come from the Justice Department and the question is whether that's really going to be sufficient and independent and not.
To find the source which may be an executive Chris -- think.
The bottom line is that when you look at these leaks and the compromises that they have fled to.
It may well be months or years where -- -- can.
Get that kind of access for example within al-Qaeda in Yemen again more eyes and the problem there is that and this is -- the unspoken truth is that.
You may actually see something slip through now because we don't have that kind of clearance anymore we don't have those eyes and ears.
On the ground and when you look at Iran.
And the reports that we were in fact part of the stocks that virus the -- virus was like dropping a bomb on that nuclear facility in Iran.
And it was really an act of war.
So that's what the plausible deny ability was so important that when we didn't where we didn't say -- -- -- the other was that I was about it we -- that's right -- but now -- -- now well now looking information is out there suggesting that we had a role in it.
I mean there are no rules of engagement -- -- workers -- this would really allow Iran to probably effectively make the argument that this was an act of war and that they were justified in retaliating.
Against the United States so I think.
You know putting the kill list once I -- I can imagine.
It's of such gravity that I'm putting it to one side but when you look at the leaks in their totality it's stocks -- and the possibility of retaliation by Iran.
And then also our inability to get back inside al-Qaeda in Yemen which I think are the two that are really going to be trouble for us and future.
Okay so you're right most people in Washington have focused on the political part was easy to focus on you know I'm gonna Harrington you're like he's going to be damaged who -- -- -- but you're saying there are other ramifications.
In the hard -- gathering of intelligence that are going to be effective well what you've heard from the members of the house and Senate Intelligence Committee at committees over the last two weeks or so is that.
Nations will stop cooperating with us this has a real serious and severe impact on national security but what is being.
It's not spoken but -- said behind closed doors and -- some people have shared with me.
Is that there is real concern that -- been so compromised that something may get through in the future and I go back to al-Qaeda in Yemen this is a group.
That is the most active al-Qaeda group is very focused on the United States.
It's part of that al-Qaeda pattern where they come back to the same -- of target again and again.
But we saw with the world trade -- until they're successful their focus or their obsession is on the US airline industry.
There was another device more sophisticated that was intercepted by a -- who was working with us and with the British.
But now that that is known and that -- covers -- Well that affect us covers phone but more importantly is that you have to anticipate in that situation that there would be a purge of any other foreigners within the organization.
Because they can't be trusted and then there will be a reluctance of operatives to go back into that situation and they would be accepted either because al-Qaeda in -- On to -- so the question is how long would it take us.
To re gain that ability to get.
That deeply inside the network it could take months it could take years and when you look at their cycle of attacks against the United States.
You have to expect that there will be another attempt and that into the and we may -- that one coming pleasant street we we don't have those eyes and ears on the ground anymore you can learn a lot.
From the sky.
Through drones you can -- a lot as you know from.
Your background through telephone intercepts.
Your emails but there's never any substitute.
For the human intelligence on the ground and you know if what I've learned through my reporting is true we weren't really just one.
Individual away from the bomb maker himself -- the top target in the country he's the one who was behind.
The bomb on the Detroit flight on Christmas Day in 2009.
He was also the one who's behind those cargo bombs in the -- when he was an -- that's right exactly good memory and then he was also behind this latest iteration.
Of the -- he's one of the best bomb makers working today that's the people in the US and other reasons we have not had these leaks -- Potentially might let it -- about it they ought to get him -- when -- -- from my reporting is that to get to the bomb maker Ebert you know a series.
You were always one step removed from him that was for what they call -- -- operational security so in this particular case our guy on the inside.
Got the bomb from another operative called out -- so.
-- Crusoe presumably got it from the bomb makers there's always one step removed so that -- the bomb maker in the most secure position.
But we were one person away away go away from him.
And -- you know he's really the target.
He is our number one target in that country.
Tell you having -- out of Washington in 1970 when we had the investigations into the CIA.
With the church committee hearings.
The result of that was the human intelligence gathering human talent spies.
From the C and we lost a generation of spies because we were revealing sources and methods.
Do you think and then some people say well that's why we never saw try to coming we didn't have -- -- for.
For fifteen years we lost that ability to be on the inside is -- something that I have that significance do you think.
Well I think the significance at least in the short term is that we.
Lost that visibility on the ground that we had through this double agent and the likelihood of inserting someone else quickly is very -- And the likelihood and this -- I don't base this on on.
-- in my own reporting but I based on experience is it after someone is revealed he typically see occurred when talking to -- is essentially a bloodletting.
Foreigners within the group because they can't be they can't be trusted.
I don't want to minimize how important the tech -- he has.
But the difference with human intelligence is that you really are able.
To pick -- so many elements that you can't pick up as they say from 101000 feet right it's the body language.
It's the pattern of -- which helps you targeting these individuals.
Okay -- -- you know one of the great advancements of this format other than yeah you're always found every night.
Is that people can they're watching on their computers are sending us questions for you guys we've got a question for you -- Jeff I have read.
-- and then this is not quite like jeopardy this is a question from.
-- who wants to now we've seen the fast and furious investigations even covering -- house.
On Capitol Hill we've seen for an illegal voters and now we have this and the attorney general has appointed to investigators.
Is there a pattern here that you see where the where the government assists our government is -- is being reluctant.
To look internally at problems.
Well one of the charge.
It is at this and hearing yesterday was made by if my memory is correct Lindsey Graham who said.
This administration's very good.
At trumpeting information it's good for them.
But is the very poor when it comes to being open about information that's embarrassing to them.
In terms of the leak investigation.
This is a pretty standard.
Strategy that they're using right now the appointment of two US attorneys that.
The twist is that typically you see the appointment of -- US attorney.
Who is -- -- geographically.
Different areas so for example.
When they investigated the destruction of CIA tapes related to the enhanced interrogation program they have played a US attorney in Connecticut.
Because the belief was that he was based in Connecticut and therefore would not have relationships.
Or contacts with the people he would be investigating what's than usual.
In what a -- general holder's done is that he's appointed someone from the District of Columbia.
And also Maryland.
The two districts where the crimes Mary.
Who have been described he's -- -- shooters were -- themselves.
And someone else they be brought in OK I wanna switch topics of the New York because you're here.
To talk about especially you're -- -- or something new that you're doing a Friday night everybody should tune in.
What is it how we watch it and -- times.
Well this is the culmination of our teams -- five month investigation to Fort Hood.
The new series it's an ongoing series here at fox called fox files this episode is called.
The enemy within.
And for the first time that you -- going to hear from the victims who were shot at Fort Hood in their own words.
How that day and -- you're gonna hear firsthand from investigators who have never spoken before.
And you can decide whether this I mean it was a tragedy -- -- epic proportions.
Could have been avoided I can say that I've investigated a lot of things and after five months I had two very strong feelings about it one I felt like I want it to week because it.
Really is a tragedy of epic proportions.
And the ripple effect is still being felt and on the other hand.
I felt so angry I just wanted to -- in my television because.
Because there have been so many opportunities.
Where the shooter could have been stopped.
And he wasn't.
Because of the bureaucracy.
Because of political correctness.
And for all of those reasons you come away from it I think you just feel.
A little bit of your heart -- sort of torn apart by and I think viewers who -- tune in this Friday at ten.
And again over the weekend will feel the same thing that that I.
Back clip of Al gonna show us I would -- to create the -- You know me.
You could lose your security clearance in the army for having bad credit and be kicked out of the army put.
You can't lose your security clearance for her talking to a member of al-Qaeda.
Through email me who's making some.
-- -- staff sergeant -- demanding he was shot on November 5 2009.
At that readiness center at Fort Hood.
Six times he is one of the survivors and what he's referring to there is the fact.
That the alleged shooter major Nadal Hasan had this email relationship.
With this radical cleric the American on -- all -- so he's saying.
Like what the heck is happening here I can lose my clearance for having bad credit.
But Husain who had.
A -- high level security clearance did not lose it even though he was emailing with a known terrorist and part of what we trying to explore here.
Is why was that possible what was it play was at the bureaucracy.
Was it political correctness and people like they can make up their own -- this sounds like a right -- her -- I ride on Friday at 10 o'clock eastern and again over the weekend and yeah I can over the weekend -- -- this is five months of our teams really serious reporting I reported along with Bill Hemmer.
And you're going to hear from people who have never spoken before of the horror of that day and I can tell you.
Listening to these people you just want -- -- you cannot imagine.
But -- that they must have felt to have someone wearing the very same uniform turn that weapon on them.
Well it sounds like this are real evidence this sounds so we also -- and Friday that's great hockey eastern and then over the week that's right and this is an ongoing series now on -- box files so Fox News Channel box file as -- enemy within that's correct thank you so I can prevent it having me.