Monday Morning Intelligence and the NY Times with Kool Aid - 12

Time Magazine: The former 9/11 commission chairman, Tom Kean, is lashing out at the Bush Administration

The Blame Game begins

"That question has recently been buzzing around Washington, but now the chairman of the defunct 9/11 commission has lashed out at the Bush Administration for failing to address publicly claims that the panel ignored a tip that Atta had been flagged in the U.S. as a terrorist well before he led the 2001 attacks.

Former chairman Tom Kean told TIME that the White House should confirm whether, right after 9/11, Congressman Curt Weldon handed then Deputy National Security Adviser Steven Hadley a 1999 Pentagon chart pegging Atta as a member of al-Qaeda. Weldon makes the allegation in a book he published this summer and claims the commission failed to scrutinize a Pentagon data-mining program called "Able Danger." "I'm offended, because people say, 'Well, why didn't you do anything?'" says Kean."

I agree with Kean, that the WH either confirms or denies that this meeting between Weldon and Hadley took place, and if it did take place, did Weldon actually give Hadley a chart as Weldon charged:

"Two weeks after 9/11, I took the basic information in this chart down to the White House. I had asked for a meeting with Steve Hadley, who at that time was Deputy National Security Advisor. The chart was smaller. It was 2 feet by 3 feet, but the same information was in the center. Steve Hadley looked at the chart and said, Congressman, where did you get that chart from? I said, I got it from the military. I said, This is the process; this is the result of the process that I was pitching since 1999 to our government to implement, but the CIA kept saying we do not need it. Steve Hadley said, Congressman, I am going to take this chart, and I am going to show it to the man. The man that he meant, Mr. Speaker, was the President of the United States. I said, Mr. Hadley, you mean you have not seen something like this before from the CIA, this chart of al Qaeda worldwide and in the U.S.? And he said, No, Congressman. So I gave him the chart. Now, Mr. Speaker, what is interesting in this chart of al Qaeda, and you cannot see this from a distance, but right here in the center is the name of the leader of the New York cell. And that name is very familiar to the people of America."

The most unchallenged part of this case is this assertion of Weldon that he gave Hadley the Able Danger Chart. Because until this date Handly has neither confirmed or denied the meeting, or of receiving/not receiving the chart. Moreover, we are not sure that there ever was a chart.

Some people are jumping all over the MSM for basically ignoring this story, but to be fair, at this point absent hard evidence it IS just a story. Everybody I know who is looking into it is coming up with NADA on a paperwork trail.

Time's article tells us the same story:

"After largely declining comment for nearly two weeks, a Pentagon spokesman told TIME last week that the Defense Department has been "aggressively looking into these allegations" but has yet to find documentation to support them."

This pretty much confirms what I've found out from some of my sources. IF this program existed it operated so far under the radar that nobody who should be in the know at the Pentagon, never heard of it. The documentation is nonexistant outside of Weldon's notes. There simply isn't any proof, and that's the only verifiable fact at this point.

UPDATE: Rich Lowry at NRO has basically the same feelings as I have towards "The Chart", and the same doubts:

"It might happen that at any moment we get compelling evidence that dispells all doubt about the Able Danger business, but I have to agree with JPod that it's not making a lot of sense right now. Put aside Andy's questions about Shaffer at the moment. So, let me get this straight: Weldon gives his chart to Steve Hadley, and doesn't make a dupplicate of it, even though it is extremely explosive. Weldon apparently mentions it to no one for years, even though the congressman isn't particularly shy about publicity. He doesn't mention it to the congressional panel investigating 9/11 or the 9/11 commission. And then what happens to the chart? Does Hadley lose it? Deliberately destroy it? In my experience people at the Bush NSC aren't generally very reluctant to point out counter-terrorism failings during the Clinton years. But for some reason apparently no one at the NSC talks about this chart to anyone. They don't mention it the 9/11 commission either. When Weldon goes public and twists in the wind, Hadley doesn't come to his defense. We still haven't heard from everyone in this matter, but for now it's sounding pretty shaky..."

This has been one of my points all along. If Able Danger is absolutely true and Atta and the others were fingered by the group, and IF the Gorelick wall stuffed the info, why would the Bush administration NOT get this out? Why hide it, when none of this occurred on their watch?

Sorry, this doesn't make any sense at all.

For all the talk about how the 911 Commission was a farse mainly because it ignored some facts,and Jamie Gorelick, because of her wall that stopped information from being shared, isn't it interesting that this story of Able Danger itself rests on such flimsy evidentiary ground?

UPDATE II: I've been thinking a little about this Data Mining which is at the heart of this ABLE DANGER business.

Lot's of people are linking to this post for an explaination of how Able Danger might have been able to finger Atta.

Tom Mcguire notes the 'Doctor' as well ponders the issues regarding Atta.

Well, here is the obvious question about these kinds of "reconstructions".

1. Forget 9/11 - it's still 1999.

2. You're fudging around the internet trying to find terrorist and terrorists links.

3. You type in. "Al Qaeda" + "Infidel" + "US Easy Targets".

You tell me you "pluck" Atta specifically out of the millions of references you get back.

Ok, sue me for the over simplification. I know there would be more to the technology than that.

But the point is it is "1999", not 2001 or 2005.

We know that in 1999 Osama was a target, and so was AQ. But was Atta himself at the time on anyone's radar in 1999? Did anyone have him as a target? Would the name Mohammed Atta alerted anyone?

Would anyone have been "concerned"? Anyone?.... SD, CIA, FBI, SOC, anyone at all?

The answer is no. In 1999 Atta is hanging with the brothers in Germany waiting to go fight the Russian's in Chechnya. Atta wouldn't be on anyone's list in 1999 except Osma's, much less on a Able Danger Chart!