Sunday, February 19, 2006

Able Danger

Here is some commentary on the recent public hearings on the Able Danger project. Jack Kelly has some interesting things to say.

"Through computer scanning of some 2.5 terabytes of classified and unclassified data, the Able Danger team identified five "nodes" of al-Qaida activity. One was in Brooklyn, N.Y. Another was in the port of Aden in Yemen, where the USS Cole was attacked.

Able Danger linked Mohamed Atta and three other 9/11 hijackers to the Brooklyn cell, said Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer, who was the liaison between the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Able Danger team.

"It shocked us how entrenched a presence al-Qaida had in the United States," Mr. Kleinsmith said.

Lt. Col. Shaffer testified he tried three times to have Able Danger data on the Brooklyn cell presented to the FBI, but that on each occasion Pentagon lawyers forbade the meeting.

In a commentary in The Wall Journal last November, Louis Freeh, who was FBI director at the time, said that if he had been told about what Able Danger had learned, 9/11 likely would have been prevented.

In March 2000, Maj. Kleinsmith was ordered to stop all work on Able Danger, and, later, to delete all the information collected."

One has to wonder why this project was terminated and why the insistence that all of the data be deleted. Seems to me that data mining would be an excellent tool to co-ordinate all of the data collected by the various intelligence agencies. One also has to wonder why the 9/11 Commission did not look deeper into the data gathered by the Able Danger group. Further, as Jack Kelly wonders, why is the Bush administration seemingly covering up this fiasco. After all, this did occur under the watch of the Clinton Administration. A deeper investigation into this is certainly warranted. - Sailor

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