Sunday, August 14, 2005

Able Danger

Perhaps you've heard of the Able Danger controversy buzzing around the net. If the claims of Rep. Weldon are substantiated, this could be much, much bigger than Watergate.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has a good summary of what's known so far. The whole thing should be read.

But for a flavor,
Able Danger was a military intelligence unit set up by Special Operations Command in 1999. A year before the 9/11 attacks, Able Danger identified hijack leader Mohamed Atta and the other members of his cell. But Clinton administration officials stopped them -- three times -- from sharing this information with the FBI.

The problem was the order Clinton Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick made forbidding intelligence operatives from sharing information with criminal investigators. (Gorelick later served as a 9/11 commission member.)

"They were stopped because the lawyers at that time in 2000 told them Mohamed Atta had a green card" -- he didn't -- "and they could not go after someone with a green card," said Rep. Curt Weldon, the Pennsylvania Republican who brought the existence of Able Danger to light.
This now could make the bizarre behavior of Sandy Berger make sense, because one doesn't just stuff classified documents in one's pants and shred them by accident:
It was in October 2003 that Clinton National Security Adviser Sandy Berger stole classified documents from the National Archives and destroyed some. Berger allegedly was studying documents in the archives to help prepare Clinton officials to testify before the 9/11 commission. Was he removing references to Able Danger? Someone should ask him before he is sentenced next month.
Why would the 9/11 commission (apart from being an assemblage of white-washing weasels intent on election-year grandstanding) ignore this key information in its report?
After having first denied that staff had been briefed on Able Danger, commission spokesman Al Felzenberg said no reference was made to it in the final report because "it was not consistent with what the commission knew about Atta's whereabouts before the attacks," the AP reported.

The only dispute over Atta's whereabouts is whether he was in Prague on April 9, 2001, to meet with Samir al Ani, an Iraqi intelligence officer. Czech intelligence insists he was. Able Danger, apparently, had information supporting the Czechs.

The CIA, and the 9/11 commission, say Atta wasn't in Prague April 9, 2001, because his cell phone was used in Florida that day. But there is no evidence of who used the phone. Atta could have lent it to a confederate. (It wouldn't have worked in Europe anyway.)

But acknowledging that possibility would leave open the likelihood that Saddam's regime was involved in, or at least had foreknowledge of, the 9/11 attacks. And that would have been as uncomfortable for Democrats as the revelation that 9/11 could have been prevented if it hadn't been for the Clinton administration's wall of separation.
Oh, that Mr. Atta!

Big rundownn of links and sources about all that is known about Able Danger and the controvery is here, very vital stuff!

This was all found via Dr. Sanity who is following the story with loads of links.

The Reno-Gorelick "wall" preventing information sharing remains a mystery as to why it was constructed, as it was not required by law, but was merely a rule-based policy. There is of course speculation, but that must wait for substantiation. It makes the weirdness of Berger and Gorelick explicable, however:
Jamie Gorelick and her ilk had to realize that if this information became public, it would be devastating to the Democrats. After all, they set up the wall. Furthermore, at the time, Sandy Berger was an adviser to John Kerry and helping his Presidential run. If Berger was found to be the one who reinforced the wall in 2000, it would have reflected rather poorly on Kerry. Since part of the Politically Correct world view is to divide the world between the Peace loving, all nurturing Mother-State and the evil, warlike Father-Oppressor, it was literally life and death to many of the Democratic supporters to have Kerry win the election. Thus, they could rationalize leaving out such crucial information, believing that the good of the country required a Democratic victory. They truly believed they were not pitting narrow partisanship above the nation's well being.

Finally, in order to maintain the fantasy of a peace loving, nurturing world, it was absolutely necessary to deny and minimize any connection between Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. If there were a connection, the rationale for war with Iraq would be unassailable. We would not now be arguing about missing WMD or counting American bodies to determine if the war was worthwhile or justified. This is by far the most benign view of the 9/11 Omissions' omissions.

I can only conclude that the mental set of the 9/11 Omission members either actively or passively lead them to not see crucial information that would have changed the entire discussion of 9/11, the Iraq War, the Patriot Act, and almost everything else that has gone on since the World Trade Centers came crashing down.
Captain Ed is less generous:
Without a doubt, the policy instituted by the holier-than-thou attitude of the Clinton administration contributed mightily to the inability of the security services to protect the US from the 9/11 attack. The developments now before us showing that the Commission deliberately omitted evidence of this from their report strongly suggests that one or more of its members (and their staff) had a vested interest in keeping that as quiet as possible.
See the rest of the analysis as well as the comments.

Janet Reno, overseer of Waco and Ruby Ridge and Elian Gonzales, now part of putting up the Wall. Worst Attorney General EVER!

Note that the "datamining" that picked up the names of 4 hijackers by Able Danger was very successful, but the expansion of that project was squashed by civil libertarians. Note that the Patriot Act has done much to remove the ridiculous "wall" between agencies, but remains decried by the left.

What is wrong with these people?


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