Posted by Curt on 19 August, 2005 at 7:15 pm. Be the first to comment!


A bit of new news about the Able Danger investigation. First Fox is reporting there might yet be a hearing on this new information:

The military intelligence official who first spoke publicly about Able Danger, the pre-Sept. 11 task force looking for terror threats to the United States, went to Capitol Hill Thursday to brief staffers who work for Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

A congressional source told FOX News that hearings could be in the cards this fall over Able Danger’s findings and its omission from the Sept. 11 commission’s report issued last year. Neither Specter’s office nor Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer, who made the explosive allegations, would confirm a plan for hearings.

“I think I can safely say that anyone who is involved in this project will do anything we can to [go to] the appropriate venue [to] present all the truth that we are aware of in the appropriate time and place,” Shaffer told FOX News.

Then there is the news that the Commission is still trying to tell anyone who will listen “hey, it’s not our fault….it’s their fault”

While making no judgment on the veracity of the claims, former commissioner Tim Roemer said inconsistencies are appearing between the story and the facts that the commission knows.

For one, Roemer asked how Able Danger got a photo of Atta in 2000 for its alleged chart of terrorists when he had not yet applied for a U.S. visa.

“If Atta’s name is mentioned, you send off a host of fire alarms, neon lights, people’s hair gets on fire and you’re going to find out what that’s all about. But you also need evidence, you can’t just say here’s my recollection of something I thought I saw in a notebook. You’ve got to say, ‘Here is the chart,'” Roemer said.

Able Danger was not included in the final commission report because three separate commission requests did not yield Pentagon documents that could confirm that a military unit had identified any of the future hijackers, Kean said.

“We’ll be mad as hell frankly if stuff was withheld from us. That would be terrible. So I, you know, until we have the answer from the administration, I don’t think anybody is in a position to say something is true or not true,” Kean said.

You catch that? “We’ll be mad as hell frankly if stuff was withheld from us”. Um hello? Not once but twice you were told that Atta and a few of his partners in crime had been identified but because they didn’t come to you with a few suitcased full of documents you guys just poo-poo’d the whole thing.

As The Captain notes:

When people call in tips to investigators on criminal cases, do police refuse to follow up because they didn’t provide video and fingerprint evidence when they called?

How about when I, as a police officer, am called to a scene where a lady tells me her husband slapped her. There is no sign of injury on the lady and no other corroberating witnesses. All we have is this womens word. Do we blow her off and tell her to go pound sand. Do we not write anything? No, we go ahead and write a report so that our detectives can follow up on it. They will do the leg work and find out if there is anything to her claim.

Why didn’t they at least send some investigators over to the DoD and see if there was any veracity to this story?

The Captain comments further:

Kean says that the Commission requested the data three times from the Pentagon and didn’t get the documentation they wanted, but that statement should be evaluated in light of the initial denial from Kean and Hamilton last week of any knowledge of Able Danger’s existence at all. Also, given the highly partisan nature of the public hearings in the spring of 2004 (and the presidential election), I don’t recall any Commissioner that was too shy to say that the administration tried to withhold key information from the panel. In fact, panel members made that allegation repeatedly, especially in demanding public testimony from Donald Rumsfeld and Condoleezza Rice.

Great point. If they had really wanted to get to the bottom of this they would have screamed bloody murder.

Another thing about the Commissions latest response. They tried to claim that there is something fishy about Attas photo being on a chart before he got a visa. I’m assuming they are talking about the below operative: (from the 9/11 Commissions 4 page response)

According to this record, the officer recalled seeing the name and photo of Mohamed Atta on an ?analyst notebook chart? assembled by another officer (who he said had retired and was now working as a DOD contractor). The officer being interviewed said he saw this material only briefly, that the relevant material dated from February through April 2000, and that it showed Mohamed Atta to be a member of an al Qaeda cell located in Brooklyn.

If they are then this can be answered quite simply. The operative is not saying that the chart was made from Feb – Apr, 2000. Just that the material was dated on those dates. He could of seen this chart months later after it had been updated with photo’s. Pure speculation on my part but a plausible explanation.

Also JustOneMinute has a excerpt from the Times article on Aug 9th:

In the summer of 2000, the military team, known as Able Danger, prepared a chart that included visa photographs of the four men…

…He said that he delivered the chart in summer 2000 to the Special Operations Command headquarters in Tampa, Fla., and said that it had been based on information from unclassified sources and government records, including those of the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

…Mr. Atta arrived in Newark from Prague on June 3 that year [2000].

Summer of 2000. The photo’s would have been available by then.

Onto the Gorelick Wall. Via Captains Quarters again comes this excerpt from The Wall Street Journal:

At issue is the pre-Patriot Act “wall” that prevented communication between intelligence agents and criminal investigators–a wall, Mr. Ashcroft said, that meant “the old national intelligence system in place on September 11 was destined to fail….”

What’s more, Mr. Ashcroft noted, the wall did not mysteriously arise: “Someone built this wall.” That someone was largely the Democrats, who enshrined Vietnam-era paranoia about alleged FBI domestic spying abuses by enacting the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

Mr. Ashcroft pointed out that the wall was raised even higher in the mid-1990s, in the midst of what was then one of the most important antiterror investigations in American history–into the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. On Tuesday the Attorney General declassified and read from a March 4, 1995, memo in which Jamie Gorelick–then Deputy Attorney General and now 9/11 Commissioner–instructed then-FBI Director Louis Freeh and United States Attorney Mary Jo White that for the sake of “appearances” they would be required to adhere to an interpretation of the wall far stricter than the law required….

The memo is a clear indication that there was pressure then for more intelligence sharing. Ms. Gorelick’s response is an unequivocal “no”:

“We believe that it is prudent to establish a set of instructions that will more clearly separate the counterintelligence investigation from the more limited, but continued, criminal investigations. These procedures, which go beyond what is legally required, will prevent any risk of creating an unwarranted appearance that FISA is being used to avoid procedural safeguards which would apply in a criminal investigation” (emphases added).

In case anyone was in doubt, Janet Reno herself affirmed the policy several months later in a July 19, 1995, memo that we have unearthed. In it, the then-Attorney General instructs all U.S. Attorneys about avoiding “the appearance” of overlap between intelligence-related activities and law-enforcement operations.

Good information in the article about the rise of the wall and the beefing up done to it by Jamie Gorelick. What many on the left are starting to cry about is the fact that it was the DoD who prevented this information from being passed.


Prior to joining Fannie Mae in May 1997, Gorelick was deputy attorney general of the United States, a position she assumed in March 1994. From May 1993 until she joined the Justice Department, Gorelick served as general counsel of the Department of Defense.

General Counsel to the DoD where I am certain she made it clear what was expected from them by the Clinton Administration, especially since she was a Clinton Appointee.

Then, after a scant ten months, she is given a huge promotion; and she quickly puts out an official memo reinforcing Gorelick’s Wall… a memo swiftly reaffirmed by the AG in her own memo four months later. I believe the lawyers in the Department of Defense could be excused for believing that Gorelick’s Wall was still very much in effect, even six years after she herself had moved on, first to Justice, then Fannie Mae. After all, Janet Reno was still attorney general; and Bill Clinton was still president.

So the Gorton defense of Gorelick starts to look mighty slim. It seems very likely (to me, at least) that Gorelick was just as responsible for erecting an informal wall among the DoD lawyers as she was for erecting a formal, written wall of separation at the Department of Justice a couple of years later.

The defense that the wall only applied to the DoJ not the DoD is a weak one also:

…the Gorelick memo restricted the FBI from using intelligence data in domestic law-enforcement just as much as it prohibited it from sharing law-enforcement data with intelligence services. The wall runs in both directions, and the Army obviously does not have a law-enforcement agency with which to share Able Danger or any other intelligence information. Either it would go to the FBI or nowhere at all, and as Gorelick and Reno made clear, the FBI could not coordinate with intelligence services, inside or outside the DoJ. If one reads the 9/11 Commission’s own report, as I noted yesterday, that’s certainly how Gorelick’s wall was understood by the FBI agents themselves.

Finally we see that the Old Media has begun their attack on the source of the Able Danger news:

Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, who has been on paid administrative leave from the Defense Intelligence Agency since his security clearance was suspended in March 2004, said in a telephone interview that a Navy officer and a civilian official affiliated with the Able Danger program told him after the attacks that Atta and other hijackers had been included on a chart more than a year earlier.

As many have expected, this is just the start to a smear campaign to discredit Shaffer. Expect it to continue with increased hostility. Jeff Gannon makes this observation:

The Old Media is cautiously disparaging Shaffer instead of engaging in a full-fledged smear campaign, just in case something revealed in pursuing his claims reflects badly on the Bush administration. He could then be elevated to whistleblower status alongside Coleen Rowley, Richard Clarke and Joe Wilson.

I wouldn’t doubt it.

Check out Pardon My English, & Macsmind for more.


The Gorelick Wall & Sandy Berger, Update VIII
The Gorelick Wall & Sandy Berger, Update VII
The Gorelick Wall & Sandy Berger, Update VI
The Gorelick Wall & Sandy Berger, Update V
The Gorelick Wall & Sandy Berger, update IV
The Gorelick Wall & Sandy Berger, Update III
The Gorelick Wall & Sandy Berger, Update II
The Gorelick Wall & Sandy Berger, Update
The Gorelick Wall & Sandy Berger

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