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Profile: Donald Kerrick

 
  

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Donald Kerrick actively participated in the following events:

 
  

December 2000: Pentagon Develops Plan to Attack al-Qaeda      Complete 911 Timeline

       After the attack on the USS Cole, the military not only draws up plans to directly target bin Laden (see November 7, 2000), but also comes up with a larger plan looking at alternatives to assassination. Lt. Gen. Gregory Newbold, the director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, prepared a plan to incorporate military, economic, diplomatic, and political activities to pressure the Taliban to expel bin Laden. A “Phased Campaign Concept” calls for wider-ranging mlitary strikes against the Taliban and other targets, but doesn't include contingency plans for an invasion of Afghanistan. The concept is briefed to Deputy National Security Adviser Donald Kerrick and other officials in December 2000, but it is never acted on. The military makes no similar plans after Bush's inauguration, and the CIA's invasion plans are mostly relied upon when the US invades Afghanistan in October 2001. [New York Times, 4/4/04 (B); 9/11 Commission Report, 3/24/04 (D)]
People and organizations involved: Central Intelligence Agency, Osama bin Laden, Taliban, Gregory Newbold, Donald Kerrick
          

Early 2001: Bush Staffers Less Concerned with Terrorism      Complete 911 Timeline

      
Donald Kerrick.
Clinton and Bush staff overlap for several months while new Bush appointees are appointed and confirmed. Clinton holdovers seem more concerned about al-Qaeda than the new Bush staffers. For instance, according to a colleague, Sandy Berger, Clinton's National Security Adviser, had become “totally preoccupied” with fears of a domestic terror attack. [Newsweek, 5/27/02] Brian Sheridan, Clinton's outgoing Deputy Defense Secretary for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict, is astonished when his offers during the transition to bring the new military leadership up to speed on terrorism are brushed aside. “I offered to brief anyone, any time on any topic. Never took it up.” [Los Angeles Times, 3/30/04] Army Lieutenant General Donald Kerrick, Deputy National Security Adviser and manager of Clinton's NSC (National Security Council) staff, still remains at the NSC nearly four months after Bush takes office. He later notes that while Clinton's advisers met “nearly weekly” on terrorism by the end of his term, he does not detect the same kind of focus with the new Bush advisers: “That's not being derogatory. It's just a fact. I didn't detect any activity but what [Clinton holdover Richard] Clarke and the CSG [Counterterrorism and Security Group] were doing.” [Washington Post, 1/20/02] Kerrick submits a memo to the new people at the NSC, warning, “We are going to be struck again.” He says, “They never responded. It was not high on their priority list. I was never invited to one meeting. They never asked me to do anything. They were not focusing. They didn't see terrorism as the big megaissue that the Clinton administration saw it as.” Kerrick adds, “They were gambling nothing would happen.” [Los Angeles Times, 3/30/04] Bush's first Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, Henry Shelton, later says terrorism was relegated “to the back burner” until 9/11. [Washington Post, 10/2/02]
People and organizations involved: Hugh Shelton, Bush administration, al-Qaeda, Sandy Berger, Clinton administration, National Security Council, Brian Sheridan, Counterterrorism and Security Group, Donald Kerrick
          

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