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September 08, 2005


Thomas J. Jackson

Where is the credibility? A man who puts his entire career at risk is considered by you not to be credible? I wonder what sort of sacrifice it might take for it to be considered credible.


Mohammed Atta was a Rove plant so the world would be distracted from Plamegate, and Bush ordered up Katrina to shift focus from Iraq. Make your burnt offerings at your usual spiritual place.


Don't discount too quickly the possibility that Shaffer is simply a poor communicator. As anyone who regularly attends 2-hour meetings can attest, sometimes you're in there, and even if you know for sure that the speaker is going to divulge next week's winning mega-millions numbers, look, there is no way you're going to be able to pay attention to that droning voice...

And not to mention that Shaffer wouldn't be the first military man to have this problem. The military is reputed to have a serious problem with "power point rangers" who mangle important tactical information so badly that it is causing serious concerns about combat effectiveness.

cathy :-)


Good point by cathy - reading through Shaffer's interview with GSN, it seemed as if he couln't separate wheat from chaff, or cut to the headline. EVERYTHING was important...

Cecil Turner

If I were trying to draft "talking points" on Able Danger, it'd look something like:

  • a program that developed little if any actionable intelligence;
  • based on data manipulation of dubious legality (especially pre-Patriot Act); and
  • because of the legal concerns, that information wasn't passed on to the FBI;
  • who, had they received it, would almost certainly have ignored it anyway.
I can't imagine why anyone who received such a presentation (from a weekend warrior who apparently has a tendency to ramble) wouldn't have just been riveted.

BTW, in my experience, the term "power point ranger" is generally reserved for staff weenies with good presentation skills but little or no operational knowledge. It's not that they can't communicate, but that they don't know what they're talking about.


I note something odd, which may be meaningful, but just as well, may not.

Both the Able Dangerousness and the Berglury have powerful members of both sides of the political divide attempting to make de minimus of them.

Do Sandy Berger, Jamie Gorelick, Richard Clarke, and Bolton and Zelikow all have no clothes on? Wait a minute, none of them were Emperor at the relevant times.


It's almost like both sides realized that bin Laden caught both sides with their pants down and their fingers NOT in the dyke, and it seems wiser to learn the lessons from the disaster rather than tear each other up politically.

A Naderite might say the two parties have abruptly stopped what they were doing and have their clothes back on. But they're still all over each other.


Only a week to go. Whattya bet they get postponed again? Too many players want these lessons learned quietly.

Crew v1.0

From (AP): "A Pentagon employee was ordered to destroy documents that identified Mohamed Atta as a terrorist two years before the 2001 attacks, a congressman said Thursday. The employee is prepared to testify next week before the Senate Judiciary Committee and was expected to name the person who ordered him to destroy the large volume of documents, said Rep. Curt Weldon (news, bio, voting record), R-Pa.

Weldon declined to name the employee, citing confidentiality matters. Weldon described the documents as "2.5 terabytes" — as much as one-fourth of all the printed materials in the Library of Congress, he added.

A Senate Judiciary Committee aide said the witnesses for Wednesday's hearing had not been finalized and could not confirm Weldon's comments...."


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