Aug 30 2005

Able Danger, Major Update

Published by at 11:35 am under Able Danger/9-11,All General Discussions

In the past week we have seen some major news coming out of WTOP channel 9 here in the DC area. Today’s is a real stunner

The Pentagon appears to have reversed its position on Able Danger, the Army intelligence collection team.

A Pentagon spokesman now says “there’s no reason to doubt the specific recollections” of the growing number of team members. The team members say the project had pre-Sept. 11 intelligence on al Qaida, which Defense Department lawyers prohibited them from sharing with the FBI.

Members of the team say they identified the lead Sept. 11 terrorist Mohamed Atta as a cell leader more than a year before the attacks on the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon.

“You could touch the picture and literally drill down and it would give you all the facts that we had from whatever source we had, we identified our sources and then why we had made a link,” says defense contractor J.D. Smith, describing how Able Danger’s computer software program worked.

Folks, the Pentagon just sent a warning shot across the bow of the 9-11 commission.

I, of course, need to head off to meetings, so I expect someone will be tracking down the actual pentagon statement.

8 responses so far

8 Responses to “Able Danger, Major Update”

  1. LuckyBogey says:

    Let me understand this correctly, AD linked Condi Rice during the Gore/Bush election on one of their famous charts and when “da man” saw the chart they shut down AD in 3 hours. Did not need any more China-gate at this time! More importantly, after the privacy issues from the Cox Report, they did not want this “data-mining” project public.

    AD loved to make charts and that is what got them terminated in the end however their “Atta” chart will hopefully go back to the National Archives to its rightful home and place in history.

    Look’s like the AD team was very good. The 911 Commission initially said: “AD was not historically significant”. They are now in full retreat! It will be interesting to find out if Clarke, Gorelick, Gore, and Berger had knowledge about the termination this AD contract.

    Open Source Data-mining is not new! Check out the below links for more detailed info: Google LIWA-OSINT-OSIS-OSS

    The Open Source Information System (OSIS) is an electronic network for accessing and sharing unclassified and open source information and value added services among Intelligence Community agencies and related organizations…….

    IC ROSE is a database service providing searchable text articles from hundreds of periodicals on a wide range of subjects. FBIS (Foreign Broadcast Information Service) products are on-line, including the Daily Reports, Science & Technology Perspectives, Trends, and Pacific Rim Economic Review…….
    ……sources include those associated with Current Awareness (e.g. Individual Inc.); Current Contents (e.g. ISI CC Online); Directories of Experts (e.g. Gale Research, TELTECH); Conference Proceedings (e.g. British Library, CISTI); Commercial Online Intermediaries (e.g. DIALOG, STN); Risk Assessment Reports (e.g. Forecast International, Political Risk); Maps & Charts (e.g. Russian military maps at the 1:100,000 level with contour lines, from East View Publications); and Commercial Imagery (e.g. SPOT Image, Radarsat, Autometric)………
    software which is commercially available and which an OSINT provider can integrate off-site, not requiring the client to buy new technology, include Internet Tools (e.g. NetOwl, WebCompass); Data Entry Tools (e.g. Vista, BBN); Data Retrieval Tools (e.g. RetrievalWare, Calspan); Automated Abstracting (e.g. NetOwl, DR-LINK); Automated Translation (e.g. SYSTRAN, SRA NTIS-JV); Data Mining & Visualization (e.g i2, MEMEX, TASC Textor); Desktop Publishing & Communications Tools (many options); and Electronic Security Tools (e.g. SSI, IBM Cryptolopes, many emerging offerings)……….
    services from the private sector include Online Search & Retrieval (e.g. NERAC, subject-matter and foreign language experts listed in Burwell Worldwide Directory of Information Brokers); Media Monitoring (e.g. BBC, FBIS via NTIS); Document Retrievel (e.g. ISI Genuine Document); Human Abstracting (e.g. NFAIS members); Telephone Surveys (e.g. Risa Sacks Associates); Private Investigations (e.g. Parvus, Pinkerton, INTELYNX); Market Research (e.g. SIS, Fuld, Kirk Tyson); and Strategic Forecasting (e.g. Oxford Analytica)……..

  2. […] You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your ownsite. […]


    WTOP is reporting that the Pentagon now says “there’s no reason to doubt the specific recollections” of Able Danger team members that the top-secret data mining operation had unearthed specific information about at least one of the 9…

  4. RJones says:

    I found the following interesting:

    “The I.G. (inspector general) came in and shut down the operation because of a claim that we were collecting information on U.S citizens,” says Smith.

    This seems to be the “China Flap” where Smith was fired in May, 2000. And the IG mentioned is probably DOD not DOJ.

    DOD IG:
    1995-April,1999: Eleanor Hill IG
    May 1999-Jan.,2001: Donald Mancuso Act IG
    Jan,2001-April,2002: Robert Lieberman Act IG
    April,2002-Current: Joseph Schmitz IG

    IF that is true we want to talk to Mr. Mancuso. We also might to ring Ms. Hill…formely the Staff Director of the Joint Congressional Committee on 9-11.

    Interesting I wonder what policy guidelines Ms. Hill initiated? She was apparently the, “co-chair of the Intelligence Community Inspectors General Forum…”

  5. AJStrata says:


    Good catch. Yes, that would seem to be two of the names needed for congressional hearings.

  6. LuckyBogey says:

    I have attempted to understand the open source data available at the time of contract award of the AD Project. Who was the Contracting Officer and how many AD contracts with other vendors were also terminated? There must be a record of these vendors, Contract #, Deliverables, etc. CAS Audit records of the AD contract(s) data such as billing/invoicing should be available!

    My initial belief was the termination of the contract by IG was only after a phone call was made over the Potomac to the Pentagon and down the chain of command. This was a very important project to the Army and LIWA. Yes, Smith was probably told it was shut down by the IG however the termination order would have come from a very high official outside of DoD.

    I have yet to understand why AD was data-mining Chinese links especially after this was a “no-no” within the Administration? What were the Task Order Objectives for the AD Contract? I have always had a problem with an Unclassified Chart on a wall at Andrews? Who declassified this chart? Did Smith take a new job over at Andrews and did he bring this unclassified chart with him? Although unlikely, one could assume the chart is still classified and Smith was working in a secure classified area. Just curious!

    The below link shows a good example of how AD sourced foreign data………

    United States Army Intelligence Center and Fort Huachuca
    WHITE PAPER 1 September 1997

    Army CI/HUMINT XXI Concept of Operations:”Providing a Seamless Linkage—Strategic to Tactical”

    Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) – The proliferation of INTERNET/World Wide WEB technology, and the ability to use automation to reach out and gather a wide range of information makes OSINT a viable CI/HUMINT function shared with other disciplines. OSINT will include extracting information from open sources such as target area publications and non-military broadcasts. This function will be critical for IPB, situation development and CHIPB. It will play a key role in our CI/HUMINT strategy as we determine friendly information vulnerabilities resulting from our own use of information systems. CI/HUMINT TVAs use OSINT to assess the availability of sensitive US Army and unit information to the general public and foreign entities.

    OSINT. This is a good candidate for contracting, and has proven to be a valuable function during recent operations in Haiti and Bosnia. The Lukavac Night Owl, a daily open source production in Bosnia, employed eight local nationals hired by BDM to translate local newspapers, radio, and television. These local nationals were supervised by active duty linguists. Improvements in connectivity will permit collaboration with academia, private industry, allies, and other government sources to provide additional open source exploitation and analysis.

  7. Monday Morning Intelligence and the NY Times with

    Ok, no reason to doubt….hmmmm – no reason to absolutely confirm either.

    “Growing number of team members” Double “hmmmmmm”

  8. […] out The Strata-Sphere, Opinipundit, JustOneMinute, & Rightwing Nuthouse for […]