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DIA Agents were ordered to put yellow Post-its over Atta's face and the faces of 3 other 9/11 terrorists

"We were directed to take those 3M yellow stickers and place them over the faces of Atta and the other terrorists and pretend they didn't exist," the intelligence officer told GSN."

Intel agents Tony Shaffer and Scott Philpott have confirmed Rep. Weldon's claims that a chart with Atta's face, soon the photos of 3 other members of the 9-11 terror team, were known to DIA team Able Danger by early 2000.

This diary will show that Pete Schoomaker and Philip Zelikow are two of the main players in this scandal, that Schoomaker or a higher-up deliberately withheld information from the President of the United States that would have prevented 9/11, which I believe shows that they and their neo-con rulers knew a big attack was coming and Let It Happen On Purpose.

Of this there can no longer be any doubt.

Update [2005-8-24 15:35:46 by Sherlock Google]: From the Aug. 10 NY Times on Shaffer trying to include Able Danger in the final 9-11 Commission Report:

The Sept. 11 commission was warned by a uniformed military officer 10 days before issuing its final report that the account would be incomplete without reference to what he described as a secret military operation that by the summer of 2000 had identified as a potential threat the member of Al Qaeda who would lead the attacks more than a year later, commission officials said on Wednesday.

Aug 10 NY Times

Update [2005-8-24 15:35:46 by Sherlock Google]: From the Commission Statement on Able Danger:

The records discuss a set of plans, beginning in 1999, for ABLE DANGER, which involved expanding knowledge about the al Qaeda network. Some documents include diagrams of terrorist networks. None of the documents turned over to the Commission mention Mohamed Atta or any of the other future hijackers. Nor do any of the staff notes on documents reviewed in the DOD reading room indicate that Mohamed Atta or any of the other future hijackers were mentioned in any of those documents.

A senior staff member also made verbal inquiries to the HPSCI and CIA staff for any information regarding the ABLE DANGER operation. Neither organization produced any documents about the operation, or displayed any knowledge of it.

Update [2005-8-24 15:43:9 by Sherlock Google]: The 9-11 Families respond to the Able Danger news:

A group of Sept. 11 widows called the September 11th Advocates issued a statement Wednesday saying they were "horrified" to learn that further possible evidence exists, and they are disappointed the Sept. 11 commission report is "incomplete and illusory."

"The revelation of this information demands answers that are forthcoming, clear and concise," the statement said. "The Sept. 11 attacks could have and should have been prevented."

Fox News

Zelikow, as Executive Director, managed to keep the Commission from seeing the truth.

Update [2005-8-24 16:49:54 by Sherlock Google]: Here is the Gorelick Memo on The Wall. Read it for yourself and you will see that in no way does it prevent the DIA folks from telling the FBI about Atta getting ready to spring a possible attack:

The Gorelick Wall Memo

We have to learn a whole lot of ACRONYMS here but it's clear that information about a crime that "may be committed" is supposed to be "disseminated" to criminal investigators! Read it yourself.

From JusticeWatch.org:

The "Wall." The "wall" metaphor is shorthand for the recognition that separate authorities govern law enforcement and foreign intelligence investigations targeted against Americans. These authorities, designed to prevent a recurrence of domestic spying by the FBI and CIA, always recognized that international terrorism was both a law enforcement and intelligence matter. Contrary to the repeated mischaracterization by the Attorney General and others, the law never prohibited sharing information between law enforcement and intelligence communities; to the contrary, it expressly provided for such sharing. While the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was interpreted to mean that prosecutors could not direct foreign intelligence wiretaps, as opposed to criminal wiretaps, the 9/11 failures had nothing whatsoever to do with the inability of prosecutors to direct such surveillance.

Justice Watch

Update [2005-8-24 17:19:42 by Sherlock Google]: It was Shaffer who was Anon, not Philpott, here are the links confirming that:

Captain V

Intel Dump 8/18/05

And here is the insubordination quote to the NY Times:

"I was at the point of near insubordination over the fact that this was something important, that this was something that should have been pursued," Colonel Shaffer said of his efforts to get the evidence from the intelligence program to the F.B.I. in 2000 and early 2001.

"It was because of the chain of command saying we're not going to pass on information - if something goes wrong, we'll get blamed," he said.

----------------------------------

From the Government Security News mag which broke the story:

Did DoD lawyers blow the chance to nab Atta?

By Jacob Goodwin
In September 2000, one year before the Al Qaeda attacks of 9/11, a U.S. Army military intelligence program, known as "Able Danger," identified a terrorist cell based in Brooklyn, NY, one of whose members was 9/11 ringleader Mohammed Atta, and recommended to their military superiors that the FBI be called in to "take out that cell," according to Rep. Curt Weldon, a longtime Republican congressman from Pennsylvania who is currently vice chairman of both the House Homeland Security and House Armed Services Committees.

The recommendation to bring down that New York City cell -- in which two other Al Qaeda terrorists were also active -- was not pursued during the weeks leading up to the 2000 presidential election, said Weldon. That's because Mohammed Atta possessed a "green card" at the time and Defense Department lawyers did not want to recommend that the FBI go after someone holding a green card, Weldon told his House colleagues last June 27 during a little-noticed speech, known as a "special order," which he delivered on the House floor.

Details of the origins and efforts of Able Danger were corroborated in a telephone interview by GSN with a former defense intelligence officer who said he worked closely with that program. That intelligence officer, who spoke to GSN while sitting in Rep. Weldon's Capitol Hill office, requested anonymity for fear that his current efforts to help re-start a similar intelligence-gathering operation might be hampered if his identity becomes known.

The intelligence officer recalled carrying documents to the offices of Able Danger, which was being run by the Special Operations Command, headquartered in Tampa, FL. The documents included a photo of Mohammed Atta supplied by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service and described Atta's relationship with Osama bin Laden. The officer was very disappointed when lawyers working for Special Ops decided that anyone holding a green card had to be granted essentially the same legal protections as any U.S. citizen. Thus, the information Able Danger had amassed about the only terrorist cell they had located inside the United States could not be shared with the FBI, the lawyers concluded.

"We were directed to take those 3M yellow stickers and place them over the faces of Atta and the other terrorists and pretend they didn't exist," the intelligence officer told GSN.

DoD lawyers may also have been reluctant to suggest a bold action by FBI agents after the bureau's disastrous 1993 strike against the Branch Davidian religious cult in Waco, TX, said Weldon and the intelligence officer.
Government Security News

So the responsibility for stopping DIA program Able Danger, which had Identified Atta and 3 other hijackers and linked them to 56 other al-Queda terrorists overseas, has been laid at the feet of Bill Clinton--except he and Richard Clarke were never told about it at all.  

That's right.  Bill Clinton was never told about Able Danger and the ID of Atta because Richard Clarke was never told about AD.  How do I know?  He never wrote about it in his book, nor did he testify about it's existence before the 9-11 Commission!  

You see Richard Clarke was known for being obsessed with Osama Bin Laden and HE was the guy the neo-con moles did not want to find out about Atta and the gang.  Schoomaker and the neo-cons knew telling the FBI would inform Clarke and then Mr. Laser Beam himself, President of the United State William Jefferson Clinton, would have gotten involved--and the Pearl Harbor-type attack would never take place (the neo-cons talked about the need for a Pearl Harbor-type attack before the PNAC Plan would be accepted by the American people--so when one presented itself, they let it happen).

General Pete Schoomaker, who was later heavily rewarded by the neo-cons in the Bush Administration, or a General above him, maybe Tommy Franks, blocked the upward motion of the DIA information by having Shaffer and Philpott meet with Pentagon lawyers--lawyers who were rubberstamping ridiculous legal opinions to carry out the neo-con plan.  These were neo-cons in the Clinton Administration, covertly carrying out the PNAC plan to let a Pearl Harbor-type attack occur so Iraq and 6 other countries could be invaded.

HOW DARE WELDON AND THE RIGHT WING TRY TO LAY ABLE DANGER AT THE FEET OF BILL CLINTON, WHEN HE WAS DELIBERATELY PREVENTED FROM KNOWING ABOUT IT BY SCHOOMAKER AND THE OTHERS!  THEN THE NEO-CONS ENDED THE PROGRAM IN FEB. 2001 ALTOGETHER!

The heroic intel agents of Able Danger repeatedly tried to get the FBI to roll up the cell but were stopped by the secret neo-con cell within the Clinton Administration, especially General Pete Schoomaker and Tommy Franks, in command of Able Danger--and Schoomaker was later asked by Rumsfeld to come out of retirement and replace Shinseki in 2003 as Army Chief of Staff!


Pete Schoomaker was in command of Able Danger and was briefed by Shaffer

 Schoomaker, who worked under neo-con Tommy Franks in Tampa, retired in December of 2000.  The indicted Larry Franklin was another neo-con in the Clinton Administration.

Schoomaker or a higher up repeatedly told Philpott and Shaffer that they could not inform the FBI as DoD lawyers had opined that Atta's Green Card made him a "US Person", that the so-called "Gorelick Wall" prevented talking to the FBI--even though Atta was part of al-Queda.  Shaffer and Philpott were actually ordered to put yellow sticky pads over the faces of the 4 terrorists on their Analyst Notebook chart and act as thought they don't exist. (Analyst Notebook is software).

"The former defense intelligence official, who was interviewed twice this week, has repeatedly said that Mr. Atta and four others were identified on a chart presented to the Special Operations Command. The former official said the chart identified about 60 probable members of Al Qaeda." [NY Times Archive 8/13/05]

Here is Lieutenant Colonel Tony Shaffer as blogger Anon on Intel Dump talking about meeting the DoD  lawyers, who had no doubt been ordered by higher-ups to ignore the clear exception to the Gorelick Wall that a terrorist presented:

I was there and I lived through the ABLE DANGER nightmare.

First - yes - The lawyers involved in this (and similar projects) did interpret the 9-11 terrorists as "US persons" - so while you can second guess them all you want - but that was their "legal" 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 "open source" information obtained be treated as if it was "intelligence information"...does this sound like idiocy to you? It did to me - and we fought it - and I was in meetings at the OSD level, with OSD laywers, that debated this - and I even briefed the DCI George Tenet on this issue relating to an internet project.

And yes, Virgina - 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 Albright's declaration of Al Qaeda as transnational terrorist threat to the US...well the lawyers did not agree...go figure...so we could not collect on them - and for political reasons - could not pass them to the FBI...I know because I brokered three meetings between the FBI and SOCOM to allow SOCOM to pass the informaton to the FBI. And, sadly, SOCOM cancelled them every time...

Intel Dump Blogger Anon

So the brass and Pentagon lawyers blocked the Atta Chart and request for arrest of the "Brooklyn Cell" from going to the FBI, Clarke and Clinton--who would have acted on it--and 9-11 would likely have never happened, with 3 of the 4 pilots and the leader of the gang arrested.

But then the neo-cons stole the election and came into power proper with Bush, Rice and Cheney. Rice, in charge of the transition, demoted Richard Clarke on Jan. 5, 2001, with the assistance of Philip Zelikow, who later became Executive Director of the 9-11 Commission!  Like Schoomaker, Zelikow has now been rewarded with a plum job, directly under Rice at State.

Able Danger was then "unceremoniously axed" by the DoD in February 2001 when the neo-cons officially took over the Pentagon, no doubt on the orders of Cheney and Rice.

From the Norristown Times-Herald in Weldon's district:


A small group of Defense Intelligence Agency employees ran the Able Danger operation from fall 1999 to February 2001 - just seven months before the terrorist attacks - when the operation was unceremoniously axed, according to a former defense intelligence official familiar with the program. The former official asked not to be identified.

Norristown paper

August 17 article Shaffer confirms this end date:

The objective of "Able Danger" was to identify and target al-Qaeda and other terrorists. The DIA team used data mining, parallel processing and other cutting-edge computer technology from 1999 through early 2001, Shaffer said.

Times Herald again

Many other counter-terror programs were ended or stalled at the same time, including the use of the armed Predator Drone, which had spotted Osama and could have killed him, as well as new off-shore banking regs that Clinton had passed and FBI investigations of the Saudis and the Bin Ladens.  Even though on Jan 31, 2001, the Congress approved the Hart Rudman counter-terror recommendations, including cockpit door hardening, Bush fought implementation by stalling, handing it to Cheney in May and saying he would issue a counter-terror plan--in October 2001, the month AFTER the 9-11 attack.

Rep. Weldon, a proponent of data-mining, had been following the Able Danger program for years and had talked to Stephen Hadley--he of 16-word fame--soon after 9-11, that Able Danger had identified the same terrorists early in the game.  Hadley, second at NSC under Rice, sat on the information on Able Danger--which of course he knew about anyway--and then NEVER TOLD THE 9-11 COMMISSION.

Quite clear are the acts of Zelikow, Executive Director of the 9-11 Commission, and the man who helped Rice and Cheney establish the neo-con agenda and demote Richard.   Appointed by Bush to the 9-11 Commission to investigate himself essentially--and Bob Kerrey objected strenuously to Zelikow as a conflict (then gave up)--the Executive Director has tremendous power over staff and direction of the Commission and its report.

As Executive Director, Philip Zelikow was directly told about Able Danger, then he and his direct staff covered up the information from the rest of the 9-11 Commission as they have said they were never told about it.  When the Able Danger agents called up the Commission 10 days before the publication of the Report, they were blown off for the umpteenth time.  Here is the 9-11 Commission's own statement on Able Danger:

On October 21, 2003, Philip Zelikow, the executive director of the 9/11 Commission, two senior Commission staff members, and a representative of the executive branch, met at Bagram Base, Afghanistan, with three individuals doing intelligence work for the Department of Defense. One of the men, in recounting information about al Qaeda's activities in Afghanistan before 9/11, referred to a DOD program known as ABLE DANGER. He said this program was now closed, but urged Commission staff to get the files on this program and review them, as he thought the Commission would find information about al Qaeda and Bin Ladin that had been developed before the 9/11 attack.

Then Zelikow sat on the Able Danger info.  Shaffer on CNN said:

The other thing is Mr. Zelicow (ph) himself gave me his card and asked me to contact him upon my return from the deployment. And I did contact him in January of '04. That's where I was essentially blown off.

I called him. They said they wanted to talk to me. I waited a week, called him back. And they said, "No, we don't need to talk to you now."

Now, Soledad, I'm sorry. I forgot your first part of the question you asked before.

S. O'BRIEN: You know, we're actually kind of running out of time.

SHAFFER: OK.

S. O'BRIEN: But I was essentially asking you if they were lying, which is sort of a yes or no answer there.

SHAFFER: I can't -- I'm just letting you know what I -- what I said. I said, specifically, that we, as through the Able Danger process, discovered two of the three cells which conducted 9/11, to include Atta. Now -- and I -- that was, to me, significant, in that they actually pulled me aside after the meeting and said, "Please come talk to us and give us more details."

Then Zelikow NEVER calls Shaffer or Philpott back!

The flimsy excuses for that are covered in TopDog's recommended diary, and are all lies anyhow:
Rice aide hid disbandment of Atta's trackers from 9/11 report

Finally, here is Lee Hamilton of the 9-11 Commission:

"The Sept. 11th commission did not learn of any U.S. government knowledge prior to 9/11 of the surveillance of Mohamed Atta or his cell," Hamilton said. "Had we learned of it obviously it would have been a major focus of our investigation."

So there you have it.

If this is e-mailed to 100 people and all the blogs and media by each person here on KOS and we pick this apart endlessly, all the evidence is there.  

The greatest scandal in the history of the United States of America.

This has to be the end of the Republican Party as the majority party for some time to come. Either this was all done deliberately, to let the attack happen or cover it up, OR we have the dumbest people in history running our government. Either way, they don't win.

And only we bloggers can blow this thing wide open.

There is much, much more to this but I will post them on updates.  And anybody who now doubts Shaffer AND Philpott is carrying skepticism too far and is likely a RW troll absolutely HORRIFIED at the turn the Able Danger story has now taken.

Please recommend, the tip jar is below.

Originally posted to Sherlock Google on Wed Aug 24, 2005 at 09:48 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Alms for the Sherlock? (3.95)
    Let's get to work Kossacks!
    •  Sherlock, before you go too far with this, read (4.00)
      Media Matters about how NYT and Fox have stretched the facts on who has come forward to say Atta was identified and on what info was given to the Commission.

      By pulling the facts (about the data mining) in one direction, these folks may be part of a spin and someone's political agenda.

      •  drop this topic, they want immunity (none)
        they'll run a commission on this and  grant immunity to swaths of neocons involved in the Franklin/DSM/Plame investigations each of which share key people as suspects

        Able Danger was a nothing story, being made out into something for a purpose of spin

        if there was something to Able no republican would have brought it up

        Weldon and Rhorhbacher met with elements of the Taliban, along with Scot McClellan, in the late 90s.

        They're rats don't open some window of immunity on this to get them tied up in a trail that is red hot with convictions that is about to blow up some headlines...

        Oliver North redux is what they want to make this into.

      •  Check Schaeffer (none)
        Schaeffer would seem to have an agenda of some sort.  I read that his security clearance was pulled in 2004 because he got caught submitting false financial claims.  That is a huge deal in the military - goes right to the heart of integrity.  

        Second, Schaeffer has appeared on news shows in his military uniform.  From what I read, he has been relieved of duty and placed on admin leave as an Army civilian because of his integrity problems.  So, what on earth is he doing going on news programs wearing his Reserve uniform?  If an officer appears on the news wearing his uniform, he is - de facto - representing the Army.  Was Schaeffer representing the Army?

        Bottom line - Schaeffer appears to be in trouble for financial fraud, and may be trying to build his defense based on the whistleblower act.  Day late and a dollar short.

        Looks to me like Schaeffer is a liar.

    •  Can I post-it over the word "face's" (4.00)
      </snark>

      Seriously, this propensity to put apostrophes on all words ending with an "s" is darn near epidemic.  I hope we can revert to treated plural words as non-possessives or contractions...

      Signed,
      The Pathological Punctuation Police

      •  Right on (none)
        Its getting to be ridiculou's.
        •  Check out Susan Hu's... (4.00)
          diary. She talks about how a US soldier was put in a US prison and subjected to inhumane treatment/possibly torture. He will be on nightline tonight to talk about his treatment.

          He also says that US detention torture policies are fueling the insurgency.

          Susan Hu

          This post is not to be misconstrued as associated with political fundraising or any other campaign activity. This post is general commentary of current events.

          by RichardG on Wed Aug 24, 2005 at 01:59:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Former solder, filmmaker Cyrus Kar (none)
             That was a filmmaker, Kar, who happened to also be a vet. The first half of the program was tonight and was straigh-forward and good. The second half is tomorrow.

              Kar was held for 55 days in solitary confinement.

    •  where do you get LIHOP? (none)
      You copied all the sources I used in my diary you link above, did not add any new information that I can see, but claim they let it happen on purpose?  You are making the Able Danger story look like a tin foil hatter with the LIHOP claim.
      •  Able Danger, meet the shark. (4.00)
        Now jump.
      •  Good work TopDog and I linked to your diary (none)
        You think all this mistake and coincidence then?

        They were suppressing the information because they were worried about the rights of an identified terrorist?

        LIHOP is the only rational conclusion, just as lying about the WMDs to invade Iraq for its oil is the only rational conclusion.

        What do you say was Schoomaker's motive then?  He was just following what the lawyers told him?

        Why didn't Hadley tell the Commission then about AD?

        I admit I have believed in LIHOP for a while and suspected all the while that they were tracking Atta and knew who he was long before 9-11.  This has 2 eyewitnesses confirming that.

        •  Its making it hard for people to take us seriously (4.00)
          You added no new proof you just ASSUME Bush and his all cohorts wanted to kills thousands of Americans, when they were already planning to go to war with Iraq anyway?  You need to get to the bottom of the cover up not launch into hyperbole.

          Armando said elsewhere he wasnt gonna post about this story because it seemed "murky" - thanks.

          •  Yes it's called deductive reasoning (4.00)
            That's what detectives do.  What is the motive here for suppressing the info by many people involved, all of whom are given big promotions afterward into the neo-con world, btw?

            You are therefore saying Schoomaker and the lawyers were stopping the info moving upward because they were concerned about the rights of an Egyptian who had been ID'd as a terrorist.

            That's the only other conclusion, other than these guys are really stupid bureaucrats and don't see an exception to the Gorelick Wall when they see one.

            I don't buy altruistic or stupid.  I buy conspiracy, yes a criminal conspiracy, to clear the way for the PNAC Plan by letting OBL's blowback happen.

            On Purpose.

            You just can't decide to go to war with Iraq, btw, and then do it.  There had to be an excuse.  Look at history--the Maine and the Spanish American War, the phony Tonkin Gulf incident and Vietnam, Bush I giving Saddam the green light to invade Kuwait and the Gulf War.  

            They knew very well what it would take and they cared not how much American blood was spilled.

            See the neo-cons think they are saving America from oil shortages and an alliance of Russia and China and others.  That messianic belief justifies slaughter, as in Iraq, for bold-faced lies, as we all now know.  They see themselves as the good guys and we are the wimpy liberals who will let others control the world as the oil runs out.

            I hope that explains the neo-cons a little better.

            •  Well... (none)
              Here's the way i see it:

              Their motives don't matter.

              If they were running interference on an internal CIA investigation then that's, as far as i'm aware, treason. No matter what their motives or intent. If they were doing so to make Clinton look bad or to try to stop the CIA from stopping their "new Pearl Harbor" then that's really bad, but it's just icing on the cake. It's only going to matter (really) in terms of the public perception of the deal. (In which case, it's true, it would be incredibly gigantic--but on the other hand i think it's also important to be very airtight about that sort of thing. I don't really know all the facts, but "it's a reasonable conclusion" isn't really airtight as far as i'm concerned.)

              I don't disagree, precisely, but at this point i think the important thing is to get, for instance, a timeline. Conclusions and discussions of motives are less important than facts.

              Then again, i'm not convinced the story you present is entirely accurate at this point. It's not that i've got some specific complaint, i'm just not convinced. I dunno.

              It's too important to ignore though, i think.

              The Shapeshifter's Blog -- Politics, Philosophy, and Madness!

              by Shapeshifter on Wed Aug 24, 2005 at 01:56:42 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Did they have to let it (none)
              happen then? Could they not have swooped in and stopped 911 at the last minute, then claimed they enough of an excuse to go to war? Afterall, this admin went to war against Iraq based on absolutely nothing.

              "nusquam minus quam in bello eventus respondent" --- Hannibal

              by Warren Terrer on Wed Aug 24, 2005 at 02:36:20 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yes they had to let it happen (none)
                An arrest, like the Millennium Bomber case, would not have captured the media attention and pissed off the entire country.

                The Maine, The Lusitania, Pearl Harbor, The Tonkin Gulf, Kuwait Invasion and now 9-11.  Not so hard to see in that context.

                It's the Big Bang theory...

                •  but... (none)
                  you said:The Maine, The Lusitania, Pearl Harbor, The Tonkin Gulf, Kuwait Invasion and now 9-11.  Not so hard to see in that context.

                  It's the Big Bang theory...

                   

                  I'd say its more like shock and awe

                  The only Bush I trust is my own - I want my freaking democracy back!

                  by mytribe on Wed Aug 24, 2005 at 06:04:19 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  I agree with topdog. No new info, just innuendo (none)
        IMHO, we're still a long way from being able to establish motive -- the essential, missing ingredient in proving any LIHOP OR MIHOP theory.  We can't even establish the basic facts so long as many of the principals, such as the 9/11 Commissioners, keep changing their stories.

        This one isn't going away.  There'll be plenty of opportunity to draw conclusions, but it's too still far early to write the metahistory of 9/11.

        We haven't even seen the CIA's IG report yet. The Weldon account may just an attempt to defuse the impact of that bombshell.

        •  There's new stuff- I figured out that Clinton and (4.00)
          Clarke were never told about Able Danger.  

          THAT IS ACTUAL NEWS.

          Someone in the MSM will see this recommended diary and just ask them: Did you know about Able Danger?

          The yellow stick pads are new, the post from Anon about the lawyers is new, there's lots of new items in this diary and it most of all it starts to congeal the story and give it a narrative.

          Someone or all of us should really do a timeline.

          And we can leave LIHOP out if you like, I think it's obvious.  Just a timeline of facts would clear Clinton and implicate the neo-cons for not acting on Able Danger.

          What do you say, TopDog?  All you folks?

        •  When Bush first took office, (none)
          he said he wanted to disengage from the Israeli/Palastine problem because they were both not ready for peace. My first thought was that Bush wanted an unstable middle-east so the oil prices would begin to fluctuate, this would give him an excuse to open Anwar. That was his ultimate goal, paying back his cronies. Obviously it turned into much more than he planned for. He did not get Anwar,  and he ignores the escalating oil prices that benefit his friends. If oil does not come down soon, he will loose Wall Street, the bone they were going to get was the Personal Accounts and he has not delivered on that. Just some thoughts, that's all.

          The Noble Cause was CHEAP OIL, and Bush FAILED!

          by mattes on Wed Aug 24, 2005 at 05:07:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The motive is the same as the real motive (none)
          for Vietnam, which was never thoroughly explored in public.

          Indeed, you could argue that Iraq is just a continuation of Vietnam on the other side of the Indian Ocean basin.  The goal, all along, has been to establish a permanent American military presence in the Eastern Hemisphere in order to contain, monitor and check China, Russia, India and whoever else doesn't appreciate US rule.

          It's actually possible that the architects of this "strategery" perceived the withdrawal from Vietnam as a victory because of the Chinese commitment not to over-run the peninsula after the US departure.

          You could argue that given the US presence in South Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Guam, Diego Garcia, Kuwait, Yemen, Afghanistan and Israel, there's no need for more places to locate military assets.  The problem is that those locations are either too distant from the "target" area or hostile to the emplacement of nuclear weapons.
          One could also argue that much of the to-do about Iran's supposed nuclear weapons program is simply an excuse to justify the introduction of American nuclear weapons into the Arabian Peninsula.

          3-D Republicans=division, deceit, debt

          by hannah on Thu Aug 25, 2005 at 07:06:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  So the Neo-Cons ran the government... (none)
      ...even under Bill Clinton!!!   I didn't know that, but now all of it makes more sense.  They tried to impeach him to cover up his culpability in coordinating with them!

      They certainly are tricky devils!

  •  3 words (none)
    Holy shit Sherlock!

    Life is like a box of chocolates. It's just another casualty of the Elephant's foot.

    by Zergle on Wed Aug 24, 2005 at 09:57:24 AM PDT

  •  Scott Philpott (none)
    is a Navy Captain not a Major.
    Here is Major Scott Philpott as blogger Anon on Intel Dump talking about meeting the DoD  lawyers, who had no doubt been ordered by higher-ups to ignore the clear exception to the Gorelick Wall that a terrorist presented:

    A split hair? Yes, but it is these details that are so easy to get right that cause me to lose faith in the credibility of the media.

    Those who are willing to sacrifice liberty for safety deserve neither. (Paraphrasing B. Franklin)

    by p a roberson on Wed Aug 24, 2005 at 10:01:07 AM PDT

    •  No I wrote that, thanks for catching the mistake (none)
      You know bloggers work without the usual editors the media have.

      And we are far more intelligent and have better grammar even without editors!

      •  ...and have better grammar even without editors! (none)
        Tragically true.

        I cannot believe the errors I see in basic grammar, spelling and syntax while reading some of the largest dailys and weeklies.

        Makes me long for the days before MS spell-check...you actually had to know how to spell (and use) the words you were writing - or face the wrath of the editor!

        He who gives up liberty in exchange for security is deserving of neither

        by joby on Wed Aug 24, 2005 at 11:19:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  My prediction (none)
    The media will find a reason to ignore this.

    sigh

    "Every job is a self portrait of the person who did it. Autograph your work with excellence." - Unknown

    by marchmoon on Wed Aug 24, 2005 at 10:02:55 AM PDT

  •  Devil's advocate (4.00)
    Because I really want this ammo in my conversations with increasingly amenable conservatives, I have a few points:

    Richard Clarke was never told about AD.  How do I know?  He never wrote about it in his book!   ...This will NEVER fly as an explanation. I think you can see why.

    General Pete Schoomaker, who were later heavily rewarded by the neo-cons in the Bush Administration, blocked the upward motion of the DIA information by having Shaffer and Philpott meet with Pentagon lawyers opinions--lawyers who were rubberstamping ridiculous legal opinions to carry out the neo-con plan.  These certain people were neo-cons in the Clinton Administration, ... This needs some clarification. What Pentagon lawyers? What ridiculous legal opinions were they rubberstamping? Did their advice differ from the "green card" problem? And who are the "certain people" who were neo con moles? How did they get to their positions and who was influencing them? Where are they today in this admin?

    I'm dying for this information (loved the 9/11 Timeline link you gave yesterday), so please don't take offense. It's just you win no converts without clarity.

    •  so call up Richard Clarke. (4.00)
      ask him if he knew.  this seems pretty easy to confirm or deny.  

      though I tend to agree with Sherlock Google's supposition (that if Clarke knew, he would have mentioned this).

      No matter how cynical you become ... you can never keep up.

      by LegalSpice on Wed Aug 24, 2005 at 10:34:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks (none)
        Not exactly practical. I think you missed the point.
      •  Need to remember that much info (none)
        is bound to be classified.  Which means that those who reveal it are liable to being charged with treason, if their identity is discovered.

        As Joe Wilson has demonstrated, if the classified information is demonstrably false, it's possible to reveal that without risking arrest--just having one's spouse exposed to risk.

        Most people may not be aware that whatever a Congresspersons says on the floor of the House or Senate is protected.  That is, they are immune from being prosecuted for what they say.  Which may be why Weldon gave his speech. It may also be why Kerry made his speech calling for the president to abjure any permanent bases in Iraq on the floor of the Senate, on June 28, if I remember correctly.  Information about the bases is probably classified.

        3-D Republicans=division, deceit, debt

        by hannah on Thu Aug 25, 2005 at 07:19:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Clarke testified extensively before the Commission (none)
      and never said a word in open or closed session or the Commission would have known about it.  That is another indicator.

      Final confirmation would be to ask Clarke of course.  But if he said yes then he covered up this info himself before the Commission!  Not very likely at all.

      And he never wrote about it in his book.  Plus if Clarke had been told, Atta would be in jail right now and 3,000 American who died on 9/11 would be alive.  That's your best evidence until he himself is asked.

      The whole neo-con plan was to keep the info from Mr. Clarke AND the CIA.  DIA is a separate stovepipe.

      As for the lawyers, Philpott clearly could identify them, given his Intel Dump post.

      Finally look up what the Gorelick Wall is and you will see there are exceptions for visa holders, who are therefore not "US persons", and there would certainly be an exception for a suspected  TERRORIST.  The lawyers and Schoomaker used the Gorelick Wall as a flimsy excuse and Shaffer and Philpott were too good a soldier, each of them, to disobey orders from above--although they should have.

      •  Schoonmaker (none)
        Thanks for answering. Do we have Schoonmaker himself anywhere on the record as using the "Wall" as the reason to suppress the Atta ID? I haven't read the document. Are there exceptions for "suspected terrorists" explicitly stated? If so, why would any lawyer use it this way, to suppress the Atta ID?
      •  Ashcroft in on it too? (none)
        He sure was a schmuck in his testamony re the "Gorelick Wall." Was this a preemptive defense against possible Able Danger revelation? Or perhaps General Boobdraper was really upset about the damn lawyers and all. Sure.

        The name is not the thing named, the map is not the territory. -- Gregory Bateson

        by semiot on Wed Aug 24, 2005 at 11:33:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  While I understand your reasoning (none)
        I don't think that the issue can be put to bed whether Clarke knew about A-D or not just by his statements or ommissions.

        From an evidentiary point of view, you are essentially trying to prove a negative.  While it would be easy to prove that Clarke knew if he made statements referencing A-D, the same logic does not follow that he didn't know because he didn't say so.

        I'm not saying that your reasoning isn't sound, just that there is no incontrovertible evidence to support your assertion.

        From a political point of view, the situation is even worse.  Clarke is considered a partisan actor by many on the right.  Nothing he says or didn't say would be held in any regard by supporters of this administration.  The fact that he didn't say anything to anyone could just as easily be held up as proof that he himself wanted 9/11 to happen.

        Not that I don't believe that you are necessarily on the wrong trail here, Sherlock, but this portion of your thesis is the weakest.  
        You will need much more support to bolster the "Clarke and Clinton weren't told" thesis.

        Say what you want about the tenets of Neo-Conservatism, but at least it's an ethos

        by Sylvester McMonkey Mcbean on Wed Aug 24, 2005 at 11:48:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Just sayin' here (none)
        My jury is out but, to quote Kristen Breitweiser, "...If I could just jump in for a second..." to reference this exchange that I only recall because, when I heard it, I thought it odd.

        So far, Clarke's remained mum. But his deputy, Roger Cressey, was on Hardball on 8-11, discussing Able Danger.

        Transcript here:


        BREITWEISER:  If I could just jump in--if I could just jump in for a second, I particularly would like to ask Roger directly if he had known about this operation.  Clearly, he and Richard Clarke were in a position at the time that this operation would have been put in place to know of such a thing.

        And, Roger, I`m just wondering, did you know this?

        CRESSEY:  No, not at all.  This was not shared with the National Security Council staff.

        (CROSSTALK)

        CRESSEY:  And, Kristen, let me say that, if this information is correct, the real--the central issue is, why was it not shared with the counterterrorism policy community?

        (CROSSTALK)

        CRESSEY:  Because that where this could be acted upon.

        GREGORY:  Let me just interject for a second.

        Roger, why wouldn`t that be something that would be shared with you when you were doing that kind of work at the time?

        BREITWEISER:  Right.

        CRESSEY:  If this was an internal DOD effort and it was being done by SOCOM, then it would be up to the Pentagon itself to determine what came into the policy-making realm.

        (CROSSTALK)

        CRESSEY:  And, if this is accurate, then this is a case where it wasn`t shared.

        GREGORY:  Right.  

        Take it for what it's worth.

        If I were the president, if I were queen for a day, I'd give the ugly people all the money - Laurie Anderson

        by Dillie Taunt on Wed Aug 24, 2005 at 09:12:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That certainly (none)
          Helps to add creedence to Sherlock's claims.

          Say what you want about the tenets of Neo-Conservatism, but at least it's an ethos

          by Sylvester McMonkey Mcbean on Thu Aug 25, 2005 at 05:30:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The establishment of military bases (none)
          in the Eastern Hemisphere is a DoD project.  If there was a political commitment on the part of China to stay out of Vietnam, if the US withdrew, that would have been a political solution with which the DoD was not pleased because what the military was after was permanent bases.

          Then, when you take a fresh look at Gulf I, it seems pretty obvious that the reason Bush the Elder agreed to the condition of the support of the coalition that the purpose was just to get Saddam out of Kuwait was because the strategic plan was never to get rid of Saddam.  After all, they had been trying to get him to agree to a military presence for decades.  Slapping him down over Kuwait was just meant to tell him that the US meant business.  The plan was still to get an agreement--make him an offer he couldn't refuse. But he did.  So then, the plan changed to getting rid of him and installing someone who would go along.

          Remember when George the Elder talked about the "New World Order."  Most people committed to peace and democracy probably thought he meant that the world would be ordered on the basis of new principles--peace and justice and fair trade.  What he really meant, as Rumsfeld's reference to Old Europe clarified, is that the globe would be ordered around (ruled) by the New World, rather than the Old.

          What we need to remember is that lying is a family trait among the Bushes.  George the Elder is particularly good at.  Has been practicing deception since he was associated with the CIA as early as 1961.

          Just one more thought.  If it is true that JFK, in addition to making a secret deal to take military assets out of Turkey in exchange for the removal of missiles from Cuba, was also making secret deals to abort the insertion of US military into Vietnam
          http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2005/06/06/papers_reveal_jfk_efforts_on_vietna m/

          is it possible that these political or diplomatic solutions to problems led to the determination that he needed to be removed?

          Why would either a Russia or a Cuba dispatch a Lee Harvey Oswald to take out a man who was negotiating in good faith to keep the peace?

          3-D Republicans=division, deceit, debt

          by hannah on Thu Aug 25, 2005 at 07:56:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  If true, how high up the chain of DoD command? (none)
          Let's look at the top of the who's who during the life of Able Danger: early 1999 - early 2001.

          Gen. Tommy Franks was CIC CENTCOM - 07/00 - 07/03.
          Gen. Schoomaker was CIC SOCOM 11/97 until he retired 11/00.  Appointed Army Chief of Staff out of retirement - 08/03.
          Gen. Henry H. ("Hugh") Shelton (US Army), Chair, Joint Chiefs of Staff - 10/97 - 10/01 (formerly commander of SOCOM)(AD was established by Shelton).
          Gen. Richard B. Myers (USAF), Chair, Joint Chiefs of Staff - 10/01 - present. (AD was terminated under Myer's command)  NOTE: Myers was with President Bush at national security summit meeting at Crawford, TX on August 24, 2001 (other attendees: Rumsfeld, Rice, Hughes, Tenet(?)) See, www.globalsecurity.org/space/ library/news/2001/space-010824-usia1.htm; www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0406/S00153.htm
           

    •  Atta didn't have a green card (4.00)
      He had an ordinary visa. Which menas the story is wrong at least on that point, and the explantion given for why the info wasn't given to the FBI makes no sense.
  •  question - (none)
    What I don't understand is how a "cell" or "cabal" or whatever of neocons got established under the Clinton administration.  Were these individuals appointed by Clinton?
    •  They were mostly right-wingers who (none)
      had long been Generals, etc.  Don't forget who preceded Clinton in office.

      His name is spelled B-U-S-H.  The Defense Secretary's name before Clinton is spelled C-H-E-N-E-Y.

      They appointed and promoted these mofos.

      •  Sherlock, do you know Malcolm Gladwell's book . . (none)
        called BLINK. It's been on the NY TIMES bestseller list for many weeks.  It's about the power and importance of quick reactions--you gut instinct.  

        I'm mentioning this because I always felt, they let 9/11 happen. Your research confirms this.

        That said, I also felt, again it was just my gut, that during the Clinton years, he would be lucky not to be assassinated in some sort of military coup.  I just felt Clinton was so reviled by the military, for his Vietnam days.

        Your work is brilliant and so right on.

        •  Those uneasy feelings (none)
            You know, nyceve, I had the same feeling myself of accidents for a time, although I never considered a military coup. The chain of succession, particularly with a Demo Congress in the first term, was probably a bulkward against such actions.

            However, the RW did engage in a very expensive campaign as it was, settling for character assassination instead. If WJC had kept his pants zippered, they would have been an incredible failure. Clinton bailed them out...although I will always have suspicion about Lewinski's role; tied together a little 'too well.' But WJC didn't have to lie, either.

            From decades of reading, there has long been many elements in the military and intelligence departments. The Commies brought the concept of the cell structure, US TV helped with I Led Three Lives in showing how it worked, and obviously the concept caught on in many circles. Why do you think there have been purges for the last couple of years in the Pentagon and CIA?  

            Sherlock, keep at it. It's such a weird story even in this time that it seems worthy of some serious digging. However, the caveats are worth noting, too; you're in a strange swamp.

           

          •  I agree about Lewinsky et al (none)
            Clinton should have known that THEY were gunning for him from day 1. He was a fool to leave himself open for this.

            That said, again from my gut, he was also lucky to have survived 8 years because the wingers really hate him.

            Just look at what Robertson said yesterday about Hugo Chavez.

            These wingers will not stop at anything. That is why they are as dangerous as al queda in my opinion.

  •  Doesn't this alone explain? (none)
    "decided that anyone holding a green card had to be granted essentially the same legal protections as any U.S. citizen"

    No conspiracies, agendas, secret intentions needed.

    Practice absurdus interruptus - Support ePluribus Media.

    by Catte Nappe on Wed Aug 24, 2005 at 10:35:22 AM PDT

    •  No because there are exception to the Wall (none)
      and TERRORISTS definitely fall into that category.  That was just the cover story Schoomaker told Shaffer and the AD team itself argued that the Gorelick Wall did not apply in the case of Atta, that Green Cars DON'T MEAN ANYTHING!

      The neo-con lawyers said Gorelick Wall and stopped it.

      This will be their excuse, though no doubt.  I will be putting up the '95 Gorelick memo soon in an update so you can see for yourself.

  •  Uh, (none)
    how do we know that "Anon" is who you think he is?  What did I miss?
    .
  •  Amazing work! Can't wait for the updates (none)

    "It's ok to be stupid if everybody else is."-Ms. Lady Evans by Redd Kross

    by mkf on Wed Aug 24, 2005 at 10:36:14 AM PDT

  •  Sweet jesus.... (4.00)
    I normally like your diaries, Sherlock, but I feel like this is off the deep end (and this is coming from someone who has pushed the AIPCA-Franklin conspiracy!).

    First, how do you extrapolate that 9/11 could have been prevented due to the work of Able Danger?  They identified Atta, yes, but as part of a larger group of people.  How many, we don't know because we haven't seen any freakin' documents yet.  But, considering how data mining works, I imagine it was probably a very large number of people.

    OK, so Able Danger has a chart of people and says "take these people out!"  Based on what?  A software-generated chart/list of people that may or may not be related to each other and/or al Qaeda?  See the problem here?

    Let's spell it out:  data mining does not create actionable intelligence.  Anyone who advocates that it does (guys like Weldon, Shaffer, and Philpott) are nutbags, pure and simple.  Data mining does not and can not indicate levels of significance.  It would not tell you what terrorists are planning.  At all.

    In addition, data mining can sweep innocent people simply because a computer says that they are part of a cell.

    So, what should the Pentagon have done?  Just wiped them all out, and ask questions later?

    How about arrest them and question them?  Well, seems to me that any AQ-trained terrorist is not exactly going to give up his secrets just because he's arrested?

    Some good old fashioned torture?  Rummy would love that...

    And, what if the person you've "taken out," green card or no green card, is innocent?  Say sorry, pat them on the back and send them on their way?

    This is the conundrum faced by any government that is presented with data mining information.  It tells you who they are, but not anything else, and it is not completely reliable.

    Like I said, not actionable intelligence.

    But, this doesn't matter to guys like Weldon.  They want Big Brother watching everyone in this country like a hawk, and to give the military the ability to "take them out" at the drop of a hat.

    Sounds great, huh?

    Maybe instead of worrying about having to have placed the yellow stickies over the faces, everyone should be worrying about increasing our freaking intelligence capabilities, instead!

    •  maybe not. (none)
      giving ever more resources the the evil shits who were asleep at the switch then fabricated the iraq-wmd story may not be the best strategy here. maybe giving them less is a better one?
      •  Well, my own belief... (none)
        ...right after 9/11 and after Bush declared the War on Terror was "great idea, but as long as we don't see it."  For counter-terror efforts to succeed the best, it should be done in secret - clandestine efforts by clandestine agents.  The more we blab about it, and thump our chests about, and make public any killings or arrests, the more terrorists we create.  This was the basic argument Tom Clancy made in his latest novel, "The Teeth of the Tiger."

        But, of course, to do this effectively, we need good people and good intelligence - something BushCo will never have because the consistently let ideology interfere with effective planning.

      •  Question (none)
        I normally like your diaries, Sherlock, but I feel like this is off the deep end (and this is coming from someone who has pushed the AIPCA-Franklin conspiracy!).

        What is the AiPCA-Franklin conspiracy? Google turns up nothing...

        Have you ever heard the sound of a Nation Rocked to Sleep?

        by JamesC on Wed Aug 24, 2005 at 11:03:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The data mining angle is a red herring (none)
      Yes they data-mined to find Atta and the 3 others but then they linked them to 56 other al-Quedas overseas and the Hamburg cell.  

      It was clearly actionable intelligence, as Shaffer and the AD team recommended that Atta and the 3 others be arrested immediately, they were too dangerous to just put under surveillance.

      So forget the word data-mining, it's irrelevant.  The AD team had one chart with 60 names and some photos on it AND THAT'S ALL THEY EVER TALKED ABOUT THAT THEY WANTED TO ACT UPON.

      In fact, Shaffer said when he was refused access to the FBI, because of the phony Posse Comitatus red herring, he almost committed an act of insubordination and disobeyed orders!

      These guys knew they were being unfairly blocked from going to the FBI.

      You don't need a tinfoil hat, BTW, if there are EYEWITNESSES.

      The only thing you can say now is that Shaffer and Philpott are both lying their heads off.

      IMHO, they are both telling the God's Honest Truth.

      •  No, (4.00)
        I's say Philpott and Shaffer are spinning this to suit their agenda - more data mining.

        Data mining is not a red herring, but rather the most important detail.  It allows you to identify people, and that is all.

        The problem I have here is that we know somewhere between "very little" to "jack shit" about what Able Danger actually knew.  It's easy to assume, especially with 20/20 hindsight, that Atta and the 59 others were important enough to justify an arrest (although, if you tried to get an arrest warrant in this country for "a group of possible murders based on the results of data mining" you'd be laughed out of court).

        Who were the 59 others?  We're they actually part of the Atta cell?  Were they innocents?

        What was the precise data uncovered/used by Able Danger?  How did they reach their conclusions?

        How did they know they were so dangerous?  Data mining does not provide that sort of information.

        You see, I think these questions need to be addressed before we go around yelling "scandal!"  There are a ton of unanswered details, and the sources are shady (especially Weldon).

        •  Trying to get more data mining? Spinning? (none)
          How can you say that?  

          Besides, you are missing the point.  OK they data-mined classified and public records and connected Atta up with al-Queda.

          You're assuming, and buying the RW talking point I must say, that after they data-mined and said this looks suspicious they did nothing.

          They are the DIA.  They investigated from there, data-mining is just Step One.

          They went all the way to "actionable intelligence" as they called for the rollup of Atta and his gang.

          •  How can I? (4.00)
            Let me count the ways...  Better yet, let's ask good old Curt himself - from his speech on the floor of the House, June 27, 2005, where Weldon recalls his proposal to create a National Operations and Analysis Hub (NOAH) which would be centered in the Pentagon, he said:

            "Steve Hadley looked at the chart and said, Congressman, where did you get that chart from? I said, I got it from the military. I said, This is the process; this is the result of the process that I was pitching since 1999 to our government to implement, but the CIA kept saying we do not need it."

            ...and...

            "The bottom line process in all of this, Mr. Speaker, is that this capability, which the CIA said we did not need, which the CIA said was not necessary, which was, in fact, being used by the military, both the Army and Special Forces command did something the CIA did not do. It identified the key cell of Mohamed Atta prior to 9/11, and it actually gave us a suggestion to deal with that cell...  Now, Mr. Speaker, in spite of the CIA's refusal to implement a national collaborative center, thank goodness our President did respond, and in January of 2003, standing in this very chamber, in the State of the Union speech, he announced the TTIC, the Terrorism Threat Integration Center. Mr. Speaker, the TTIC is identical to the NOAH, no different, same concept, same design, linkage together in one location of all 33 classified systems.
              But, Mr. Speaker, we proposed that in 1999, 2 years prior to 9/11. The administration put it into place in January of 2003. That is the same capability that the CIA said we do not need that, Congressman; we cannot do that, Congressman; we have better ways to assess emerging threats. TTIC has now been reformed. It is now known as the NCTC, the National Counterterrorism Center..."

            Sherlock, nobody knows bupkis about what exactly Able Danger dug up on Atta and the other 59.  The people who saw it may have thought it was too tenuous, who knows?  Let's get the facts before we start helping Weldon out with getting Big Brother implemented is all I'm saying.

      •  Not just 60 names from Able Danger (none)
        See Eric Umansky: Thousands of False Positives?
        The NYT's Philip Shenon, who has done some of the Able Danger reporting, was interviewed Friday on WNYC. There host Mike Pesca raised the false positives question. Here's what Shenon said [listen at 18:40 mark]:

            "I understand from others at the Pentagon  that one of the problems here is that  Able Danger came up with names not just of Atta and three others,  it came up with a tremendous number of  names of very decent American citizens."

        That sounds like a whole lot more than the "60"  the Times suggested...Friday (i.e. same day as the radio interview).  Are  Shenon and Jehl on the same page?


        Thousands of false positives matches my experience w/ data mining and the experts experience (one expert calculated 20,000 names would come from a very advanced data mining algoritm
        See:
        http://www.dmreview.com/article_sub.cfm?articleId=6512
        http://www.dmreview.com/article_sub.cfm?articleId=6655
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_Mining_For_Very_Busy_People
        •  This is very important (none)
          This confirms my suspicions about Able Danger: it is a data mining program that extrapolated possible relationships and ended up sweeping in a huge number of people, some of them perfectly innocent.

          And that, friends, is why this is not actionable intelligence, at least as far as "taking out" terrorist cells.

          Could more have been done to investigate the people identified by (un)Able Danger?  Sure, but then you end up with two questions:  who does the surveilling and who do you watch?

          Certainly, the military wasn't going to do such watching.  That would be up to FBI or CIA.  So, what would the military do, hand them a gigantic list and say "go get 'em boys!"?!??!

          This is the conundrum anyone who is trying to make decisions based on information gathered by data mining.  The worry is that our government will start spying on the innocent.  That is why Congress passed laws halting the data mining programs set up by BushCo (being run by Iran-Contra figure John Poindexter).

          I'll say it again: Weldon and his buddies are trying (in a sloppy way) to end these roadblocks and get data mining set up again, with the military taking the lead roll.

          No thanks!!!!

    •  Yes -- (4.00)
      Doesn't anyone remember the Uni-Bomber?  The FBI had reams of data and a good working profile of Kuczynski (sp?) but they couldn't pull his name out of those list.  They weren't even close to connecting the dots to Kuczynski after years of work before his brother identified him. (And I have that on good information.)

      Yet, somehow this little skunk works "Able Danger" was able to ID someone who may at sometime do something really bad to someone somewhere in the US.  And then immediately in the aftermath of 9/11, these geniuses either didn't come out swinging with their findings and how they were thwarted or were ignored by the MSM, bloggers, the FBI and 9/11 Commission.  It didn't take long for the reports from Rowley and the FBI agent in AZ to surface and those were far less explosive than this one.

      Bad sources with no documentation are what give "conspiracy theories" a bad reputation.  Make people tune out when real conspiracies like the 2000 election in FL and 2004 in OH surface.      

      What FDR giveth; GWB taketh away

      by Marie on Wed Aug 24, 2005 at 11:16:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Charges by Rowley + AZ FBI less explosive??? (4.00)
        Less explosive than this?  Hell, no.

        That's where they could have stopped this plot cold.

        That's where they knew what they wanted to go after, and why.  FBI field offices wrote they were afraid that someone was going to take a plane and fly it into a building.

        These revelations, including by Rowley, were so stunning and damning that the WH had to immediately have emergency meetings to reverse course and set up a Dept. of Homeland Security — just to change the news coverage and give themselves the cover of distraction.

        •  Too big a leap - (none)
          Now if they had gotten into Moussoui's computer and it contained enough information about the 9/11 plot, then yes.  

          Otherwise, all they've got is a couple of ME men seeking general aviation flying lessons and a strange man trying to get time in a commercial plane simulator only interested in knowing how to fly it in-air.  Now, if someone saw both reports and was very perceptive, an alarm bell might have gone off.  Calls to general aviation fields and training facilities with jet simulators (it's not all that easy to get time in one of those) would have been made.  That would have taken time, probably more than they had.  If they couldn't get any evidence of more Moussoui's in simulators, would it have been reasonable to expect that anyone with rudimentary flying skills would try to takeover a jetliner?  Would a warning to commercial carriers have gone out?

          More likely IMO is that they would have been culling the lists at the general aviation fields trying to figure out if something was up and 9/11 would have proceeded as planned.  

          What FDR giveth; GWB taketh away

          by Marie on Wed Aug 24, 2005 at 12:00:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I am (!) talking about Moussaoui's computer. (none)
            That's what Rowley's office was trying to go after.

            HQ deliberately frustrated the field agents' request to investigate. Rowley's letter to FBI Director Mueller said the nature of HQ's interference flagged a problem of "INTEGRITY" somewhere in the bureau (her caps).

            Rowley  wrote that a Minneapolis' agent's email at the time said FBIHQ is "setting this up for failure."  They probably meant a failure to access the intelligence.  The failure was of course monumental.

            •  That time they used FISA as an excuse (none)
              but during the Clinton Administration, every FISA request was quickly granted.

              But in the Bush Administration, with an Islamic fundamentalist who was interested in flying airplanes but not landing them, a mere FISA request hung up opening that computer until after 9-11!

              BS! Lie, cheat and steal--the neo-con motto!

            •  Understand -- and agree (none)
              with you that there was no reason not to authorize getting into that computer.  We will probably never know if this was incompetence, FBI supervisors that had no respect for field offices or no tolerance for the interest in terrorism that the Clinton Admin had.  However that SOB Freeh was running the FBI when Clinton was in office and during the relevant period of GWB's term.  Therefore, it seems strange that there would have been much of a change in procedures when GWB and Ashcroft moved in.  Although Ashcroft did want to move assets to look for hooker in New Orleans instead of terrorists.  It's not at all unlikely that BushCo signaled their lack of interest in the terrorism focus and this filtered down to all Fed law enforcement and defense institutions.  Maybe that's why Rowley's request was rejected.

              Still we don't know if that computer had anything on it that would have been useful before 9/11 much less that it could have stopped it.

              What FDR giveth; GWB taketh away

              by Marie on Wed Aug 24, 2005 at 03:24:20 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  2 things, Marie. (none)
                First, didn't Moussaoui's computer have the name and contacts for some of the people involved in 9-11?  I seem to remember that it did.

                Also, I think the incompetence and blockade of the Minneapolis request, regarding the FISA authorization, didn't swirl right up to the top with Freeh himself.  I would think instead it was some mid-senior level folks at headquarters.

                I'm pretty sure the Moussaoui computer info would have put some of the 9-11 people under heavy surveillance or arrest.  You can correct me if you remember the info differently.

                •  I don't know -- (none)
                  can't even recall that anything on it was ever publicly disclosed.

                  Freeh set the tone at the FBI, but whether the person who didn't approve the request to get authorization was following Freeh's lead or just an incompetent with power, we'll never know.

                  What FDR giveth; GWB taketh away

                  by Marie on Thu Aug 25, 2005 at 10:15:24 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Rowley proves Able Danger is bogus (none)
          All that data mining and the Pentagon supercomputers didn't notice all of them were taking flying lessons ?!?!?

          This Able Danger stuff is trying to sell Data Mining as a miraculous crystal ball. It isn't.

          See:
          http://www.dmreview.com/article_sub.cfm?articleId=6512
          http://www.dmreview.com/article_sub.cfm?articleId=6655
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_Mining_For_Very_Busy_People

          there are modern data mining programs that have sophisticated  noise filtering and sample bias techniques. The Pentagon's "Able Danger" system is likely to have used those `leading edge' data mining techniques  such as the ones mentioned in the paper Data Mining For Very Busy People which illustrates how a very simple real life problem can yield too many results,  some state of the art algorithms can sift through those. But then they miss true positives, as you can see in the paper's golf example: in the golf example, the best outcome is playing lots of golf. outlook= overcast always appears when the golfer plays lots of golf and never when the golfer plays no or some golf. The treatment outlook = overcast and this test find four of the six best outcomes [but it lost 2 true positives : Golfers play lots of golf in sunny days that aren't too hot or too windy]
          http://www.texasturkey.us/images/MINING_S.jpg

  •  This is excellent work and the pieces are fitting (none)
    somewhat. I refer you to my much humbler diary here that i put up today. It shows that Weldon, tried to lay this at Clinton's doorstep this past June in a House Committee meeting

    But then he said he gave HADLEY information about Able Danger 2 weeks after 9/11 and Hadley reportedly gave it to Bush.

    So my thinking is,"why would they not have put that out there earlier if Clinton could be sunk with it?"

    My answer is: they were very much aware of A.D. at some point and buried the info hoping it would end up forgotten or in a dust bin, not realizing weasley Weldon would bring it back up.

    Maybe the weasel did America a favor?

    "I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed." MLK

    by Moesse on Wed Aug 24, 2005 at 10:53:19 AM PDT

    •  Very good point! (4.00)
      Hadley knew about Able Danger when he, Rice, Cheney and Zelikow must have killed it.

      He knew Clinton never found out about Able Danger because the neo-con moles had hidden it from him.

      Bill Clinton should be asked this question: Was he ever told about Able Danger?

  •  Preventing 9/11 (4.00)
    Don't empower these government schmucks anymore than they already have been. There were many opportunities to prevent 9/11 that didn't pan out. Hijackers pulled over for driving infractions, an altercation in a parking lot, nearly brought to the attention of the police, at the Maine airport from which Atta embarked to Boston to meet his fateful flight. And others. Lots and lots of people missed the boat on Atta and his crew, and hindsight makes it all seem so cut and dried.

    Regarding claims that the Republicans are done for, finished, over, kaput, iced, 86'd, I'll take a wait and see attitude on that one. If I thought for one second that Mr and Mrs Mallrat from Turnpike Guzzle, Michigan would pause from gulping their Slurpees in order to check out who missed bringing in Mohammed Atta, I might be inclined to have hope. Frankly, I think most average, non blog reading folks have "moved on" and honestly couldn't give a shit. Of course there will be publicity, hand wringing, name calling, headlines, etc. But downfall of those currently in power? Not on their watch, nosirree bob. The BushCo. ringleaders are laughing at the thought.

    I also think it is especially careless to ascribe nefarious motive to government officials in the absence of concrete evidence. Beureaucratic fuck ups are the norm, not the exception, and just because someone didn't put their career on the line by picking Atta out of a group of 60 and screaming to the newspapers, does not mean that ANYBODY wished for 9/11 to occur. They came damn close to taking out the Capitol and/or the White House and could very well have killed, on that day, the very officials you accuse of having some degree of foreknowledge or even hope for an attack. Doesn't wash. Sorry, it just doesn't. Find someone who'll corroborate planning sessions where such talk went down, and I'll rethink my position, but as of right now, I find such speculation irresponsible.

    •  ROTFLMAO! (none)
      I agree the GOP might survive because of the censored media, but you really have to adjust your rose-colored glasse if you think the neo-cons would not Let It Happen On Purpose so they could invade Iraq!

      Remember Paul O'Neill said the very first Cabinet meeting in 2001 talked about taking down Saddam and taking Iraq...

      •  None of that is germain (4.00)
        to whether those with foreknowledge of terrorist activity within the country allowed such activity to continue unchecked on the OFF CHANCE that a catastrophic attack would result. They could easily have flown the WTC planes into the river, and then where would the grand conspiracy theories be?

        Please take a moment to consider the points you are attempting to argue. Evidence of one conspiracy is not evidence of another, far more amorphous and indirect conspiracy.

        All I'm suggesting is that there be some evidence. So far there is none. It's not imprudent to take a dispassionate view in the absence of even remotely circumstantial evidence. Missing Atta from a data sweep is not sufficient to convince me that neo-cons arranged for 9/11. In their wildest dreams they could never pull off anything even half as successful as the attacks on that day. If the could, we'd all be bathing in Iraqi oil.

        •  C'mon not only did the neo-cons (4.00)
          never tell Clarke or Clinton, they then disbanded Able Danger in Feb. of 2001.  Then they covered up that it ever existed before the 9-11 Commission to cover their tracks.

          If Hadley knew about this before the election, why didn't he go a) tell the Commission and b)go to the media and discredit Clinton.  I'll tell you why--he knew the truth, that it led right back to Bush and Cheney and Schoomaker covering it all up and stopping the FBI from finding out!

          The neo-cons, not Clinton, stopped it dead, but you just want to put your hands to your ears and go LALALALA.

          •  LALALALA (none)
            What's with the ad hominem? I'm all over the Able Danger story, I think it's important, and I think there was malfeasance on the part of the current administration which will be shown as time goes on.

            I take issue with the two most hyperbolic points made in the diary. That is all. Able Danger may have prevented 9/11, if all the breaks had gone just the right way. But any of a thousand other scenarios might also have prevented 9/11. Your claim that Able Danger would with certainty have brought down the plot is hugely speculative. Your other point that the Republicans are in trouble and will be "brought down" by the Able Danger case is equally unsubstantiated.

            Your propensity to ridicule those who don't "drink the kool-aid," as it were, aligns you too closely with the 9/11Truth.org brigade for my taste. Check yourself before you wreck yourself, as a wise man once said.

            •  I'd have to agree with you somewhat but... (none)
              Able Danger may have prevented 9/11, if all the breaks had gone just the right way. But any of a thousand other scenarios might also have prevented 9/11. Your claim that Able Danger would with certainty have brought down the plot is hugely speculative. Your other point that the Republicans are in trouble and will be "brought down" by the Able Danger case is equally unsubstantiated.

              It's true--anything can happen.  

              But if Clarke had seen this info, he would have gone ballistic and arrested them all as recommended--judging by his previous actions and testimony.

              And it's true I cannot substantiate the GOP will lose the majority status because of this (which is all wrapped up with their other lies).  That is a rant because I'm shocked by this whole story and feel the voters will be too.  

              You're still allowed to rant.

    •  Yikes (4.00)
      Many here on DailyKos have a slightly warped view of cause and effect.  In the immortal words of Soul Coughing, correlation is not causation.

      Welcome to Bizarro World. Please check your common sense at the door.

      by starkness on Wed Aug 24, 2005 at 11:33:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  sadly, I agree with you; (none)
      Most 'mericans are more concerned with what's happening in Aruba right now.

      I wonder if there is a simple political meme to be taken from all this; ( I'm spitballin' here): I'm often blown away by the size and complexity of Government....it's a bloated and ineffective...great if you're a terrorist or big business flaunting the rules; but not so great if you're one of those Natalee watchers who loses a job....
      .

  •  Baseless Claims (4.00)
    SG has done lots of valuable reasearch work on the White House leak scandal, but this diary is way, way beyond the pale.

    SG puts this shocking assertion above the fold:

    This diary will show that Pete Schoomaker and Philip Zelikow are two of the main Perpetraitors in this scandal, that they deliberately withheld information from the President of the United States that would have prevented 9/11, [and] that they and their neo-con rulers Let It Happen On Purpose.

    And then puts this equally alarming claim below the fold:

    Schoomaker and the neo-cons knew telling the FBI would inform Clarke and then Mr. Laser Beam himself, President of the United State William Jefferson Clinton, would have gotten involved--and the much-hoped for 9/11 Attack would never take place.

    Unfortunately, nothing in SG's diary comes close to substantiating these claims.  Indeed, the two principal sources for the diary lay the blame squarely with the DoD lawyers.  Any claim that their opinions were tainted by treasonous marching orders from people who wanted 9/11 to happen is rank speculation.

    •  Baseles claims (4.00)
      I completely agree with you here QWQ, this is to important to imply something as unsubstantiated as:  the much-hoped for 9/11 Attack
      Good work apart from that.
      •  Will change that to (none)
        "Pearl Harbor-type attack as talked about by the neo-cons, as to what would need to happen before the PNAC Plan would be accepted by the American people."

        Thanks for catching that.

        •  Much better! (none)
          Allows the reader to separate the wheat from the chaff.

          Still 'n all, even if they were sitting around sipping Mint Juleps wishing for Pearl Harbor to come, there's no way in hell they knew which direction it would come from, even if they all had Atta's cell phone number in their Blackberrys.

        •  THIS is more convincing than Able Danger (none)
          While googling on the Abramoff / Atta connection I stumbled into this, which gave me a chill upon my spine:
          Daily Kos: Terrorist leader on Trial visited White House 2 months before 9/11

          Who is Sami Al Arian

              Al Arian is a Palestinian-American computer engineer and university professor (USF) who was arrested in 2005 for his involvement in the funding of terrorists(1)

          The charges against him
          Richard A. Clarke said the following about Al Arian in his 2003 testimony to the Senate Banking (2)

              From his home and office in Tampa Florida, Sami al-Arian, the indicted North American leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, allegedly coordinated the movement of fund(s) from the government of Iran to suicide bombers in West Bank and Gaza....

          The WH visit

              Al-Arian [was] invited to a White House briefing given by Bush aide Karl Rove in June 2001 -- against the advice of the Secret Service -- [and was] honored with a front-row seat (2)


          BTW, Al-Arian and his buddies Al-Amoudi and Saleh Kamel have deep ties with Grover Norquist, Jack Abramoff, the Pentagon and Homeland Security. This may be a good place for you to use your Sherlock Google skills...
          •  Thanks for reminding me of al-Arian (none)
            •  Can you help ? (none)
              I have little time for posting this week, but this story deserves the "Gannon" treatment IMHO.

              It is hard to know if the zionist half of the neocons (Horowitz et all) is right or the Free Republic / Norquist half is right but judging from the recent revelations from the FBI during the Al-Arian trial in Tampa, now on it's 10th week, there is some meat to this story after all... Enough to hang the WH on it, IMHO.

              FrontPage magazine.com :: A Troubling Influence by Frank J Gaffney Jr.

              It is with a heavy heart therefore, that I [David Horowitz] am posting this article, which is the most complete documentation extant of Grover Norquist's activities in behalf of the Islamist Fifth Column... Up to now, the controversy over these charges has been dismissed or swept under the rug.. Unfortunately, this is wishful thinking. The reality is much more serious... On the basis of the evidence assembled here, it seems beyond dispute that Grover Norquist has formed alliances with prominent Islamic radicals who have ties to the Saudis and to Libya and to Palestine Islamic Jihad, and who are now under indictment by U.S. authorities. Equally troubling is that the arrests of these individuals and their exposure as agents of terrorism have not resulted in noticeable second thoughts on Grover's part or any meaningful effort to dissociate himself from his unsavory friends.

    •  Clarification (none)
      When I say "Unfortunately, nothing in SG's diary comes close to substantiating these claims," I mean unfortunately for SG's credibility, not unfortunately for the country.

      It is a good thing for the country that these claims are baseless.

  •  Wo is GNS and why do (4.00)
    they have a Curt Weldon profile up? It may be a Talon News type thing. I gave my reasons I'm sceptical in yesterdays thread. But since this diary is likely to get a lot of looks I'll give them again.

    First, the crackpot Weldon almost guarentees bullshit. He claims that he has had the chart for years, IIRC right after 9/11. He has given speeches before people who would love to lay everything at the feet of Clinton. Yet he never, never, mentions Atta's name and not a single person has come forward from those speeches to claim they saw Atta's name. Think about that. The wingnuts have done everything they could for the last 4+ years to lay this at Clinton's feet and Weldon had the evidence the whole time. Why didn't he use it?

    Second, Shaffer. Combining two stories we know that he personally carried a box of information identifying Atta to the FBI a year before 9/11 and then learned about Atta being identified by AD after 9/11. Hmm. Let's move onto his commission testimony.

    Again, combining stories. Shaffer specifically identified Atta as one of the terrorists identified by AD when interviewed in Afghanistan, but didn't identify any names of terrorists id's by Able Danger during his interview instead he described how they id'd cells.

    I don't have enough info about the second confirmationist, so I'll move to the third, which involves that magic disappearing chart.

    The former contractor, James D. Smith, said that Mr. Atta's name and photograph were obtained through a private researcher in California who was paid to gather the information from contacts in the Middle East. Mr. Smith said that he had retained a copy of the chart until last year and that it had been posted on his office wall at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. He said it had become stuck to the wall and was impossible to remove when he switched jobs.

    So far this chart has been seen by at least three people. Two of whom had it for years. Yet neither has ever spoken about it before nor can they produce it today. Now maybe we can get Hermione to cast a counter spell so that it doesn't disappear but I think she's a bit busy right now, what with "He who Must Not Be Named" being named again and all.

    Something doesn't smell right and I fear that by taking this in other directions we will lose the ability to wrap this around the neck of the GOP message machine and hang them with it.

    Here are a couple of additional links from the Corner on just how batty Weldon and Shaffer are.

  •  I can't believe this is a recommended diary (4.00)
    Please dkos community, be more sparing in what you recommmend.  "The much-hoped for 9/11 Attack"?!?!

    Are you kidding me?  This is the kind of stuff that can give this wonderful site a bad name.

    •  I agree some of it is over the top (none)
      and the diarist perhaps over-reaches in places, but the fundamental questions raised by this diary

      (about Able Danger and Atta, about possible 9/11 foreknowledge on the part of the neocon Bush administration, about who knew what when, about the various and serious holes in the official 9/11 commission report, about the larger context of whether or not 9/11 was in fact preventable)

      are extremely important and not easily dismissed.

      The fact is the 9/11 Commission overlooked or failed to address a lot of important information about 9/11, and America never got the thorough investigation into that day's events that we deserve(d). For more info on this, see

      http://www.villagevoice.com/news/0534,mondo1,67096,6.html

      and

      http://www.911citizenswatch.org/

      •  I have been pretty interested (none)
        in how this story was developing--but I admit that Sherlock is jumping too fast here for me to follow him.

        At this point, I think the most important thing that can be gleaned from this is that the story line the righties is running with can easily be turned back to bite them.

        Politically, I think this is valuable.  But so far this has not convinced me that this proves a neocon attempt to LIHOP.

        Say what you want about the tenets of Neo-Conservatism, but at least it's an ethos

        by Sylvester McMonkey Mcbean on Wed Aug 24, 2005 at 12:13:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Get your tinfoil hat here! (none)
    This entire diary is ignorant on so many levels that I don't know where to start.  

    1.  There is still NO evidence.  For all the nonsense Shaffer and Philpott are spouting they have not produced one piece of paper.  The dog ate my homework, um, I mean, I gave Hadley the ONE piece of paper I had and I never bothered to make a copy before handing it over.  How about they release the names of the lawyers they told the name Atta to?  Check hard drives?  Data mine their own crap to find the names and analyst notebook link analysis charts?  

    2.  Pete Schoomaker is an acquaintance, a real  American hero, and a guy who simply would not sell out his country for some oddball conspiracy.  Like Kerry, if you've sweat and bled for your country, you deserve a little respect.

    3.  The problem with conspiracy theories is that the bigger they are, the more likely people will talk.   Likely as in about 100% for stuff of this size and this consequence.    

    I would go on, but I'm pretty disheartened that this kind of nonsense would get posted and heralded here.  How about less shit, Sherlock?
    •  Nonsense? (none)
      How could it be nonsense when it contains such well thought out stuff like . . .

      the secret neo-con cell within the Clinton Administration

      the greatest scandal in the history of the United States of America.

      You see Richard Clarke was known for being obsesses (sic) with Osama Bin Laden and HE was the guy the neo-con moles did not want to know about Atta and the gang.

      All the BS about yesterday's Kos column and the follow-up diary really pales compared to shit like this and the fact that this ends up as written on the recommended list.

    •  Isn't Schmoomaker the one responsible for Waco? (none)
      I'm pretty sure he and one other army officer are the ones who called for the tactics which led to disaster at WACO. For sure, it was not Reno but Army advisers acting illegally who were responsible.
    •  You friend, are playin in a game waaay (none)
      beyond your level of sophistication
  •  Verify a quick summary please (4.00)
    A quick and simple to understand summary might be in order. Both for me and others reading this.  So many names in so few pages are hard to follow.

    1.     An intelligence team (AD) gathered information linking persons living inside and outside the US with Bin Laden.  Some of these persons were directly involved in 9/11.

    2.    This information was brought to their superiors attention and it was spiked. The superiors, for political purposes, did not want this information to get to the FBI, despite numerous attempts by the agents directly involved desire to get this information to the FBI.  The allegation is, it was spiked for those political purposes and the "Gorelick Wall" was used an excuse.

    3.    Shortly after Bush's inauguration, the team which did the investigation was dismantled and agents involved sent on to different assignments.

    4.    The superiors involved in getting the intelligence spiked were promoted.

    5.    One of the superiors (referred to in 4 above) was named to chair the 9/11 commission, where this intelligence was directly brought to his attention (even though he was already fully aware of it) and he failed to adequately pass it on to the rest of the commission.

    Please clarify anything that's garbled, and add additional significant events.  

    As an aside, it might be helpful for those that aren't fully aware of PNAC and its involvement in US politics over the last 10 years to provide a link with a quick summary that includes the names of those that are and have been involved in the Bush administration.

    Aside #2, it seems that Rep. Weldon pursued the issue as a way to get at Clinton, and had no idea about the genesis of the cover up.  The sheer irony of having someone that is considered "off the wall" and not sharing inside stuff with him. It's a giggler.

    •  This is an excellent summary (none)
      Thank you.  Would add that they did not want information on Atta to go the President and Clarke, not just the FBI.  That will become an important point in the upcoming Schoomaker trial for treason.

      Will update a PNAC link in later but here is one:

      http://www.newamericancentury.org

      •  Specifically, page 63 of this document (none)
        PNAC's Rebuilding America's Defenses

        Which states:

        "Further, the process of transformation,
        even if it brings revolutionary change, is
        likely to be a long one, absent some
        catastrophic and catalyzing event - like a
        new Pearl Harbor.

        Say what you want about the tenets of Neo-Conservatism, but at least it's an ethos

        by Sylvester McMonkey Mcbean on Wed Aug 24, 2005 at 12:06:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Actually, that's an important point, SG (none)
        Would add that they did not want information on Atta to go the President and Clarke, not just the FBI.

        What we need to know are some specifics: 1) who,specifically, made the decision to kill the AD program in early 2001, and why; 2) who ordered the officers in the unit not to go to the FBI, and why; 3) who did not report the AD findings up the chain of command to Clarke and the WH prior to November 2000, and why; and 4) what, if anything, was reported up the chain of command after November 2000, and 5) what, if anything, was done with that information.

        Thank you for helping us to clarify these questions.

        •  Schoomaker and Tommy Franks were in charge (none)
          They must show why they are not responsible for stopping the info flow.

          Otherwise they are guilty.  There was no one else above them except the top brass and the WH.

          •  Gen. Schoomaker retired 11/00. (none)
            Was brought back in as Army Chief of Staff in 10/03.  It is unlikely that he is the hand that executed AD in early 2001.

            Gen. Charles R. Holland (USAF) has been CIC of SOCOM since 10/00.  He is the most likely executioner, but may well have been acting under orders.

        •  As for killing AD in Feb. 2001 (none)
          That would have been Rice and Cheney, along with maybe Zelikow, who was the dude that helped demote Clarke.  I think Hadley was there as well then (maybe not).
  •  Atta did NOT have a Green Card! (4.00)
    Green Cards are notoriously difficult to come by, because they bestow "permanent resident" status and pre-approval for eventual citizenship. The following site has as good a chronology of the events surrounding Atta's arrival in the US as I've seen.

    http://www.citizensunited.org/terror.html

    Excerpt:
    In May 2000, Atta used a newly issued United Arab Emirates (oeUAE") passport to obtain a tourist visa from the U.S. Consulate in Berlin. The tourist visa allowed him to visit and remain in the United States until December 2, 2000. 6

    Shortly after he arrived in the United States, Atta applied for a change in visa status to that of a trainee in order to attend flight school. 7 But he did not wait for approval of his application to enroll. Within a month of his arrival he was taking flight-training classes at Huffman Aviation International Flying School in Venice, Florida. 8

    On December 2, 2000, AttaÆs tourist visa expired. 9 But he did not leave the country for another month.

    It was not until January 4, 2001 " a month after his visa expired ž that Atta left the United States. He flew to Spain, but eventually he made his way to the UAE, where he was reportedly detained when his name appeared on a terrorist alert list. 10 Despite this listing, Atta was released by UAE authorities and allowed to return to the United States on January 10, 2001. 11

    When he arrived at Miami International Airport without a valid visa, Atta was sent to secondary inspection. Following a check of the Interagency Border Information System database, he was admitted by the INS based on his pending application for trainee visa status. 12

    By July 2001, immigration authorities approved AttaÆs application for a change in status. Although his flight instruction had already been completed, the new trainee visa allowed him to lawfully remain in the United States until November 2, 2001. 13

    With the new visa in hand, Atta once again left the country for Spain. He returned to the United States on July 19. Some time after his return, Atta was placed on the Justice DepartmentÆs oeWatch List" of suspected terrorists. 14 But despite the listing, his visa was never revoked.

    •  Atta's readmission on 01/10/01 broke all the rules (none)
      I've been working in the immigration field for close to twenty years.  If the information above is essentially correct - Atta arrived with an expired visitor's visa - it is extraordinarily unlikely that INS would have admitted him on the basis of a pending application for change of status.  In fact, by departing the US prior to receiving approval notice Form I-797C, he would have effectively cancelled the application for change of non-immigrant status.  That's the rule.  His inadmissibility would have been compounded by his previous overstay and violation of the terms of a visitors visa by starting flight training without authorization.

      The standard operating procedure under the circumstances at the time would have been, either: 1) if they were feeling very kind and generous, simply to make him withdraw his application for admission, and put him on the next plane back to the Czech Republic, or to the UAE, or another country which would admit him; or, in the alternative, 2) INS would have been well within their rights to find him to have violated his nonimmigrant status, and his having arrived without a visa, place him in expedited removal proceedings under Sec. 240, which would have effectively barred his readmission for many years.   Instead, and there's really no legal or rational basis for doing this - they granted him a Sec. 212(d)(4) waiver of inadmissibility - the Chief Immigration Inspector at the port of entry then readmitted him as a B-2 visitor.

      By the way, INS temporarily discontinued 212(d)(4) waivers for persons arriving without visas several months after 9/11.

      I haven't gone into this before because I've wanted to avoid the subject of Atta, who seems to be the lynchpin of public attention, and so much is just plain wrong about the official Atta story.  

      The INS Inspector General's report on the subject is pretty much a white-wash.  http://www.usdoj.gov/oig/special/2002_05/chapter3.htm

      There are serious inconsistencies in it, such as the way it skips over the way the secondary inspector erroneously found that Atta's B-2 remained valid, that Atta had acted in good faith, and hadn't violated status by attending flight training without authorization, so they issued him a waiver and welcomed him back to the United States.  "They all do that", seems to be the conclusion.  That just isn't so.

      •  Then Atta was given a student visa for flight (none)
        instruction, no?  What about that?
        •  Cancelled when he left the coutry (none)
          INS cancels any visa process if the guy leaves US (who knows if the guy will come back again ?).
          So Atta tried , and succeeded, to get in US with no visa: An expired tourist visa and a cancelled student visa application

          lawnorder: 9/11 commission statement: Atta and his cohorts Visas (pdf)

        •  He had already completed flight training (none)
          in early 2000, and did do without INS authorization.  A serious lapse on the part of the flight schools -- Huffman and Dekker -- and an inexplicable lapse in enforcement by the secondary inspectors who let Atta and al-Shehhi back in after learning about this.

          Atta and al-Shehhi's applications for M-1 trainee visas were eventually approved on July 17, 2001, but the pair actually reentered the US using their B-1/B-2 visitor visas  when they returned to the US for the last time two days later.  Again, Atta were improperly admitted as a visitor - when he returned, the INS inspector should have seen on his computer that Atta had changed status to M-1 flight trainee, and should not have admitted him with a tourist visa for this purpose.  The proper step would have been to turn them around and tell them to obtain proper M-1 visas issued by a US Consulate abroad.  

          The fact is, the change of status was invalid, because Atta had left the US before the petition was approved, so they couldn't be admitted without a visa issued by a US consul.  Likely, a consular official would not have issued an M-1 visa to Atta upon learning of Atta's previous overstays and his violation of status by taking unauthorized flight training.

          The INS IG report states on this point:

          Atta's third entry - July 19, 2001, Miami, Florida
          Atta left the United States again from Miami International Airport on July 7, 2001, headed for Zurich, Switzerland. He re-entered the United States on July 19, 2001, at Atlanta Hartsfield International Airport, using his B-1/B-2 visa. The OIG confirmed that a "hit" or a "lookout" did not appear on the IBIS screen when the primary inspector swiped Atta's passport. 36 The OIG also confirmed that Atta was admitted through the primary inspection process and was not referred to secondary.

          At the Atlanta airport, Atta was inspected by a primary inspector who had been employed with the INS as an inspector since 1997. This inspector told the OIG that he did not recall the inspection of Atta. Atta was admitted for four months, until November 12, 2001, as a B-1 visitor.

          As noted previously, the B-1/-B-2 visa permits entry for either business (B-1) or pleasure (B-2) purposes. After the alien states his purpose for visiting, the inspector admits the alien under one of the two categories. It therefore appears that Atta stated some business purpose for visiting that fit within the B-1 category, even though his previous entries had been under the B-2 category. The inspector did not recall Atta or why he admitted Atta for a business purpose, and no INS record sheds further light on the reason for Atta's admission under a B-1 visa.

          We also sought to determine whether the fact that Atta had recently entered the United States twice for six months on each occasion should have affected the inspection process. The OIG found no INS requirement or policy, written or otherwise, that an alien be referred to secondary based solely on the fact that the alien had departed and re-entered the United States recently on several occasions. We were informed by INS officials that multiple entries is but one factor the inspector uses in determining whether the alien appears suspicious or appears to be attempting to reside or work in the United States. Our review of the information available to the inspector does not reveal any basis for concluding his admission of Atta was improper.

      •  This seems like a very important (none)
        point.

        Can anyone else corroborate this account?

        Say what you want about the tenets of Neo-Conservatism, but at least it's an ethos

        by Sylvester McMonkey Mcbean on Wed Aug 24, 2005 at 06:19:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Here (none)
          lawnorder: 9/11 commission statement: Atta and his cohorts Visas (pdf)

          Most important quote:
          Marwan al Shehhi came in through Newark in late May 2000, followed a week later by Mohamed Atta. Both were admitted as tourists and soon entered flight school in Florida. In September they did file applications to change their status. Before 9/11, regulations allowed tourists to change their status at any time, so they were in compliance. But both overstayed their periods of admission and completed flight school to obtain commercial pilot licenses. Atta and al Shehhi then left within a few days of one another and returned within a few days of one another in January 2001, while their change in visa status from tourist to student was still pending Atta and al Shehhi did get some attention when both said they were coming back to finish flight school. Primary inspectors noticed with each that their story clashed with their attempt to reenter on tourist visas. The rules required them to get proper student visas while they had been overseas, since their earlier pending applications for a change of status were considered abandoned once they left the United States. Atta and al Shehhi were each referred by the primary inspectors to secondary inspection. At secondary, more experienced inspectors could conduct longer interviews, check more databases, take fingerprints, examine personal property, and call on other agencies for help. The inspectors involved have stated they do not remember these encounters. The reports indicate that both men repeated their story about still going to flight school and their pending applications for a change of status. The secondary inspectors admitted Atta and al Shehhi as tourists

          •  I have read your synopsis (none)
            (but not the link).

            I guess what I see above may indicate some lapse of judgement/protocol of the agents in charge of the visa request.  But where is there room for interference by a high-level administration official, or other member of some secret conspiracy?

            I think that is an important point to bring out, if this is to be seen as anything other than an unfortunate screw-up.

            Or maybe Atta was just a really charismatic guy who could talk these officials into doing something that was technically improper.  "...Come, on, man...I'm just trying to get back into the US to see my sister who's expecting this weekend..see, here's her picture..etc. etc."  I mean, he managed to talk 12 other guys into killing themselves for Islam.

            Say what you want about the tenets of Neo-Conservatism, but at least it's an ethos

            by Sylvester McMonkey Mcbean on Wed Aug 24, 2005 at 08:27:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I disagree with SG (none)
              I don't see signs of a conspiracy to let 9/11 happen, at least not in the Able Danger episode.

              I have worked with data mining. It is perfectly plausible that Atta's name was in the list among thousands of others and the whole thing got blown off by top brass at the Pentagon as bogus. Management doesn't tipically believe in data mining in my experience ;-)

              They would not have been wrong to put the lid on Able Danger, as it was in a possible violation of privacy and posse commitatuis law and had very dubious results. On a pre-9/11 word that probably spelled PR disaster for the general in charge who, wisely, was unwilling to bet his career on a computer printout with thousands of names...

              Want to talk about "actionable intelligence" ignored ? Then look at the August 6, 2001 PDB delivered to GW who promplty ignored it to go to Crawford clear brush...

  •  Great work (none)
    RE the 9/11 Commission Report.  In David Griffin's book: 9/11 Report: Omissions and Distortions, "the case is made that the staff of the 9/11 Commission acted as gatekeepers who followed the official explanation of events of 9/11, rather than acting as true independent investigators. Griffin gives detailed and abundant evidence that he feels shows Philip Zelikow and his staff did not thoroughly investigate information that was contrary to what the Bush Administration had already accepted as the facts of 9/11."

    http://peacejournalism.com/ReadArticle.asp?ArticleID=2876  

  •  Holy Moly! (none)
    I want to puke...

    George W. Bush is proof that Intelligent Design is a bunch of hooey.

    by slj0kqb on Wed Aug 24, 2005 at 12:20:13 PM PDT

  •  The Faux News has been blaming Janet Reno (none)
    These bastards, they are all in cahoots!

    This diary has the ring of truth, I hope it stays in Recommended for a lon time.  May be it should be front paged.

    Dailykos.com; an oasis of truth.

    by Shockwave on Wed Aug 24, 2005 at 12:34:36 PM PDT

  •  To those interested (none)
    Here is my little review of the 9/11 Commission's work:
    http://pyramid.blog-city.com/errors_of_commission.htm

    Note that it does not focus on the "Able Danger" part of the picture - and even without that one can easily conslude that the Commission's report is hardly worth the paper it is written on.

    Regardless of the level of the neocon's complicity in the events of 9/11 it is, in my opinion, sufficiently clear that they do not view 9/11 as an undesirable event - and never had. Thus they did pretty much nothing to stop it - and there is indeed evidence, albeit not exhausting, that they acted that way on purpose.

    •  Yep (none)
      Whether or not they were directly involved in 9/11 is besides the point to me.  (Though I think Cheney was much more involved than has been discovered.)

      The fundamental fact is that the moment it happened Cheney, Libby, Wolfwitz, Rummy and the rest all got massive wood because they knew their dream had come true.  They got their modern Pearl Harbor.  That's reason enough to be suspicious of everything that occured once they reached office and any actions of their minions before hand.

      Life is like a box of chocolates. It's just another casualty of the Elephant's foot.

      by Zergle on Wed Aug 24, 2005 at 12:56:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  HANG EM HIGH!!! (none)
    (As a private citizen I can say that.)

    These people perpetrated a criminally negligient offense, a derelict of duty, and thousands died.

    •  you are 100% right (none)
      ... But you are missing one possibility - that those  people participated in a terrorist atrocity against their own people. Now I am not saying that that was the case - but if one were truly to investigate the events of 9/11 this is an avenue of investigation one ought not ot ignore.

      Boris.

  •  Even Rumsfeld said "scraps" of info (none)
    may have prevented 9/11.

    I'm just adding this as a comment/quote to the thread, because it seems appropriate, and because someone upthread mentioned the "blessing in disguise" quote, that I just had to go and look it up: Rumsfeld remarks at the Hoover Institution on 2/25/03:

    Preventing an attack is always difficult. Convincing the publics of the world that there's a need to take preventative action, to stop something before it happens, is an even more difficult task. Go back to September 1st, for example, before the September 11th attack, and imagine what was available. A phone call here, a credit card there, someone trying to learn how to fly but he wasn't terribly interested in learning how to land -- (laughter). And you know, and you've got this scrap, and that scrap and this piece. And imagine if the president of the United States had had that three or four, five, six, eight, 10 scraps of information possibly, and had gone to the country and the world and said, "We need to invade Afghanistan and overthrow the Taliban and stop the al Qaeda from using Afghanistan as a terrorist training center and root out the al Qaeda terrorist network and other terrorist networks all across the globe, or we run the risk of suffering a September 11th-like attack." How many countries would have joined us in a coalition? Many? Any? Unlikely. Yet, had that happened, September 11th might have been avoided. And 3,000 innocent lives, men, women and children of every conceivable faith and -- would have been saved.
    Now, all of this was being said in the context of a making a case for a pre-emptive war with Iraq, but I do find the statement interesting.

    During this speech he also said:
    And he [Sultan of Oman] said something that was stunning. He said well maybe September 11th was a blessing in disguise. Maybe it will be the thing that will wake up the world so that we will, as free people, take the kinds of steps necessary to see that there is not a September 11th that involved biological or chemical or nuclear weapons. And hopefully, we'll -- he said, we can wake up the world in a way that can save those lives, tens of thousands of lives.

    The -- I just pray he's right.
  •  I'm disapointed that (4.00)
    this is still near the top of the reco list. It's lots of speculation and does nothing to address the questions about the people pushing it.
    •  yeah but it feels satisfying (none)
      it reinforces how evil Bush is, and it makes people feel safer. "We could have stopped this if we really wanted, so we'll be fine next time".

      It's red meat. And this site has unfortunately been getting pretty hungry lately.

      Ann Arbor is a city, not my name

      by AnnArborBlue on Wed Aug 24, 2005 at 06:16:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There is plenty of red meat (none)
        to go around without making shit up. I feel like I'm reading the dKos version of the Ron Brown assasination conspiracy theory, with Vince Foster and the Clinton Death list thown in for good measure.
        •  whoops (none)
          I didn't mean to give the impression that I was defending this diary. I really really wasn't.

          But I think a diary like this taps into the same strains every single time, and that's why they always shoot to the top of the list. People want to believe it so badly that they're willing to overlook logical leaps.

          Ann Arbor is a city, not my name

          by AnnArborBlue on Wed Aug 24, 2005 at 06:33:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  (En)Able Danger... ... (none)
    would seem a more apt code name. You guys have some sick mo-fos at the helm. Good luck with it.

    Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving: it consists in professing to believe what he does not believe.--Thomas Paine

    by peterborocanuck on Wed Aug 24, 2005 at 02:45:05 PM PDT

  •  Hamburg Al-Qaeda Cell - Watchlist (none)
    .
    Atta was on a watchlist of German Intelligence since 1998, Darkanzali as well.

    Update (11/03/2004): Darkanzali refuses to testify at German 9/11 trial

    This article also doesn't reveal, that Darkanzali visited with the alleged Sep11th hijackers Mohamed Atta, Marwan Al-Shehhi and Ziad Jarrah, the same Hamburg mosque. According to Chicago Tribune and german DER STERN, in 1999 CIA officer Thomas Volz was seeking to turn Darkazanli into a spy. Atta was on a watchlist of German Intelligence since 1998, Darkanzali as well. However, both FBI and CIA ignored Darkanzali after Sep11th.

    Witness to testify at Germany's retrial of 9/11 suspect

    XinhuaNet -November 1, 2004

    BERLIN, Nov. 1 (Xinhuanet) -- A newly arrested German businessman with suspected al-Qaeda links, will testify this week at the retrial of accused Sept. 11 conspirator Mounir El Motassadeq.

    Source INN Report

    .

    9/11 Hijackers Seen In Wedding Video


    Marwan al-Sheehi, far right, is believed to have been the hijacker who flew United Flight 175 into the south tower of the World Trade Center. He is seen in video of 1999 wedding in Hamburg, Germany.

    BERLIN May 7, 2003 (CBS News/AP) -- A wedding video shot in a Hamburg mosque has been broadcast for the first time and shows grainy scenes of Sept. 11 al Qaeda suicide pilots celebrating with other alleged plotters, possibly including suspects still not formally identified.

    The video of the October 1999 wedding of Said Bahaji being celebrated in a large room at the al Quds mosque -- suspected as a recruiting center for al Qaeda operatives -- has been in the hands of investigators since shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington.

    In the immediate aftermath of the terror attacks, the Bahaji wedding video provided investigators critical links between the suicide hijackers and other suspected members of the Hamburg cell.

    Attorney General John Ashcroft cited the video at a news conference with German Interior Minister Otto Schily on Oct. 31, 2001. Ashcroft noted that Zakariya Essabar, a Moroccan who left Germany on Sept. 6, 2001, and remains at large, appeared along with Ziad Jarrah, suspected pilot of the hijacked plane that crashed in Pennsylvania, and Marwan al-Shehhi, suspected of piloting a jet into the south tower of the World Trade Center.

    ~~~

  •  What about Denny Hastert/Pete Hoekstra? (none)
    Things that make you go hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

    www.wpherald.com/storyview.php?StoryID=20050822-011832-6872r

     "Army reserve Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer says the data-mining project identified Mohammed Atta and three other of the Sept. 11 hijackers as members of an al-Qaida cell more than a year before the attacks.

    "I spoke personally to Denny Hastert and to Pete Hoekstra," Shaffer told United Press International. Rep. Hastert, R-Ill., is speaker of the House, and Rep. Hoekstra, R-Mich., is chairman of that chamber's intelligence committee."

  •  I suspect (none)
    that Pentagon brass had some inkling of 9-11 because of this quote from Michael Hirsh's article in the September 13, 2001 issue of Newsweek, in which he states,

    "Could the bombers have been stopped? NEWSWEEK has learned that while U.S. intelligence received no specific warning, the state of alert had been high during the past two weeks, and a particularly urgent warning may have been received the night before the attacks, causing some top Pentagon brass to cancel a trip. Why that same information was not available to the 266 people who died aboard the four hijacked commercial aircraft may become a hot topic on the Hill."

    I have the article saved on my hard drive, because I've wanted to know since Sept 13, 2001- why DID those Pentagon brass cancel their trip? Maybe it ties in to Able Danger. Sherlock, find out for me please.  

    If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention.

    by Joe Sixpack on Wed Aug 24, 2005 at 02:58:31 PM PDT

  •  Post-it notes (none)
    Is the DIA, like the CIA foreign intelligence only? That would explain why there were post-it notes over their faces, right? Why don't you touch on this in your article?
  •  ...keep working on this... (none)
    ..I share some of the skepticism expressed by some here, but the critics need to be very specific and precise about what should go back to be reworked/investigated.  The implications are mind-boggling and Sherlock deserves praise, but we need to push on with this.  I also share some of the concern that a whitewash commission or hearings will provide immunity for those involved, and we have to play it smart.  Finally, we can see why the next elections are so important, and why the current regime will pull out all the stops to try to maintain control of the secrets, including the boomerang of cash of those who have benefited from the war - contractors, Carlysle Group, Haliburton, oil... - that will be funnelled into R campaigns.  They have to do this, their asses are on the line.
    •  We have been (none)
      but the critics need to be very specific and precise about what should go back to be reworked/investigated.

      My comments about the total shakyness of both Weldon and the people from A/D have not only been ignored but the theory expressed in the diary states their stories are absolutely true, even going so far as to se Clarke's non inclusion in his book as proof he wasn't told.

      This whole diary is supposition based on facts that aren't even close to supported. Basically it just takes Weldon's story and uses it as PROOF that Bush intentionally let 9/11 happen.

      I like most of Sherlock Google's sruff but this one wouldn't even pass a Jr. High School journalism course.

      •  ..are you recommending.. (none)
        it be discarded in its entirety?  Agree on the Clarke point - and it should be addressed.  But wouldnt Clarke's thesis be strengthened by including the A/D info in his arguments and writings?  Also agree Weldon and the A/D crew need to provide further documents and details.  But do we have any reason the show they are agent provacateur Swifties?  The Jr. High comment wasnt necessary...  but, don't get me wrong, it is absolutely necessary to ask tough questions like yours, just as it is absolutely necessary for Sherlock and others to agressively dig on this and not be discouraged from doing so.
        •  Discarded completely? (none)
          I don't know. But my feeling on this from day one was it's a bullshit story by a wacko congress critter.

          My feeling, and it's just a feeling, is that Able Danger was a bust for the most part. That is why it was canceled. But the crackpot Weldon wants it brought back soe he gets these people who have been fired from it to speak out with the typically perfect rallying cry. "THE CLENIS!"

          My comment upthread highlights just a few of the things that smell in this whole story. And follow my link for Billmon's take in my reply to myself.

  •  Atta Under Surveillance by CIA and Mossad (none)
    Why were the terrorists shielded?
    WSWS August 10, 2005 -- There have been repeated accounts, particularly in the German media, about Atta being under surveillance by the CIA while he was living in Hamburg, and about this surveillance continuing after he shifted his activities to the United States in the summer of 2000, apparently by the Israeli secret service Mossad (the CIA not being permitted to conduct its own surveillance operations on US soil).

    Reports were carried by the television network ARD, the magazine Der Spiegel, and major daily newspapers like the Berliner Zeitung and Die Zeit. Their accounts, have the CIA beginning surveillance of Atta in Hamburg in January 2000, following him during a trip to Frankfurt, where he purchased chemicals that could be used in making explosives. Right up to the point where he visited the US embassy in Berlin, on May 18, 2000 and obtained an US entry visa. Atta flew to the United States from Prague, capital of the neighboring Czech Republic, on June 3, 2000.

    Both Der Spiegel and Die Zeit reported that Mossad kept Atta under surveillance while he was attending flight school in south Florida in 2000 and early 2001. At one point, after a trip to Europe, Atta was stopped by a customs officer when re-entering the US at Miami International Airport, because his visa was invalid. Nonetheless, he was allowed in.

    Finally, on August 23, 2001, Mossad presented to the CIA a list of 19 named Islamic fundamentalist terrorists living in the United States and said to be planning an imminent attack. Aside from the chilling coincidence in the number--19 Islamic fundamentalists participated in the September 11 attacks--the Israeli list actually named four of the future hijackers, including Mohammed Atta.

     

    The Hamburg Connection
    BERLIN BBC News August 19, 2005 -- German prosecutors said the Hamburg cell consisted of eight members: three suicide pilots, three logistical planners and two others whose role remains vague, but who might also have become suicide pilots. The cell was active and embarking on the plot to attack US targets by the summer of 1999, the prosecutors said.

    Shared apartment
    Mohammed Atta, a wealthy Egyptian, is believed to have been a key figure in the Hamburg cell, but also the ringleader of all 19 of the 9/11 hijackers.

    In 1996, Motassadek signed Atta's will along with Abdelghani Mzoudi, a fellow Moroccan who was acquitted by the same Hamburg court in February.

    Mr Mzoudi shared a Marien Street apartment in Hamburg with Atta and suspected top al-Qaeda operative Ramzi Binalshibh, who is in US custody. Mr Binalshibh claimed in a television interview to have been a mastermind behind the 9/11 plot. Along with Atta, the Hamburg-based suicide pilots were identified as Marwan al-Shehhi and Ziad Jarrah.

    Motassadek operated a bank account under Shehhi's name - allegedly used to fund flight lessons in America and provide the expenses for American visa applications for the group. Shehhi, from the United Arab Emirates, and Jarrah, from Lebanon, also lived in the Marien Street flat at various times.

    ~~~

  •  Shorting Airline Stocks (none)
    Do these revelations give us any insight as to who was shorting airline stocks in great numbers prior to 9.11?
  •  You're into the roots (none)
    of the new Pearl Harbor. Great diary.

    Darkness washed over the Dude...darker than a black steer's tookus on a moonlight prairie night...there was no bottom

    by moon in the house of moe on Wed Aug 24, 2005 at 04:20:02 PM PDT

  •  This May Verge A Tad Conspiracist... (none)
    ...But Able Danger is being so furiously milked by the other side, the mainstream, as a condemnation of Democrats, that a little turnabout is fair trade.
    Especially when, as far as I can tell from a scan, there are plenty of facts in here and what is read into them is, while scary, not exactly...

    Ah, screw it. It's definitely a conspiracy diary, if we are going to use the broadest definition of that. But I think there is a lightyear of difference between this and concluding on general principles that Bush/Blair/Israel were behind the London bombings.

    We know some of the conspirators were US intelligence asset at some point.
    Could that be a less inflammatory, non-treasonous, but radically stupid reason for keeping Atta away from view?

    Step outside of two-dimensional politics.

    by NewDirection on Wed Aug 24, 2005 at 04:34:35 PM PDT

  •  And there's more.. (none)
    Regardless of how 9/11 happened, there is much separate information that someone knew that 9/11 was going to happen...the shorting of airline stocks, maybe posting of FBI Agent John O'Neill to the WTC, top brass not wanting to fly in the few days prior....but then there's physical information the raises issue all by itself, and maybe fits into the puzzle.

    I was trained as a physicist, learned to fly jets courtesy of the USAF during Vietnam and was also an Air Force Weapons Officer with a lot of exposure to explosives. There is a fascinating web site which proposes that the World Trade Center was demolished on purpose, and that the only way that could have happened is if someone knew in advance and placed the explosives. See http://www.wtc7.net/

    The substance of this issue is that World Trade Center building 7 (WTC7) collapsed late in the afternoon of Sep 11, but it had never been hit by an aircraft, and there was no burning jet fuel

    How did this happen? Available videos show what certainly looks like explosive detonations from critical parts of the buildings (all three). Then there's the assertion that burning jet fuel by itself doesn't reach the tempratures necessary make steel beams plastic. Then there's the issue that no steel framed building has ever collapsed in this fashion before - anywhere in the world. Then there's the question about not just shorting on Airline Stocks, but insurance manipulations by the owner of the WTC buildings. dark talk about Henry Kissenger. Lost billions of gold bullion stored below the world trade center....

    Lots of conspiracy theories, and I, as a physicist, believe the WTC7 theories (that the buildings couldn't have collapsed without help). What I had been unable to understand in the past was how the attack was not "orchestrated" but "allowed to develop", or LIHOP (let it happen on purpose). This diary and the Able Danger issue lays out a framework for understanding how that might have been engineered, and then that connects with why the buildings fell as they did, how PNAC saw this coming, and how the administration was in on the plot....

    let's keep up on this, it will be the biggest scandal ever if it can be substantiated...we just have to connect the dots....

    •  Well, to be fair (none)
      I am not so sure that this comment:
      Then there's the issue that no steel framed building has ever collapsed in this fashion before - anywhere in the world.

      is either true or valid.  For the first part, fireproofing of steel beams is required on all steel frame buildings because temperatures in standard structure fires can and do reach temperatures that will compromise the structural integrity of the steel.

      If, in fact, no buildings have ever collapsed due to this mechanism, it is probably more due to this safety feature than any physical impossibility.  And I think it would be hard to find a precedent for a fuel loaded jumbo jet crashing into buiding for a second example to prove that the trauma induced to the steel frame and fireproofing couldn't possibly cause this effect--even in close neighbors to the initially struck building after a catastrophic collapse.

      Say what you want about the tenets of Neo-Conservatism, but at least it's an ethos

      by Sylvester McMonkey Mcbean on Wed Aug 24, 2005 at 06:27:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have never watched those videos before (none)
        Now, after watching them, I can posit a perfectly plausible explanation:

        WTC-1 and 2 collapse, because of weakened steel beams due to the combination of fire and trauma from the plane impacts.  

        The shock from these collapses compromises the fire proofing on the lower levels of WTC-7.  (Fireproofing is usually a cementitious coating that can damaged by trauma).

        The ovbiously burning WTC-7 then failed (from the bottom up, as opposed to WTC-1 and 2 which failed from the top down) because of the weakened structure below.

        Once the failure starts, the kinetic energy from the collapse then provides enough force to fail the uncompromised structure in the higher floors.

        I really don't see anything in that video that leads me to believe that there was any nefarious plot afoot.  At least as far as that collapse goes.

        Say what you want about the tenets of Neo-Conservatism, but at least it's an ethos

        by Sylvester McMonkey Mcbean on Wed Aug 24, 2005 at 06:40:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hey.. (none)
          Acceleration is 9.8 m/sec squared. If those buildings were collapsing on their own then they would have collapsed slower as each floor contacted the floor beneath it, and transferred the energy. Trouble is, if you allow that to happen, the building could tilt a bit, and of course the total time to collapse would be longer. Since the buildings didn't tilt at all, and the videos show a collapse at just about the normal acceleration speed, that must mean that the lower floors were blown just in time to make a perfect demolition.... but hey, I'm just sayin'- it's basic Physics...
          •  I don't believe that this theory disproves a (none)
            a natural collapse.  In this collapse, the structural failure was at the base, not in the upper floors like in WTC-1 and 2.  It wouldn't have taken more than a few major structural elements in the lower floors to fail before all of the remaining stress was transferred to the unfailed elements--which would promtly fail them too, especially if they were compromised by heat.

            And the building did (and buckle, for that matter-watch the roofline in the video).  If I had to guess, I would say that the structure in the portion of the building just under the dip that develops in the roof was the first place the strucure failed.

            Also, take a look at an actual controlled demolition.  Generally, in these demos, the charges are staged to force the building to collapse within its footprint.  Here, the entire building falls as a single piece--If it were a controlled demo, you would expect to see the central columns blow first, followed about a second or two later by the outer columns.

            The reason why this building fell straight down is due a little to luck and a lot to the fact that if you drew a straight line from each of the upper corners of the building to the center of the earth, all four lines would pass through the footprint of the building.  This is actually a pretty common feature of most buildings.

            I admit I didn't time it to see if the accelleration rate was less than or greater than what would be expected for a building of this height--but since I don't know the height of the building, this would sort of be difficult.

            Say what you want about the tenets of Neo-Conservatism, but at least it's an ethos

            by Sylvester McMonkey Mcbean on Thu Aug 25, 2005 at 05:49:52 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  I've been. . . (none)
    . . .part of the LIHOP-or-MIHOP school of thought since the day I watched those buildings come straight down in what looked like a controlled demolition after the planes did their work--and subsequently learned that Cheney was in charge of "exercises" that day.  I understand that few can abide the thought of an inside job, but this rogue cabal is capable of anything.

    I accept that mine is a minority opinion now, but I suspect that at the end of the day 9/11 will prove to be worthy of Sherlock's characterization of it:  "the greatest scandal in the history of the United States of America."

    I'm buying in.  Sherlock has taken us--at the very least--to LIHOP.  I predict we'll wind up one step further, our jaws dropped in wonderment at a false flag attack, its roots in the PNAC-inspired notion of a latter-day Pearl Harbor to whip the sheeple into a firestorm of support for neocon aggression in the Middle East and the Great Republican Worldwide Hegemony.

    One thing is all but certain.  If we ever learn the whole truth, it will be from the blogosphere.  And we'll owe our knowledge of it to the tireless efforts of guys like Sherlock and BooMan23.

    •  "they're capable of anything" (none)
      that's not good enough, and it's not a valid argument. People are capable of an incredible amount of things that they never do. I suppose I'm theoretically capable of killing someone. If that person ends up dying, the fact that I was capable of doing it in no way suggests that I did it.

      Ann Arbor is a city, not my name

      by AnnArborBlue on Wed Aug 24, 2005 at 06:13:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's some conspiracy (none)
      A controlled demolition of the WTC?  That's adding a lot of people to the conspiracy, all sworn to secrecy.  Also, why the fuck would they do a controlled demolition?  Wouldn't an uncontrolled destruction be better for getting on a war in Iraq?

      I think the LIHOP hypothesis is worth pursuing on a back-burner basis, but for the most part it is a distraction from the more important goal of removing these assholes from power.  Ultimately, LIHOP will mean nothing even if proven with ironclad evidence, because Americans want to believe that Dubya is a good man and that they voted for a good man and that this is a good Christian nation.  Think about it - people stupid enough to vote for someone like Dubya are not going to turn around and admit they voted for a monster.  

      Consider this:  the American public has learned that Bushco lied, made shit up, and conned the nation into war against a nation that was not a threat to us in any way.  What was the public's response?  They elected Dubya for a second term!  So supposing that it was proven that Bushco LIHOP on 911 as part of the propaganda effort for the conquest of the Iraqi oil fields, why should we believe that the American public would respond any differently to the other lies?  

      'Murikans JUST DON'T CARE.  They want a president that has a nice "living room personality," who cuts their taxes, and who delivers fuzzy platitudes that make them feel superior to the rest of the world.  

      "Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprize." -James Madison

      by Subterranean on Wed Aug 24, 2005 at 08:57:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You missed my diaries (none)
    Shaffer backtpedaled:
    Daily Kos: UPDATED: Able Danger Roundup: New guy shows up, Weldon's chart a fake, backpedaling


    • Curt Weldon confesses his chart is a "reconstruction" and not the true chart (2)
    • Thousands of false positives: NYT's Philip Shenon said that Able Danger came up with names not just of Atta [but] with a tremendous number of  names of very decent American citizens.(3)
    • Lt Cmdr. Shaffer comes out of the woodwork saying he was one of the military talking about Able Danger to the 9/11 commission (1)
    • The 9/11 commission admits it was warned by Capt. Scott Phillpott (7)

    • Lt Cmdr. Shaffer admits  "We didn't [think]  that Atta's name was significant" at the time (1)
    • Strange Retreat from Right-wing bloggers  (John Podhoretz, Jim Geraghty) who now appear to be backpedaling on Able Danger (5)
    • Lt Cmdr. Shaffer said Thursday that many of his allegations were based not on his memory but on the recollections of others. (4)
    • Not the first time Weldon caught in a lie: Weldon Rev Moon and Khadafi - Weldon's office denied that he spoke at Moon's coronation, but had to backpedal as a picture of him surfaced
      (6)

    •  Not impressed at all with your list. (none)
      Sorry.

      Shaffer did not backpedal by saying it was the recollections of others.  Philpott after all backed him and said we knew Atta in early 2000.

      And Shaffer said he was close to insubordination he felt so strongly about recommmending to the FBI that Atta be arrested.

      I'll grant you Weldon is a dope.  So what?

      Try again without cherry-picking things out of context...

      •  I call bullshit! (none)
        And Shaffer said he was close to insubordination he felt so strongly about recommmending to the FBI that Atta be arrested.

            Shaffer said Atta's name didn't ring a bell when he learned the hijackers' names after 9/11. But he got "a sinking feeling in my stomach" when the woman Ph.D. in charge of Able Danger's data analysis told him Atta was one of those who had been identified as a likely al Qaeda terrorist by Able Danger.

            "My friend the doctor [Ph.D.] who did all the charts and ran the technology showed me the chart and said, 'Look, we had this, we knew them, we knew this.' And it was a sinking feeling, it was like, 'Oh my God, you know. We could have done something.'"

        Let me get this straight. He "came close to insubordination" for recommending the FBI pick up Atta in 00, but didn't remember his name after 9/11/01?

        How many times can a shark be jumped?

        •  Sorry I have the right card (none)
          Here it is.

          He had fought for the names yes but it was a year earlier and they were Arabic names and did not remember Mohammed Atta out of all the Arabic names he was working on.  That's natural.

          Try right now to remember the names of the three others named by Able Danger, which we have been talking about the last couple of days.

          See?  You can't remember them any more than Shaffer could remember Atta's name when he first heard it after 9-11 18 months later.  So he said he did not think it significant.  HE DID NOT REMEMBER.

          When the AD agent reminded him the name was one of the names found by the AD team, then the goose bumps arrived because it was one of the ones he fought for and he never disobeyed orders and went to the FBI directly.

          Pick up all the cards.

          •  It's so obvious now. (none)
            Even though he had been yelling Atta's name and was on the verge of being fired for it he forgot when he heard it 1 year later in direct connection to what he was yelling about.

            unfuckingbelievable. I'm talking to the left's version of Sean Hannity. No matter how rediculous the theory is there is always a way to make it work as long as rationality, reason and truth are not required.

            •  So you can name the other 3 hijackers without (none)
              looking them up?

              Now I call Bullshit!

              If the name had been John Roberts he might have forgotten later, never mind an Islamic name.

              •  I haven't been looking at (none)
                their names, I've been looking at the principles in the story.

                I'm outta here before I get in a flame war. If I didn't know better I'd think I was talking to a Bush appoligist with all of the leaps of faith I'm seeing here.

                •  This is something that comes up in court (none)
                  all the time.  People's memories are fragile, and with foreign names and a long stretch of time, Shaffer just plumb forgot the name, and he never saw the chart saw he could not have remembered the photo either.

                  Remember that you enjoy tons of media repeating the name and photo of Atta endlessly.  Over and over.  Shaffer did not have that repetition after he was told to forget it and then finally disbanded from Able Danger.

                  So it's easier for you to remember Atta's name today than it was for Shaffer on September 11, 2001, after over a year of not speaking it or thinking about it.

            •  Here's the reality on forgetting the name (none)
              From the SF Chron:
              Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, who has been on paid administrative leave from the Defense Intelligence Agency since his security clearance was suspended in March 2004, said in a telephone interview that a Navy officer and a civilian official affiliated with the Able Danger program had told him after the attacks that Atta and other hijackers had been included on a chart more than a year earlier.

              But because he was not intimately familiar with the names and photographs of suspected terrorists, he did not personally realize that hijackers were listed until it was alleged to him after the attacks, Shaffer said. All of the charts that could support his claims have disappeared, he said.

              "I did see the charts, and I did handle the charts, but my understanding of them was like a layman," he said. "We had identified them as terrorists. ... But even now I do not remember all the names."

              Also Atta's full name had about 8 or 9 names in it.  No one, not even an Arab could remember that a year later.  Plus Atta on the chart might have been Id'ed with his other name: Mohammed al-Ahmi or something like that.

              Shaffer vindicated.

      •  Shaffer DID say it was hear say (4.00)
        How many links you want ? Care to tell me WHAT is quoted out of context here ?
        Claim about 9/11 takes new twist / Officer admits he based allegations on what others told him

        Washington -- The former intelligence officer who claims that a Defense Department program identified Mohamed Atta and three other hijackers before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks said Thursday that many of his allegations were based not on his memory but on the recollections of others.

        Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, who has been on paid administrative leave from the Defense Intelligence Agency since his security clearance was suspended in March 2004, said in a telephone interview that a Navy officer and a civilian official affiliated with the Able Danger program had told him after the attacks that Atta and other hijackers had been included on a chart more than a year earlier.

        But because he was not intimately familiar with the names and photographs of suspected terrorists, he did not personally realize that hijackers were listed until it was alleged to him after the attacks, Shaffer said. All of the charts that could support his claims have disappeared, he said.

        "I did see the charts, and I did handle the charts, but my understanding of them was like a layman," he said. "We had identified them as terrorists. ... But even now I do not remember all the names."...

        Shaffer said Thursday that his overall allegations were based on the recollections of himself and two others, Navy Capt. Scott Phillpott and a civilian employee of the former Land Information Warfare Center at Fort Belvoir in Virginia, whom he declined to identify. Phillpott could not be reached for comment.

        Shaffer said that Able Danger, by analyzing publicly available databases, produced charts in "the late spring or summer of 2000" showing ties between suspected terrorists. Shaffer said that after the attacks, the civilian employee had shown him a chart allegedly from 2000 that purportedly identified Atta and three other hijackers.

        Shaffer, who briefed the Senate Judiciary Committee on his allegations Thursday, said he recognized the charts from his work as a liaison between the Defense Intelligence Agency and Able Danger. But he said he was relying on the word of Phillpott and the civilian employee, who pointed to one of the charts and said, "We had them"

        Stop carrying water for the neocons!!!
        FOXNews.com - Politics - Senate Considers Hearing on Able Danger Findings

        • Able Danger Briefing
        • 'Able Danger' STORIES
        • Pentagon Investigates Able Danger Work
        • Agent Defends Military Unit's Data on 9/11 Hijackers
        • 9/11 Commissioners Defend Intel Lapse
        • 'Able Danger' Could Rewrite History
        • Raw Data: Weldon Letter on 'Able Danger'
        WASHINGTON -- The military intelligence official who first spoke publicly about Able Danger (search), the pre-Sept. 11 task force looking for terror threats to the United States, went to Capitol Hill Thursday to brief staffers who work for Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

        A congressional source told FOX News that hearings could be in the cards this fall over Able Danger's findings and its omission from the Sept. 11 commission's report issued last year. Neither Specter's office nor Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer, who made the explosive allegations, would confirm a plan for hearings.

        "I think I can safely say that anyone who is involved in this project will do anything we can to [go to] the appropriate venue [to] present all the truth that we are aware of in the appropriate time and place," Shaffer told FOX News.

        •  Thanks for this link (none)
          Shaffer did see the chart and could not remember all the names, that is natural.

          I'm not carrying water for the neo-cons at this point, you are.

          Allow me to introduce myself.  I am Sherlock Google, and I figure things out and turn the tables on RW bloggers before most people on our side.

          Just like when I showed how it was Rove that faked the TANG documents in the Dan Rather dirty trick rather than a Democrat.

          So I'm just a couple of steps ahead.  Able Danger is now a neo-con adventure, not a Clinton ball drop.  As I show, Clinton and Clarke never knew of Able Danger Iding the terrorists.

          Come over to the truth by figuring this out.  Sleep on it.

          •  You are wrong in this one (none)
            The Washington Monthly - Kevin Drum

            SHAFFER AND THE 9/11 COMMISSION....One of the key allegations made by Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer in the Able Danger affair is that even though he specifically told the 9/11 Commission that Able Danger had identified Mohamed Atta, they failed to follow up on it. Today he recanted that allegation. Here's the chronology:

                August 8: "[Shaffer] said he was among a group that briefed Mr. Zelikow and at least three other members of the Sept. 11 commission staff about Able Danger when they visited the Afghanistan-Pakistan region in October 2003. [Shaffer] said he had explicitly mentioned Mr. Atta as a member of a Qaeda cell in the United States."

                August 12: "As with their other meetings, Commission staff promptly prepared a memorandum for the record. That memorandum, prepared at the time, does not record any mention of Mohamed Atta or any of the other future hijackers, or any suggestion that their identities were known to anyone at DOD before 9/11."

                August 16: "Colonel Shaffer said that he had provided information about Able Danger and its identification of Mr. Atta in a private meeting in October 2003 with members of the Sept. 11 commission staff when they visited Afghanistan, where he was then serving."

                August 19: "Shaffer conceded that during his own personal briefing of Sept. 11 commission staffers in Afghanistan in Oct. 2003, he didn't specifically name the terrorists. Instead, he detailed how Able Danger had uncovered information about three terror cells with the use of then-advanced data-mining techniques."

            Shaffer has been making the same claim for nearly two weeks, a claim that he repeated even after the 9/11 Commission had denied it. Today he had a change of heart.

            Fine. But doesn't this also throw into doubt Shaffer's claim that Able Danger identified Atta prior to 9/11? After all, if Able Danger really did ID Atta -- complete with a picture and his position in the al-Qaeda organization -- it's awfully hard to believe that Shaffer wouldn't have mentioned that when he briefed the 9/11 Commission, isn't it?

            Overall, this is not doing much for Shaffer's credibility, especially since he's also maddeningly vague about exactly what he saw vs. what other people later told him they saw. I wonder how accurate the rest of his recollections are?

          •  Right Wing backpedaling too (none)
            Mickey Kaus:
            Strange New Retreat: Right-wing bloggers (John Podhoretz, Jim Geraghty) now appear to be in semi-full retreat on Able Danger (i.e., on whether a secret data-mining program had in fact fingered Mohammed Atta prior to 9/11.) Podhoretz, who only last week wrote "This is clearly becoming the biggest story of the summer" now says:

                none of this passes the smell test. And an apology is due the 9/11 Commission staff at the very least ...

            And here we all thought Andrew Sullivan was excitable! ... I claim to have been skeptical of Doug Jehl's initial NYT front-page report making the charge--but I'm also skeptical of the sudden right-wing pullback. Maybe Atta's name was on a huge list of false positives. Maybe not. Don't we want to find out--and shouldn't the 9/11 commission have wanted to find out, and at least dropped a footnote mentioning the program (and the sensational charge made to the Commission by at least one officer that Atta had in fact been identified)? Rep. Curt Weldon doesn't seem to be Mr. Credibility on this issue, but the Department of Defense--the apparent source for Geraghty's "guy I trust"--may have its own reasons for wanting to snuff out inquiries into Able Danger--for example, covering up its own mistakes. ... Andy McCarthy, who's skeptical but hasn't heard the GOP dog-whistle sounding retreat, appears to have the better of the argument for now. ... Update: At least one of the previously unnamed "intelligence officials" who've been sources for the Able Danger story now appears to have come forward. ... And he's been commenting at Phil Carter's Intel Dump! (That post now seems highly significant, what with its aspersions cast at the Pentagon's overly protective lawyering.).... P.S.: McCarthy notes that according to the Wash Times Pentagon officials attempting to tamp down the story say there may be (in the Times' paraphrase) "a few intelligence analyses that mention [Atta's] name[.] ..." Yikes. 12:40 P.M. link

            http://tks.nationalreview.com/archives/073176.asp
            ARRRRGH. DARN YOU, CONGRESSMAN WELDON

            Just heard from a guy I trust that the Pentagon will be releasing information regarding Able Danger in the not too distant future. The short version: Don't expect any bombshell

            http://corner.nationalreview.com/05_08_14_corner-archive.asp#072965

  •  20,000 false positives (none)
    Daily Kos: Using Data Mining to Find Terrorists - 'Able Danger' explained

    Thousands of false positives
    Someone has already brought that up on the context of Able Danger:

    Eric Umansky: Thousands of False Positives on Able Danger ?
    The NYT's Philip Shenon, who has done some of the Able Danger reporting, was interviewed Friday on WNYC. There host Mike Pesca raised the false positives question. Here's what Shenon said:
       "I understand from others at the Pentagon  that one of the problems here is that  Able Danger came up with names not just of Atta and three others,  it came up with a tremendous number of  names of very decent American citizens."

    Shenon's comment matches with my personal experience: As I said in my blog, data mining brings up a lot of false positives -on the hundreds with the relatively low volume of data I worked. Thousands of false positives is very plausible with the gobs of data that Able Danger must have dealt with

    Using Data Mining to Find Terrorists: False positives
    Those limitations are not only the musings of yours truly, but have also been raised by data mining experts such as Herb Edelstein , an internationally recognized expert in data mining, data warehousing and CRM, consulting to both computer vendors and users. A popular speaker and teacher, he is also a co-founder of The Data Warehousing Institute

    Data Mining In Depth: TIAin't

    False positives. Given the difficulty of developing good signatures and the small number of terrorists relative to the population of the United States, there are likely to be an enormous number of innocent people identified as potential terrorists (false positives). The more you try to avoid false positives, the more likely you are to miss many true positives. Unlike a direct mail campaign where the cost of a false positive is only a few dollars at worst, the costs in identifying terrorists - in dollars, time and wasted opportunity - are staggering. Suppose we had a collection of algorithms that has a false positive rate of only 0.1 percent - extraordinarily good for a problem of this complexity. That would mean 220,000 false positives! There are not enough investigators to investigate every false positive. Even if there were, the dollar cost would be in the billions, as would the cost of the resulting lawsuits. More importantly, the resources and amount of calendar time expended in these mostly useless investigations would likely leave many true terrorists free. Even if we concentrated only on non-citizens, we would still have more than 20,000 false positives to be vetted.


  •  Terror Timeline (none)
    The Terror Timeline by Paul Thompson (which I happened to be reading last night, thinking back to 4 years ago and the upcoming anniversary) covers some of this ground and offers a couple dozen other anecdotes suggesting that 9/11 must have been among the world's worst kept secrets in the weeks leading up to the attack -- "light was blinking red" intelligence was bouncing around all kinds of different intelligence agencies...

    It all ads an extra dimension to the expression on Bush's face as he read My Pet Goat in that Florida classroom...

  •  The danger of Able Danger (none)
    IMHO the Pentagon is trying to repackage John Poindexter's Total Information Awareness boondago for contractors:

    Daily Kos: Able Danger: Total Information Awareness by another name ?

    IAO: mass surveillance of ALL individuals
    Total Information Awareness (TIA) was a program from the Information Awareness Office (IAO):

    The Information Awareness Office is a mass surveillance development branch of DoD's DARPA.. [it's] stated mission [is] to gather as much information as possible about everyone..  [records used by IAO include] Internet activity, credit card purchase histories, airline ticket purchases, car rentals, medical records..

    Privacy Concerns kill TIA
    A Senate bill passed unanimously on July 18, 2003 explicitly denies any funding to TIA research. The Pentagon office that was developing vast computerized terrorism surveillance system would be closed and no money could be spent on spying tools against Americans on U.S. soil
  •  What Able Danger DID NOT say (none)
    Best "it's Clinton's fault" rebuke (none / 1)

    What Able Danger didn't say: "Bin Laden determined to strike on US"
    What Clinton didn't ignore: His daily PDBs

    20,000 names on a computer printout does not a PDB make!

    Jeb Bush's Supercomputer & Data Mining (

    MATRIX project has received grants and contracts in support from State of Florida, DoD and DHS. Speaking of data mining! In concern to privacy of data, Jeb answered: "We'll hire extra state troopers to guard the property".

    http://www.dailykos.com/comments/2005/8/20/17172/6439/3#3

  •  Suggestions for further research (none)
    Sherlock - the tone is over the top, but you've got some good pieces here.

    First, someone should try to reconstruct who was in the Chain of Command at SOCOM in 1999-2001. A review of the press releases on DefenseLink will uncover which generals and admirals were in SOCOM during the period. Just look at any release marked General Officer Announcement or Flag Officer Announcement. These will tell you which command the person is being sent to and what job they will fill. Schoomaker was the 4 star. To get to him, the A/D crowd would have had to go thru at least 2 other generals first like 1 star to 3 stars.

    Second, try to understand the relationships between the command and the Pentagon. If lawyers were involved, they would have started with the Judge Advocate office within SOCOM and then gone to the Legal Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. Only after those two would they have gone to the Pentagon General Counsel. Again, a search of Defenselink news releases should uncover who was in those positions then.

    With a few more names and dates, you could start putting together a stronger case.

    - "You're Hells Angels, then? What chapter are you from?"
    - REVELATIONS, CHAPTER SIX.

    by Hoya90 on Wed Aug 24, 2005 at 06:58:07 PM PDT

  •  Pentagon backpedaling (none)
    Pentagon can't verify `Able Danger' claim - U.S. Security - MSNBC.com

    Updated: 7:29 p.m. ET Aug. 22, 2005

    WASHINGTON - The Pentagon has been unable to validate claims that a secret intelligence unit identified Sept. 11 hijacker Mohamed Atta as a terrorist more than a year before the attacks, a Defense Department spokesman said Monday.

    Larry Di Rita said that some research into the matter continues, but thus far there has been no evidence that the intelligence unit, called "Able Danger," came up with information as specific as an officer associated with the program has asserted.

    •  We know this. The Pentagon is covering up (none)
      for the neo-cons.  Nothing new.

      THe very next day Captain Scott Philpott confirmed to the NY Times that Atta had been named in early 2000--a second confirmation of Able Data IDing the 4 terrorists.  2 Officers and a Congressmen saying there was the name and Weldon went to Hadley soon after 9-11 with that claim.

  •  Data mining (none)
    How did the enormous number of names which came out of the data mining turn into 20,000?  I see lots of headlines with that number, but no quotes from anyone thats willing to cite any real number.  

    20 names are a lead

    600 names can be worked into leads

    20,000 can't

    but some number in between still can be.

    So where'd the 20,000 come from?

  •  I am going to live in a cave. (none)
    Is this saying that 911 was allowd to happen by the governmnet?I don't think I want to know.

    Everything, the Iraq war ....all of it allowed to happen. 911 so we could have an Iraq war.

    This is what the Project for a new American Century called for.

    I think I will go live in a cave. It's no use.

  •  Please distill this story down to essentials. (none)
    Am to busy to follow it all, without some charts, figures or firm grasp of the history. It has taken some time to gather the Fitzgerald case info, which is proving very important. I suspect this is along same lines - but I cannot tell because it is too complex as presented.
    Could you just tell me who is who and what happened VERY simply? Post the update as a new diary and I will hunt it down this evening...Thurs, 8-25-05.
    I gotta go -
    i.

    If you dance with the devil, then you haven't got a clue; 'Cause you think you'll change the devil, but the devil changes you. - illyia

    by illyia on Thu Aug 25, 2005 at 05:29:26 AM PDT

  •  I always wondered (none)
    how on earth we knew the names of the hijackers (all 19 of them) a couple of days after the 9/11 attacks.  
  •  The greatest hoax in history, see below (none)
    This story is starting to fall apart. The Repubs who started it are backtracking as is Shaffer, et al.
    Put me down as one who thinks that, if this is a plot, it is just another conservative effort to discredit the Clinton administration to draw away attention from the miserable failures of the Bush Administration (too many to list here--start with Iraq)
    This is the way "investigative journalism" is accomplished these days: the Repubs come out with a story that attacks (Clinton, The Democrats, liberals, Cindy Sheehan,etc) with a lot of seemingly irrefutable charges. Later, when the story starts falling apart there is no retraction or correction by Fox, Hannity and Colmes, O Reilly, talk show hosts etc, they just move on to the next hit piece. The story stays in the public perception, which is the goal of the people who put it out. They know the media is only going to cover it from the face value, not in depth investigation or discussion at all.
    This is how they pulled off what actually IS the greatest hoax of the Bush Administration--getting the CBS Papers declared false WITHOUT ANY OFFICIAL INVESTIGATION AT ALL!! This is the benefit of Bush's being in complete control of the federal government.
    How they did this was from the start calling the CBS Papers "private documents" like as if Killian was writing orders to Bush to himself!! Ridiculous. Take a look at the CBS Papers yourself http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2004-09-09bushdocs.pdf and see: They are--or purport to be-- FEDERAL DOCUMENTS!! 3 of them are underletterhead of a USAF (ANG) unit,the 111th, they are officialo USAF business and they are signed or intialled by the commander of the 111th!! That makes them FEDERAL documents!!
    look at this one in particular: http://www.awolbush.com/documents/BushGuardmay4.pdf   If this one is forged, then someone typed the letterhead of a USAF unit on a piece of paper, falsified official information about t a USAF (ANG) officer AND THEN FORGED THE COMMANDERS SIGNATURE ON IT!! Helloo??Thats a SERIOUS FEDERAL CRIME!! Forgery of federal, military documents is a serious federal crime--up untill now
    So why hasn't the Bush Administration investigated this and prosecuted any wrongdoing?? These papers libel Bush and several other officers!! (see details in diaries listed below) yet NONE of them have ever demanded an official investigation!!
    You must understand that Bush, and his aides knew the minute he looked at these papers whether they were real or not--theyre about HIM! About events in his life that DID occur, like his flight suspension. Where was the outrage if thesde are forged? We heard from Laura, Barbara and all the other conservatives but we never heard from the one man who knows absolutely, dropdead for sure whether theyre real or not! He only said he "doesn't rememebr seeing them" and the press dropped it dead from theree--thats NOT a denial!! and he doesn't WANT them proven or disproven officially or he would have had it done.
     Was he ordered to take his physical or not? Did you know that Bush REFUSED to answer a direct question by the AP as to whether he was ordered to take his physical (see it at: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/09/30/politics/main646621.shtml  the 2d to bottom line: "...The White House did not answer whether Bush disobeyed a direct order to take the exam..." That ought to tell you all you need to know about placement of the truth in the Bush Administration) There is no reason in the world for him to refuse to answer this one--if it didn't happen. If it didn't happen, someoone forged an order saying it did,and yet Bush is not the least bit intersted in pursuing it.
    Doesn't that set off any warning bells??
     so George Bush refused to answer whether he had been ordered to take his physical or not--and here we have a direct order involving that very same physical. And Bush and the whole Republican government are refusing to investigate allegedly forged federal documents that would prove that he was, among other things, ordered to take his physical.
    Why isn't Bush, who is the man most libeled by these papers, who is also the most powerful man in the world, with all the federal government under his control, the least bit intersted in seeing if there were any more papers or who created them?
    Ive posted the answer many times here:
    http://exlrrp.dailykos.com/story/2005/7/11/121517/181
    http://exlrrp.dailykos.com/story/2005/6/19/111251/733
    http://exlrrp.dailykos.com/story/2005/1/7/114253/7435
     and many others. In these diaries I lay out the truth: KIllian HAd to have suspended Bush but his original orders are missing from Bush's files, as is Bush's MANDATORY signing for them (see diaries)  Bush DID get a direct order to take his physical--it was procedure, and he certainly did not deny it.
    the answer is that, forged or not, the papers show that Bush's superiors were engaged in a conspiracy to alter his documents to cover up the dereliction of refusing to take his physical.
    Thats is the significance of this line: "...I will backdate but won't rate..." Jerry Killian. What is the obvious--the ONLY meaning to that line? Killian is agreeing to substantially alter Bush's OETR from the true facts--THIS IS A CRIME!! And Killian KNEW it! Thats why he called this particular document (the last in the reference given above)CYA. He was covering his ass in case all the irregularities of Bush's records came out (eee diaries given above)
    And Kilian DID falsify Bush's OETR byt, as he says, backdating Bush's exit and not rating him as a pilot, although he is LISTED as a pilot
    (see: http://users.cis.net/coldfeet/doc4.gif and http://users.cis.net/coldfeet/doc9.gif )  Thats why Kilian and Harris didn't SIGN the OETR--it would have been putting their names on a document they knew to be false!

    The greatest hoax in the history of the BUsh administration is not any Able Danger bullshit its about the CBS papers. Its about Rove getting these papers declared false without ANY official investigation at all!!
    Theyre not "private papers" THEYRE FEDREAL DOCUMENTS!! Their only meaning is as federal documents!USAF orders and commuinications!! And the federal government,including the USAF and Congress,is refusing to investigate them and punish wrongdoing!
    But they HAVE to--its the LAW!
    Sherlock Google, or ANYBODY seeking the truth--quit wasting your time with this ABle Danger Story, its going no where, just like the DSM abd all the other surefire Silver Bullets.
    THIS is the story to concentrate on because the federal government HAS to investigate these papers--theyre FEDERAL documents!! And , suspiciously theyre not. Why? Because they got everything they wanted in their "Blogger's Court"
    Bush and his people know right now thwther these are forged or not--theyve had complete control of his military record since his governor days--how could someone ring in events that didn't hapopen?
    Don't forget, Neither Bush nor his Administration have EVER denied that they werwe real!
    I want these CBS papers investigated by the federal government and the USAF--its their DUTY and they could prove or disprove these papers really quickly. Another lie is that theyre not verifiable--bullshit! Just put Bush and his surviving chain of command under oath and make them tell the story--the story theyve never told!
    This will bring Bush down quicker and surer than anything yet revealed. its not just about the crime, its about the cover up, just like Watergate.
    Help me do this!! start demanding a federal investigation of these federal papers that are alleged to be forged in every diary you write! If you insist that the papers are forged then redouble your efforts!! Crimes have been committed whether these documents are forged or not and the Bush Administration is suspiciously refusing to investigate papers that THEY allege (ONLY through the back door!) are forged!! Why wouldn't they investigate them if they are forged, which fact they know right now?
    Help me get the truth out about Bush: he and his aides have lied all along about his service and have been convering up ever since--and so far they have succeeded!

    INVESTIGATE THE CBS PAPERS!!! THEY ARE FEDERAL DOCUMENTS!! Don't let the Bush Administration win WITHOUT PROVING A THING!!!

    by exlrrp on Thu Aug 25, 2005 at 08:44:22 AM PDT

  •  Sherlock: Check out Able Danger on AntiWar by J. R (none)
    http://www.antiwar.com/justin/?articleid=7127

    Israel and 9/11: New Report Connects the Dots
    What the 9/11 Commission didn't tell us  
    by Justin Raimondo

    The "Able Danger" data-mining operation that supposedly uncovered the New Jersey cell of the 9/11 plotters was - for some reason yet to be determined - blocked and prevented from apprehending key figures in the plot, according to the testimony of at least three people who have direct knowledge of this matter. Shea's memo opens up a possibility that may relate to (and explain) the "Able Danger" blockage: was surveillance of Arab terrorist groups in the U.S. subcontracted out to the Israelis, with the knowledge and complicity of the CIA, so that "Able Danger" was considered poaching on the Israelis' preserve? Shea cites a piece in The Forward that describes Israeli covert activities in the U.S. as a violation of "a secret gentleman's agreement between the two countries," and avers:

    *
    This is getting closer and closer to AIPAC and that is getting closer to Fitzgerald's investigation. Just read Michael Rupperts (subscription) newsletter... the links are all right there, down to the uranium.

    I am sending your link to him.

    If you dance with the devil, then you haven't got a clue; 'Cause you think you'll change the devil, but the devil changes you. - illyia

    by illyia on Wed Aug 31, 2005 at 06:52:53 PM PDT

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