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Olsen Unfit To Run National Counterterrorism Center

July 20, 2011

July 19, 2011 - San Francisco, CA - - Matthew Olsen's nomination as Director of the National Counterterrorism Center [NCTC] is running into a buzz saw of opposition in Congress

Leading the charge is Frank Wolf [R-VA] who has authored an open letter to Sen. Dianne Feinstein [D-CA] - Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence which must approve Mr. Olsen's appointment - slamming candidate Olsen.

Wolf named three main points of opposition:

1. Mr. Olsen's decisions as Director of the Obama Administration's GITMO Review Task Force have proven faulty in that, according to Mr. Wolf, "high risk terrorist detainees recommended for release by the task force led by Mr. Olsen were released abroad to dangerously unstable countries, including Yemen, Somalia and Afghanistan."

2. It appears that some detainee assessments were manipulated due to political pressure, "it has become clear that Mr. Olsen's task force may have altered some detainee assessments - overturning Department of Defense assessments -- in order to clear and expedite the release of a large number of detainees."

3. Mr. Olsen's veracity in dealing with Congress remains a question, "I have recently learned that Mr. Olsen was not forthright me and my staff about the effort to release a number of Uighur detainees to northern Virginia in 2009. Attached is a white paper that addresses these concerns in greater detail..."

The NCTC was established in 2004 by President George W. Bush with the idea of it "breaking the older mold of national government organizations." [source, NCTC website]

Given NCTC's responsibility to protect the public from terrorism its director must be above reproach. That individual must above all be truthful, have excellent judgment and have a record of being able to resist efforts to politicize what should be fact-based decisions.

According to the mounting evidence Mr. Olsen fails on all counts, making him unfit to manage this key national security agency.

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