Aug 31 2005
Able Danger keeps twisting and turning as news slowly dribbles out. I expect, now that we have hit the end of summer, that a prime Able Danger player – the woman PhD referred to by Shaffer and Phillpott – will come forward sometime in the coming weeks.
Not much new from the news outlets since the news out yesterday that the Pentagon may have had changed its position regarding Able Danger. We posted on this story here yesterday (which was followed by hosting problems all day). Tom Maguire noticed that WTOP, who broke the change in Pentagon sentiments, has new details out today here:
The names of U.S. citizens with connections to the military, political organizations and educational institutions reportedly turned up when the Pentagon collected intelligence as part of its Able Danger effort.
The Pentagon shut down the data mining operation that uncovered the names of the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers a year before the terror attacks.
Defense contractor J.D. Smith who worked on the project says his job was to find connections among people and where those connections went.
The names and the origin of the information turned out to be so sensitive that Smith says,”It cost me a contract and a eventually my job at the company that employed me at the time.”
But the names the intelligence group investigated turned out not to be connected with al Qaida.
I agree with Tom Maguire’s position that this is the reason Able Danger was probably cancelled in early 2001. It ran afoul of too many legal and political issues. The key one being the parallel China Study that caused JD Smith’s efforts to be terminated a little before the terrorist study began to ring the warning bells (see the latter part of this post here on the NY Post article).
But what this also tells me is that the Pentagon has identified some of the lawyers and others who were involved in some part of this story: the cancelling the China Study path, the squelching of the contacts to the FBI on terrorists in the USA, or the closing of the program in 2001. But what is clear is more people are coming forward inside the DoD. These are details we have no heard and I would think were not coming from the players we know about so far.
I already referred to Tom Maguires excellent post above – it is a worthwhile read.
Mac at Mac’s Mind has an intriguing tease on what he is learning about JD Smith – and how he might really be. I cannot wait to see this information.
Mike at TOPDOG08 has the transcript of the Chris Mathews interview with Lt Col Shaffer which Mike says was a good one.
More if I find something. Have a great week.