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August 12, 2009

Photo of Tom Wilshire Found


I have found a photograph of Tom Wilshire, the CIA officer involved in pretty much all the pre-9/11 intelligence failings. It is here. I don’t reproduce it here for reasons of copyright, although I guess I could claim fair use. The photo was taken when he testified to Congress about the al-Qaeda threat in late 2001.

I have to say he looks a lot older than I thought he was, but I guess people never seem the way you imagine them.

I also read a lot of articles about the testimony and found the transcript. They all refer to him as Tom Wilshere (with two “e”s), so perhaps this is the correct spelling of his name and the one we use is wrong. We got the spelling from Lawrence Wright, who  mentioned Wilshire in his 2006 Pullitzer Prize-winning book The Looming Tower and a New Yorker article that accompanied the book, but was focused on FBI agent Ali Soufan.

Finally, all the articles about the testimony refer to him as the “deputy chief of the FBI’s international terrorism section” or some variant of this like the International Terrorism Operations Section (ITOS). This is substantially different to what my understanding of his position was at this time. For example, the DoJ IG report (pp. 282) says that Wilshire “told the OIG that in this detail to the FBI he acted as the CIA’s chief intelligence representative to ITOS Section Chief Michael Rolince,” and that “he did not have line authority over anyone at the FBI and that his primary role was to assist the FBI in exploiting information for intelligence purposes.”

The 9/11 Commission report (pp. 267) simply says that Wilshire was “a CIA official detailed to the International Terrorism Operations Section at the FBI.”

It would certainly make sense for Wilshire to be the deputy chief, as his counterpart Charles Frahm (the FBI official detailed in return to the CIA) was deputy chief of the CIA section that incorporated its bin Laden unit, Alec Station.

The alternative is that Wilshire was simply some sort of consultant before 9/11, but acquired a managerial position in a reshuffle after the attacks.

I suppose that if he was the deputy section chief, that would make his share of the blame for not acting correctly all the greater.

3 Comments »

  1. […] and “Michael” reported to Bin Laden Station Deputy Chief Tom Wilshere and Chief of Station Richard Blee, who himself reported to Counter-Terrorist Center chief Cofer […]

    Pingback by STATEMENT ON THE DELAY IN RELEASING WHO IS RICH BLEE? « News Worldwide — September 14, 2011 @ 6:20 pm | Reply

  2. […] and “Michael” reported to Bin Laden Station Deputy Chief Tom Wilshere and Chief of Station Richard Blee, who himself reported to Counter-Terrorist Center chief Cofer […]

    Pingback by CIA suing Documentarians to maintain 9/11 secrecy | The Banking Cartel — September 15, 2011 @ 12:06 pm | Reply

  3. If it was an inside job, there were no intelligence failures.

    Comment by Len Kurtz — April 10, 2013 @ 8:02 pm | Reply


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