Sunday, August 14, 2005

Able Danger -- now they tell us

The recent revelations of the Able Danger group has basically made much of the 9/11 Commission's Report into a work of fiction. The failure of the commission to look into the Able Danger information and the resulting orders from lawyers in the Clinton Administration Justice Department, leaves a huge hole in the report. Initially, Lee Hamilton, Co-Chair of the Commission, denied any knowledge of the Able Danger Group. After the NY Times reported that the Commission staffers knew of Able Danger, Hamilton quickly changed his tune. Jack Kelly has more on this in his article.

'The report of the 9/11 commission, once a best seller and hailed by the news media as the definitive word on the subject, must now be moved to the fiction shelves.

The commission concluded, you'll recall, that the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon couldn't have been prevented, and that if there was negligence, it was as much the fault of the Bush administration (for moving slowly on the recommendations of Clinton counterterrorism chief Richard Clarke) as of the Clinton administration.

Able Danger has changed all of that.

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.'

What in the hell were these lawyers thinking? Is having a green card a license to commit crime? As for Gorelick, I have posted here numerous times that she should never had been appointed to this Commission, but, instead, been directed to testify before it.

'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.

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.)'

Is that what Berger was after? Documents that mentioned Able Danger and how the Justice Department screws the pooch on that one? So Atta was not in Prague because he used his cellphone in Florida on that date? How flimsy is that as evidence? Anyone could have used Atta's cell if he left it behind. If Atta was indeed in Prague as Czech Intelligence has claimed, meeting with know Iraqi intelligence agents, that would mean that Iraq and Saddam were involved in the 9/11 attacks. Some one needs to dig very deeply into this, so the truth is known. - Sailor

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