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  • 'Able Danger' Stopped From Informing FBI

    'Able Danger' Stopped From Informing FBI

    WASHINGTON - An Army intelligence officer said Wednesday he does not believe the 9/11 commission pressed hard enough for documentation of claims that military intelligence found a U.S.-based terrorist cell that included Mohamed Atta, who turned out to be the leader of the Sept. 11 attacks, prior to the terrorist strikes.

    "I don't believe they ever got all the documents, but then again I don't think that they pressed properly to get all of the documents," Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer said on CBS' "The Early Show."

    He says he was associated with a small intelligence unit, called "Able Danger," that had identified Atta and three of the other future Sept. 11 hijackers as al-Qaida members by mid-2000.

    He said military lawyers stopped the unit from sharing the information with the     FBI out of concerns about gathering and sharing information on people in the United States legally.

    "What we were trying to do as good soldiers is we saw a threat, we recognized the fact that they were here in the United States and we felt we should do something even when the lawyers said we couldn't," Shaffer said.

    "The problem was at the time the Special Operations Command is very secretive, quiet warriors," he said. "They like doing things quietly. I had to respect their wishes, to respect the sanctity of that information. What I tried to do was bring them together with the FBI so they could discuss this and take the appropriate action."

    The commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks left the Able Danger claims out of its official report and has since said it did not obtain enough information on the operation to consider it historically significant.

    In an interview with Fox News Channel and The New York Times distributed Tuesday evening, Shaffer said the panel was not given all the information his team had gathered.

    "I'm told confidently by the person who did move the material over that the 9/11 commission received two briefcase-size containers of documents," Shaffer said in the Fox News report. "I can tell you for a fact that would not be ... one-20th of the information that Able Danger consisted of during the time we spent."

    Rep. Curt Weldon (news, bio, voting record), R-Pa., vice chairman of the House Armed Services and     Homeland Security committees, has said the Sept. 11 commission did not adequately investigate the claim that four of the hijackers had been identified more than a year before the attacks.

    Former commission chairman Thomas Kean and vice chairman Lee Hamilton said last week that the military official who made the claim had no documentation to back it up.

    Shaffer rejected that remark. "Leaving a project targeting al-Qaida as a global threat a year before we were attacked by al-Qaida is equivalent to having an investigation of Pearl Harbor and leaving somehow out the Japanese," he said in the Fox interview.

    In the Times account of the interview, Shaffer said he was "at the point of near insubordination over the fact that this was something important, that this was something that should have been pursued" in describing his efforts to get the evidence from the intelligence program to the FBI in 2000 and early 2001.
    Damn these electric sex pants!

    26+31+34+42+44+46+64+67+82+06 = 10

    Bring back the death penalty for corporations!

  • #2
    I thought the 9/11 commission was the end-all, be-all conclusion on what happened?

    I'm outraged...

    "Can't buy what I want because it's free...
    Can't buy what I want because it's free..."
    -- Pearl Jam, from the single Corduroy

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    • #3
      Originally posted by *007*@Aug 17 2005, 07:33 AM
      I thought the 9/11 commission was the end-all, be-all conclusion on what happened?
      If you are a fan of the white wash, maybe.
      Damn these electric sex pants!

      26+31+34+42+44+46+64+67+82+06 = 10

      Bring back the death penalty for corporations!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by dredbyrd+Aug 17 2005, 07:37 AM-->
        QUOTE(dredbyrd @ Aug 17 2005, 07:37 AM)

      • #5
        Originally posted by dredbyrd+Aug 17 2005, 08:37 AM-->
        QUOTE(dredbyrd @ Aug 17 2005, 08:37 AM)

      • #6
        Originally posted by *007*@Aug 17 2005, 06:33 AM
        I thought the 9/11 commission was the end-all, be-all conclusion on what happened?

        I'm outraged...

        plussity pluss pluss
        Un-Official Sponsor of Randy Choate and Kevin Siegrist

        Comment


        • #7
          This from the National Review is interesting. What I don't understand is why the 9/11 commission did not even consider this information.

          WAS THE CONCERN WITH ABLE DANGER 'THE WALL,' OR GENERAL PUBLIC RELATIONS CONCERNS?

          Today I heard from a former Department of Justice aide under former Attorney General John Ashcroft. He says he isn’t sure that the “wall” was the main issue in Able Danger:

          It's not clear to me that [the wall] was the impediment in the Able Danger case. At least from the reports I've seen this morning, Shaffer and DOD lawyers were saying the AD guys were being blocked from speaking to the FBI out of public relations concerns about word leaking out about what amounted to a military operation against foreign nationals in the U.S.

          Now the wall blocking intelligence being shared with criminal prosecutors
          or investigators may have been the impediment. I'm just not reading that
          that is the case in these first on-the-record, verifiable reports. I know
          that over the past few weeks Weldon and others have made the argument, I'm
          just not seeing it being confirmed in these latest news reports with
          Shaffer front and center and on the record.


          Perhaps this doesn’t stem from the specific policies set out in the Gorelick memo, but in the Clinton administration's broader attitude toward cooperation between the military and/or intelligence and/or law enforcement — of which "the wall" is the most concrete example.

          The Gorelick Memo can be seen here. It states:

          We believe that it is prudent to establish a set of instructions that will more clearly separate the counterintelligence investigation from the more limited, but continued, criminal investigations. These procedures, which go beyond what is legally required, will prevent any risk of creating an unwarranted appearance that FISA is being used to avoid procedural safeguards which would apply in a criminal investigation.

          At first glance, the wall might seem like a good idea. Hey, we don’t want any “unwarranted appearances” that law enforcement is working around “procedural safeguards in a criminal investigation.”

          But these are terrorists we’re talking about, not garden-variety bank robbers or mobsters. The objective shouldn’t be airtight prosecutions after the attack; the objective should be catching these guys before they attack.

          The message of the Gorelick memo, and Reno’s concurring memo months later, and the kiss-off to Mary Jo White’s objections, all indicate that the attitude during the Clinton years was not, “do whatever it takes, communicate with whoever you have to, in order to prevent attacks.” The attitude was, “don’t botch our prosecutions by doing anything that might even appear to be a violation of FISA.”

          And, oh, by the way… 9/11 Commission, you guys stink for not even mentioning Mary Jo White’s objections to the wall in a footnote. It’s stuff like this that makes people start chanting, “White-wash! White-wash!”
          http://tks.nationalreview.com/archives/073272.asp
          "You can't handle my opinions." Moedrabowsky

          Jeffro is a hell of a good man.

          "A liberal is a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel." - Robert Frost

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          • #8
            Because they don't want to admit we fucked up, that we should have done something.
            Be passionate about what you believe in, or why bother.

            Comment


            • #9
              Originally posted by madyaks@Aug 17 2005, 11:37 AM
              Because they don't want to admit we fucked up, that we should have done something.
              They did say we fucked up -- so that's not the reason. It must be something else. I hope it has nothing to do with the fact that one of their members is the one who established the wall between military intellegence the DoJ. I'm afraid that it might, which would totally deligitimize the work the commission did.
              "You can't handle my opinions." Moedrabowsky

              Jeffro is a hell of a good man.

              "A liberal is a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel." - Robert Frost

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