The Chicago Tribune interviews Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer and provides an overview of Able Danger, as well as a retrospective on other "near-misses" that might have disrupted the 9/11 attack.
The Trib reporters also speak with FBI officials with knowledge of Shaffer's contact at the FBI - if they can track these people down, why can't Sen. Arlen Specter?
The Washington-based FBI agent who was Shaffer's liaison has recalled, in interviews with her superiors, that Shaffer told her his group had unearthed important information on suspected Al Qaeda operatives with links to the U.S., but without mentioning Atta's name.
When Shaffer, who is also a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve, asked to whom at the FBI that information should be communicated, the agent gave him the name and phone number of an official at FBI headquarters, according to the senior FBI official.
Well, it may be that all the FBI can tell us it that Shaffer aranged meetings and then cancelled them. Then again, they may have some memo describing the purpose of the meeting and outlining the Able Danger project.
The Trib also gives more detail on Shaffer's story about the Atta photo on the missing chart:
It was not, Shaffer said, the menacing Florida driver's license photo of Atta that has become an emblem of the attacks.
"Here is this gaunt figure," Shaffer recalled. "He's very distinctive. This is an older, more grainy photo we had of him. It was not the best picture in the world."
MORE: Able Danger addicts can find lots more starting at Decision '08, who is tracking a William Arkin series in the WaPo.