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September 22, 2006



You may well be right. The concept of data mining--perfected commercially by outfits like Amazon, however--is a worthwhile one. And the claim that Able Danger was killed because it incidentally drew in some names that were prominent and therefore might indicate privacy act violations, nevertheless, was plausible.


Viewing at the hysteria generated by the NSA progamme,I would agree with Clarice.


Baffled was I when I saw Able Danger.

Wise were you to express bafflement. But not ready for the burden were you.


Another conspiracy theory bites the dust. Unfortunately, misundertandings often become bad faith in the strange fog of hindsight. Looks like that might have happened here.


Another cover-up.

Jim in Chicago

Able was I ere I saw Elba.


Maj Kleinsmith MAY have had no agenda, other than HD space mgmt, but we will never know
because the two and one-half terabytes of data
he deleted are gone. But, it kinda makes you
wonder why he was in a position to make that decision, even with decentralized command and control.

John Oh

The real program and its real value was likely lost in translation. Don't ever get between Curt Weldon and a microphone. His crass use of the issue to grab headlines really made me wonder what was real and what was hype.


Gosh, this is such a hard decision. Do I trust mid-level military officers who have a sworn duty to be honest and whose recollections got their careers in deep, deep trouble with their bosses? And private contractors whose financial well-being depends on the good will of a Pentagon which didn't want Able Danger to get out? Or do I trust politicians who are working overtime to cover their asses?

Damn. Such a hard choice. Which group would be more likely to lie? Hmmmmmm.

OK. Let's go with the political types. They don't lie. And those folks wrecking their careers and financial lives are just doing so in order to enjoy a little fantasy life.

Cecil Turner

Do I trust mid-level military officers who have a sworn duty to be honest and whose recollections got their careers in deep, deep trouble with their bosses?

Not sure what your point is. This excerpt from the only one of the AD crowd with a solid recollection seemed to me to be dispositive:

Well, I mean, obviously there's a compelling amount of evidence that would make it appear I did not see Mohammed Atta. And I will absolutely grant you that based on what you're showing me my recollection could be wrong.
And apparently the others took their cue from him:
In response to whether he had any thoughts as to the reason that others claimed to have seen a chart that depicted Mohammed Atta and a Brooklyn cell as well as possibly other 9/11 terrorists, CAPT [redacted] testified, "[LTC] Tony [Shaffer] was relying on my recollection, I think, 100 percent. I mean, I think a lot of people are."
further, it appears he talked himself into it in an iterative process (something that's extremely common for someone who repeats the same talking points, in my experience)
We found that following his experience with Able Danger CAPT [redacted] actively promoted data mining as an antiterrorist tool and, in doing so, suggested with increasing certainty that Able Danger had identified Mohammed Atta and other 9/11 terrorists before the 9/11 attack.
Looks to me like one guy talked himself into it, and convinced the others. If the DOD's IG report is a lie, it's an awfully consistent one.

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