Aug 17 2005

Able Danger, Dangerous Lawyering, Update XVII

Published by at 8:05 pm under Able Danger/9-11,All General Discussions

From this local news source here in DC we find a very troubling pattern of dangerous lawyering:

1996: Strike One

“We had an al Qaida finance person named Khalifa in custody in San Francisco and, in essence, he was the money behind bin Laden,” says Fred Burton, the deputy chief of counter-terrorism at the State Department at the time.

“For foreign policy reasons and legal reasons, we were forced to hand the individual over to a foreign government.”

1998: Strike Two

“bin Laden was located at a house in Kandahar City,” says Mike Scheuer former head of the CIA’s Osama bin Laden Unit. The military was poised to assassinate bin Laden in Afghanistan, but based on legal advice, says Scheuer, “the policy makers were afraid there would be some collateral damage.”

So they called off the strike.

2000: Strike Three

“Our military identified Mohammed Atta’s (al Qaida) cell in New York along with two other terrorists… and they made a recommendation that was denied by the lawyers to take out that cell,” says Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa., vice chairman of the House Armed Services and Homeland Security committees.

Weldon confirms he got that information directly from the Army’s “Able Danger” intel unit. The result of the legal denials: the tragedy on 9/11.

2005: They’re Out

Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer tells CBS News that military lawyers stopped the unit from sharing the information with the FBI out of fear they would be exposed as illegally collecting domestic intelligence.

Next Up

These decisions raise questions about what the 9/11 commission knew, and what they chose not to include in their report.

And I thought trial lawyers were bad…..

5 responses so far

5 Responses to “Able Danger, Dangerous Lawyering, Update XVII”

  1. Doug says:

    Thanks so much for your great work:
    The best info I can find on all this.
    Now, like Steve Emerson, the task is to spread it as widely as possible, ‘tho at present, many still refuse to see.
    …I’ve been linking your posts at the Belmont Club and a few others.

  2. Doug says:

    9/11 Panel’s Leader Requests Quick Assessment of Officers .
    The chairman, Thomas H. Kean, a former Republican governor of New Jersey, offered no judgment about the accuracy of the officers’ accounts.
    But he said in an interview that if the accounts were true, it suggested that detailed information about the intelligence program, known as Able Danger, was withheld from the commission and that the program and its findings should have been mentioned prominently in the panel’s final report last year.

    Al Felzenberg is on the record (until he wasn’t) and so are the commissioners, as saying since Atta’s timeline here did not match theirs they ignored this entirely!

  3. AJStrata says:


    Thank you. I had noticed the Belmont Club postings. Yes, time now to spread the word and rally the troops and find out what happened.

  4. ABLE DANGER: Beyond Gorelick

    However, the actions of the DOD lawyers deserve further scrutiny. It is not so much the particulars of their role in ABLE DANGER. Rather, it is that this is one more example of a deeply disturbing pattern of behavior by DOD lawyers in the War on Terror.

  5. AJStrata says:

    Lead and Gold,

    Couldn’t agree with you more. I think Cliton’s mess ups in Waco and Somalia and other places caused the entire government to shrink back from the neophytes running the country. And I think the clintonistas felt they needed to control everyone because the blamed them for their screw ups. Thus all the ‘walls’ went up to stop interaction, which frightened the clintonistas.