NYT reported The government's efforts to help foreign nations cut off the supply of money to terrorists, a critical goal for the Bush administration, have been stymied by infighting among American agencies, leadership problems and insufficient financing, a new Congressional report says. More than four years after the Sept. 11 attacks, "the U.S. government lacks an integrated strategy" to train foreign countries and provide them with technical assistance to shore up their financial and law enforcement systems against terrorist financing, according to the report prepared by the Government Accountability Office, an investigative arm of Congress.
So the Legislative Branch and the Executive Branch disagree; and is this something new?The findings expand on earlier concerns raised by that agency and others in the past few years about the government's ability to cut off money to terrorists. The report is to be released Wednesday, and an advance copy was provided to The New York Times.
Another leaked report; empanel a grand jury, and imprison the reporter if he does not tell who leaked the report.The findings produced sharp dissent from American government officials, who said Congressional auditors overstated the bureaucratic problems in curbing terrorist financing overseas and the level of dissension between agencies. They described the intergovernmental effort to cut off the flow of terrorist money as one of the hallmarks of the Bush administration's campaign to fight terrorism since the Sept. 11 attacks.
"No interagency process is without flaws," the State Department said in its official response. But it said "there is much evidence" that the working group set up by the administration to combat terrorist financing "is one of the most successful examples of interagency cooperation." The government has identified 26 "priority" countries that it considered particularly vulnerable to exploitation by terrorist financiers, who may take advantage of lax financial controls and loosely regulated or nonexistent laws to launder money in support of terrorist attacks, officials said.
But officials at the State and Treasury Departments cannot even agree on who is supposed to be in charge of the effort to shore up defenses in vulnerable countries, the accountability office report concluded.
The Treasury Department should prevail. There are too many bureaucrats in the State Department that are too close to the countries they work with, and that work contrary to the interests of the US.In at least one case, the State Department refused to allow a Treasury official to enter an unidentified foreign country last year to help with strategies to fight terrorist financing because of turf battles, investigators found. Because the country had recently been upgraded to a priority, State Department officials wanted to do their own assessment first before allowing the Treasury Department to conduct its work,
Helping the country cover things upcausing a delay of several months.