Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Buster Keaton Would Be Proud

Increased chatter? Threat level raised? Long airport lines?

Don't worry the Federal Government is on the case:
Despite major increases in money and personnel, the FBI is still failing to translate many al-Qaida surveillance recordings in a timely manner and faces a giant backlog of untranslated material from terrorism and espionage investigations, a new Justice Department audit shows.

The report released Monday by Glenn A. Fine, the department'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.

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 audit found, while electronic surveillance collection in key languages such as Arabic and Pashto has risen 45 percent....

Yes, the No Sarcasm sign has been extinguished.

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