Early today I watched the 'Spector House' Able Danger hearings on CSPAN.
I watched closely, because at 8am, my cell was buzzing, a call from a friend. I had asked him to get some clarification on Shaffer's story that Rummy told 'em not to testify. The word I got from him was that contrary to popular knowledge, Rummy didn't pull the plug on the witnesses, it came from "Cobweb", which is just a little - OK, a lot higher up the chain.
Here's what I know. Spector is being "allowed" this little foray basically to keep Weldon quiet. Like I said before, "Give him his hearing and maybe he'll go away". There are people - active - who want this to go away and have the power to make it go away.
I know that everyone is clamering for more and indeed you have some of the families of 9/11 victims and others demanding answers. But unless the WH walls come crumbling down, it isn't going to happen. The MSM isn't picking up on the story (a little CIA/MSM/CYA going on IMHO), thus the majority of the public isn't catching on - thus no interest outside of bloggers and the principles.
So my take is that we'll have more 'revelations', 'hearings, etc, but that's about it. Weldon's book will sell a lot of copies.
The fact is that - and catch my drift - there are people that feel that keeping the truth at bay is better at this time than to "let it all hang out."
A sham, yeah. Incredible, yeah that too. But it won't be the first time and it's likely not to be the last.
Just my two cents.
UPDATE: I posted this when the story began appearing. During my stint (AI), we were governed by Army Field Manual 2, which has a paragraph:
"US Code, Executive Orders, DOD Directives, and Army Regulations contain specific guidance regarding prohibition on the collection of intelligence information on US citizens, US corporations, and resident aliens. These laws and regulations include criminal penalties for their violation. Any PIO directed against US citizens should undergo competent legal review prior to their initiation." FM 2, US Army, May 2004.
PIO is short for Police Investigative Operation. Here's the point:, If no legal review was sought BEFORE Able Danger began poking around - it was a MAJOR NO-NO. Thus, while the idea was correct, the operation itself may have violated applicable laws, regs, etc. Just additional thought and makes sense that primarly AI was involved in the destruction of the documents (which was done incidently according to regulation).
UPDATE: II Andy McCarthy over at the Corner:
"What is unfolding here is an embarrassing story. Data mining efforts harvested some information on US persons (essentially, citizens and permanent resident aliens) in the course of investigating al Qaeda (and later, Chinese proliferation). But Atta was not a US person. There was no impropriety in collecting information on him, nor does it smack of any McCarthy-era list-making – these are the lists everyone knows we are allowed to make and should be making. There is no question that al Qaeda was being investigated by other arms of government at that time – and that such lists were being made."
That is incorrect for the reasons stated above IF Atta's status was "Resident Alien", see the FM 2 reference above.
"It is, moreover, alleged that, even though the documentation had been destroyed, an Able Danger briefing was given to Gen. Shelton (of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) in January 2001. And it came up in a briefing given to Stephen Cambone – then a top advisor to Sec’y Rumsfeld and now undersecretary for intelligence – in around March 2001.
Weldon testified this morning that two weeks ago, at an informal briefing to House members, a Pentagon lawyer said that there had been no need to get special clearance to destroy Able Danger materials because they were open-source, not classified. Now, the Pentagon is blocking the Senate from conducting its oversight function by claiming it is worried about disclosure of classified information – even to the point of declining to allow witnesses to testify in closed session.
Finally, Weldon repeated today that he told then-Deputy National Security Adviser (now NSA) Steve Hadley about Able Danger and gave him a chart with Atta on it right after the 9/11 attacks. He added today that Rep. Dan Burton came with him to see Hadley on that occasion. He also reported that Hadley conceded to him, in a conversation about 3 months ago, that he recalled Weldon providing the chart. Yet, we have still not heard a word from Hadley – who could have put a lot of these claims and counter-claims about the credibility of the witnesses to rest weeks ago by simply confirming or denying Weldon’s version of events."
Exactly, and their absence is telling. Moreover, one man, General Schoomaker, who ran the program (with that plussed up Weldon funding) could solve a lot just by speaking up. He hasn't, and he won't.
You can also forget about Shelton talking (loves that pension too much).
Followup post here
Cpt's Thoughts, Tom Mcguire.
Filed Under: Able Danger Curt Weldon