Reading this curious case of the first "Iraq war memories" book that comes to market that the Pentagon wants to burn
In a highly unusual move, the DIA is now negotiating with the publisher, St. Martin’s Press, to buy all 10,000 copies of the first printing of the book to keep it off shelves
made me do a double take. Tony Shaffer is the author. I knew his name from my extensive writing about Able Danger in 2005.
Turns out his book is being burned because of Able Danger info on it, including the fact that it identified Atta prior to 2001
Specifically, the DIA wanted references to a meeting between Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer, the book’s author, and the executive director of the 9/11 Commission, Philip Zelikow, removed
UPDATE:More from NYT
The disputed material includes the names of American intelligence officers who served with Colonel Shaffer and his accounts of clandestine operations, including N.S.A. eavesdropping operations
Nothing on NYT about Able Danger being the reason. But interestingly enough, it has NSA eavesdropping. Which is tied to Able Danger: there is no data to mine for terrorism activity without getting very private financial and personal information about hundreds of thousands of people.
More from Fox
EXCLUSIVE: Pentagon Attempts to Block Book on Afghan War
On the eve of Sept. 11, Fox News has learned the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency has attempted to block a book about the tipping point in Afghanistan and a controversial pre-9/11 data mining project called "Able Danger."
Shaffer, who was undercover at the time, said there was "stunned silence" at the meeting after he told the executive director of the commission and others that Atta was identified as early as 2000 by "Able Danger."
"Dr. Philip Zelikow approached me in the corner of the room. 'What you said today is very important. I need you to get in touch with me as soon as you return from your deployment here in Afghanistan'," Shaffer said.
Able Danger has always been a fascinating subject for me because:
1)Data mining is lousy for intel - I worked with data mining and I know how it gives thousands of false positives. In my area, a false positive makes us send an email to someone thinking they will buy the latest fancy pepper grinder when they hate pepper. On the Pentagon's case a false positive would mean lives ruined on accusal of terrorism, department money wasted, lawsuits and much more. And would probably miss 20 or 30 of the real terrorists, while including 3-5 in a list with 100,000 names. Data mining just didn't seem practical at all to use on Homeland Security and Intel.
2)Talk about Able Danger keeps on being silenced: Many examples through the years but fresh from Shaffer's book:
Once back in the U.S., Shaffer says he contacted the commission. Without explanation, the commission was no longer interested. An inspector general report by the Department of Defense concluded there was no evidence to support the claims of Shaffer and others.
3)AD keeps on being brought up by the "Blame Clinton" gang: Many examples from 2005, this now from fox
But Fox News has obtained an unredacted copy of the IG report containing the names of witnesses, who backed up Shaffer's story when contacted for comment.
4) It includes a big violation of Privacy / Defense boondago called Total Information Awareness: Other great fans of Able Danger are Curt Weldon and defense contractors, salivating at this new expensive project, which - believe it or not - was blocked by both Republicans and Democrats alike on Congress, during GW Bush's first term. Because of privacy concerns!!!! Able Danger was used by Weldom and other defenders as proof TIA works. (Don't cry for the poor Defense contractors, I'm told TIA got implemented with another name, right under Congress' nose, during Bush's second term)
It really is fascinating that the same dynamic happpens over and over again :
1 - Defense lobbyist / Clinton basher resuscitates Able Danger on the news
2 - Fox &t all salivate at the lib scandal they are going to create over Atta!!! Before Bush!!!
3 - Heated breathless coverage, Weldon, Schaffer and others called in to interviews
4 - Someone at DIA flashes the "top secret" badge
5 - Oopsie, says Fox and other news media.. Move along, nothing to report
6 - Right wing smear machine reluctantly lays off of the juicy new bone they had to chew
IMHO, it is quite possible that AD identified Atta, in a list of thousands of names. And we do have some press clips saying there was in fact a list of 60,000 names.
It is also quite possible that the AD people or the DIA got told to lay off Atta. Because he was Saudi at least. Maybe because he was heavily tied to GOP money laundering (Abramoff) and / or Bush family ? I don't think we will ever know and Siebel Edmonds and Tony Schaffer can't tell us.
What I do know is that there is something very peculiar about AD. That makes it come back over and over, only to be squashed again. And no one knows why.