Tuesday, February 21 2006 - Other Important News
ABLE DANGER and the 9/11 Whitewash
Sun Feb 19, 2006 at 05:46:33 PM PDT
On Wednesday, February 15th, 2006, LTC Anthony Shaffer submitted an amazing
written statement detailing his involvement with ABLE DANGER to Congress. You
can download a PDF of the statement here,
and I have made an HTML version here.
For those people who are new to the ABLE DANGER (AD), story, I can't think of
a better starting point.
The idea was to take the 'best and brightest' military operators, intelligence
officers, technicians and planners from the Special Operations Command (SOCOM),
the U.S. Army and the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), in an entrepreneurial
endeavor, much like bringing the best minds and capabilities from Ford Motor
Company, General Motors and Daimler-Chrysler to focus on a single challenge.
In the case of ABLE DANGER, the challenge was to discover the global 'body'
of Al Qaeda - then, with this knowledge, prepare military and intelligence
"options" that would be supported by the "actionable information" that was being produced by the project. - Prepared Statement Of LTC Shaffer,
That was the idea.
reprehensor's diary :: ::
And they had successes. Most notoriously identifying a threat in Yemen that
may have saved lives in the USS Cole bombing, and identifying Mohammed Atta
prior to 9/11; this once again reiterated in the February 15th Congressional
hearing by a contractor, James D. Smith, who worked at Orion Scientific Systems
During the Orion support (on or about 25 October 1999 to 04 August 2000),
James Smith delivered multiple open-source task order visual charts and
printed support documentation that identified "linkages" or "associations"
of people of interest and events including timeline charts, and historical
events visual charts, as defined by the U.S. Army INSCOM interests. James
Smith was the Task Lead/Program Manager/Business Developer for this support
effort during the identified timeframe. Detailed analytical support was
supplied by a variety of experienced analysts on a, "per task/availability"
schedule. Produced within James Smith's support timeframe (to the best
of his recollection) was a visual chart that identified associates of
known terrorists (Omar Abdul Rahman) within the New York City geographical
area (name of the visual chart is not documented within current notes);
Mohamed Atta's picture and association with Rahman was on the
chart. Several of these visual charts were printed and due to
the size of the charts (approximately 41/2' X 5') in size, printing irregularities
would result. Several of these charts addressing multiple topics were
retained by JD Smith and turned over to Representative Curt Weldon. James
Smith's copy of the chart containing the picture of Mohamed Atta was destroyed
in an office move in 2004. - Prepared Statement Of James D. Smith, 2/15/06
I think it's time to accept this fact, they did ID Atta.
Smith went on to say that there are two other Intelligence contractors willing
to sign affadavits saying that yes, that was Atta, not some "other Atta".
Shaffer's prepared statement is packed with explosive details...
My veteran ABLE DANGER colleagues and I share the common fear
that the seeds of the next 9-11 attack have already been sewn
- and that much of the critical data that was harvested for the ABLE DANGER
project, that could be used again now in the search for sleeper cells
and others that matched the "Atta" profile is now gone - destroyed at
the direction of DoD officials in the 2000 timeframe. You have heard from
Eric Kleinsmith of his work on ABLE DANGER, and his receiving direction
to "destroy the data and background documents or go to jail" - which he
did. However, it must be noted that despite citing AR 380-10 as the "authority"
for this action, the DoD lawyer is wrong and, worse, deceptive.
There are two exceptions that allow the retention of U.S. person information
- both of those were met by then MAJ Kleinsmith - yet lawyers directed
that he destroy the data anyway. Those exceptions are:
2. Publicly available information. Information may be collected about a
United States person if it is publicly available.
3( c ) Persons or organizations reasonably believed to be engaged or about
to engage, in international terrorist or international narcotics
Therefore, there was no "legal" reason for the directive that the
ABLE DANGER information and charts be destroyed then. So then, what was the
real reason? What is the real justification for these documents - this critical
data - to have been destroyed? Embarrassment and political CYA to protect
themselves from accountability for their bad, and in this case, fatal decisions,
made in 2001 regarding ABLE DANGER. - Prepared Statement Of LTC Shaffer, 2/15/06.
In his testimony, Shaffer relates that the CIA was uncooperative with AD because
if AD was successful, it would "steal CIA's thunder".
What the hell is that supposed to mean?
Shaffer has been perpetually harrassed by the DIA ever since he went to the
9/11 Commission and gave a briefing to Zelikow and other 9/11 staffers at Bagram
AFB in Afghanistan in late 2003;
There is no incentive for the bureaucrats to change - and instead of embracing
change, and being accountable to their actions, they obfuscate and inveigle
and hide their own failures. In my specific instance, DIA has been allowed
by DoD to make an "example" of me to try and intimidate the others from
coming forward by spending what we now estimate $2 million
in an effort to discredit and malign me by creating false allegations,
and using these false allegations to justify revocation of my Top Secret
security clearance. How can it be that we, as a country at war, have such
officers in the government who are more concerned about suppressing the
truth than winning the war? How many sets of body armor, or enhanced
protection for military vehicles in Iraq or Afghanistan would $2 million
buy? - Prepared Statement Of LTC Shaffer, 2/15/06.
This goes way beyond partisan politics. This about a defense establishment
that will not come clean about what happened on 9/11, from the history of the
"Afghan Arabs" to overlapping Intelligence operations that shared
It's time to accept the fact that the 9/11 Commission crafted a political document
in the "Final Report". It is clearly not a reference volume for serious research
regarding the events of 9/11.
The omission of AD from the Final Report is but one in a long list of items
that didn't fit the narrative the Commission sought to cobble together;
What happened to those reports that surfaced within months of September
11th stating that 7 or more of the alleged hijackers had come forward and
claimed that they were victims of stolen identities, they were alive and well,
living in Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Tunisia? Why did the Commission choose
not even to address this?
What about the terrorist Said Sheikh? Now sitting in a Pakistani prison
on charges of participating in the kidnapping and murder of Wall Street Journal's
Daniel Pearl. According to Indian intelligence, this man received orders from
a Pakistani General to transfer $100,000 to Mohammed Atta. People all over
the world are talking about this story. But not a word about it in the Report.
What about Osama bin Laden and his role in the Mujahadin backed by the CIA
in the 1980's to fight the Soviets? The Commission didn't go there. - Rep. Cynthia McKinney, 7/22/2005
McKinney has been an invaluable asset regarding the pursuit of the truth regarding
the events of 9/11. She is deeply entrenched with Weldon on this issue, and
is sure to keep the normally rabidly partisan Weldon on the straight and narrow.
As to Zelikow and his whitewash, McKinney and Shaffer are hardly alone in their
assessment, but Shaffer's testimony bears special scrutiny;
During my first meeting with Congressman Weldon I was asked some questions
about what became of the overall ABLE DANGER effort - he had heard some
details from Capt Phillpott in their first meeting (that preceded my meeting
with the Congressman by several days) - he asked me to provide my details
- which I did. I gave him the same basic SECRET level briefing
I had given the 9/11 Commission on Oct of 2003 at Bagram, AFG.
During the briefing, Congressman Weldon asked Russ Caso, his chief of
staff, to call the 9/11 commission and find out if they (the 9/11 commission)
had ever heard of ABLE DANGER. Mr. Caso left the room and called Chris
Cojm at the 9/11 Discourse Project and asked him if they had ever "heard
of something called ABLE DANGER". Chris quickly checked and told Russ
"Yes - we had heard of it" - Russ then asked him why they had
not put it in their final report - Cojm's answer was this "it did not
fit with the story we wanted to tell". Russ came back in and
told Congressman Weldon and me of the comment. Both Congressman Weldon
and I could not hide our astonished looks at hearing the news. This was
the beginning of the investigation as to why ABLE DANGER information was
not examined or included in the 9/11 report that has brought us to where
we are today. - Prepared Statement Of LTC Shaffer, 2/15/06.
If you have a copy of the 9/11 Commission's Final Report, I strongly recommend
that you consider it's alternative use; many months' worth of bird-cage liner.
If it's the Truth that you seek, you may be better off purchasing this volume.
But I digress...
Former CIA analyst Mel Goodman has been very critical of the "balanced
partisanship" of the 9/11 Commission, and offered his testimony for the
Congressional record last summer;
Let me briefly look at the Commission itself... what this country needed
was an independent, non-partisan commission. The Commission wasn't
non-partisan, it was presented to us as bi-partisan; but when
you appoint a group of people, 5 Democrats and 5 Republicans, that is
certainly not non-partisan, and I would argue that it's not even bi-partisan,
it's balanced partisanship. And you look at the Commission's
report, time and time again, to see where the Democrats on the Commission
checked the views of the Republicans checked the views of the Democrats,
so forget this notion that this was some sort of bi-partisan commission,
it wasn't, it was balanced partisanship, and it did a great deal of harm
to the final product.
Also if you look at the makeup of the Commission here you have an insufficiency
in the kinds of people who were picked to be on the Commission, and I'm
not going to look at the Commission members one by one, but the fact of
the matter is this is a group of people without any intelligence
experience at all. This is not a group of people -- not
one individual on this Commission had ever received a President's Daily
Briefing report, had never been involved as a consumer of intelligence,
had very little understanding, and that was particularly true of one of
the chairmen, the Governor from New Jersey, who admitted he had no understanding
of the intelligence community whatsoever.
So there was insufficient stature, insufficient experience, insufficient
knowledge of intelligence, and this was totally relevant to what needed
to be done. It would have been very easy to get a Blue Ribbon
commission. Where were people such as Sam Nunn, William Perry, George
Schultz, General Brent Scowcroft, Bill Bradley, David Boren, Gary Hart,
even Warren Rudman. People who had served on the intelligence committees,
who had studied the problem of intelligence and policy very closely and
may have had a contribution to make on the importance of change on the
intelligence community. - Mel
Major omissions and factual errors abound in the Final Report. In her testimony
last year, "Jersey Girl" Lorie Van Auken whittled the Final Report
from a fencepost to a matchstick: here she names some names;
The 9/11 Commission summarily blames the failure to connect the two dots
of the Phoenix Memo and Zacarias Moussaoui's file on the FBI's institutional
misunderstanding of the Reno wall, and the agency's inherent inability to
share information across and throughout its ranks.
What is missing from this analysis and rather facile conclusion was that
it was two individuals, who worked together, and not a 'misunderstanding
of the Reno wall', that is to blame for the failure of the FBI to receive
a FISA warrant in the case of Zacarias Moussaoui. It is likewise
those same individuals who are responsible for the Phoenix Memo being
downplayed and all but ignored.
FBI supervisor David Frasca and his underling, Michael Maltbie failed
to permit FBI agents to request a FISA warrant for Moussaoui but also altered
the agent's initial request for it. Specifically, on August 28th,
2001, Maltbie edited the Minnesota FBI's request for a FISA warrant to search
Zacarias Moussaoui's possessions. The Minnesota FBI's field office wanted
to prove that Moussaoui was connected to Al Qaeda through a rebel group in
Chechnya. But the RFU agent Maltbie removed the information connecting the
Chechen rebels to Al Qaeda.
Subsequently, the FBI General Counsel who received the edited request, scrubbed
clean of any international terrorist ties, decided that there wasn't enough
of a connection between Moussaoui and Al Qaeda to allow for an application
for a search warrant through FISA.
Thus, a FISA warrant was never even applied for. - Lorie
Van Auken, 7/22/2005.
Shaffer, with literally nothing left to lose career-wise, is also naming names;
As one of the reports in the press commented last year regarding
the story, there are "bad guys" who were not held accountable for their
failures. There were those who were fearful of what we were doing
who played politics and shortchanged the nation in both their duty and
loyalty to the country, and in the end they put their career ahead of
doing the right thing.
Mr. William Huntington, who was just promoted to serve
as the Deputy Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, who after becoming
the Deputy Director of HUMINT in the early 2001 timeframe passed the buck.
When I attempted to brief him on the DORHAWK GALLEY project, to include
information on the ABLE DANGER project that was specific portions of the
ABLE DANGER methodology to sort through and separate U.S. Person information
from Foreign Intelligence information, refused to hear the briefing, announcing
that "I can't be here, I can't see this" as he left his
office and refused to hear the information. By doing this, he could later
feign ignorance of the project should it have been compromised to the
public. It is my belief that he is an example of the cultural problem
- senior bureaucrats who are more focused on their own career and having
"plausible deniability" to never allow anything "controversial or risky"
to "touch them". It is of grave concern that Mr. Huntington is
the one who is behind the troubling coincidence regarding my security
clearance being suspended in March of 2004, just after reporting to my
DIA chain of command (to include Mr. Huntington) of my contact with the
9-11 commission, and my offer to share the ABLE DANGER information to
the 9-11 commission. I would question the judgment of DIA's leadership
to offer Mr. Huntington up as its "expert" on ABLE DANGER based on his
earlier refusal to deal with this issue in 2001. Further, I have direct
knowledge of two officers - one a senior DoD civilian, the other a senior
active duty military officer - both former members of Defense HUMINT -
that Mr. Huntington directed them to lie to congress to conceal
the true scope and nature of problems within Defense HUMINT.
Both refused his directive to lie and are no longer members of Defense
HUMINT. Mr. Huntington's conduct speaks for itself. - Prepared Statement
Of LTC Shaffer, 2/15/06.
Ladies and gentlemen, we are way beyond the looking glass here.
I urge you join Mediachannel.org's (Media for Democracy project) call to demand Press Coverage of ABLE
This is bad.
The 9/11 Commission Report One Year Later; Did the Commission Get it Right?
Wikipedia's list of the 9/11 Commissioners: 5 Republicans, 5 Democrats
[911Truth.org Ed. Note: See also Bryan Sacks' excellent piece on the 9/11 Commission's
Executive Director, Philip
Zelikow: The Bush Administration Investigates the Bush Administration.]