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Monday Morning Intelligence with Kool Aid and the NY Times - 3

I'm going to start numbering these post as this story continues. Make sure to visit "all sides" both Captain Ed. and Tom Mcguire as well as AJ over at Strata-Sphere to keep up:

First, an observation and a admission. For those who thought the 9/11 was basically a "dog and pony" show, I agree. In fact if you could read my former blog (which was deleted when I switched hosting), you would have seen some real bitting commentary on the whole that clap-trap. So if Captain Ed. and the rest wants them to "walk the plank", so be it. The fact that Clarke could have a part in it makes it all the better.

MY concern is with the intelligence part of the story and specifically because they involve my old stomping grounds I really want to get to the bottom of that barrel.

As I said in this post whether or not there was a Specop unit named "Able Danger", it's news to the command. Tom Mcguire makes an interesting point:

Per Weldon, the Able Danger team briefed Gen. Shelton in January 2001, but what did they say? Presentation, notes, recollections, testimony please."

Exactly. Not only that, but where in the heck is the entire paper trail (reports, etc)? Did the Able Danger team members memorized the info and then eat the paperwork? I'm really having an issue with how could this unit come into existance, do it's work, and then dissapear so completely that even the "home office" doesn't know they were there? Yeah we have "former members", coming forward (or at least people telling us they did). But WHO are they? Are they still active, retired? Just because a unit is disbanded it doesn't mean their reports, documents left with them.

Sorry, I hate all this anonymity. Let's see some names!

Again, to my previous post that this information was presented to the commission but dismissed as not credible: Tom writes:

" I'll say this, contra MacRanger - even if the Commission staffers weren't convinced about the veracity of Able Danger, it is hard to understand how they failed to mention it in the final report, especially since they recommended better communication and an attempt at data-mining. Well, let's find out."

I agree, at least a mention of the briefing (whether or not verifiable) should have been put in the addendum at the end. But then that brings the theory of the Committee Democrats possibly objecting to it's inclusion, etc.

Of course if we take this all the way to the brink, let's look at a few scenarios:

First the one that is gaining popularity:

1. The Commission was briefed. 2. They decided to hide the information from the report, or "Sandy Pants" took 'em, and perpetrate a lie. If this is so we've got quite a party on our hands. Cuff 'em and Stuff 'em I say.

Or..

1. The Commission got the intel. 2. Decided it wasn't applicable, and decided not to include it.

If so then it's case closed. People can yell and scream all they want about pre-conceived notions and they would have a point II will agree with, but in this senerio it would have been Commission's call to decide what applied and what didn't. However, I submit they would be hounded into oblivion over that move.

Over at Redstate they put these two senerios in a more ominous way:

"At a minimum the 9-11 Commission’s staff must own the fact that their investigation was built in part around preconceived outcomes. In a worst case key evidence was buried because the Commission staff didn’t like the story."

Again, agreed that would be bad and again, get out the cuffs. But I am much more interested in the intel that was gathered in 1999 and more importantly how it was or rather was not deciminated. Moreover, it really, really bugs me that everyone I talk to in AI who SHOULD be in the know, doesn't know squat about this operation. This along with the "timing" or rather lack of it (gaps everywhere), just reaks in my canteen cup.

As far as to relooking at everything lets hope in first verifying, and then looking at the data afresh with nothing hidden, we get the information we need so that 9/11 isn't repeated.

Just as an aside, over at Counterterrorism Blog there is a good article on what should the outcome of all this. Let the Church say "Amen" to the last sentence:

"We certainly cannot change what has happened in the past, but why aren't we doing those things that are essential to better protect our nation now?" Let's find out what happened and get it fixed.

Stay tuned....

UPDATE: Missed this entry by John Podhoretz over at the Corner:

"The 9/11 Commission staff did hear about intelligence-gathering efforts that hit pay dirt on the whereabouts of Mohammed Atta -- in 1999 -- and deliberately chose to omit word of those efforts.

And why? Because to do so might upset the timeline the Commission had established on Atta.

And why is that significant? Because the Mohammed Atta timeline established by the Commission pointedly insisted Atta did not meet with an Iraqi intelligence agent in Prague.

And why is that significant? Because debunking the Atta-Iraq connection was of vital importance to Democrats, who had become focused almost obsessively on the preposterous notion that there was no relation whatever between Al Qaeda and Iraq -- that Al Qaeda and Iraq might even have been enemies. (me: ....hmmmm....)

I was very skeptical of this Able Danger stuff about Atta, thought it was just same way Rep. Curt Weldon was trying to sell a book. No longer. This is clearly becoming the biggest story of the summer -- the fact that, as Andy McCarthy alluded to, the "intelligence wall" set up by 9/11 Commissioner Jamie Gorelick when she was in the Justice Department did, in fact, cause the linchpin of the 9/11 attacks to evade capture by American law enforcement.

So was the staff a) protecting the Atta timeline or b) Jamie Gorelick or c) the Clinton administration or d) itself, because it got hold of the information relatively late and the staff was lazy?"


(UPDATE NOTE: This admittedly neatly ties up that all important "motive and opportunity" we in law enforcment look for. My biggest bone with the Commission was the complete ignoring they did over the clear Al Qaeda/Iraq connections.

Yet I still have a question. Why didn't Weldon, knowing all this scream "LOUDER" after 2002? Why the "subtle" reference and then the wait? What about right after the Commission book was published? If he knew this information to be true, why didn't he call a press conference or ask for airtime, stand on top of the capital with a bull horn?

hmmm, still too many questions...but at least one end of this is coming together.

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