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Get Ready for the Ultimate Dog and Pony Show

Senate May Hold Hearings on Able Danger, Info-Sharing

Get ready for the Ultimate Dog and Pony show coming to a C-Span near you.

"Though no date has been set for any hearings, Specter sent a letter to FBI Director Robert Mueller on Wednesday asking the agency to provide to the committee "all information and documents it has in connection with Able Danger, Lt. Colonel Anthony Shaffer, Captain Scott Philpott or any other persons having any connections with Project Able Danger, including, but not limited to, e-mail communication, notes, phone message slips, memos or any other supporting documentation."

Specter also asked Mueller to make available FBI agent Xanthig Mangum to meet with his staff. Mangum is reported to have corresponded in 2000 with Shaffer, who helped run Able Danger's mission and has offered to testify on its findings, about scheduling a meeting between Able Danger and FBI staffs. No meeting ever took place.

Shaffer, Philpott and another analyst involved with Able Danger have recently gone public with their findings, saying they were discouraged from looking further into Atta, and their attempts to share their information with the FBI were thwarted because Atta was a legal foreign visitor at the time."

Weldon is really beginning to fit into that little hat we sometimes talk about, and showing it:

""This story needs to be told. The American people need to be told what could have been done to prevent 3,000 people from losing their lives," said Rep. Curt Weldon (search), R-Pa.

The Pentagon has been looking into what it knew and when it knew it, but spokesman Larry DiRita on Monday said defense officials have not been able to verify the Able Danger claims so far.

"There appear to be more memories than there is information to substantiate those memories. We're reviewing the matter carefully, but thus far have not found what it is these handful of individuals seem to remember. At a certain point, we'll decide we have looked long enough and welcome anyone else coming forward with additional information," the Pentagon said in a statement.

A Pentagon spokesman confirmed Thursday that the department has interviewed both Shaffer and Philpott as part of its investigation.

But Weldon on Thursday urged the Pentagon not to issue any more statements on Able Danger until its findings are complete.

Weldon said in a statement that doing so "might give the unfortunate impression that its results are predetermined."

The congressman said he spoke to DiRita on Wednesday and that "he was backpedaling left and right," claiming he was misquoted about the status of the search.

"There's something very sinister going on here that really troubles me," Weldon told FOX News on Thursday, blasting the Sept. 11 commission (search) for not taking the claims more seriously. He said some panel members were trying to smear Shaffer and Able Danger.

"What's the Sept. 11 commission got to hide?" Weldon asked. "The commission is trying to spin this because they're embarrassed about what's coming out. In two weeks with two staffers, I've uncovered more in this regard than they did with 80 staffers and $15 million of taxpayer money."

"It's always about you Rep. Weldon, isn't it?"

Again, as I said here the evidence in this story is wanting. Yeah, we have some witnesses coming forward, but all of them are "on the payroll" so to speak with Weldon. Yet this is NO paper trail, no documents, no chart, no proof - NADA.

Yet it is amazing that so many are creating senerios around "What might have happened".....

It's a free country....

So let's have some hearings. I have always been for getting the truth out. Yet after all the misinformation about Intelligence and lack thereof, I'm not jumping on this wagon until I see complete and irrefutable facts.

If Weldon was right, so be it - got no problem. If he turns out to be a hack (as it is becoming increasingly clear), I'll put the cuffs on myself.

More at Captain's Quarters and Tom Mcguire. Also AJ Strata.

UPDATE: Oh Gee, and now this......Holy Cr-:P!

CIA 9/11 Review Suggests Disciplining Top Officials

The Roberts confirmation hearings can't get here soon enough....

UPDATE I: As I thought, via this AP/Newsmax article:

"In a letter to FBI director Robert Mueller, Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., asked the agency for "all information and documents it has" on Able Danger, Shaffer, Philpott and any other people linked to the operation. The letter, dated Wednesday and distributed Thursday to reporters, also seeks a meeting between Specter's staff and FBI agent Xanthig Mangum.
A handwritten note at the bottom says, "Bob, I'd like to move head on this ASAP."

Whenever you see this kind of notation, "I'd like to move head on this ASAP", you might as well translate it:

"Bob, let's just get this over with so I can get Weldon off my back".

Fact is that there are oo many things on the table for September/October and beyond.

Contrary to what we would all like to see, 9/11 and the Commission's findings are going to stand where they are. It's done, it's over. "It's "old history" as an old Washington insider friend told me, they aren't going to dig up the dead on this - no matter what anyone later writes about it."

So unless something drastic takes place Spector isn't going anywhere with this - he's just trying to shut Weldon up.

Oh yeah, we'll have a "Show", maybe hearings of some sort, but ulimately nothing will colaborate Weldon, and the story will go off into the night and sell a lot of books for Weldon.

Yeah, that's cynical and unfortunate, but it's also Washington - it's life in the Big Leagues.


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