I was honored to get an invite from Mike at the Able Danger Blog to participate in a conference call with Mark Zaid, attorney for a few of the Able Danger witnesses. Unfortunately I had to pull a 15 hour day and just got home….argh!
Anyways, AJ Strata has an excellent update about the status of the Able Danger situation from Mark Zaid:
Tuesday?s hearing was the culmination of delayed hearings with Mark covering Tony?s side on whistle blowing, etc. The DIA did try to stop Tony from testifying in uniform. Wednesday?s House hearings were on Able Danger with open and closed sessions. There are some chances for more house hearings, and the DoD Inspector General?s report will be out sometime in May[…]Mark was not in the classified hearings, and apparently neither were any Congressman. Three people stayed for the closed hearing testimony: McKinney, Saxon and Weldon.
Well isn’t that special. Not one Congressman stayed for the classified portion.
Rory O?Connor asked about Zelikow (9-11 Commission) denying his meeting with Shaffer. Apparently Zelikow?s denial was a miscommunication or confusion by someone else – he has never denied meeting Shaffer.[…]Pierre asked Mark why there was resistance in Congress and the media. Mark responded no one knows, no one can figure it out, but embarrassment – at least at DIA – is one factor (me: but that w0uld not explain, necessarily, the data purges and cancelled meetings in 2000). Bill Huntington is a name that keeps appearing as someone to watch in DIA.
From The Jawa Report:
Mr. Zaid was quite forthcoming, but unfortunately, more questions were raised than answered, and I got the impression that the hearings are a pro forma exercise that will probably shed little light on the Able Danger program. He described the conduct of the hearings as “very disconcerting” and said that the Representatives involved displayed “very superficial knowledge” of the Able Danger saga.[…]The biggest question I have is this: why isn’t the mainstream media all over this story? It stinks to high heaven of coverup. NBC can provide nightly coverage of the Katrina aftermath for five months, but a story that has profound implications for national security doesn’t rate thirty seconds?
As Zaid points out, the lack of press almost certainly results from the committee members themselves; the only thing that Republicans and Democrats have in common these days is a desire to push Able Danger out of sight. The FBI also appears to have gotten the same disease as the two parties. The FBI, which once acknowledged that several attempts occurred to have meetings between its agents and the Able Danger team now denies that any such contacts occurred.
Zaid said the feeling was that the hearing was a farce that appeared to be intended to placate Weldon. Zaid also said he was puzzled by the behavior of the FBI, who were formerly cooperative about acknowledging and following up on meetings that were attempted with several principals and seem to have gone through a sudden chill.
A Blog For All also has an update.
Overall, judging from the bloggers who participated, it seems that Able Danger is in danger of becoming a has been story. A majority of Congress doesn’t know enough, or even want to know enough about this program and could care less about it. It’s shocking the lack of interest this is getting, and disappointing.
For those who are checking the transcript I am doing on the Able Danger hearings, I have the next few days off and would like to get at least one hour of the hearings done by then. I will then make a searchable .PDF file available for future reference. I am hoping to have the whole 3 some hours done by the end of March. It’s a painstaking process and I have a day job. Patience grasshopper.