Aug 22 2005

Able Danger Round Up, 08/22/05

Published by at 1:05 pm under Able Danger/9-11,All General Discussions

Boy, you take one weekend off to get the kid to college (and have a day at the nearby amusement park and half a day at the beach – it wasn’t all work) and the Able Danger story shifts mightily. Or did it? Reviewing the news and blogs it would seem we are on a major down swing for this story right now, but we have seen this story go up and down as people hesitate (rightly) to give it credit before credit is due. Interestingly, the right side of the political spectrum still hates to be seen as not being accurate and fair while the leftside of the spectrum is lauding the lunacy of Sheehan’s enablers who want to cut and run from Iraq before we actually succeed there.

Anyway, I will probably be providing a lot of commentary on this round up.

From the news outlets (and yes I know news came out over the weekend, but those links can be found in the blog sites below):

The AP has a another report out (they had one on Friday) that the Pentagon cannot substantiate the Able Danger claims, though they are still investigating. In my opinion this means nothing until they give the final word. Who knows whether these ‘updates’ are accurate one way or the other. But what is important is why terrorist cells in the US were not pursued?

The Pentagon has been unable to validate claims that a secret intelligence unit identified Sept. 11 hijacker Mohamed Atta as a terrorist more than a year before the attacks, a Defense Department spokesman said Monday.

Larry Di Rita said that some research into the matter continues, but thus far there has been no evidence that the intelligence unit, called “Able Danger,” came up with information as specific as an officer associated with the program has asserted.

“What we found are mostly general references to terrorist cells,” Di Rita said, without providing detail.

This story should not die until many things are refuted with regard to Able Danger:

(1) There were no terrorists named by A]ble Danger related to 9-11. Everyone focuses on Atta, but Al-shehhi and others were supposedly identified and all of these need to be refuted. I still think Shaffer’s recollection of the response to 9-11 from the scientist he worked with, and who still may step forward, was honest. I can see them being stunned that the work they had done might was on to the 9-11 highjackers and that is what drove them to contact the 9-11 commission and drives them today. That part has held up.

(2) There were no AQ cells identified in the US in the summer of 2000. Even if the names fall apart this has to be refuted as well. There is no reason for Able Danger members to be trying so hard to contact the FBI if they did not feel it was urgent? And no one refutes they did not have a report in 200o or that they tried to pass on information to the FBI. This is critical as well and should not be lost on marginal details of the Able Danger story.

(3) There needs to be a complete resolution to why there was resistance to contact the FBI. If the other parts of the story fall apart then there is no reason not to inform the FBI. If the terrorists were not in the US there is no reason to block information from Able Danger? They are not US citizens or under US jurisdiction. This logic is inescapable, which is why the Able Danger story is stronger than most people think. If there were no AQ terrorists in the US then the entire issue related to the FBI is really confusing!

OK, with these requirements in mind to completely destroy the Able Danger claims, lets reveiw more stories.

Why else do I think something is there? The DC finger pointing game. People in a bad spot start lashing out, while those who are not stay calm and basically quiet. Well the 9-11 commission has been lashing out, as this CNN story highlights. And more holes are appearing in their ‘definitive’ report on 9-11.

Meanwhile, another possible gap in the 9/11 report has emerged.

The panel found that hijacker Khalid Almihdhar had left the U.S. from the summer of 2000 until two months before the attacks. But USAID Systems, a Florida ID firm, confirmed last week that he was issued a card–reproduced in a book last year–in New York or New Jersey exactly six years before its expiration date of December 30, 2006.

Kean says there was solid evidence that Almihdhar was out of the U.S. at that time but any indication to the contrary “would be important to follow up.”

The Chicago Sun Times runs a great commentary by Mary Laney on the entire issue and what it has meant to the destroyed reputation of the 9-11 commission

The Washington Times Insider runs a story (you need to register) on how Shaffer recieved the nod from congressional leaders and people in the pentagon to go with this story. I doubt he would have received that much support if there had not been efforts to check out his claims.

Front Page has a good, in depth synopsis of what we know (we think) about Able Danger. What is good about this is the details and time line on the Czech angle:

Also monitoring terrorist activities at this time, including the movements of Atta, was the Czech Republic. It has been reported that Czech officials had observed Atta traveling to Prague on three separate occasions. On his first visit, on May 30 of 2000, Atta flew to Prague but, upon arrival, was not permitted to leave the airport because he had failed to secure a visa. On his second trip, on June 2, 2000, Atta arrived in Prague by bus, and was monitored and photographed by the Czech intelligence agency – the Security Information Service (BIS). Three days later, a large but undisclosed sum of money was transferred into Atta’s personal bank accounts.

Atta’s third visit to Prague, according to Czech officials, occurred on April 9, 2001. During this visit, Atta is believed to have met with Ahmed al-Ani, an Iraqi counsel, later revealed to be an Iraqi intelligence officer. Al-Ani was scheduled to meet with a “distinguished Arab student” on that date, and the BIS observed the meeting, which took place in a Prague restaurant. There is a dispute between U.S. and Czech officials as to whether or not that Arab student was indeed Atta (conflicting information from U.S. sources places Atta in Florida that day); however, three days later, an additional $100,000 was deposited into Atta’s bank account (enough to help finance the planned attacks on New York and Washington), providing credible evidence of another visit to Prague.

The fact there are monies being placed in Atta’s accounts coincident with these meetings is very convincing ancillary evidence the meetings took place. And it appears two of the meetings are collaberated with photos and other records.

Jack Kelley writes about the Able Danger issue and other items out of the 9-11 commission report, like Ed Morrissey’s catch on the German arrests of iraqis trying to find Bin Laden sympathizers in Germany.

Here is a Newsweek item on Able Danger and efforts to address ‘legal myths’ that may be a barrier to coordination among US agencies (one good result of this story).

Now to the Bloggers:

The MinuteMan has been doing his monitoring of this subject in a post here and here (I believe the second post came out after I started my weekend trek).

Jim Geraghty has a few posts out since I last checked in. One on some readers recalling references to something like Able Danger in a National Geographic special, here, and a discussion of the multiple Atta theory, here. OK, so he got my email on the multiple Atta theory (and my doubts about it) and posted another update here that discusses comments on this theory. But his conclusion is dead on correct regarding my three conditions listed above to totally knock down this subject.

Mac at Mac’s Mind has another death notice on the story that won’t die. Can’t wait to see his next resurrection post.

Mac did link to this Rich Lowry post at NRO on the entire mess and where is that Chart that Hadly was given by Weldon post 9-11.

Ed Morrissey has been really breaking gr0und on this, so it is no surprise he has posts on the subject. The first one is on ‘the wall’ and how it extended beyond the FBI and CIA. Doug was kind enought to post a comment from Captain’s Quarters here regarding the expansion of ‘the wall’. I am sure more people will be coming forward with similar experiences. Again, referring to the three things that must happen to debunk this issue I listed above, there is not reason for a barrier if the terrorists Able Danger detected were not here in the US. If there was a barrier even under that situation, then ‘the wall’ was higher and deeper and more dangerous than we were led to believe. And that could mean a commission trying to cover for a commission member.

Ed Morrissey, in another post, detected something in an articles I mentioned previously that I missed, and that is multiple Able Danger members met with the press, but have yet to come forward.

4 responses so far

4 Responses to “Able Danger Round Up, 08/22/05”

  1. Decision '08 says:

    Pentagon Can’t Confirm Able Danger Allegations

    From the Associated Press:
    [Department of Defense spokesman] Larry Di Rita said that some research into the matter continues, but thus far there has been no evidence that the intelligence unit, called ‘’Able Danger,’’ came up with i…

  2. Wieland says:


    You’re driving me nuts here. I see you as one of the smarter bloggers out there, but you continuously torch your own message with unnecessary potshots on the left. Example: the view that the right has an ingrained need to be accurate while the left is pathologically lauding cutting and running is not only inaccurate but seemingly dishonest. You know from my blog, for instance, that I’ve given you credit for your great work on Able Danger and I’ve stated that the Sheehan view of immediate pull-out is naive. The right does not have an exclusive hold on rationality amd there are plenty of practioneers of lunacy on the right. (BTW the Sandy Bergler thing is cute, but so Rush Limbaugh – that is not a compliment)

  3. AJStrata says:

    Wieland, I think I could say the same of some of your posts sometimes – but I admit I need to go to your site more often. I like it and what you have to say. And thank you for the compliment – it is very much appreciated.

    I hope you find I try to rampage only on the far left liberals, and not on the democrats in general – mainly because there are a lot of great democrats out there (Brueax, Lieberman, Gov Doug Wilder etc). I do post about the democrats being in serious trouble, because I think they are. I think my old party has been highjacked my the kool aid crowd, which I could barely tolerated when I was a democrat. And yes, I was a die-hard, unflinching democrat a long time ago. I voted for Carter over Reagan – and regretted it ever since. I really felt used when Reagan did not end up being the destroyer of all good in this country, as was predicted by the dems. Every year they pull out their little scare fantasies to appease the liberal left and I find it insulting.

    For the record my grandfather was a democrat Congressman from Ohio. So no one can challenge my credentials of once being a democrat. I am just not anymore.

    So while I have become more conservative leaning, it is more because the democrat party has been taken over by people I cannot respect. I have remained and independent and may never become a Republican – I don’t trust parties as far as I can throw them. It just happens the conservatives make sense and are promoting new ideas to festering problems while the left is in the midst of a civil war and finger pointing. The moderate dems are having to cave to their radical base as the support for dems becomes smaller and the radicals become the majority. And that sickens me.

    I am no fan of the far right wing either. I am not super religous and therefore cannot follow a religous foundation for any issue. I am against embryonic stem cells because, as someone with a BS in Biology and almost budhist-like respect for life, I find the embryonic stem cell rationalizations to be nothing more than snake oil propaganda. So I can align with the religious on issues where we have a common goal, but reach it from different angles.

    I have easily and without any problem voted for a moderate democrat over a religous republican – for example I voted for Senator Chuck Robb against Ollie North here in VA. I mentioned D0ug Wilder because he was a great Governor for Virginia and we are all proud to be the first – and only – state to elect a African American Governor. Yep, the capitol of the confederation served host to the first black Governor. So there is much to admire in the democrats – if you go back at least a decade, if not much more.

    I have a knack for really irritating democrats like yourself – but that is for a good cause. I want a strong two party system and folks like you and Zell Miller and others need to create a new party on the left which is in the image of the one John F Kennedy was the head of at the time.

    Granted, I gave up on the democrats and left – so I probably cannot preach. But I will anyway. The democrat party, as it is now represented by the liberal MSM and leftward fringes composed of Dean, Kuchinich, Pelosi, Ted Kennedy, Move On and Cindy Sheehan, is bad for this country. They want to change America into something Americans would not recognize.

    As long as these folks are tolerated by the left as their mainstream voices, then that is where I will be. Because to me these folks running the dems is like David Duke and his ilk running the reps. Sorry to say that, but that is where I have ended up.

  4. AJStrata says:


    One other thing. I do not believe the ‘Sandy Bergler’ thing was originally Rush’s. I am aware he (over) uses it. I simply use it because Sandy admitted to taking the documents in his plea agreement. I am not a huge Rush fan (he is too arrogant for my taste). You may find it surprising I am not a devout Hannitt fan either (he over simplifies issues and too often misses the nut of an issue). They both have been known to make good points on issues we agree on. They are doing what they think is right on these issues and I listen to them occasionally. Everyone needs to be reminded that the National Security Advisor stole code name classified documents, related to what led up to 9-11, and destroyed them.

    Sandy won the Bergler moniker the old fashioned way – he earned it.

    And no one should ignore what happened here. the head of the NSC stole and destroyed documents….

    I still cannot get over that fact.