Aug 18 2005

Able Danger Round Up 8/18/09

Published by at 10:23 am under Able Danger/9-11,All General Discussions

Not surprisingly, the flood that came out yesterday on Able Danger subsided a bit today, most likely to wait on the Pentagon statement or any new breaking news. I am posting whatever has new information or perspectives in these daily round ups, since the blogoshpere is rampant with discussion. First the news outlets.

The NY Times has a piece on out with the 9-11 commission following up on the Ben-Veniste diversionary tactic of putting the focus on the Pentagon. Basically the commission is saying hurry up and tell us what you know because our reputations are being fried out here. My two cents to the Pentagon: take your time, get it right and ignore the has beens – they had their chance. Kean basically claim of course this sound important, why was information withheld from us? There is a hint of news here [emphasis mine]:

The chairman of the Sept. 11 commission called on the Pentagon on Wednesday to move quickly to evaluate the credibility of military officers who have said that a highly classified intelligence program managed to identify the Sept. 11 ringleader more than a year before the 2001 attacks.

Sept. 11 Advocates, a group led by five women from New Jersey and Connecticut whose husbands died in the attacks, said Colonel Shaffer’s account was evidence that panel members “failed in their obligation to the American public and to those who lost their lives on 9/11.”

That was one big smack down on the commission. I heard Shaffer say in an interview with keith Olberman on MSNBC last night that the SW ‘scientist’ who created the data mining technology was close to coming forward, as well as others. [I know, what was shaffer thinking getting on Olberman’s show.]. So the mention of multiple sources hints at a new wave of revelations to come.

Given Deborah Orin’s recent smash scoops on the second White memo to Gorelick regarding her wall (I wonder how many other memos chiding the clintonistas’ policies are out there?), we have to give her article out today on Able Danger a mention:

“My first reaction was, ‘We had him.’ It was a sinking feeling in my stomach,” Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer told The Post in an interview yesterday, describing how he felt after learning that Atta was one of the hijackers.

“I believe there was a potential — had the information been passed from Special Operations Command to the FBI — that our information may have been one of the keys, if not the key, to pull together and make sense of the data they already had,” Shaffer said. ”

This last bit is not wild speculation. From Berger’s testimony to the 9-11 commission, which I captured here in the latest timeline I developed, we have this statement after a question by (surprise) Mr. Ben-Veniste:

… Now with respect to sleeper cells in the United States, did you have at the time you left government, during the transition, have any reason to believe that al Qaeda’s efforts to position sleepers/operatives in the United States had terminated?

MR. BERGER: No. We knew from the Millennium experience that there were al Qaeda operatives, people linked to al Qaeda that we busted up in Brooklyn, in Boston, and I believe two or three other places. The FBI had generally taken the position that there was not a significant al Qaeda presence in the United States. And that was the position that they took quite honestly, Mr. Commissioner, through the end of 2000 and when we left, that there was not a substantial presence and what presence was here was a sense — we have it covered.

This is conflicted and telling. They had rolled up one or two cells in the NE area. A lot of timelines have Atta and Al-Shehhi heading to Virginia at some point – maybe the heat became to much with these disruptions. I cannot tell because I have no timing on the arrests Bergler is referring to. But since they had found some AQ, Shaffer is not wrong in thinking adding their information on Atta and Al-Shehhi could have had a big impact on 9-11 planning. What is weird about Bergler’s comments is he tries to blame the FBI for feeling they had rolled up all the AQ. Why do that? This out-of-the-blue, kind of sideways, denial on being complicit may hint at something else.

More on the scientist coming forward soon here

Shaffer said Atta’s name didn’t ring a bell when he learned the hijackers’ names after 9/11. But he got “a sinking feeling in my stomach” when the woman Ph.D. in charge of Able Danger’s data analysis told him Atta was one of those who had been identified as a likely al Qaeda terrorist by Able Danger.

“My friend the doctor [Ph.D.] who did all the charts and ran the technology showed me the chart and said, ‘Look, we had this, we knew them, we knew this.’ And it was a sinking feeling, it was like, ‘Oh my God, you know. We could have done something.’ “

Well, this should settle the on going debate a the Corner between Podhoretz and McCarthy on how Shaffer remembered Atta’s name.

Deborah hints the tally of people coming forward could be 3-4 more (the scientist, the naval officer who briefed the 9-11 Omission, and two more analyst).

And this could impact Gen Schoomaker, current Army Chief of Staff I believe

He declined to name those lawyers but also said that later, in early 2001, a “risk-averse” commanding general at DIA ordered him to halt any role in programs like Able Danger even though it was supporting “a major counter-terrorism targeting effort.”

Another Orin blockbuster. I think I know which news outlet I will be starting with for a while!

The NY Post has a complimentary editorial on the subject.


Something new today at NewsMax which says President Bush was briefed on Able Danger two weeks after 9-11. Which does beg the question on why the Pentagon cannot get their statement out now? Maybe it is the fact information needs to be declassified or redacted.

Among the Able Danger evidence shared with the Bush National Security Council: a chart put together before 9/11 featuring a picture of lead hijacker Mohamed Atta.

“Within two weeks of the attack this colleague of mine . . . . she took that very poster [with Mohamed Atta] to Congressman [Curt] Weldon,” Shaffer said. “And I have to say he took it right to Michael Hadley, I believe, over at the NSC.”


I have searched the LA Times many days now, and I am not surprised to tell you they never heard of Able Danger from what I can tell. Anyone who still owns stock in this so called news media company should sell now, because if they missed this story they are clueless.

Now, onto the bloggers.

I am going to start with Jim Geraghty, who has been kind enough to provide us a lot of referals and some insights into how this story could play out in the press. His post today focuses on the same diversionary tactics I mentioned above ( and yes, I read the sites and build this as I read them, so I am not looking ahead!). A must read.

One of the most intriguing anlges on all of this is what Ed Morrissey is tracking down with the help of his readers concerning the Iraqi’s in Germany trying to connect up to radical islamacists who were connected to Bin Laden. With Able Danger messing up everyone’s timelines of Atta movements it is something to watch. His latest is here. But recall, Able Danger had 60 names, not all in the US. I wonder if Capt Ed will trip across names in Germany which tie to Atta and Iraqi Intelligence agents.

More to come – need to read some things.

OK, here is the MinuteMan’s post on Able Danger and his offer to help Capt. Ed on his quest to find more Duetches news on Iraqi intelligence efforts there. He also apparently uncovers more hints about airplanes being used to fly into the WTC from 1996! Why was all this dropped from the 9-11 report? Are we seeing a level of incompetence in dealing with the Clinton era role in 9-11 that is bordering on cover up? I guess right now I would rather hope it was an immense screw up. The alternative is too frightening to ponder.

Rick Moran (who is one of the most prolific writers in the blogosphere) has a great post out today on Able Danger, The Wall and Waco – and yes, they are all unfortunatley connected. He also speculates on the finger pointing at the Pentagon by the 9-11 commission today. I think the Pentagon will cough up what they know, even if it hits Gen Schoomaker. Rumsfeld and Bush have no need to fall on their sword for Clinton era mistakes. They have nothing to hide (Able Danger was closed down, possibly by Schoomaker, in Jan-Feb 2001).

Andy McCarthy is getting frustrated over at the NRO Corner that the Pentagon doesn’t have answers yet on Able Danger, and he has some valid points.

As expected, John Podhoretz found Orin’s article vindicates his memory argument over at The Corner. But for the life of me I can’t remember what his argument was.

If you are interested in the technology used by Able Danger I ran across this article. I cannot speak to its accuracy.

Well, that appears to be it for today. Will add to it as things come to my attention.


That didn’t take long.

Check out this post from Lead and Gold regarding the legal barriers put up to hinder our efforts on the terrorists.


The MinuteMan gets a bit diverted by some folks wondering if Able Danger got the right Atta – which is why he runs the skeptics corner. As I pointed out in my comment near the end, Able Danger had four terrorists named, two from the Hamburg cell. Connecting Al-Shehhi with Atta eliminates the other false Atta’s. Besides, it was the fact they found an AQ cell in the US which deemed it important enough to bring to the FBI. Is anyone really going to claim this was not important info in 200?

6 responses so far

6 Responses to “Able Danger Round Up 8/18/09”

  1. Jeff says:

    Again, excellent work AJ.

    “…a ‘risk-averse’ commanding general at DIA…”.

    Boy, how often has that scenario caused disaster. I’m reminded of the early naval battles against Japan during WWII (Guadalcanal in particular). The holy goals of a peacetime naval commander included such things as avoiding grounding your ship, or conserving supplies. When the war broke out, these qualities of a good commander suddenly became liabilities. Our general cluelessness about the Japanese naval proficiency, combined with the peacetime conservative “risk-aversion” mindset, cost a lot of lives before we weeded those guys out.

  2. Decision '08 says:

    Quick Shots: Dangerous Times We Live In

    If it’s Able Danger you want, AJ and the MinuteMan have you covered…
    Mickey Kaus has some comforting thoughts for those of us (well, me) who went into a funk after that Washington Post ‘defeatism in the administration’ piece&#…

  3. Chris says:

    Regarding your update II. Maguire didn’t get diverted by us, he posed the question of whether Able Danger and other law enforcement might not have been confused by a Mamoud Atta. I tried to set him straight. Regards.

  4. AJStrata says:

    My bad. Sounded like he did.

    Cheers, AJStrata

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