Sep 15 2005

Able Danger, Weldon Strikes Back, 09/15/05

Published by at 9:12 pm under Able Danger/9-11,All General Discussions

Rep. Weldon has responded to the 9-11 Commission’s brazen dismissal of Able Danger today:

“For the 9/11 commission (search) to say that this did not exist is just absolutely outrageous. It’s a total denial of the facts,” said the Pennsylvania Republican.

He also hints at some of the witnesses for next week’s hearings (during which, of course, I have an all day meeting to attend!):

Weldon said witnesses will include an FBI agent who will testify that she set up three meetings in 2000 between the FBI’s Washington field office and the Able Danger, but each was cancelled at the last minute. Weldon also said another witness will testify that he was ordered to destroy documents related to the Able Danger project.

What will be important is when the order to destroy the documents came. If it happened in February 2001 when Able Danger wrapped up, no big deal – just unfortunate. If it was in the summer or fall of 2000 – well then I want to know who gave the order.

And from this AP source that appears to be just the case:

A Pentagon employee was ordered to destroy documents that identified Mohamed Atta as a terrorist two years before the 2001 attacks, a congressman said Thursday.

The employee is prepared to testify next week before the Senate Judiciary Committee and was expected to name the person who ordered him to destroy the large volume of documents, said Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa.

Weldon declined to name the employee, citing confidentiality matters. Weldon described the documents as “2.5 terabytes” as much as one-fourth of all the printed materials in the Library of Congress, he added.

It is still not clear when the order was given. The volume mentioned is consistent with the large commercially available data sets that have been mentioned in previous news sources. It was made clear in the recent DoD press conference that these data sets had to be destroyed becuase they were riddled with information on US citizens and the data on terrorists could not be easily separated from the total data set.

Interestingly enough, if the information was travel and purchase information tracking the four terrorists as they entered the country – this data may still exist and can be reprocessed. The data sets the DoD had were purged. But the commercial data they purchased may not have been purged yet. Also, the data sets were purchased for the DoD by JD Smith’s company – which may still have them since it is not illegal for that company to hold onto the data. This was only happening in 2000, and many companies keep data for five years as records of their work. Whatever the case, the original data sets may still be around to prove the Atta information was hidden inside.


Tom Maguire comments on these new revelations here.

4 responses so far

4 Responses to “Able Danger, Weldon Strikes Back, 09/15/05”

  1. BarbaraB says:

    I’ve been following the Able Danger case from the beginning and I’m still not clear as to what actually happened.

    In the summer of 2000, Col. Shaffer said “we” took a chart with 60 possible members of an Al Qaeda cell to SOCOM. According to Shaffer, on the chart were the names of four hijackers who were in the US at that time. Shaffer said he was told to put yellow stickers over the hijackers’ faces. To date, Shaffer and Weldon are the only ones who have publicly stated that Able Danger identified four hijackers.

    Capt. Philpott led the Able Danger team but he only told the 9/11 Commission that Able Danger linked Mohammed Atta to Al Qaeda but omitted the names of the other hijackers. In a subsequent interview, he states that Able Danger linked Atta with Al Qaeda but again, he omits the names of the other

    Sometime soon after 9/11, an Able Danger colleague reminds Shaffer about Mohammed Atta being on the chart. Shaffer does not indicate that she mentioned the other hijackers to him at that time.

    The same colleague gives her only copy of the chart, presumably with the names of the four hijackers and 60 other names on it to Congressman Weldon. She accompanies Weldon when he gives it to Stephen Hadley. There is no indication to date that the colleague showed the chart after 9/11 to anyone at the Defense Dept.

    There is no indication that Philpott or Shaffer took the matter of the chart up again after 9/11 with the Defense Dept. or the FBI.

    J. D. Smith, the Able Danger contractor, says he had a copy of the chart on the wall of his office at Andrews Air Force Base. He omits any mention of the other three hijackers nor does he state when he left his job. He apparently makes no attempt to contact the Defense Dept. or the FBI after 9/11.

    There is no indication that Hadley ever contacted any of the members of the Able Danger team after he was given the chart by Weldon.

    There is no indication that Curt Weldon ever tried to follow up on the information that he gave to Hadley despite knowing that four of the hijackers were on the chart along with 60 other possible Al Qaeda members in the US.

    Shaffer says he told Philp Zelikow and his team in Afghanistan in 2003 that Able Danger identified Atta but Shaffer forgot the other names of the hijackers so he did bring them up at that time.

    There is no indication that anyone has contacted the researcher who provided the photo of Atta or if the same researcher provided the other three names.

    Let me get this straight – After 9/11, no one on the Able Danger team presses the Defense Dept. to re-open the Able Danger investigation. despite the fact that they had identified four 9/11 hijackers in early 2000 and that there were 60 other possible terrorists on the list who were in the US.

    Philpott, Shaffer and J. D. Smith never contact the FBI in the 18 months after 9/11. They apparently never consider that the FBI might be interested in knowing about researchers who had access to information about Al Qaeda members.

    Curt Weldon, vice-chairman of the house armed services and homeland security committees never follows up with Stephen Hadley about the chart that included four hijackers and 60 other possible Al Qaeda members in the US.

    Stephen Hadley never has anyone contact any member of the Able Danger team.

    But the 9/11 Commission is at fault because it did not realize that the word of Philpott and Shaffer was more reliable than information from the Defense Dept.

    I want to know if Atta had a beard in the photo.

    The defense contractor, J.D. Smith, kept a copy of the chart on the wall of his office at Andrew Air Force Base but there is no indication that he attempted to contact the Defense Dept. or the FBI after 9/11.

  2. hehe….Weldon isn’t looking as crazy as a lot of people tried to make him out to be. Never thought so myself but its fun to see him sandbag those knuckleheads on the 9/11 Commission. Ya have to wonder just how many times people will allow themselves to be sucked into declaring they know not to be true because they think no one can call them on it.

    Weldon has a serious axe to grind and he has been sharpening it for quite sometime. It is gonna be fun to watch him unveil more as he goes along.

    Combined with the rampant incompetence in Louisiana and the serious ass covering going on in our intelligence branch’s and the laughable attempts at killing this story by people who should know better it looks like if we the people don’t get involved soon in running our government some serious problems are gonna manifest themselves soon….like a big ass mushroom cloud over some sad sack city. Luckily for me probably not New Orleans since incompetence has already managed to exacerbate a terrible natural disaster.

    I fear for Las Vegas though….mom lives there.

    Pierre Legrand

    PS Keep kicking that ass AJ hehe…

  3. AJStrata says:


    That is one of the best synopsis of what we know about Able Danger that I have seen – congrats. Yes, when told to drop Atta and the others Phillpott and Shaffer dropped them – the follow orders. I assume you are/were not in the military (full disclosure, neither was I). Once ordered that is what you do. The fact everyone uses ‘Atta’ as shorthand for the 4 terrorists at times makes the details of what happened difficult to unfold – especially when coming through the prism of the press. What we think of as Able Danger never stopped – that was made clear in the recent Pentagon briefing. Able Danger was one planning effort in a continuum of efforts using data mining. So my guess is everyone felt after 9-11 they would refocus like a laser on Islamic terrorists, which were not treated as a immediate priority prior to 9-11. So they did not feel like pestering the FBI, etc. In fact, since they came from the intel crowd they would first check in their and push from there. Phillpott and Shaffer are still in the military and still must go through ranks. But great comment – thanks


  4. […] AJ Strata hit on something I did not think of, that the data may still be around somewhere: […]