[Guest post by DRJ]
President Obama has ordered a review of the Terrorist Watchlist program following the Northwest Flight 253 terror attack. Last Sunday he named John Brennan, a CIA veteran who helped establish the National Counterterrorism Center, to head the review. Today Brennan received an ethics waiver so he can begin the inquiry.
Brennan may have a lot of work ahead of him. A May 2009 Justice Department audit found problems in the Watchlist program that affect national security:
“The FBI has been slow to update the national terror suspect watchlist — and the lapses pose real risks to U.S. security, a Justice Department audit has found.
A report by the Justice Department’s Inspector General, Glenn Fine, found that 12 terror suspects who were either not watchlisted or were slow to be added to the list may have traveled into or out of the United States during the period when they were not placed on the list.”
Representatives from Homeland Security and the FBI gave assurances that corrections would be made. In hindsight, their assurances are not reassuring:
“Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said the issues have been addressed and her agency is publicly committed to working with the Justice Department “as a shared mission of protecting this country is paramount,” said Sara Kuban, a spokeswoman for Napolitano.
In two of every three cases the auditors examined, the FBI failed to update information in the watchlist, as required.
FBI Assistant Director John Miller said the bureau has already taken steps to improve the system.”
Two of every three cases?