Annie Jacobsen did just that. She found a bureaucratic morass that would confound Dickens. (AJ is Annie Jacobsen. CKE is Inspector General Ervin)

I decided to call Inspector General Ervin directly. Here’s a bit of what was said.

AJ: At the end of your report, Under Secretary
Frank Libutti says he’s not in charge of consolidating and sharing Terrorist Watch List Information.

CKE: Yes.

AJ: So, the man given this incredibly important job says it’s not his job…I’m wondering what kind of message this sends to the average American person trying to understand this, there is no one in charge?

CKE: It’s very clear from the Homeland Security Act. The DHS in general, and IAIP specifically, has overall coordination responsibility [of the Terrorist Watch Lists].

AJ: So you feel the Under Secretary should be in charge, but he feels the Department of Justice [an entirely different federal agency] should be in charge?

CKE: That’s right. There’s a difference of opinion.

AJ: Your report also says Libutti takes this position [that it’s not his job] “without any legal assessments” to support his claim. On what authority, then, is Under Secretary Libutti acting?

CKE: We never received any legal analysis to support IAIP’s claim.

AJ: Is Libutti simply not interested in the job?

CKE: It is our understanding, based on conversations with him – that his position is firm and unaltered. He maintains it is not a DHS responsibility.

AJ: Do you find this disheartening, or is there some forward thinking here that I’m missing?
CKE: The Terrorist Watch List Consolidation effort is a critically important issue. We acknowledge some progress in the report, but there are still problems… We maintain as a matter of law and as a matter of common sense that the responsibility should be that of the Department [of Homeland Security].

AJ: So, where do we go from here?

CKE: For now, we agree to disagree.

How many people might die because some lowly bureaucrats “agree to disagree”. Another point (I raise it because AJ mentions it in her article). How come our government resources can’t figure out a phonetic/soundex/Arabic way to overcome the different ways Arabs transliterate their names into the English alphabet?

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