Garvey Defends FAA's 9/11 Performance

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Intelligence (The Spy Stuff) Was Considered...

The former head of the FAA has defended herself and the agency against allegations in the 9/11 Commission's final report that she did nothing to prevent the Sept. 11 attacks despite an increasing amount of intelligence traffic. The commission said Jane Garvey didn't pay "much attention" to her agency's intelligence unit in the days and months leading up to 9/11. "She was unaware of a great amount of hijacking threat information from her own intelligence unit, which, in turn, was not deeply involved in the agency's policymaking process," the report said. But Garvey told The Boston Globe she disagreed with the way the commission characterized the agency's performance before and after the attacks and that she was in the loop on intelligence matters. She said she relied on staff to sort through the "hundreds of pieces of information" received daily by the agency on security matters and was always briefed personally on top-secret items. Although she declined to discuss details of the report with the Globe, she did say the increase in intelligence traffic was not seen as a domestic issue. "We were aware of more activity [but] the predominant information pointed to a concern for overseas terrorism," she said. The report describes a litany of failed systems, flawed operations and general incompetence leading up to 9/11 but does praise the FAA for its safe grounding of thousands of aircraft immediately after the attacks.