Late last year, in secret, the Bush administration erected a
provisional defense against nuclear terrorism in the nation's capital.
It was called "Ring Around Washington," and it aimed to detect a
nuclear or radiological bomb before the weapon could be used. Still under
development, according to three knowledgeable sources, the system was
pressed into service in a large-scale operational trial. Scientists placed
a grid of radiation sensors in the District and at major points of
approach by river and road. Vehicles patrolled with mobile sensors. And an
elite combat unit from the Joint Special Operations Command, already
trained to render harmless a nuclear weapon or its components, moved to
heightened alert at a staging area near the capital.
Ring Around Washington has since been shut down, the sources said.
Under some conditions, which The Washington Post will not describe, the
neutron and gamma ray detectors failed to identify dangerous radiation
signatures. In other conditions they raised false alarms over low-grade
medical waste and the ordinary background emissions of stone monuments.
The Energy Department's national laboratories "learned a lot about how to
operate" a distributed network of sensors, one official said, but not
enough to keep it in place.
U.S. exposure to ruinous attack, more than 15 months into the war with
al Qaeda, remains unbounded. The global campaign launched by President
Bush has destroyed Osama bin Laden's Afghan sanctuary, drained his
financial resources, scattered his foot soldiers and killed or captured
some of his most dangerous lieutenants. But there is nothing in al Qaeda's
former arsenal -- nothing it was capable of doing on Sept. 11, 2001 --
that the president's advisers are prepared to say is now beyond the
The threat of bin Laden's network -- which the White House considers to
number perhaps three dozen men at its vital core -- continues in important
ways to outpace the national response. Working-level and senior
participants in the conflict, many of them interviewed at length,
displayed a striking fatalism even when describing their common belief
that the United States will eventually prevail. Nearly all of them, when
pressed, said they would measure their success by the frequency, not the
absence, of mass-casualty attacks against the American homeland.
"They're not 10 feet tall, they're not supermen, and in a lot of cases
they're very primitive," said retired Army Gen. Wayne A. Downing, who was
President Bush's deputy national security adviser for counterterrorism
until July 8, referring to al Qaeda. "But they are probably more capable
One Bush appointee, working full-time in counterterrorism, pointed to
Director of Central Intelligence George J. Tenet's testimony as recently
as two months ago that "we were vulnerable to suicidal terrorist attacks
and we remain vulnerable to them today." The official said: "With untold
billions spent -- money, personnel and blood -- how can we claim any kind
of success if we're just as vulnerable as before? It just doesn't balance.
It can't balance."
The elements of the U.S. "security deficit," as another current
official termed it recently, are varied. In their own fields of
responsibility, across a wide range of government functions, nearly all of
those interviewed acknowledged laboring under threats for which they have
no present answer. In some cases they described the challenge as
unavoidable. In others they said they had lost opportunities to respond.
In still others, implicitly and explicitly, the officials raised questions
about the president's choices in the war on terrorism.
• Thirteen of 20 men that The Post could identify on the government's
classified roster of "high value targets" remain unaccounted for. Bush's
overriding objective, a high-ranking official at the heart of the effort
said Friday, is to capture or kill the small cadre of leaders he sees as
uniquely responsible for al Qaeda's potent threat. "We want to get that
inner core more than anything," the official said, describing their number
as roughly 30. The Post identified the 20 (see box) from interviews and a
set of notes made by a participant in the hunt. Called "HVTs" in the argot
of government, the 13 men believed at large include four of the five in
the uppermost tier. National security adviser Condoleezza Rice, in a brief
interview for this report, said "we are hunting down systematically
members of terrorist networks, but that said, this is not just a numbers
• Some of those involved in the hunt said the government lost many and
perhaps most of its best chances to kill the top targets in the critical
first month of the war in Afghanistan. Disputes at the time over rules of
engagement and lines of command, some of which have not been described
before, are more significant in retrospect. In October and November 2001,
they said, the most wanted enemies were concentrated in Afghanistan.
Struggles within the CIA and U.S. Central Command, and between them,
prevented operators of the armed Predator drones from opening fire on
terrorist targets with Hellfire missiles at least 15 times, according to
sources directly involved. The disputes persisted through two changes of
the rules of engagement, with more missed opportunities to fire, until
• Now scattered, al Qaeda's network remains capable of global command
and control. As it did with box cutters and jetliners on Sept. 11, al
Qaeda makes innovative use of ordinary technology to frustrate U.S.
efforts to get "inside the plot," the term used by Tenet.
• Of all the uncertainties about al Qaeda operators, the most serious
one for the Bush administration is whether there are undiscovered "sleeper
cells" now present in the United States. That concern, expressed widely
among those interviewed, results from a common belief that there may have
been in-country conspirators in the Sept. 11 plot who have not been
identified by the FBI. Director Robert S. Mueller III has expressed the
view that there were none.
• There are at least two important disagreements among the officials
interviewed for this story, one of fact and one of policy. They have no
consensus on whether al Qaeda is replacing its top operatives with
competent successors as fast as it loses them, which has important
implications for the success of the president's strategy. And they do not
agree on how soon, and with how much priority, U.S. policy should turn to
addressing sources of grievance in the Arab and Islamic worlds -- a
difference that leads them to different views on whether the war on al
Qaeda will be enhanced or set back by war against Iraq.'These Guys Continue to Go
The gravest risks from al Qaeda combine its affinity for big targets
and its announced desire for weapons of mass destruction.
"Most sobering to me was their research on chemical weapons,
radiological dispersion devices, and their fascination with nuclear
weapons," said Downing, who granted no interviews during his White House
tenure and had not spoken about it until now. "They are obsessed with
Terrorism in its latest form has brought home the paradox of
"asymmetric war," in which even a powerful nation may be badly hurt by an
antagonist of incomparably lesser strength. But the fight with al Qaeda
has a symmetry as well. Bush wants to kill al Qaeda from the top, and much
the same describes al Qaeda's plan for the United States.
In an interview conducted in June but broadcast in September by the
satellite television network al-Jazeera, al Qaeda operative Ramzi
Binalshibh said United Flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania on Sept.
11, had been aimed at Congress.
U.S. analysts lean to the view that Binalshibh was lying. Four
officials said the better evidence points to the White House as the
Downing declined to address intelligence questions, but he stated an
observation that was also made by currently serving officials on condition
that their names not be published. Al Qaeda returned on Sept. 11, 2001, to
the World Trade Center, which allied terrorists nearly succeeded in
toppling in a 1993 bombing. It failed, then succeeded, in attempts to kill
an American diplomat in Amman, Jordan. And after missing the USS The
Sullivans in port in Yemen in January 2000, he noted, al Qaeda mounted an
identical attack with an explosives-laden boat -- this time successful --
against the USS Cole eight months later.
"These guys continue to go back after targets they have tried to get
before," Downing said. "That's why I expect they're going to go back to
Washington and why I expect they're going to go back to New York, both
because of the symbolic impact of those attacks and the economic
The strongest expression of that view came in very personal terms from
a participant in efforts against al Qaeda whose office is adjacent to
"They are going to kill the White House," the official said. "I
have really begun to ask myself whether I want to continue to get up every
day and come to work on this block."Continuity of Government
Among all the upheavals of war with al Qaeda, the surest indicator of
the historic stakes is the ongoing rotation of top U.S. government
managers -- scores at a time -- into a bunker deep underground and far
from Washington. No president before Bush considered the "continuity of
government" to be in doubt or took the costly step of maintaining a
permanent presence under shelter.
Those who serve weary tours there describe the experience as surreal --
"pretty cool for about an hour," one said, "but then very, very sobering."
Among the sobering features, more than one of them said, is recognition
that vital elements of constitutional authority are still at risk, even if
planners have foreseen enough to provide for all the eventualities of a
The visiting officials work at stainless steel desks and sometimes
sleep two to a room when the facility is crowded. Packed with computers
and communication gear, the underground vault maintains the records and
capabilities that planners think they would need to reconstitute
government and shift their headquarters to field offices outside
Washington. The Energy Department, for example, has designated the
Albuquerque Operations Office, its largest, as its successor headquarters,
and the FBI has designated its own largest satellite office, in New
Three people with experience in the bunker said members of Bush's
Cabinet take turns being present, residing in slightly less humble digs
that are designated, with some irony, as the "commander in chief suite."
There are many days when no one in the constitutional line of succession
is at the site -- for example, when the president, Vice President Cheney
or Cabinet secretaries are traveling. And there are Cabinet members whose
presence is not relevant to succession. Housing Secretary Mel R. Martinez
and Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao -- born, respectively, in Cuba and
Taiwan -- are barred from the presidency.
At the White House, some officials see a dangerous hole in the
Presidential Succession Act of 1947, a subject Bush has yet to address. If
the top three constitutional successors are killed -- the vice president,
speaker of the House and president pro tem of the Senate -- then
succession moves down a list of Cabinet secretaries. But once the House
elects a new speaker, the law is silent on whether the speaker may reclaim
priority and replace the former Cabinet member as president. That sets up
a potential struggle at a moment when the nation would need every
available resource of unity and calm.
Congress has the gravest problems of survival after a catastrophic
attack. The House, in particular, has yet to resolve a quandary that would
shut down its lawmaking power for months -- at the height of a national
emergency -- if a majority of elected members were killed or disabled. The
Senate can be replenished swiftly by each state's governor in temporary
appointments. The House requires special elections, which now take an
average of four months. In the chaotic days after a national calamity,
according to testimony by American Enterprise Institute scholar Norman J.
Ornstein before a congressionally appointed Continuity of Government
Commission, simultaneous special elections in many districts would take at
least six months, leaving Congress without a constitutionally mandated
Some House members oppose any proposed remedy that allows the
designation of emergency successors without election. "Never has a member
. . . of the House of Representatives of the United States served who has
not been elected," said Rep. Christopher Cox (R-Calif.), who co-chairs
another study group on the subject.
Rep. Brian Baird (D-Wash.), who favors allowing House members to make
advance designations of their own emergency successors, said Cox's
objection is one of the most common. Another is reluctance to amend the
Constitution for any reason.
"People simply sometimes say, 'Well, people would figure out what to
do,' " Baird said. "I don't find that a valid argument, but that's the
third most common offered."Limits on Anticipating Attacks
With the dismantling of the Ring Around Washington, officials said,
there is no adequate prospect that the unexpected arrival of an atomic
weapon or a radiological device -- conventional explosives packed with
radioactive materials -- will be detected.
Combat teams drawn from Delta Force soldiers and Navy SEALs, who
receive months of additional training for the nuclear disarmament mission,
remain available on short notice to respond. Their mission, a secret
adjunct to the well known Nuclear Emergency Search Team, or NEST, of
civilian scientists, was disclosed by The Post in February.
Around the time of the Ring Around Washington experiment, the Joint
Special Operations Command ordered the special teams to a readiness status
that cut 30 minutes from their standard launch time. More than a year of
that hair-trigger alert has begun to show its wear.
The nuclear response mission is now embroiled in interagency dispute.
The Defense Department is pushing to shed responsibility for domestic
nuclear response. According to sources in both departments, the FBI, which
agreed to take on the job in 1999, did not staff or train a unit and is
now asking to back out of the assignment.
With existing technology, random sweeps of cities and ports might find
a terrorist with nuclear materials, one official said, if "he tries to
bring in a big chunk or doesn't shield it right." The Energy Department's
two NEST units exercised in random cities before Sept. 11, 2001. Now they
exercise where intelligence points to a threat.
For all the work of the national laboratories, there have been no
dramatic changes recently in the available instruments. "Until we can
change the laws of physics we're not going to make the detectors a great
deal better," a knowledgeable official said.
"It's not going to be about the technology," the official said. "It's
going to be about intelligence. I am 100 percent sure we will fail if you
tell me there's a nuclear weapon 'somewhere in New York City.' If you tell
me Lower Manhattan, the odds are a little bit better. If you tell me a
neighborhood, we will probably find it."
In the field of biological weapons, there is almost no prospect of
detecting a pathogen until it has been used in an attack. After settling a
long argument over smallpox inoculation, the Bush administration is
working through scenarios in which a large-scale disease outbreak takes
"The United States may have to declare martial law someday," Downing
said, "in the case of a devastating attack with weapons of mass
destruction causing tens of thousands of casualties. This could mean that
the military would be given the authority to impose curfews, protect
businesses and communities, even make arrests."
Governors normally have jurisdiction over public health emergencies,
but a widespread biological attack would cross state boundaries. Secretary
of Health and Human Services Tommy G. Thompson has the power to declare a
national public health emergency, in which he could impose a quarantine
and require inoculation or treatment of unwilling citizens in the name of
But Thompson has no troops at his direct disposal, and the Bush
administration is still working through the complex questions of his
relationship to the military's new U.S. Northern Command, which is
responsible for homeland defense.
Julie L. Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention in Atlanta, will have her first extended meeting with Air Force
Gen. Ralph G. Eberhart, who heads the Northern Command, in January. She
said the two institutions needed "to touch base and identify any gaps in
what we understand to be our respective roles."
Some government exercises run to date have used scenarios in which
quarantine is breached and a disease spreads uncontained.
"Remember," Gerberding said. "These are imaginary experiments . . . so
we decide how we're going to handle it."High Value Targets, Lost Chances
Because defending against even the highest-priority threats is so
difficult, offense has been at the center of Bush's thinking.
But his favored strategy -- decapitating al Qaeda by hunting down its
three dozen top leaders -- has had mixed results elsewhere. Japan's Aum
Shinrikyo cult, which unleashed a nerve gas attack in Tokyo's subway
system, withered with the arrest of its founding generation of leaders. In
the Middle East, the Islamic Resistance Movement, or Hamas, and
Palestinian Islamic Jihad have grown new leaders and redoubled their
suicide bombing attacks in the face of Israel's relentless campaign of
"As we go after some of these" al Qaeda leaders, "some of them will get
replaced," said the official made available by the White House for answers
on strategy. "It doesn't appear they can replace them with people of the
same quality and training." He acknowledged, however, that "we don't know
these [new] guys in great detail."
Downing had a different view.
"Certainly they've been blooded, which has strengthened their misguided
commitment to their cause," he said. "Those who have survived have learned
valuable lessons. They have adapted, decentralized their organization,
grown new leaders. They have had to find new ways of operating. This makes
them more dangerous."
In his early White House days, Downing had been among the foremost
advocates of accelerating the hunt.
At one meeting in November 2001, according to two people present, he
glowered at his colleagues and slammed the flat of his hand against the
table, a gesture seldom indulged in the White House Situation Room.
"We've got to kill the [expletives]!" Downing said, voice raised.
His frustration stemmed from what he viewed as missed opportunities.
The CIA had a "profile," an official there said, of the appearance from
the air of the class of al Qaeda leaders they wanted most. The profile
looked for a small traveling party in sport-utility vehicles, with a
security team close by and another around a perimeter. Taliban or al Qaeda
fighters would show one figure special deference, perhaps kissing the hem
of his garment.
Predator drones have about the weight and engine power of a golf cart
and resemble mosquitoes with 58-foot wings. But they have lived up to
their name. They are uniquely valuable in hunting individuals because they
are the only known U.S. technology for finding and shooting at a person in
the same moment.
Under its first rules of engagement, the CIA pulled the trigger "in
support of" Army Gen. Tommy R. Franks at U.S. Central Command, which led
the military's effort in Afghanistan. Far too often, Downing thought, the
Central Command became mired in "covering its ass," as two colleagues
described his remarks. Its legal adviser applied the laws of war, not the
broader authority Bush had granted for lethal force in his September
intelligence finding. Approval to fire came late, or not at all.
Downing's frustration was mirrored in the teams at the Predator's
controls. One operator put his fist through a computer screen after being
forced to hold his fire against a top al Qaeda operative, according to a
friend who heard his account. Another broke furniture with his helmet on a
Rice and her deputy, Stephen J. Hadley, felt obliged to caution Downing
that he had no operational role. His blunt talk and exasperated demeanor
struck even friendly critics as unsuited to the interagency debate.
"I know how to play the Washington game," Downing said. "It was just at
this stage of my life I didn't have the stomach or patience for it. . . .
I felt we spent an inordinate amount of time on the NSC process."
Before Downing's departure, described in the White House as a mutual
decision, the consensus had moved somewhat his way. Rules of engagement
were changed to give the CIA an escape clause in Afghanistan -- its
operators could open fire if Central Command did not give an answer in
time. Then it won a measure of independent authority.
Still later -- in October -- the agency got its first go-ahead to use
the Predator outside Afghanistan. Abu Ali al-Harithi, who had been listed
among al Qaeda's most wanted, died in Yemen on Nov. 3 when a missile
obliterated his car.
By then, most of the most-wanted operatives had dispersed.
"It took six months, and I wanted to do it in six days," Downing
in the United States
Rice, in the interview, said the United States is making progress in
"knocking out key nodes of the network, knocking out key operators,"
adding: "You're not going to get everybody, and you don't get to choose
the ones that you get. You get an opportunity, either through hard work or
by chance, and you take it."
The hunt for al Qaeda has been slowest in the United States, and inside
government there is anxiety about the reasons.
Some of those interviewed said they fear undiscovered sleeper cells in
this country, citing gaps in the FBI's knowledge of the Sept. 11 plot.
They expressed strong skepticism of the FBI's public stance that 19
hijackers pulled off their complex feat without the kind of local help
that al Qaeda always used before.
FBI Director Mueller gave closed testimony in June, made public in
September, that "to this day we have found no one in the United States
except the actual hijackers who knew of the plot."
FBI investigators acknowledge that mysteries endure. They do not know
why, on the eve of his final flight, suspected hijacker leader Mohamed
Atta traveled to Portland, Maine.
At first investigators supposed that the detour enabled Atta to avoid
Boston's stricter security on the morning he seized control of American
Flight 11. But in fact Atta had to pass through security twice, once at
each airport. One theory now is that he met on the evening of Sept. 10
with an al Qaeda handler -- to return unused funds or documents, to make a
report, or to give the handler a final chance for instructions.
From docks in Portland's Casco Bay, the Quoddy Loop line offers
frequent ferries to Canada. No identification was required to buy a
ticket. If a handler did meet Atta there, he might have left no trace.
Perhaps because of questions like these, Rice and other top officials
give lukewarm backing to the FBI theory that the hijackers worked
"Is it conceivable that there were only the  plotters in the United
States, and the direction was coming from the outside?" she said. "It is
conceivable. If the FBI doesn't have evidence yet, it doesn't mean they
won't find evidence."
Larry Mefford, assistant FBI director and chief of the counterterrorism
division, said in an interview that the "number one priority in the FBI
today is to detect and uncover terrorist sleeper cells" in the United
"We have not discovered an operational cell that would be under the
model of the 19" hijackers, he said, but the bureau has established "a
whole series of tripwires" to "detect highly disciplined and motivated
groups of terrorists. I guess I can't tell you with a high level of
certainty they're not here. We're looking aggressively to ensure they're
Orange Alert on
Some members of Bush's security team conceive homeland security in
offensive more than defensive terms. No amount of spending can prevent a
severe attack, one senior team member said, but hardening targets forces
terrorists "to make more efforts, spend more resources, to overcome" the
defensive measures. And every new effort the terrorists make "gives you
more chances to see what they're up to."
How to defend themselves locally has been an agonizing question for
state and city governments. Their puzzlement emerged clearly on Sept. 10,
the eve of a traumatic anniversary, when Attorney General John D. Ashcroft
announced an increase in the national threat level from yellow to orange
-- high risk.
In New Haven, Conn., Mayor John DeStefano Jr. asked the White House
Office of Homeland Security in a conference call what to do.
Answering that question is not the way Homeland Security Director Tom
Ridge has conceived his job. The theory behind the advisory system, with
danger expressed on a continuum from green to red, is that any change of
threat level will be accompanied by "an appropriate set of protective
measures." Only local authorities, Ridge tells them, can decide the
meaning in their own settings of his generic advice, such as "taking
additional precautions at public events."
On Sept. 10, DeStefano decided to open his city's Emergency Operations
Center, in the "sub-sub basement" of the government complex on Orange
Street. Police, fire and health departments, along with agencies
responsible for roads, bridges and utilities, began standing 24-hour
watches. Police increased their port patrols, looking for they knew not
"After two days, after incurring a lot of overtime, we made the
decision to shut it down," DeStefano said.Gaps in Homeland Defense
As Ridge makes the transition to a new role as secretary of the new
Homeland Security Department, he will have major gaps to address. The
biggest, in the view of many experts, is port defense.
The government's new Transportation Security Agency now screens the
shoes of millions of airline passengers but less than 2 percent of the
21,000 shipping containers that arrive in U.S. ports every day. Each is 40
feet long and easily holds the contents of a private home. Customs
Commissioner Robert Bonner has said there is "virtually no security for
what is the primary system to transport global trade."
Bonner calls for a container security initiative to screen incoming
cargo offshore, or in its originating port overseas. White House officials
often praise the initiative but its funding is unclear. In fiscal 2002,
according to legislators in both parties, the president's lobbyists
negotiated a reduction in funding for that initiative to $39 million. Bush
signed the bill but did not spend the money. In Bush's fiscal 2003 budget,
he has proposed no specific funding for container security.
"Obviously if there's an attack in ports, you could have hundreds of
thousands of people die, depending on the weapons used, and there
certainly is a colossal risk to the economy," said Rep. David R. Obey
(D-Wis.), who has clashed with the White House over spending.
Gordon Johndroe, spokesman for Ridge, said there was no time to spend
last year's appropriation for container security. Customs will fund the
initiative this year, he said, out of general increases in its
Weeds and Iraq
Disagreements about the president's strategy, among officials
interviewed for this story, sometimes took the form of competing
analogies. Those who believed al Qaeda is losing leaders faster than it
can replace them spoke of cutting the head off the snake. Those who
disagreed spoke of the need to pull up weeds by their roots.
"Roots" was a taboo word in the Bush administration for a time, with
"evil" the only acceptable explanation for the attacks of Sept. 11. More
recently, senior Bush advisers have addressed other sources of al Qaeda's
Speaking on Dec. 11 of cooperation with Islamic and Arab allies, Tenet
said, "We can't let this engagement stop at the level of tactical wartime
cooperation, as necessary as that is. We also need to make more
fundamental connections. Because at the end of the day, we cannot hope to
make lasting progress in the war against terrorism without serious steps
to address 'the circumstances that give it rise.' "
Secretary of State Colin L. Powell followed that two days later with a
call to bridge "the hope gap" among the young men and women in the Arab
world who have grown hostile to the United States. "It has become
increasingly clear that we must broaden our approach to the region if we
are to achieve success," he said. "We must work with peoples and
governments to close the gulf between expectation and reality."
Powell, declaring that "hope begins with a paycheck," accompanied his
remarks with an offer of $29 million in new assistance to be divided among
23 countries. They have a combined population of about 260 million.
The debate over roots has also addressed the prospect of war with Iraq,
with some officials saying it will intensify rage against the United
States. That rage promotes a "functional sanctuary," as one official put
the argument, among sympathetic populations in the Arab and Islamic
Bush and his senior advisers argue that war to dislodge Iraqi President
Saddam Hussein, should it come, would be integral to the global struggle
with al Qaeda. They say Iraq's undeclared biological and chemical weapons,
in potential combination with al Qaeda's ruthless intentions, make for the
most dangerous possible terrorist threat. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D.
Wolfowitz has taken to using a new shorthand for that formula: "weapons of
Most officials interviewed acknowledged some tradeoffs at the tactical
level between the two conflicts.
The FBI, according to sources, has been obliged to shift some emphasis
in its counterterrorism and counterespionage units from al Qaeda to Iraq,
though senior officials said the shift was modest. And in the event of war
with Iraq, formal priorities in intelligence-gathering will give that war
first call on scarce resources such as photo interpretation, translation
and satellite coverage.
"There's no such thing as a tie in priorities," one national security
official said. "One of them is going to win, and for the duration of any
war it will be Iraq."
Among the costliest tradeoffs comes in the currency of linguists and
regional specialists. No authorized government spokesman acknowledged a
conflict, but every affected agency has said in the past year that it had
shortages in those skills.
Downing said the scarcity of foreign language speakers with top-secret
security clearances had left "reams of material waiting to be exploited"
in the war against al Qaeda. He was so alarmed by the gap that he
suggested, before leaving the White House job, that intelligence agencies
hire native speakers with abbreviated security checks.
The D.C. area, he said, has "probably the best-educated cab drivers in
the world that can speak any language you want."
In the months after Sept. 11, one of the CIA's most important South
Asia resources was a man named Bob, then station chief in Pakistan, who
will be identified here by first name only. Conversant with local
languages, he was immersed in the people and institutions of the nation
that arguably remains most important to the war on al Qaeda.
Recently he returned to headquarters in Langley. His new assignment:
"issue manager" for Iraq.
"He completed his tour," said a senior intelligence official. "When you
have something like Iraq come up, you want to put your best guy on
Staff researchers Lucy Shackelford and Margot Williams contributed
to this report.