By Carlo Muñoz and Jeremy Herb - 06/27/13 10:16 PM EDT
U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz refused to discuss details of the Tsarnaev brothers radicalization by Islamic extremist groups, including Anwar al-Awlaki, the U.S. citizen who U.S. intelligence officials claimed was the spiritual leader of al Qaeda's Yemen cell, known as al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
Turf battles between the FBI, CIA and others in the intelligence community contributed to missed warnings ahead of the 9/11 attacks.
While coordination among the entities has improved, it remains unclear whether interagency tensions prevented U.S. counterterrorism officials from uncovering clues that may have predicted the attack.
Biden briefs on Syria: Senate Intelligence Committee leaders said Thursday morning they were meeting with CIA Director John Brennan to talk about the CIA’s response to the panel’s “torture report.”
Turns out that wasn’t their only meeting Thursday.
Vice President Biden briefed the full panel on the conflict in Syria Thursday, according to Senate aides.
Biden met with the committee before he presided over the Senate’s immigration vote. As he left the meeting chatting with Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Biden said: "I look forward to presiding over its passage."
Before the Biden meeting on Syria, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Vice Chairman Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) had a meeting with Brennan.
They discussed the CIA’s new report, according to a Senate aide, which pushed back against the report from Feinstein’s committee last year that found the CIA’s interrogation techniques were ineffective. Both reports are still classified.
The Washington Post reported on the CIA’s finding on Wednesday, which Feinstein was not pleased about. “It’s just interesting to me that it’s in the newspaper before we have a chance to discuss it,” Feinstein said before her meeting with Brennan.
U.S. intel request tops $70 billion: The Obama administration is requesting a total of $70 billion to finance new intelligence programs and operations at the Pentagon, CIA and other intelligence agencies.
The bulk of those funds, $52.2 billion, will go toward "national intelligence programs" run by Langley and the other 16 elements within the intelligence community for fiscal 2014, according to a press release by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).
The remaining $18.2 billion in requested intelligence funding for fiscal 2014 will go toward "military intelligence programs" run by the Department of Defense.
The ODNI figure is $400 million less than what intelligence officials requested for programs and operations in fiscal 2013, while the DOD request is $1 billion less than the $19.2 billion it requested in the previous fiscal year to finance intelligence efforts by the Defense Intelligence Agency and the various service intel shops.
Military and intelligence officials refused to release further details of the intelligence programs covered under $70 billion request.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and National Security Agency chief Gen. Keith Alexander have come under fire for recent leaks over the NSA's domestic intelligence programs.
Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden illegally disclosed details of the agency's efforts inside the United States to The Guardian and The Washington Post.
Lawmakers have criticized Clapper specifically for his comments, under oath, to members of the Senate Intelligence Committee in March denying the NSA was conducting intelligence operations on U.S. citizens. His made those comments weeks before the agency began gathering data on cellphone calls and Internet traffic of U.S. citizens.
Jones threatens impeachment: Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) on Thursday threatened to try to impeach President Obama if a U.S. soldier is killed in Syria.
“If one of our troops goes to Syria and is killed, I will introduce articles of impeachment against the president,” Jones said.
Jones was at a press conference with a bipartisan group of libertarian-leaning Republicans and liberal Democrats to argue against providing weapons to the Syrian opposition.
The attendees included Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Jones and Rep. Chris Gibson (R-N.Y.), and Democratic Reps. Peter Welch (Vt.) and Rick Nolan (Minn.),
They had introduced bills in the House and Senate that would prevent the U.S. from giving military aid without congressional approval.
Jones was the only one who wanted to talk about impeachment Thursday, but all the lawmakers harkened back to the U.S. military intervention in Libya in 2011, for which Obama did not get explicit congressional approval.
In Case You Missed It:
— Russia pulls forces out of Syria
— House passes military sexual assault bill
— Rep. Jones threatens impeachment over Syria
— CIA rebuffs Congress on 'torture report'
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