Aug 15 2005
While it appears Rep Weldon may have given his pet issue on Able Danger a few mortal blows this weekend (see here for one), it may be the case the story can (and probably should) go on without him.
OK smart guys â€“ with your â€œsmell testsâ€ and â€œThats just flat out wrongâ€ opinions shown above â€“ I hope you donâ€™t mind, but let me clear up a few things â€“ I was there and I lived through the ABLE DANGER nightmare.
First â€“ yes â€“ The lawyers involved in this (and similar projects) did interpret the 9-11 terrorists as â€œUS personsâ€ â€“ so while you can second guess them all you want â€“ but that was their â€œlegalâ€ call as wrong as it was and is. Unfortunately, the chain of command at SOCOM went along with them (and this, I expect, will be a topic that will become more clear in the near future).
And lawyers of the era also felt that any intelligence officer viewing open internet information for the purpose of intelligence collection automatically required that any â€œopen sourceâ€ information obtained be treated as if it was â€œintelligence informationâ€…does this sound like idiocy to you? It did to me â€“ and we fought it â€“ and I was in meetings at the OSD level, with OSD laywers, that debated this â€“ and I even briefed the DCI George Tenet on this issue relating to an internet project.
And yes, Virgina â€“ we tried to tell the lawyers that since the data identified Atta and the others as linked to Al Qaeda, we should be able to collect on them based on SecState Albrightâ€™s declaration of Al Qaeda as transnational terrorist threat to the USâ€¦well the lawyers did not agreeâ€¦go figureâ€¦so we could not collect on them â€“ and for political reasons â€“ could not pass them to the FBIâ€¦I know because I brokered three meetings between the FBI and SOCOM to allow SOCOM to pass the information to the FBI. And, sadly, SOCOM cancelled them every timeâ€¦
Hold onto to your seats folks, I am not so sure this ride is over.
OK, count me as stunned. I have been having a very good back and forth with Mac’s Mind on Able Danger, clearly out of my element since he worked Army Intel. He had been pulling me into the skeptics corner, which I had been resisting, I was afraid, in a futile effort. Well, I went over to get my cold shower at Mac’s Mind at found this stunning comment:
I’m buying into AJ theory over at Strata-Sphere that this was most likely a “beta” minining operation – not using “super-secret” high level ops, but ordinary Army Intel specs, who accidently “discovered gold”.
I also believe that Schoomaker was running a “after school” program under Shelton’s nose (with Weldon’s “plussed up funding”, which explains why General Shelton (retired now) says, “Able What?”, and why Schoomaker has no comment.
Now that rocked my boat. OK, so where does this take us?
Whistle blowers? Could it be that once these guys/gals got more than they bargined for that because General Schoomaker was running a “rogue” operation, he “shut ’em down” and quick? It would seem some are beginning to “break cover”…..heh..
That at this point is a very plausible explaination why Able Danger fell off the map and the paper trail with them.
Weldon has still got a LOT of explaining to do, and I’m afraid that the story is still fresh….
Yet I still want to hear from more some of the real members of this team – enough with the clandestine crap! Speak out!
Am I reading this right? Did Mac’s Mind just jump out of the skeptics corner? No matter, he is 100% correct – let’s get this out and over with.