Sept. 11 Commission Rejects Atta Claim

"WASHINGTON -- Former members of the Sept. 11 commission on Wednesday dismissed assertions that a Pentagon intelligence unit identified lead hijacker Mohamed Atta as an member of al-Qaida long before the 2001 attacks.

The ex-commissioners also criticized the government for not putting in place changes recommended last year in homeland security and emergency response. They pointed most notably to the failure to improve communication systems, which they said might have saved lives after Hurricane Katrina."

Well that was a unceremonial thud to a building story if I ever saw one!

"Two military officers, Army Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer and Navy Capt. Scott Phillpott, claimed a classified military intelligence unit, known as "Able Danger," identified Atta before the attacks. Shaffer has said three other hijackers were identified, too.

Kean said the recollections of the intelligence officers cannot be verified by any document.

"Bluntly, it just didn't happen and that's the conclusion of all 10 of us," said a former commissioner, ex-Sen. Slade Gorton, R-Wash.

Pentagon officials said this month that they could find no documents to back up the claims."

Whether you're a fan of the Commission or not, this has been the glowing discrepancy all along.


Yes, witnesses, and some very good one's at that.

Note though that the Commission is not dissing the existance of Able Danger, nor of even some of their work. But the "Atta" angle is weak and always has been.

It doesn't help that Weldon cannot remember if Atta was on the chart that he says he gave to Hadley whom doesn't admit to squat. If only someone had a copy of the chart....

Now, my "brothers in the blogshere" Capt Ed and AJ Strata who did a lot of footwork on this story, and have I, and they have the following takes on this.

The Captain is blunt:

"Now they want to shade their eyes and cover their ears as the evidence they missed or actively ignored comes to light. Let them. It will only demonstrate their lack of investigatory detachment and marriage to their preconceived narratives all the more."

Ed too also makes the point that there have been a lot of witnesses. Yet again, the Commission didn't say there wasn't a program, and everyone knows, and even skeptical "I" admit that there was "something" to the story. However, as I have asserted the problem all along has been "cold-hard-evidence". Not just witnesses, but "paperwork" - namely that dang chart.

Or if my old Army chum General Schoomaker had spoke up - that would have been most helpful.

In addition to Weldon's flakey memory, Shaffer's admission that the whole reason they came forward for this story was yet another 'pet project' to drum up more funding is telling.

AJ Strata's take echos my main point though: "Note that the commission doesn’t address the full Able Danger claim - identifying possible AQ in country and trying to alert the FBI. The statement only mentions one terrorist: Atta.

Exactly. No one is doubting that point, it's the "Atta Angle" that killed the story - pure and simple.

Now the Commission's action only makes sense in regards to Katrina which gave the commission a sort of "New Focus", so that they are basically tossing this "annoyance" to the side, as if to say,

"Who has time? Let's fix what went wrong with Katrina"

You might say that if Hurricanes had a political persuasion Katrina was a democrat!

(Note: to search for other post of mine in this series, use the "search this blog" feature and put in macsmind+ able danger)

UPDATE: Weldon is unhindered!. Talk of document destruction and "yet" another suprise witness! I wonder if they'll bring the freaking chart with them.

Stick a fork in it - it's done.

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