In perhaps his harshest criticism yet of the intelligence community before the Sept. 11th attacks, Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby told an independent commission that officials ignored legislative directives and federal laws, while pinning the blame on Congress.
The Alabama Republican, a former chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, expressed frustration that intelligence officials would publicly scold lawmakers for not providing enough anti-terrorism funds but privately acknowledge the money was sufficient.
Shelby was one of four key members of House and Senate intelligence panels who gave a less-than-glowing report on the amount of cooperation and information Congress has received from the CIA and FBI in the wake of the 2001 attacks on New York and Washington.
Shelby has been one of the most outspoken members of Congress against many in the intelligence community, particularly CIA director George Tenet.
Shelby has called for a Cabinet-level officer to combine all intelligence systems, including the funding oversight, under one roof. That possibility is one of several under review by the commission.