Aug 17 2005
OK, the entire post has been a day long update, but Ed Morrissey’s readers have been out searching and finding more terrorist attacks and highjackings from 1998-2001 which were directly tied, at the time, to Iraq. Lot’s of folks are wondering how all these attacks connected to Iraq got lost in the 9-11 Omission. The icing on the cake would be if Able Danger’s list of 60 included Iraqi Intelligence names…..
One of the bloggers I have been waiting all day to hear from has a short tease of a post out today. Mac of Mac’s Mind is from the Army Intel community so it is always interesting to see what he has to say. He has information to not jump too far one way or the other, yet. An update post from Mac is here.
Well, it looks like Able Danger will not be going away (once CBS News has Schaffer on TV I find it hard to believe this story doesn’t have some legs). We have to find out a lot more about what happened in 2000, which means we need more information from the Pentagon and/or the Defense Intelligence Agency – the declassified kind. But the genie is out of the bottle and both the mainstream news organizations and the bloggers are now putting a lot of energy into this.
Here are some news stories out today:
Speaking of CBS NEws, here is there story out today.
Here is the AP on the CBS ‘The Early Show’ interview.
One from the NYTimes.
Here is one from the NYPost (not much there, just added it to illustrate how the story was spreading).
Debrah Orin at the NYPost goes back to ‘the wall’ and the White memo and its implications in light of Able Danger (which I discussed here). Ed Morrissey claims this is the mysterious second White Memo, which also would be interesting news.
Rick Moran pointed me to this Austin Bay article (Rick’s two posts are linked below). I like this comment from Austin Bay
If Jamie Gorelick wasnâ€™t the weakest commission member, she was the most compromised. Gorelick should have recused herself from participation on the 9/11 Commissionâ€“ because she did â€œraise the wallâ€ during the Clinton Administration. Had she done that she would have enhanced her reputation. But she didnâ€™t.
Yep, and now her reputation is in tatters.
Here is an editorial from the DelcoTimes by someone who interviews Lt Col Shaffer. Money quote by Shaffer from their talk about neuro-nets and computing:
Later, he said when he tried to explain the process to 9/11 Commission staff members, “I donâ€™t think they understood what we were telling them. It was like trying to show a pig a wrist-watch.”
After talking to Shaffer, I know how the pig feels
But this one has some breaking news in it as well
Still, he said, “The data we had available (in â€™99) indicated these individuals (Atta and the rest) were affiliated with the Brooklyn cell.
“We were able to identify two of the three cells that conducted 9/11. We didnâ€™t ID everybody in the cell, we didnâ€™t know how they were organized or their objective, just their connections to al Qaida.”
The Norristown Times Herald has had some interesting articles regarding the possible location of Atta in PA at the time Able Danger was going on. Here is their story today on the matter.
Jim Geraghty has a transcript of Shaffer on CNN here. Lots of new details regarding the 9-11 commission, and how they dropped the ball early on.
Now to the bloggers
Jim Geraghty has a post questioning whether Able Danger was refuted by ‘the wall’ or PR Concerns. My guess is PR concerns about posse comitatus , but it should not have happened.
Andy McCarthy over at the NRO Corner is also jumping on ‘the wall’, which did set a tone that added to resistance to sharing, to not rocking the boat – Andy focuses in the White memo
John Podhoretz hears from a reader who sees things the way I do over at NRO The Corner. I agree with John, posse commitatus should not have come up, but it obviously did. The Pentagon hired some cheap lawyers (or at least spineless ones).
Ed Morrissey discusses in his Weekly/Daily Standard column what will be a more important subject in the coming weeks regarding Able Danger – what does the information do to the Atta timeline, and what other information should have been delved into deeper. Morrissey focuses in on a key arrest of Iraqi intelligence officers in Germany who were looking to hook up with Al Qaeda, while recalling Atta was based out of Hamburg and may have had to adjust his meetings with Iraqi agents to meet in Prague. Remember how the 9-11 commission dismissed Prague and possible direct support for 9-11 from Saddam’s Iraq? Now that would be another earth shattering revelation. I wonder if the Able Danger terrorist network of 60 people includes any Iraqi agents?
Powerline also discusses the Orin story on the White Memo, and also makes a good point this must be the second White memo which warns Reno and Gorelick ‘the wall’ is a really bad move.
Streiff at Redstate joins in with some good perspectives here, not to mention some of the resistance to the story seen at NRO on occasion.
The prolific Rick Moran at Right Wing Nut House has two posts out (I need to cut back to one a day if I can!), here and here – worth the trip over to read them both. Rick also focuses on the White memo and worries Lt Col Shaffer is heading into a maelstrom.
Junkyard Blog also discusses the position Shaffer is in and how the pending Pentagon statement could be the first phase in a pushback. I hope this is not the case, but they make a strong case:
The current Chief of Staff of the US Army is Gen. Peter Schoomaker. He rose through the ranks of Special Operations Command, and was in charge of that command at MacDill Air Force Base at the time Able Danger did its work. If the Pentagon is reticent to confirm Lt Col Shaffer’s story, you have two data points to consider as reasons why. One, the likely involvement of NSA, the most secretive and most effective (largely because it’s so secretive) intel agency we have. They stay out of the limelight and generally because of that run rings around the CIA. Anything that puts a spotlight on NSA is bad, so that in and of itself could be a reason to pour cold water on Able Danger. The second data point is that it could boomerang around on the Army Chief of Staff if he was in any way involved in bottling up Able Danger in his old command. The Pentagon does not want this scandal, not now and not ever. So I’ll be surprised if they say anything interesting anytime in the next hundred years about Able Danger.
Schoomaker is the one who closed down Able Danger in 2001. This post has many updates and is another must read on many events happening – including this one.
The Anchoress accurately reflects the potential and the problem here – this story is complicated and could become a lot more complicated with ‘the wall’, Iraqis in Prague, the Pentagon politics, Sandy Bergler, CYA by State, 9-11 commission bungling and Bill Clinton wishing he bombed more…..
I hear you Dear Anchoress – this could spread out and touch everyone.
GOPbloggers looks at ‘the wall’, the White memos and Hillary
I was waiting for the MinuteMan to chime in, since he was hosting the Skptic’s Corner on the Able Danger subject. He has a good analysis of who would benefit from the cover up. Unfortunately that list is fairly long.
From the MinuteMan we can also now add Mickey Kaus at Slate to those chiming in.
Michael Ledeen adds a lot of good commentary over at The Corner on how the Gorelick memo may not have been directly related to the Able Danger fiasco, but together they reflect the overall problem of how the Clinton administration dealt with these issues. In my opinion Somalia and WACO were such screw ups by the neophyte clintonistas that the entire government apparatus shrunk back from them, and they in turn felt like they had no control and tried to put so many controls in place that they tied everything up in knots which stopped people from taking actions when they really needed to.