From remarks yesterday by CIA Director George Tenet at a House Select Intelligence Committee hearing on the NATO bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade:
The critical lesson that emerges from this event is that, particularly when providing targeting . . . in urban areas, it is important to provide an accurate appreciation of our confidence in the location of a target and the evidentiary basis for how that location was determined.
The incorrect location of the FDSP [Yugoslav Federal Directorate for Supply and Procurement] building was . . . fed into several U.S. databases to determine whether any diplomatic or other facilities off-limits to targeting were nearby.
. . . Multiple databases within the intelligence community and the Department of Defense all reflected the embassy in its pre-1996 location in Belgrade. Despite the fact that U.S. officials had visited the embassy on a number of occasions in recent years, the new location was never entered into intelligence or military targeting databases. If the databases had accurately located the Chinese Embassy, the misidentification of the FDSP building would have been recognized and corrected.
Our ability to locate fixed targets is no better than databases, and the databases, in this case, were wrong. Further, it is difficult -- actually, it is impossible -- to keep current databases for cities around the globe. The databases are constructed to catalogue targets, not non-targets. In general, diplomatic facilities . . . are given relatively little attention in our databases because such facilities are not targets.