Monday Morning Intelligence and the NY Times with Kool Aid - 14

Captain's Quarters has the story on what is being called the "second witness" to the Able Danger Program.

"WASHINGTON, Aug. 22 - An active-duty Navy captain has become the second military officer to come forward publicly to say that a secret defense intelligence program tagged the ringleader of the Sept. 11 attacks as a possible terrorist more than a year before the attacks.

The officer, Scott J. Phillpott, said in a statement today that he could not discuss details of the military program, which was called Able Danger, but confirmed that its analysts had identified the Sept. 11 ringleader, Mohamed Atta, by name by early 2000. "My story is consistent," said Captain Phillpott, who managed the program for the Pentagon's Special Operations Command. "Atta was identified by Able Danger by January-February of 2000."

His comments came on the same day that the Pentagon's chief spokesman, Lawrence Di Rita, told reporters that the Defense Department had been unable to validate the assertions made by an Army intelligence veteran, Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, and now backed up by Captain Phillpott, about the early identification of Mr. Atta.

Colonel Shaffer went public with his assertions last week, saying that analysts in the intelligence project had been overruled by military lawyers when they tried to share the program's findings with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2000 in hope of tracking down terror suspects tied to Al Qaeda.

Mr. Di Rita said in an interview that while the department continued to investigate the assertions, there was no evidence so far that the intelligence unit had come up with such specific information about Mr. Atta and any of the other hijackers.

He said that while Colonel Shaffer and Captain Phillpott were respected military officers whose accounts were taken seriously, "thus far we've not been able to uncover what these people said they saw - memory is a complicated thing."

Yes it is.

What in the hell is going on here? At this point the Pentagon would lose or gain nothing by "coming into the clear" about Able Danger -yet, to this date, the Pentagon cannot confirm any part of the story. Basically because there is "No evidence".

I think that is important.

"Di Rita said Pentagon researchers have found no evidence that Able Danger had Mohamed Atta's name. He said he was unsure whether the unit came up with the identities of the other three hijackers but then said that none of Shaffer's specific claims had been validated.

Shaffer himself has not provided any documentary proof, Di Rita said, and said Shaffer has presented his information as second hand."

There isn't a single shred of evidence these guys pegged Mickey Mouse much less Mohammed Atta. Now, I know, it ain't popular to critque the miltiary guys, but since I was one myself for a long time, I'll do the honors.

Either you all get off Weldon's nightgown and produce more than what you have, or shut up already. Again, "put up" or "shut up".

Look, I'd love for this story to be true and mostly certainly some parts are. Yeah, there was an Able Danger. But what they found, how successful they were, are all at this point "blog fodder" and speculation.

I've read all the sererios and heard from the good Col, everything sounds convincing, yet "sounds" don't equal "evidence". Hell, I've been to movies that "seemed real", but in the end it was only a movie.

Need some solid evidence - on paper, and witnesses who aren't tied to the Weldon purse strings if this story is going to really get some traction.

Commission Member Slade Gordon's appearance on the O'Reilly Factor is generating some buzz. Tom Mcguire has the rundown. Specifically, Gordon's comments are at issue:

"It has nothing and, as of today, it tells us that the civilian female whom Col Shaffer has as a source does not corroborate what he has to say."

Well, let me tell you, that whomever this "female" is, she isn't the only one not colaborating the story, as we'll see as this tale unfolds.

The "Chart Question" is the greatest stumbling block to this story now, I talk about that here.