Able Danger - Send in the Clowns....

I was watching soon to be Plame Game star, NBC's Timmy Russert (aka. "Little Russ") on his program MTP, where he was interviewing Keen and Hamilton of the 911 Omission Commission, and yes, the question of Able Danger was popped.

To help set the mood, let's combine Keen and Hamilton's answers with lryics from the famous musical - "Send in the Clowns":

"MR. RUSSERT: A few weeks ago I had the former director of the FBI, Louis Freeh, on this program, and he was very pointed on some comments about your commission. And he wrote this piece for The Wall Street Journal. Let me walk you through it: "Why Did the 9-11 Commission Ignore `Able Danger'? Recent revelations from the military intelligence operation code-named `Able Danger' have cast light on a missed opportunity that could have potentially prevented 9/11. Specifically, Able Danger concluded in February 2000 that military experts had identified Mohamed Atta by name (and maybe by photograph) as an al-Qaeda agent operating in the U.S. Subsequently, military officers assigned to Able Danger were prevented from sharing this critical information with FBI agents, even though appointments had been made to do so. Why?...

"Was Able Danger intelligence provided to the 9-11 Commission prior to the finalization of its report, and, if so, why was it not explored? In sum, what did the 9/11 commissioners and their staff know about Able Danger and when did they know it? ...the 9-11 Commission inexplicably concluded that it `was not historically significant.' This astounding conclusion--in combination with the failure to investigate Able Danger and incorporate it into its findings--raises serious challenges to the commission's credibility and, if the facts prove out, might just render the commission historically insignificant itself."

(..Isn’t it rich,
Aren’t we a pair
Me here at last on the ground,
You in mid-air
Send in the clowns....)

"MR. HAMILTON: Well, that's a big "if" on the end there. Look, we looked at Able Danger very, very carefully. We do not think there was anything there of great significance. Now, something could come out in the future. I don't know. But in Mr. Freeh's article he did not present any new evidence at all. Our investigators were informed about Able Danger. We requested all of the documents relating to Able Danger. We reviewed these documents. We had investigators meet with some of these people in Afghanistan and other places. The bottom line is that they can furnish no documentary evidence to support their charges that they had a chart, for example, with Mohamed Atta's name on it. It is..."

(Isn’t it bliss,
Don’t you approve
One who keeps tearing around,
One who can’t move
Where are the clowns?
Send in the clowns)

"MR. RUSSERT: Congressman Weldon of Pennsylvania says he gave that chart to the national security advisor.

MR. HAMILTON: And the national security advisor denied that he ever got it. That was the assistant, Stephen Hadley, not Condi Rice, at the time. We have not seen that chart. We have not seen Mohamed Atta's name in any documentation prior to 9/11. Believe me, we know the name of Atta and we would have been alert to it. We just need evidence to support these charges. We don't accuse anyone here of bad intentions. But the people that have brought forward this information have not given us any documentation. They were not involved in the analysis of it themselves. Their recollections in some respects--for example, the whereabouts of Mohamed Atta--simply are not accurate. We have documentation to show that. So we need to have more evidence, and Mr. Freeh's article simply did not bring forward any new evidence. We concluded--the staff concluded, not the commission--that this information was not valid, that there was too much doubt about it."

(Just when I stopped opening doors
Finally knowing the one that I wanted was yours
Making my entrance again with my usual flair
Sure of my lines - no one is there)

"MR. RUSSERT: Do you agree with that?

MR. KEAN: Yeah. We had an awful lot of people coming forward, 50 or 60, saying they saw Mohamed Atta here, they saw Mohamed Atta there; they had this and that. There was absolutely no evidence to back this up. There still isn't any evidence to back it up. If people want to look into it, they're welcome to. We still haven't seen the evidence to indicate it. We saw every file. The Pentagon denies it. They say they haven't gotten any information. The White House...

MR. HAMILTON: White House denies it.

MR. KEAN: White House denies it. Nobody brought the congressional investigation any information. Nobody gave any information to the 9/11 Commission to back this up. If this is true in any way, it's a monstrous conspiracy. I haven't seen any evidence to back it up."

(Don’t you love farce,
My fault I fear
I thought that you’d want what I want,
Sorry my dear
But where are the clowns
There ought to be clowns
Quick send in the clowns....)

Tracked with AJ Strata and Able Danger Blog.