Memeorandum


Powered by TypePad

« 9/11 Commission To Pentagon - Over To You! | Main | An Able Danger Question That Can Be Answered! »

August 18, 2005

Comments

TexasToast

Looks less and less like an opportunity to trash the Comission - and more and more like folks with the wrong beaureaucratic connections (SOCOM) dug up the info.

I don't see any smoking gun linking Atta to Iraq at least, particularly when Atta's picture seemed to be just sticky noted to the infamous "chart".

Wolfman

if the Pentagon has suspended Shaffer's security clearance and lost his files, after failing to respond meaningfully to the 9/11 Commission's request for info - shouldn't we be calling this a Pentagon cover-up, rather than a Commission cover-up?

You posit one possibility of several.

What it ignores is that - at least according to Shaffer - he told the Commission that Able Danger had identified Atta and some of his cohorts a year or so before 9/11. That should have set off screaming alarm bells unless - unless what?

I suggest someone interview the PhD in charge of Able Danger's analysis and bring this to a swift conclusion.

Forbes

Just to add more confusion--because "we" won't have any answers until the DoD opens up--there is a North African dictator whose spelling is variously recognized as: Gadhafi, Kadhafi, and Qaddafi.

The Associated Press and affiliates (such as CNN and FOX News) use the spelling Moammar Gadhafi. Al Jazeera uses Muammar al-Qadhafi. The U.S. State Department uses Mu'ammar Al-Qadhafi.

So, who knows for sure, even with different English language spelling of the same sounding Arabic language name, whether they are one in the same. The are regularly different English spellings of the same Arabic translation, as between US and British newspapers.

More confusion.

Chris

Anything is possible. Shaffer, Weldon, the Navy Captain and the lady PhD (mentioned somewhere as ready to speak, once she has determined there won't be any retaliation against her) and a dozen others could have blundered monumentally and confused the two. Did Mahmoud Atta also stay at the Wayne Inn in New Jersey? I seriously doubt it. They were tracking and documenting Atta's movements and contacts, so it is unlikely they confused the two.

As for calling this a Pentagon cover-up, isn't it a bit early early for that? Not saying they couldn't be involved, but anyone who has worked in or around the military, or the government for that matter, knows that "routine" requests can take forever. I say give them a bit of time to produce the 2.5 terabytes Shaffer informed us about.

Appalled Moderate

If I remember right, it wasn't just Atta who was id-d, but other of the hijackers as well as part of a "Brooklyn cell". Makes the idea that this was all some mistake something I'm very skeptical about.

By the way, Lexis/Nexis contains databases other than simply old newspaper articles. There are property tax records, arrest records, etc. I don't think a simple search is going to yield anything of much validity.

call me crazy

An interesting and plausible explanation...so what's taking Phil Zelikow and Dieter Snell, the 2 I understand who met with Shaffer and the Navy CAPT, to explain such a simple misunderstanding is why they neglected to mention someone like the Able Danger team thought they found something important pre 9/11 but really didn't?

Now, I know the 9/11 Ommission Commission did say the Able Danger guys were largely full of it, but they also have released 4 or 5 different explanations so far.

Look these guys either found something or they didn't. The commission staff either was told or they weren't. The staff either followed up or they didn't. It shouldn't be this hard to reveal the truth, Should it??

creech

A House GOP staffer told me today that Weldon's info is old news, and believability is hampered by his reputation. Weldon apparently embarrassed himself with his colleagues with mis-info on both Pakistan and Turkey. It is well known that Weldon is ego-centric, a bit of a blowhard, and itching to take over Specter's seat in the Senate someday. In addition, some knowledgeable people dispute whether an Able Danger unit even existed.

Thomas Jackson

Since this data mining involved US visa applications the idea of confusion is remote. Each application has a identifying photo so it is hard to believe that visual ID wasn't made especially in the case of multiple names.

lucy

A tale of Two Attas

"In the weeks after Sept. 11, 2001, Czech and German investigators labored under the misimpression that Atta the hijacker had arrived in Prague on a flight from Germany at the end of May 2000, been sent back to Germany the same day for lack of a Czech visa, and then reappeared early June 2 with his papers in order.

It turned out the Atta who arrived on May 31, 2000, was a Pakistani businessman. The one who arrived later was the Sept. 11 hijacker."

It seems to me the identification of Atta hinges on his association with other individuals of interest - as mentioned above - they narrowed in on 4 out of 19 hijackers. I just want to know how the Able Danger data alters the known timeline of Mr. Atta.

Pierre Legrand

Creech,

You work for whom? Ask your GOP Staffer exactly how Weldon was discredited I am very interested in hearing the reasons. Have you read Weldons book? I have is it all correct? Probably not. Did it predict the sorts of Shaped Charges that Iran is supplying the Terrorists in Iraq yup.

As far as Able Danger not existing what a load. Perhaps a Naval officer throwing his career away doesnt impress you but it does me.

Pierre Legrand

TM

What it ignores is that - at least according to Shaffer - he told the Commission that Able Danger had identified Atta and some of his cohorts a year or so before 9/11. That should have set off screaming alarm bells unless - unless what?

Well, per their statement the Commission sent over two document requests and went through what the Pentagon presented as the Able Danger file without finding anything that was "historically significant".

Now, if that was *not* the full file, do you blame the Pentagon for covering up, or the Commission for not demanding that the Pentagon deliver more?

An interesting and plausible explanation...so what's taking Phil Zelikow and Dieter Snell, the 2 I understand who met with Shaffer and the Navy CAPT, to explain such a simple misunderstanding is why they neglected to mention someone like the Able Danger team thought they found something important pre 9/11 but really didn't?

Well, if the "Two Attas" theory is the problem, the explanation will have to come from some red-faced Able Danger person - all Zelikow and Snell can say is what Able Danger didn't do; they aren't in a position to explain why Shaffer thinks Able Danger ID'ed Atta.

As for calling this a Pentagon cover-up, isn't it a bit early early for that?

The Commission first asked the Pentagon for info on Able Danger in Nov 2003. If the Pentagon comes forward now and says, "Oh, now that you mention it, we did tab Atta as a terrorist in Sept 2000", they look ridiculous, non-responsive, and so on.

j.foster

attas iraq connections are one thing. i'm interested in who had that itel file on him so soon after the attacks. he must have been a person of intrest to someone , for some time. no tin foil hat here i'm only saying able or somthing like it was in effect.

MerryMadMonk

First, the blogosphere or the media is not the place for Able Danger to be discussed, but as soon as Tony Shaffer violated the terms of his nondisclosure agreement and, in turn, U.S. criminal laws, and took it upon himself to be the spokesperson for the President and the Secretary of Defense and the National Intelligence Director and the Director, Defense Intelligence Agency and the Army Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence ... well, now everybody's blogging about it.

Tony Shaffer is off the reservation -- the implication is that no one in his chain-of-command can be trusted. That dog won't hunt. But let's say Shaffer really believes that. If he believes everyone in his chain-of-command is corrupt, then he's had plenty of time to bring his concerns before the 2 committees that have oversight for the intelligence community -- the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence ... way before there was a 9-11 Commission (which, in my opinion, never should have been set up to begin with). Maybe Tony Shaffer trusts no one. Another Fox Mulder.

It's absurd -- and it is the height of arrogance on his part.

Additionally, he hasn't said anything that we haven't previously heard, EXCEPT for talking about operational details of a Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information program -- and he's telling it to anyone who will listen. Is there a news program or talk show that he hasn't appeared on? Is there one he won't appear on? He was on the Michael Savage show ... damn, what's next? Art Bell?

He has also jumped right in the middle of a political fight. Put himself front and center. That's no place for a soldier to be, especially a military intelligence soldier.

I don't know Tony Shaffer. He might be a great guy, but he's not being professional and he is way out of line. Did you hear him assuring the nation that he had met with DOD officials and is confident they will get to the bottom of this? WTF?

AJStrata

MinuteMan,

That was some amazingly quick work! Hate to burst your victory bubble, but now all you have to do (to make the Able Danger issue moot) is deal with the other three men identified with Atta: Marwan al-Shehhi, Khalid al-Mihdar and Nawaf al-Hazmi. Oh, and you also have to deal with that pesky issue that Able Danger felt these were (correctly) associated with Al Qaeda and were in the US (AQ overseas was not as urgent).

And realize that Atta and Al-Shehhi are known to be central to the Hamburg cell. In other words, placing Al-Shehhi with Atta eliminates your false positives as candidates.

Nice try, though. I'll give you credit for that.

Chris

The Commission first asked the Pentagon for info on Able Danger in Nov 2003.

So they say. It was obvious that Kean and Hamilton knew nothing about Able Danger when they were first questioned about it. Why not?

If the Pentagon comes forward now and says, "Oh, now that you mention it, we did tab Atta as a terrorist in Sept 2000", they look ridiculous, non-responsive, and so on.

My explanation is that we'll have to wait and see (rather lame, I'll admit). What Shaffer and Weldon are saying is that they aren't "just" coming forward. They've (Shaffer and the Navy Captain) been trying since at least 2003. I think we may also be underestimating the possibility of bureaucratic inertia combined with good old fashioned ass covering. Throw in a few attorneys and anything is possible.

I think we'll find out soon enough.

Cecil Turner

"I don't know Tony Shaffer. He might be a great guy, but he's not being professional and he is way out of line."

That's my impression as well. And unless there's some earthshaking ramification of the failure to follow up on the Able Danger leads, he just compromised a potentially valuable program for nothing (or to complete the historical record, which is the next best thing). I don't get it.

Wolfman

unless there's some earthshaking ramification of the failure to follow up on the Able Danger leads, he just compromised a potentially valuable program for nothing (or to complete the historical record, which is the next best thing). I don't get it.

I don't understand how Able Danger has been compromised. In today's connected world with massive databases about everything from driver's license information to credit card transactions, I fully expect that both governmental entities and private organizations can trace us if they wish.

If someone is interested in you, there's an awful lot they can find out. Being truly anonymous isn't as easy as it used to be. Consequently, knowing that there are "programs" to do so doesn't thwart their usefulness.

kim

I'm not sure he compromised much, CT, though I'm just guessing. The capabilities he described can be imagined by most 12 year olds today.
=================================================

TM

Hate to burst your victory bubble

I wish I had one...

As I said, this notion contradicts big chunks of the story we have been told. For another example, how could they have thought a guy doing a life sentence in Israel was in the US in 1999?

But the current explanations on offer - Commission cover-up, Pentagon cover-up, Shaffer a screw-up - don't really turn me on, either.

Forbes

TM: The article, provided by Lucy, “A tale of 2 Attas” doesn’t “prove” anything.

First, your earlier Snopes article about one Mahmoud Atta, that seemed to cause some confusion in original, post-9/11 media reporting—due to the similarity between the name of this Jordanian-born, US-naturalized citizen—with one Mohamed Atta, an Eqyptian, and one of the 9/11 suicide hijackers.

Now, the Lucy-referenced article, reporting on another Atta, supposedly spelled: Mohammed (double-m).

Here is where the inference regarding a 2nd Atta occurs, from the article, which refers to a piece of evidence (‘a shocker”) turned up in the post-9/11 investigation by German investigators.

“One, however, was a shocker: a May 31, 2000, booking by Mohammed Atta on Lufthansa from Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, to Prague by way of Frankfurt Airport. BKA agents quickly noticed that, unlike the Jiddah passenger, Atta the hijacker spelled "Mohamed" with a single "m." But airlines frequently misspell the names of passengers, especially those who pay cash for tickets as this Atta did.
Moreover, the likelihood of two Mohamed Attas converging on Prague at almost the same moment seemed at best remote.”

Despite this, Chicago Tribune reporter John Crewdson tells us, never mind! “It turned out the Atta who arrived on May 31, 2000, was a Pakistani businessman. The one who arrived later [June 2] was the Sept. 11 hijacker.

Crewdson cites the CIA as the source for this bit of information (“Pakistani businessman’) that is then used by the 9/11 Commission to contradict Czech assertions that Atta met with Iraqi intelligence in Prague in April 2001, in what is a very jumbled story about the German BKA security service investigation into Mohamed Atta’s travels between Frankfurt and the US.

What we do know from Crewdson’s account is that hijacker Mohamed Atta had at least two passports—one left behind, and one used to board his flight on 9/11. From the article:

“All that remained was the mystery of The Two Attas. The first clues were found in Atta's Egyptian passport, recovered by the FBI from one of his suitcases, which failed to make the hijacked flight. The passport bore no evidence of an attempt to enter the Czech Republic on May 31, 2000. [Since when would a passport contain evidence of something that didn’t happen?—ed.] The passport did, however, contain a Czech visa, valid June 1 through June 20, that Atta had obtained in Bonn on May 26 of that year. It also contained a Czech entry stamp dated June 2, the day Atta arrived in Prague by bus from Germany, and an exit stamp dated June 3, placed in his passport as he departed Prague for Newark. He used another Egyptian passport, issued in Germany, to board his Sept. 11 flight.”

And of course we’ll never know the countries entered and exited by use of this second passport.

There may be a Pakistani businessman by the name of Mohammed (double-m) Atta that flew from Jiddah to Prague via Frankfurt, on May 31, 2000, but this article doesn’t prove it (no quotes of any German federal police official asserting any such second Atta), and similarily, it doesn’t disprove a Czech intelligence report that hijacker Atta was observed meeting with Iraqi intelligence officer al-Ani in April 2001.

The article says many things, but it doesn’t do what your quoted outtake suggests. But more interestingly, again, is what we don’t know about Atta’s Prague connections, as suggested at the article’s conclusion:

“A second unresolved mystery is why Atta, rather than flying from Germany, caught a 4 p.m. bus from Cologne on June 1 for the 410-mile trip to Prague, arriving in the Czech capital early on June 2. Surveillance cameras at Prague's Florenc bus terminal show that Atta spent some time pulling slot machine handles in the Happy Day Casino before vanishing for the next 36 hours into the twisting, cobbled streets of Prague.

“The third mystery is where Atta spent the night of June 2. According to Ivana Zelenakova, a spokeswoman for the Prague Police, no hotel in the Czech Republic recorded anyone named Atta as a guest that night, and no hotel employee on duty that night identified Atta's picture. The police believe the likelihood that Atta registered under a pseudonym is small, Zelenakova said, considering that he entered the country and booked his ticket to Newark under his own name. Investigators presume Atta must have spent the night in a private home.

“As one frustrated BKA inspector reported in wrapping up his investigation, "We don't know for sure what Atta did in Prague and whom he might have met there."

Sorry for the length.

Forbes

Oh, and I forgot to point out that tidbit about "pulling slot machine handles" as the observant duty of every devout Muslim!

TM

Well, the only point I took from the Two Attas story is that name confusion can happen. I'm bot offering it as proof that Atta was never in Prague, or never met an Iraqi intel agent, or anything else.

Cecil Turner

"I'm not sure he compromised much, CT, though I'm just guessing. The capabilities he described can be imagined by most 12 year olds today."

Perhaps not (and I'm guessing too). But much of intelligence work is sifting through seemingly insignificant data . . . And ISTM, like communications intercepts, this sort of thing is very susceptible to being denied through simple operational security measures--if the subject only knows enough to take precautions. I still don't get it--especially the need to air it now.

call me crazy

TM, what I still don't get is we know the 2 top staffers, Zelikow and Snell, met w/these guys and somebody reviewed enough of the Able Danger records to decide the project was not "historically signficant" enough to investigate further or even mention in the report. WHY?

Somebody on the 9/11 team made that decision based on something - so why are they having so much trouble coming up a single explanation that they can stand behind for more than one news cycle.

I just don't get it.

AJStrata

TM,

I was corrected on my site, that was not your bubble - my bad for trying to speed read.

Actually, my from my experience in the government and the mood pre 9-11 the whole story makes sense. We are human beings and people tend to not make waves if their is no upside - no pat on the back. Then there are folks like me who love to shake the dust and inspire people to think outside the box. But we radicals and trouble makers make enemies as well.

Able Danger was a prototype/concept study that got lucky and should have been listened to. Under Clinton it was make no waves, deal with these as law enforcement issues. They all made sense at the time - to me too. But hindsight is too easy and no one should be judged by it, ever.

Anyway, again sorry for misreading your post.

Cheers, AJStrata

MerryMadMonk

Cecil -- good points. And yes, it is hard to understand why Shaffer would do what he's doing now. He's become part of the problem.

millco88

Shouldn't Shaffer be given the same deference as Joe Wilson was when he made similar claims, i.e., no one listened to me?? Just wondering what the difference is.

kim

Uh, Joe lied, Anthony may not have. Clever lies always receive more deference than awkward truths.
===============================================

MerryMadMonk

One big difference is that Shaffer is a trained military intelligence officer with a chain of command and is subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice as well as U.S.C. Title 18 and U.S.C Title 50.

"No one listened to me" is a bullsh*t excuse. It's pathetic. I'd like to see him try that defense at a courts-martial (not that he'll be charged with anything, but he should be).

Pierre Legrand

Well MerryMadMonk here is my take on the matter. The DIA, CIA, NSA all screwed up, after trillions of dollars spent they let a bunch of college students with an attitude murder 3,000 of us, drop two of our tallest buildings, attack the center of our military headquarters and the first victory against them was by a bunch of civilians on flt93 who managed to out think and out fight all those alphabet soup agencies. Color me unimpressed with their protocols.

In my mind most of the Top Management of the CIA should have been fired along with most of the Top Management of the rest of the Alphabet soup who claim to be protecting us. I am not impressed by any of their traditions or protocals because all of that crap failed miserably. Heads should have rolled, they didn't and the next best thing is having people stand up and blow whistles.

Rep Weldon has written and explosive book that I have just tonight finished and its less a warning about Iran than a condemnation of the Intelligence Services of the USA. Its a direct attack on the sort of thinking that shows deference to the prevailing consensus and respects the senority of those above. We are fighting a war and I don't give a damn whether it is a General who has the brilliant idea on killing them before us or if its a Private, just get the damn job done and quit whining about protocols

Civilians paid with their lives for those foolish little games on 9/11 and I am simply tired of the excuses. Win, win at any cost whether it be money or egos.

A finally pissed off tax payer who foots the bill for non performing blow hards in the Alphabet soup agencies.

Pierre Legrand

millco88

My point was when Wilson's op-ed FIRST appeared, he was assumed to be credible given his background. It was only after further investigation that his story was either a bit exaggerated or completely debunked depending on where you sit on the issue.

Shouldn't we assume Shaffer is telling the truth until shown otherwise??

kim

Oh yes, millcopiano, I agree. Shaffer has yet to be refuted, only condemned.
=================================================

effinayright

Creech wrote: "Weldon apparently embarrassed himself with his colleagues with mis-info on both Pakistan and Turkey. It is well known that Weldon is ego-centric, a bit of a blowhard, and itching to take over Specter's seat in the Senate someday. In addition, some knowledgeable people dispute whether an Able Danger unit even existed."

LOL! It is well-known that [put your congressman or senator's name here] is ego-centric, a bit of a blowhard,and eager to take over [somebody's, including the POTUS) seat some day.

Just what the EFF does such a statement have to do with whether Weldon's info is correct or not? And if getting it wrong automatically destroys a person's credibility, just think about how many times EVERY senator or congressman gets it wrong, about something. Sheesh. Please file this comment under "worthless".

As for whether Able Danger existing, Kean and Hamilton acknowledged that it did, at the very least, while saying it didn't yield anything useful or "historical".

I am not making the case that Atta was fingered by Able Danger. I AM making the case that creech doesn't know how to marshal an argument.

Cecil Turner

"Well MerryMadMonk here is my take on the matter. The DIA, CIA, NSA all screwed up, after trillions of dollars spent they let a bunch of college students with an attitude murder 3,000 of us . . .Color me unimpressed with their protocols."

Understandable position. However, it's worth pointing out the hijackers had been in the country for months, and the FBI is responsible for domestic counterintelligence (the "alphabet soup" boys are specifically forbidden by law from US ops). And the head of the FBI avoided the ax by cunningly retiring before the attack. Regardless, at this point it doesn't make a lot of sense to publicly burn every working program in a massive mea culpa. It'd be nice to have some reforms that made us safer in the future (which probably ought not to be public knowledge).

j.foster

ct-fair enough . blame is a waste of time. lets fix it. but i don't know if atta was in germany or prague , but we do know he was in maine and nyc. so did others. thats the concern.

MerryMadMonk

Pierre -- Whining is something that Lefties like you do. Stupid protocols and policies relating to intelligence are the legacy of Leftists. I'm pleased to know that you have read a book. Good for you. Don't forget to take your medicine.

Jim Rockford

MerryMAdMonk --

Shaffer in his own words said he only came forward (as have others in his command, anonymously) after learning there was no classified version of the 9/11 report.

His reason for coming forward is not to place blame, but to get Data Mining re-started. As he tells it, the program was shut down after several abortive attempts that he and others made to inform the FBI about the Cell and have it busted up.

The reason was probably two-fold; one that the program was funded as "an afterschool special" without approval of SOCOM head; and secondly political fallout should the Clinton Admin learn that "the military is spying on US persons."

Able Danger was cancelled, the command dispersed, and the briefings and documents given to the 9/11 Commission ignored.

Ever hear of Billy Mitchell? He was sure the dive bomber airplane made battleships obsolete and the Navy disagreed. He conducted a famous demonstration with a decommisioned battleship, sinking it in minutes with his dive bombers. For that, the Navy court-martialed him.

Shaffer sounds like Billy Mitchell. Recall the 9/11 Commission recommended data mining, yet Congress killed it when TIA was announced as a pilot project ... AFTER 9/11 over fears that Poindexter would create "a massive spy effort" on US citizens.

Right now PC and various ass-covering has taken away the only effective means we have of tracking terrorists around the globe, and particularly in this country. Letting the perfect PC be the enemy of the good (things like Able Danger) will only result in mass casualty attacks and the inevitable horrible counter-reaction. Don't forget when this country was afraid we imprisoned innocent strawberry farmers out of fear they might be Japanese spies. THings could get even worse without real tools like Able Danger which we put away out of PC fears.

kim

I agree with you CT, that we need occult intelligence at work. It places us, though, in the ironic position of hoping we are being surveilled surreptitiously.

I've said before the silver-lining in this black cloud of thunderous bumbling is that it may provoke a good 21st century national debate about privacy vs public order.
======================================================

kim

Here it is:

Had you been innocent, the databases would have shown it and the search jury would have found it.
==================================================

Pierre Legrand

Me a leftist? I hope that you and your powers of observation don't have anything to do with protecting this country. Course that would explain a lot if you are.

In your world no matter what the faults of any agency those inside would have no moral obligation to expose such faults because the life of the organization trumps the rights of those who fund said organizations. Needless to say I find such beliefs morally suspect at best.

Each and every person's position inside of the government exists because of the sweat of my brow, they not only have the obligation to do their jobs well, else I should fire them, but they also have a moral obligation to stand up and say that the job is being done incorrectly when warranted.

I would say that having the central investigation of 9/11 hijacked by those who were responsible for the failures in the first place was an outstanding reason to stand up and blow the whistle. If you think that makes me a leftist then I hope that the closest you get to an actual investigation are the pages of that comic book you have on your lap.

Pierre Legrand
Pierre -- Whining is something that Lefties like you do. Stupid protocols and policies relating to intelligence are the legacy of Leftists. I'm pleased to know that you have read a book. Good for you. Don't forget to take your medicine.

creech

Sorry to be unclear: Weldon's info may be right or wrong. The point is, his past reputation for making errors as to the anti-terror intentions of Pakistan and Turkey, has caused many of his colleagues in the GOP to take his current crusade with a grain of salt. Had someone with "a better track record" brought it forward, it would be more plausible. Here's hoping Weldon and crew are found to be right and that the screwed-up intelligence services are fixed.

asdfasdf

Folks,

Able Danger had access to far, far, FAR more data (in both type and volume) than anyone on this list has even hinted, as well as huge computing facilities.

To think that you could duplicate their work with a simple search on a personal compute is silly.

It's kind of like throwing a rock as high as you can, observing that it does not hit the moon, and thereby concluding that the Apollo program was a hoax. Despite some superficial similarities in structure, the differences in scale render the comparison irrelevant.

asdfasdf

Further, a lot of "open source" data is in an almost unusable form, requiring very sophisticated processing to turn it into something useful. For example, extracting text from PDF files, PowerPoint slides, WordPerfect documents, DEC All-In-One data, and on and on. It would take many staff-years of effort just to write and debug all the format-conversion software you need before you can start a search.

Then multiply that by all the stuff in various non-english languages.

Besides, not all the data was "open source", so ordinary folks could not duplicate the work, even if they had the massive computing power required.

Pierre Legrand

Creech,

Please be specific about the items Weldon is supposed to have gotten wrong. From reading his book he seems to have a fairly good handle on what is wrong with our intelligence outfits.

Pierre Legrand

Cecil Turner

"His reason for coming forward is not to place blame, but to get Data Mining re-started. As he tells it, the program was shut down after several abortive attempts that he and others made to inform the FBI about the Cell and have it busted up."

Well, that at least makes some sense (and sites like this one suggest data mining lost funding in mid-2003). In that case, he's obviously not compromising much, though I doubt that's an effective means to reopen them . . . but who knows?

asdfasdf

data mining was never defunded.
in fact, it is growing by leaps and bounds, based on unpublicized successes. look at FAS and Signal (from AFCEA).

asdfasdf

The early reports identified Able Danger as an offshot from the IDC of LIWA:
http://www.gsnmagazine.com/aug_05/dod_lawyers.html

Some further evolution is documented below:

http://www.afcea.org/signal/articles/anmviewer.asp?a=414&z=31
http://www.fas.org/irp/agency/inscom/liwa/

creech

Pierre: My point is that Weldon is like the boy who called wolf. Now that there is a wolf, his colleagues hven't sounded the alarm as loudly and forcefully as they should because of his false crys in the past.
I don't have the specifics - it was related to me in a general way by a high up staffer of a conservative colleague of Weldon's one on of his foreign relations committees.
In general, Weldon had assured folks that his contacts in Pakistan assured him that no elements of the Pakistani govt funded, supported or favored the Taliban. Then Weldon assured them that his contacts in Turkey assured him that U.S. forces would be welcome to base troops for the Iraqi fight in Turkey. To this colleagues, Weldon looks somewhat foolish so they aren't being quick to jump on board this time.

spongeworthy

asdfasdf:

The data mining project seeks to make connections between these individuals, no? We're not attempting any such thing. It was suggested we check just one (pretty extensive) source for just one individual. Nobody claimed this would be conclusive or replicate the AD protocol.

You should lose the attitude.

asdfasdf

it's just that you are following the wrong path. AD was one small part, not even near the center, of a much bigger effort that found much more.

if you want to know who knew what when, find out who was touring the IDC to see the technology - and getting shown the big graphs. they (meaning senators and staffers) got lots of tours. that they then stood by quietly and made no comment on the 9/11 report is inexcusable. who paid for LIWA and IDC? you can bet they got the tour.

i'm just trying to point y'all in a more useful direction.

clarice

The Crawdon story misrepresents the Czech intel and Commission findings..The Czechs have never backtracked and the Commission left out a lot. Tenet's last word on the subject was that the agency didn't know definitively if Atta had met in Prague with the Iraqi intel people.

Interestingly enough, INS records show that Mohammed Atta entered the US twice on the same day at the same place with two different visa numbers.

Did two people with the same name enter then or did the INS err?

For the best details on this story go to edwardjayepstein.com.

His site is difficult to work with by look under his pervious question/answers link.

clarice

The Crawdon story misrepresents the Czech intel and Commission findings..The Czechs have never backtracked and the Commission left out a lot. Tenet's last word on the subject was that the agency didn't know definitively if Atta had met in Prague with the Iraqi intel people.

Interestingly enough, INS records show that Mohammed Atta entered the US twice on the same day at the same place with two different visa numbers.

Did two people with the same name enter then or did the INS err?

For the best details on this story go to edwardjayepstein.com.

His site is difficult to work with by look under his previous question/answers link.

clarice

Here--wander through this and click on everything about Atta .http://www.edwardjayepstein.com/question_archive.htm

Thomas Jackson

One of the most amazing things I have read in these comments are those who would have a military officer ignore his oath to the Constitution to preserve the dishonesty of the 9-11 commission and compromise national security. It is quite obvious that those who would seek to take action against these military officers do so not because of any urge to protect national security but for the basest of political motives.

I believe such suggestions only serve to highlight the moral compass of those make such charges.

Pierre Legrand

Creech,

I have read his book, the recommendations he makes mirror those of Herbert Myer and not coincidently James Woolsey and aside from that make perfect sense. All of his criticism makes perfect sense and when you look at the output of the Intelligence agencies his hypothesis is confirmed. Awful lot of group think, awful lot of suppression of opposing points of view, awful lot of CYA and in general making an ass out of me for continuing to pay for such nonsense. Weldon may have been wrong in the past but better to be wrong than to be silent. His compatiriots have been silent and have allowed this sorry state of our intelligence services to exist.

See I damn everyone who was present in the Government for 9/11. I don't accept excuses, Bush is less guilty but still guilty for not anticipating 9/11. He is increasingly guilty for not fixing what was broke.

Pierre

moptop

TexasToast,
I guess your post proves one thing. If you don't bother thinking about what you write, you can be first on the thread. I have seen your posts around and you always remind me of the guy in "A Big Fat Greek Wedding" who had a theory of everything based on everything originating in the Greek language. Except your theory of everything goes "In every case, Bush is wrong and Clinton is right."

moptop

How does Able Danger potentially alter the time line the commission had on Atta. It potentially puts him in the US at a time when the commission said it was impossible, based on immigration records.

This is the same argument that they used to suggest that Attah, who was last seen on camera a couple of days before the purported April 2001 meeting with Iraqi intelligence withdrawing several thousand dollars cash in Virginia, and was next seen a few days after the supposed meeting took place, in Florida, could not have, to take an obvious possiblity, used the thousands of dollars in cash to travel under an assumed name to Prague. Oh yeah, and there were calls on his cell phone, which the 911 commission supposes he could not possibly have, for example, lent to his room-mate to cover his tracks, especially since the phone would, in all liklihood at that time, not work in Europe.

You can say this is all speculation, but we have the report of the sighting in Prague, such as it was, and NO convincing evidence that it did NOT happen.

The Able Danger info just puts the explanation on the point that we really have no idea where Atta was when we didn't actually have him on camera, despite what the commission chose to believe.

Pierre Legrand

Moptop,

That aspect of Able Danger is explosive since so much of the Commission is riding on the fact that Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11.

If Able Danger was able to pinpoint Atta in Brooklyn I would be surprised if they hadnt also found evidence of him in Prague.

Remember Tenet in the 9/11 Commissionm saying that the answer to Atta's Prague visit was contained in a classified briefing the Commission had reviewed earlier.

Pierre Legrand

Another Jonathan

FWIW. I can think of an instance in the past where the "same name, different terrorist" thing happened in the past.

There were two Sirhan Sirhans.
One Sirhan Sirhan killed RFK in 1968 which can easily be thought of as the most important terrorist attack on the US prior to 9/11 (perhaps including 9/11 since it was an attempt to directly intervene in the US political system)

The second Sirhan Sirhan killed a family in Kibbutz Metzer in Israel in the late 90's.

Sid

Maybe someone will finally get a clue about the poor search strategy on LexisNexis.

mohammed atta and date bef 09/11/01 - is not a good search. You are assuming that first, every newspaper spelled it correctly. Some spell Mohammed with an E and others with an A. Mohammad. Second, that they also placed Mohammed in front of Atta.

On LexisNexis they look at word order. In this case mohammed must be next to atta, but could be separated by noise words such as: is, of, the, etc.

A better search: moham! w/2 atta and date bef 09/11/2001 (remember due to Y2k - you must do a 4 digit year)

This search renders 236 documents - do a focus: moham! /2 atta and date bef 09/11/2001 and terror! or airport or plane or pilot or bomb or explo!

You get 117.

Some dealing with the hijacked Russian plane, anthrax, etc. Way more than the simple - Atlantic newspaper and only one story about Atta.


sophy

I do not know how to use the wakfu money ; my friend tells me how to use.

cheap Archlord gold

When you have cheap Archlord gold, you can upgrade.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Wilson/Plame