Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Audit Finds Large FBI Translation Backlog

Another Story from the Guardian. So far nothing the Bush administration does says they even want to combat terrorism. Look at the track record (just off the top of my head and not in chronological order) :

I think that's enough to be going on with. I mean really!!! This all amounts to something far more sinister than mere negligence.

Here is the Guardian article:

Tuesday September 28, 2004 2:31 AM


Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - The FBI has a backlog of hundreds of thousands of hours of untranslated audio recordings from terror and espionage investigations, despite large increases in money and personnel for translations since the 2001 terror attacks, a Justice Department audit released Monday said.

In addition, the audit by Glenn A. Fine, the agency's inspector general, found more than one-third of al-Qaida intercepts authorized by a secret federal court were not reviewed within 12 hours of collection as required by FBI Director Robert Mueller.

``Our audit highlighted the significant challenges facing the FBI to ensure that translation of key information is performed timely and accurately,'' Fine said.

The audit was completed in July in classified form. The version released Monday was edited to remove sections classified as ``secret'' by the FBI.

Since Sept. 11, 2001, more than 123,000 hours of audio in languages associated with terrorists still had not been reviewed as of April 2004, the audit found. In addition, more than 370,000 hours of audio associated with counterintelligence had not been reviewed.

This backlog existed even though money for the FBI's language services had increased from $21.5 million in fiscal 2001 to about $70 million in fiscal 2004. The number of linguists had risen from 883 to 1,214 over that period.

The FBI also is not meeting Mueller's requirement that all al-Qaida communications collected under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act be reviewed within 12 hours of interception. During April 2004, the audit found, 36 percent of such communications were not even received at FBI headquarters within 12 hours.

Full Story

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