Aug 22 2005

Able Danger, Slade and Phillpott, XIX

Published by at 8:23 pm under Able Danger/9-11,All General Discussions

I was watching Sen Slade Gorton on O’Reilly make a complete fool of himself by getting out on a limb and saying there is nothing at all to the Able Danger story, and had to come post an update. I believe there is something here because of all the strange responses in 2000 and now. But I am not willing to say one way or the other whether Able Danger is a real issue or not. No one should be saying that until all three criteria for burying this story are met, as I posted earlier. Slade is taking a huge risk coming out and basically calling Lt. Col. Shaffer a liar, or at least an extreme exaggerator.


For anyone interested, here is copy of the transcript with Slade Gorton on O’Reilly last night. NEW: and now here is the video clip – if you can stomach it.


On the way to posting this, I stopped by Capt Ed Morrissey to find Captain Scott Phillpott has decided to come forward now – and backs up Shaffer’s account.

The officer, Scott J. Phillpott, said in a statement today that he could not discuss details of the military program, which was called Able Danger, but confirmed that its analysts had identified the Sept. 11 ringleader, Mohamed Atta, by name by early 2000. “My story is consistent,” said Captain Phillpott, who managed the program for the Pentagon’s Special Operations Command. “Atta was identified by Able Danger by January-February of 2000.”

His comments came on the same day that the Pentagon’s chief spokesman, Lawrence Di Rita, told reporters that the Defense Department had been unable to validate the assertions made by an Army intelligence veteran, Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, and now backed up by Captain Phillpott, about the early identification of Mr. Atta.

Note: The Pentagon also stated they were continuing their investigation.

Well Slade, you better have been 100% right – especially your claim the scientist who recalled Atta’s name to Shaffer after 9-11 as being one of the Able Danger suspects is now backing off. That is opposite what Shaffer has been alluding to. More interesting tidbits from the NYTimes:

Representative Weldon also arranged an interview with a former employee of a defense contractor who said he had helped create a chart in 2000 for the intelligence program that included Mr. Atta’s photograph and name.

The former contractor, James D. Smith, said that Mr. Atta’s name and photograph were obtained through a private researcher in California who was paid to gather the information from contacts in the Middle East. Mr. Smith said that he had retained a copy of the chart for some time and that it had been posted on his office wall at Andrews Air Force Base. He said it had become stuck to the wall and was impossible to remove when he switched jobs.

Boy Slade, you better hope that picture never shows up!

It looks like this will come to a head quite soon. I find it hard to believe these career people would go out on a limb if there was nothing to the Able Danger story?

For those interested, here is the transcript of Tony Snowe’s interview with Shaffer from last Friday

7 responses so far

7 Responses to “Able Danger, Slade and Phillpott, XIX”

  1. Doug says:

    One more *claim* by the commission:
    Unfortunately, their record for accuracy is execrable.

  2. Doug says:

    I am quite ignorant about what similar programs are known to exist now:
    Any links or posts on that subject would be appreciated.

    Fox link above:
    SNOW: Why did they shut down “Able Danger?”

    SHAFFER: Good question. And I don’t know if I could give you a really clear answer on that because it kind of mystified me at the time, too.

    Any time you have a global terrorist target, such as Al Qaeda, which has hit you several times, we’re talking about the Cole, the embassy bombings in Africa, I would think that a project where you’re trying to target them globally, offensively, looking at offensive options, would be the best thing you could do try to go after and prevent and attack.


    The Able Danger story is…well, I don’t know. Frankly, I am at a total loss as to where this story is much less where it’s going And anyone who claims otherwise can safely be ignored. That includes both righty and lefty bloggers both…

  4. […] Tim Blair puts it well: Able Danger Re-Abled. A second program participant has come forward to bolster the allegation that, yes, we knew Mohammed Atta by name by early 2000; once again, the momentum has shifted. It will come as no surprise that AJ is all over it. […]

  5. bill says:

    I watched that segment, Slade Gorton was spinning for all he was worth. Unfortunately when he was trying to paint Shaffer out to be a liar, he did not know that 2 more witnesses had come forward. In that light it was easy to spot the liar.

    The 9/11 Commission is in circle the wagons mode.

  6. […] I guess Slade feels he did not look sufficiently foolish the last time around. […]

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