Mixed Reaction to James Bamford’s Spy Factory – Precious Truths Surrounded by a Body of Secrets
I just watched PBS Nova’s Spy Factory with James Bamford and I have a number of comments about it, both good and bad.
Starting off with the good, having been writing about al-Qaeda’s communications hub in Yemen for the last two years, I was thrilled to actually see it on the screen. Bamford actually went to Yemen and filmed it from the outside, shame he didn’t go in.
The first and most glaring omission is Alec Station deputy chief Tom Wilshire, who was not mentioned at all in the programme. It went into some detail about the blocking of the cable written by Doug Miller, an FBI detailee to Alec Station, to FBI headquarters about Almihdhar’s US visa, but this was attributed merely to the CIA officer we refer to as “Michelle.” Wilshire was her boss, she blocked the cable on his orders, and Bamford knows this well—he wrote it in the book this programme was based on.
By omitting Wilshire from this incident, PBS paralleled one of the very worst errors by the 9/11 Commission. The commission knew of the blocking, but failed to subpoena either Miller or Rossini, although they were eager to testify. Not only did it manage to relegate the incident to a small-type endnote (number 44 on page 502), it also managed to omit Wilshire’s role in this entirely.
Continued at link.