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Thursday, December 08, 2005

Able Danger Update VIII

It seems like the Able Danger story has completely fallen off of the radar. I haven't written an Able Danger update since October 22 , simply because there just doesn’t seem to be anything going on with this story.

However, writing today in the Philadelphia Daily News, Michael Smerconish reports that he recently asked ex-FBI director Louis Freeh for his response to comments made last weekend on Meet the Press by September 11 Commission chairman Thomas Kean and vice chairman Lee Hamilton.

According to Smerconish, Freeh's response was

Why is the 9/11 Commission talking about hurricanes and tunnels and all these other things when it looks like they may have missed the single most important fact with respect to Sept. 11? We didn't make it to the FBI, and that was the problem. We had information initiated by the Army. It was what they call 'open source' information which suggested that some of those bad guys, including Atta and three of his associates, were themselves associated with the Brooklyn cell. That was information that the lawyers said, 'Ah, they are here legally,' and put stickies over their faces.

By stickies , Freeh is referring to post-it notes that were put over the faces of terrorists whom government lawyers deemed were here legally, indicating that they could not be investigated.

Smerconish then asks us to “fast-forward two years after 9/11.” The 9/11 Commission was busy with its investigation into the events leading up to the 9/11 attacks, and asked that anyone with any significant information about those events come forward. Army intelligence officer Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, an Able Danger team member who has publicly stated that a terrorist cell which included Mohammed Atta and three other 9/11 hijackers had been identified operating in New York over a year before the terrorist attacks, did come forward. Shaffer told 9/11 Commission executive director Philip Zelikow what Able Danger had known about Atta.

"My bottom line to them was that through a data-processing exercise, we were able to identify two of the cells which conducted the 9/11 attack to include Atta."

As amazing as it seems, the Able Danger revelation was not mentioned in the 664-page final 9/11 Commission report. My only question is - why not?


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