Wednesday, August 31, 2005

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Human Tragedy and the Stupid Liberal Media

In the midst of human tragedy, with thousands dead and people suffering, the MSM comes in to do what they do so well. Play the blame game and stoop lower than a three day old dog turd in the grass on a hot summer day, to take cheap shots at President Bush.

Witness these two assholes over at Newsweek, Richard Wolffe and Holly Bailey.

Bemoaning the tired crap we heard all month about the "Bush vacation" and the sad state of the Nation/Economy, blah, blah.....they question whether Bush was "ready for the storm?"

"On Tuesday, President Bush called an abrupt end to his five-week “working vacation” at his Texas ranch and announced he would return to the White House two days early to oversee federal response to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. “These are trying times for the people of these communities,” Bush said Tuesday during a visit to a naval base in San Diego. “We have a lot of work to do.”

You can read the rest. But these two pathetic idiots don't deserve the space.

Which is why no matter how they twist poll numbers, or slant the news to only show the bad, it simply won't work at the polls. Not to mention that we the public see through their pathetic charade they call a "news service" to see that ulimately they could give a crap about a drowned baby in New Orleans, or for that matter Baton Rouge.

That is unless that is they can turn it into a story that puts the President in a negative light.

That's sad, and so are Wolffe and Bailey.

More on the Evil Party at Redstate.
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Katrina Relief: Blog for Relief Day

Macsmind is joining with bloggers around the world for "Blog for Relief Day", September 1st, 2005.

Our chosen charity is the American Red Cross - first on the scene and last to leave of most disasters. Give deeply!

It doesn't have to be only money. They also need food, clothing and even your skills if you are medically, or even technically qualified.

More links at my previous posting.

Other links where you can volunteer or help out:

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster
Florida Office of Emergency Management (in state of Florida's site)
North American Center for Emergency Communications (NACEC)
NERIN project
Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Response Association
Disaster Relief
Lifelink
National Institute for Urban Search and Response

More via Phone:

• Operation Blessing
1-800-436-6348

• America’s Second Harvest
1-800-344-8070

• Adventist Community Services
1-800-381-7171

• Catholic Charities, USA
703 549-1390

• Christian Disaster Response
941-956-5183 or 941-551-9554

• Christian Reformed World Relief Committee
1-800-848-5818

• Church World Service
1-800-297-1516

• Convoy of Hope
417-823-8998

• Lutheran Disaster Response
800-638-3522

• Mennonite Disaster Service
717-859-2210

• Nazarene Disaster Response
888-256-5886

• Presbyterian Disaster Assistance
800-872-3283

• Salvation Army
1-800-SAL-ARMY (725-2769)

• Southern Baptist Convention -- Disaster Relief
1-800-462-8657, ext. 6440

• United Methodist Committee on Relief
1-800-554-8583

More links at Glenn Reynolds, and Foxnews.

FoxFan blogging by people directly affected by Katrina.

Rock lengend Fats Dominio missing.

Help 911 Dispatchers who live in the affected areas. As a former 911 Dispatcher you can't imagine having to work shifts, and help others all while your personal life has been turned upside down. 911 Cares is a organization devoted to helping those who help others. Visit their site and give. Also you can send direct help to:

PSTC 911 CARES
230 Twin Dolphin Drive #C
Redwood City, CA 94065 650-595-5202 is the phone number

Reports coming that 911 Centers are so overwhelmed or non-operational that people are calling the Red Cross in Omaha for assistance





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Monday Morning Intelligence and the NY Times with Kool Aid - 18

AJ Strata has the breaking news on a Pentagon 'reversal' on Able Danger:

"WASHINGTON - The Pentagon appears to have reversed its position on Able Danger, the Army intelligence collection team.

A Pentagon spokesman now says "there's no reason to doubt the specific recollections" of the growing number of team members. The team members say the project had pre-Sept. 11 intelligence on al Qaida, which Defense Department lawyers prohibited them from sharing with the FBI."


Ok, no reason to doubt....hmmmm - no reason to absolutely confirm either.

"Growing number of team members" Double "hmmmmmm"

Haven't grown since JD Smith, who incidently isn't who he said he is (more on that coming).

The rest of the news surrounds what I've said before here, that this was not a program to "scope" AQ, but citizens of the US.

Incidently, you didn't need all the "fancy pants" "Data-mining" tech to do it either. NSA had been/has been doing it for years.

In fact, I know it was talking place as far back as 1984-85; as I actually witnessed the process described here that goes back a lot farther than people realized.

Here are some declassed documents on the Tempest program.

So it isn't new.

If you think the Pentagon is letting this "cat" out of the bag.....heh..

Note: Yes, I'm tracking down the 'statement'

More at Tom Mcguire

Cpt. Ed, believes the time is near for the Pentagon to cough up. (hrrmpt!)

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

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The Lying Liberal Left

What is it with the nutcases on the left. Even when they can't find anything of substance on the issues, they make stuff up.

Randi Rhoades of Air America made it a point on her show today to spread the false rumor that President Bush was playing golf yesterday while New Orleans was getting hammered by Katrina.

Via Byron York over at the NRO Corner:

"Word has been going around in some quarters of the Left that yesterday, as Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama suffered the ravages of Hurricane Katrina, George W. Bush played golf. "The president went golfing at the El Mirage Golf Course yesterday while the people were literally suffering," Air America Radio host Randi Rhodes said today. "The president decided that the best use of his time would be to go golfing." The message, of course, was that Bush is so callous and so removed from reality that he went out for a bit of fun on the course while disaster struck the nation. The only problem is, according to the White House, the president didn't play golf yesterday. He took part in a Medicare event at the Pueblo El Mirage RV Resort and Country Club in El Mirage, Arizona -- during which he made some remarks about the hurricane -- but there was no golf."

It is amazing - well, no it's not, that Rhoades would try to use a tragedity to take a swipe at the President. Randi Rhoades you'll remember is famous for playing assasinate President Bush skits on her show - a real broadcasting high point of the 2004 election cycle.

Too bad she's not more concerned with Air America ripping off little kids, than with spreading false witnesss.

Leave it to the lying liberal left to use human tragedy to take a political swipe. Wonder why they can't win an election.
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Katrina Blogging the Aftermath - 2

Michelle Malkinis tracking the aftermath, note Military to step in. Of note upwards of eighty- percent of New Orleans is under water including the airports.

Communications is also hampered as two main Bellsouth internet backbones in New Orleans/Baton Rouge and Mobil are affected. I've noticed quite a few websites offline/non responsive this morning. Captain's Quarters is one of note.

UPDATES:

This site monitors internet traffic. Currently showing reponse times greatly affected in Atlanta with over 50 percent packet loss. Atlanta hubs serve the SE U.S including La, Miss.

Nola.com is blogging the after affects, with personal stories and other good information.

Wizbang is quoting news report that the New Orleans is being evacuated, water is rising.

News reports are indicating deteriorating conditions in New Orleans.The city has been broken into sectors.

From the National Institute for Urban Search and Rescue:

Helicopters and boats are working in different areas.

Fires have broken out.
Oil and gas in the water.
Vehicles still in the streets and some are blocking storm drains.
Situation in the Super Dome is getting worse.

If I haven't mentioned it already - DONATE NOW!

Glenn Reynolds with more links

Keep track with the WWLTV Blog.

Monday, August 29, 2005

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Reviewing the Al Qaeda/Iraq Connections

In light of Weldon's "wild-eyed speculations", what we do know, and what the 9/11 Commission did try to hide, is the real truth of the extensive Al Qaeda/Iraq connections that did exist prior to 9/11. Here are a few:

The Iraq -- Al Qaeda Connections - Richard Mintera.

The Mother of All Connections - July 18, 2005 Weekly Standard

Here is a link where Andrew C. McCarthy explores a true Atta/Iraq connection - the "Prague Meeting" of April 2001.

More on that meeting, some facts, and why the meeting was important is contained here.

Edward Jay Epstein, of Slate visits the same info here.
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Like I said, "Weldon is full of Crap"

According to this Newsmax article:

"A copy of the Able Danger chart that identified lead 9/11 hijacker Mohamed Atta as a terrorist operating inside the U.S. a year before the 9/11 attacks is clearly visible in a video of a 2002 speech by delivered by Rep. Curt Weldon to the Heritage Foundation.

The Pentagon, the 9/11 Commission and the Senate Intelligence Committee are currently seeking evidence that the bombshell chart, featuring a photo Atta, ever existed - as claimed by three members of the Able Danger team, along with Rep. Weldon. But so far, no physical evidence of the controversial document has surfaced.

Until now.

A third of the way through his May 23, 2002 address on data fusion techniques, the video shows Rep. Weldon unfurling a copy of the now missing document and displaying it to the Heritage audience.

"This is the unclassified chart that was done by the Special Forces Command briefing center one year before 9/11," he explains. "It is the complete architecture of al Qaeda and pan-Islamic extremism. It gives all the linkages. It gives all the capabilities. . . ."

Though Weldon never mentions Able Danger or Atta by name - and the video never zooms in on the chart to the point where Atta's photo is identifiable - it's clear from Weldon comments that the chart is the same one currently being sought."


Via Tom Mcquire, who links this interview with Weldon:

On August 15th, 2005, blogger Eric Umansky, states he interviewed Weldon, specifically to when he knew about Atta being on the chart.

"Along with some others, I’ve been confused about when exactly Weldon began to believe (or realized) Atta had been fingered by Able Danger and why he hadn’t said anything earlier. So I called Weldon. Here’s what he said:

What I said consistently, my focus wasn’t on Atta specifically. I knew that [the military’s data-mining programs] had been doing a lot of great work, IDing drug cartels, IDing global terror networks. Two weeks after 9/11 they brought me a chart of AQ cells. It was just a comprehensive list al-Qaida suspects. Do I remember everything that was on that chart? Absolutely not. I wasn’t focused on the specific findings. I was focused on the process. But the chart was so shocking, in general, that I immediately brought it to [then deputy national security advisor] Stephen Hadley. Hadley was so amazed with this, he said ‘I’ve got to show it to the man.”

Weldon repeated that the chart he gave Hadley was the only copy he had. I then asked him if he didn’t remember what was on that chart, how he came to believe Atta was on it:

Three months ago I was doing my book and went back to [former the Able Danger officers]. I wanted a copy of the chart, because much of my book was dealing with the importance of finding patterns in intelligence. So I asked them if they had another copy of the chart. They said no. So I asked them to recreate one—it was only then that they told me they had actually ID’d Atta and had recommended sharing it. What they told me and what I believe is the case that [the original chart] had a photo and name of Atta."


Weldon is full of crap. If Mohammed Atta would have really been on that chart in 2002, or if ever, then Weldon as the Vice Chairman of the House Armed Services and Homeland Security Committees, should have been able to recognize him.

Hell, anyone paying attention could have done that, as Atta's mug was all over the media by September 12th, 2001.

Just who in the hell is he jiving with this kosmik debri?

More at Captain Ed's.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

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Katrina Blogging the Aftermath

As a Florida resident (Broward County), I will tell you that I'm about up to HERE with the hurricanes already, yet nothing has me more worried than what is about to hit New Orleans.

As a ex-911 dispatcher who worked during Andrew I can tell you the horror what accompanies these monster storms. Just to let you know that Emergency services will not be available during the storm such as fire, police or EMS. During Andrew we had two fires and one heart attack. We could only listen but could not respond.

I imagine that it is the same for the Police and Fire in New Orleans.

So basically everyone is in God's Hands until the "all clear" is given.

Please visit Michelle Malkin for more tracking information on relief efforts after this killer storm, and remember that right now there isn't a lot that anyone can do, except pray and pray HARD!

But afterwards there are going to be a lot of needs - housing, water, dry goods, money, compassion. Be there! The best resource is the American Red Cross. They will be the first on the scene and the best way to help is to donate money. Don't worry they'll get the specfic help it where it belongs!

Wizbang has some info on what it might be like in the Superdome during and after the storm - not pretty.

Just a note, in 1965 Hurrican Betsy struck New Orleans with 125 hph winds.

"As Betsy continued across the Gulf of Mexico and turned toward the northwest, it grew into a category 4 storm with winds up to 155 mph.

As the hurricane moved ashore south of New Orleans it destroyed almost every building in Grand Isle, where the Coast Guard station reported gusts up to 160 mph.

Winds up to 125 mph were measured in New Orleans.

Betsy drove storm surge into Lake Pontchartrain, which is just north of the city and is connected to the Gulf of Mexico, pushing water over levees around the lake. Flood water reaches the eves of houses in some places in the city.

A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Web site notes that "Betsy prompted Congress to authorize a ring of levees 16 feet high around the city — a project the Corps of Engineers is completing today. This level of protection was based on the science of storm prediction as it existed in the 1960s. The question remains, however, whether this level of protection would be sufficient to protect the city from a category 4 or 5 hurricane today — or even a category 3 storm that lingered over the city."
USA Today 10/21/2003
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Monday Morning Intelligence and the NY Times with Kool Aid - 17

We are now finally going to get to the meat of the matter.

Via Time Magazine:

"As questions continue to swirl around claims that the Pentagon failed to act on pre-September 11 intelligence about the hijackers, a Senate panel is trying to clear up a key mysteries surrounding the data-mining intel program known as "Able Danger." The Senate Intelligence Committee is asking the Pentagon to let it interview anyone who worked on Able Danger, and last week drafted a letter asking the White House for a copy of a chart that Congressman Curt Weldon claimed in a recent book he gave then-deputy national security adviser Steve Hadley just after the 9/11 attacks."

"Weldon says in the book, Countdown to Terror, that the chart was produced by Able Danger before the attacks and pegged lead hijacker Mohammad Atta as a threat to the U.S. Hadley—since promoted to be President Bush's national security adviser—has refused to confirm or deny the claim. Whether such a chart existed and was given to Hadley could prove or greatly undermine claims by Weldon and a handful of members of the Able Danger team."

At the "proof text" of this story is that blasted chart. If Hadley would just come forward and say, "Yeah I got it" or "Weldon's a nut, I never saw it", we could get on with the summer.

Although Weldon himself seems to be his own worst enemy. First he has the chart with Atta's mug firmly dead center mass. Then he can't remember if Atta was specifically on it. Then he gives the chart to Hadley, and who knows who's picture is on the damn thing or even if there was a chart.

At this point, I'd have to be honest, I think Weldon is ready for the farm. I haven't found a single solitary confirmation of this story from any contact I have with the Pentagon/SOC/ or any other agency I know of - NADA. Believe me I tried. Hell I even broke the family rule (military family); and dropped a dime to my cousin who in 2000 sat at the right hand of Albright (that twit!). Still nothing. No one knows diddle about this program.

In fact, from what I hear, it's becoming a bit of a "joke" in intel circles.

But even worse is the fact that I do believe his rantings will in the long run do more harm than good. Why?

Simply this. Iraq WAS linked to 9/11. That is a fact. The 9/11 Commission ignored all the available and plentiful documentation of this for obviously political reasons.

So why don't I just buy into Able Danger's claim and get the "meme" hits on my little blog?

Simple - it's a bunch of crap, and nothing hurts the "cause" more than laying on a little crap.

The fact that there is a ton of evidence linking Al Qaeda/Bin Laden/Iraq and 9/11. One has only to Google the three to read at will the numerous connections. Even in simplicity one would have to be a moron not to have seen the connections all along. Al Qaeda isn't a "nation", it's an "idea" and that idea permiates and has permiated the Middle east for a long time.

We didn't need a "smoking gun" chart to prove it. Apparently though, Rep. Weldon thinks we did and in the process, if he found to be full of hot air, you can "kiss the recongnition of commission" goodbye forever.

Friday, August 26, 2005

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Monday Morning Intelligence and the NY Times with Kool Aid - 16

Alright, now we have yet a third "witness" stepping forward.

Third Source Backs 'Able Danger' Claims About Atta

"WASHINGTON — A third person has now come forward to verify claims made by a military intelligence unit that a year before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, it had information showing that lead hijacker Mohamed Atta (search) and other terrorists were identified as being in the United States.

J.D. Smith, a defense contractor who claims he worked on the technical side of the unit, code-named "Able Danger" (search), told reporters Friday that he helped gather open-source information (search), reported on government spending and helped generate charts associated with the unit's work. Able Danger was set up in the 1990s to track Al Qaeda activity worldwide.

"I am absolutely positive that he [Atta] was on our chart among other pictures and ties that we were doing mainly based upon [terror] cells in New York City," Smith said."


Holy Cr_p....

Ok, "JD" worked on the "technical side". Of course that could mean be anything from the computer programmer/IT manager to gofer.

JD adds to the mix:

Smith said data was gathered from a variety of sources, including about 30 or 40 individuals. He said they all had strong Middle Eastern connections and were paid for their information. Smith said Able Danger's photo of Atta was obtained from overseas."

Now we have "30" 0r "40" paid CI's.....sheesh...."

Let me tell you the worth of a paid informant.......

(grain of salt, flipped over right shoulder)

However, let's continue with what he said:

"During Friday's roundtable with Smith, he was asked by reporters about Atta, who was using another name during 1999-2000. Smith said the charts Able Danger was using had identified him through a number of name variations, one being "Atta."

Two sources familiar with Able Danger told FOX News that part of its investigative work focused on mosques and the religious ties between known terrorist operatives such as Omar Abdul Rahman, who was part of the first World Trade Center bombing plot in 1993.

An independent terrorism analyst pointed out to FOX News that German intelligence had no record of Atta before the Sept. 11 attack; that's significant because Atta headed up the Sept. 11 Al Qaeda cell in Hamburg. The analyst also questioned how Atta could be connected to Rahman, who was in prison by the mid-1990s.

Smith claims that one way the unit came to know Atta was through Rahman. Smith said Able Danger used data mining techniques — publicly available information — to look at mosques and religious ties and it was, in part, through the investigation of Rahman that Atta's name surfaced."


Ok, more problems. As I said here Atta wasn't even a blip on the radar in 1999. He was "hanging in Hamburg" going to "America Sucks meetings" and dreaming of Chechnya. The odds of putting him together with Rahman or any other significant target during that time defy credibility.

Simply put, with the information anyone had at the time and available to "Able Danger" there is no freaking way Atta would be on anyone's chart during that time period - he simply wasn't a significant enough *player at that time.

UPDATE: Cpt. Ed: "This further confirmation puts more pressure on the Pentagon to either come up with specific data that discounts this testimony or a better explanation for the disappearance of Able Danger's data. It also ups the ante for the 9/11 Commission staffers, such as Philip Zelikow, to either explain why they didn't pass this information to the Commission itself -- or to publicly identify which Commissioners knew of it and decided not to pursue it."

I disagree. It really does nothing of the kind. Yes, we have more witnesses, and more of the story seems to be coming together, but this stll far from a confirmation of the facts. Accusations in no way makes the onus on the Pentagon to produce something out of thin air if in fact it never existed.

The burdon of proof is squarely on Weldon and his "witnesses". He's throwing around some pretty serious charges. He brought it up, let him positively prove it. Just as in a criminal prosecution, the burdon of proof is on the prosecutor.

**note: Although I do find AJ Strata's "Two Atta's"take, a little bit of a stretch (almost as much as AJ does himself)

...though...it's interesting.

UPDATE: Via Captains's Quarters, John Podhoretz over at NRO discovers this tidbit in Today's New York Post:

"Cyber-sleuths working for a Pentagon intelligence unit that reportedly identified some of the 9/11 hijackers before the attack were fired by military officials, after they mistakenly pinpointed Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and other prominent Americans as potential security risks, The Post has learned. The private contractors working for the counter-terrorism unit Able Danger lost their jobs in May 2000. The firings following a series of analyses that Pentagon lawyers feared were dangerously close to violating laws banning the military from spying on Americans, sources said.

"The Pentagon canceled its contract with the private firm shortly after the analysts — who were working on identifying al Qaeda operatives — produced a particularly controversial chart on proliferation of sensitive technology to China, the sources said.

"Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, the veteran Army officer who was the Defense Intelligence Agency liaison to Able Danger, told The Post China 'had something to do' with the decision to restructure Able Danger.

"Sources said the private contractors, using sophisticated computer software that sifts through massive amounts of raw data to establish patterns, came up with a chart of Chinese strategic and business connections in the U.S.

"The program wrongly tagged Rice, who at the time was an adviser to then-candidate George W. Bush, and former Defense Secretary William Perry by linking their associations at Stanford, along with their contacts with Chinese leaders, sources said."


Ok,..so the program, that is "Able" to finger Mohammed Atta and put him in the middle of a chart of bad guys before September 11th, pinpoints Condi Rice as Chinese Agent? Was the Stanford, or the hair, the eyes or the fact that maybe she liked take out?

I'll be the Kos is jumping for joy!

Subsequently this "goof" get's a bunch of contractors fired (see ya JD) and the program according to Schaffer gets "restructured". I'll bet.

Freaking hilarious! Who wrote this stuff? It's going to make a great movie!

Even more funny is what I'm reading about good ole Ltc. Schaffer. You see, he and Weldon are getting pissed because everybody is getting what they were and are trying to say then and now - backwards.

Amazing! Everyone has it wrong except them.

"Atta was on the chart dammit!" "No! Not that chart, but this chart - NO! Over there!" "No I didn't say that, I said this!, No...this...." heh....

Now this via Tom Mcguire who points to an article in Weldon's home town Time's Herald:

Cyber-sleuths working for a Pentagon intelligence unit that reportedly identified some of the 9/11 hijackers before the attack were fired by military officials, after they mistakenly pinpointed Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and other prominent Americans as potential security risks, The Post has learned. The private contractors working for the counter-terrorism unit Able Danger lost their jobs in May 2000. The firings following a series of analyses that Pentagon lawyers feared were dangerously close to violating laws banning the military from spying on Americans, sources said.

"The Pentagon canceled its contract with the private firm shortly after the analysts — who were working on identifying al Qaeda operatives — produced a particularly controversial chart on proliferation of sensitive technology to China, the sources said.

"Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, the veteran Army officer who was the Defense Intelligence Agency liaison to Able Danger, told The Post China 'had something to do' with the decision to restructure Able Danger.

"Sources said the private contractors, using sophisticated computer software that sifts through massive amounts of raw data to establish patterns, came up with a chart of Chinese strategic and business connections in the U.S.

"The program wrongly tagged Rice, who at the time was an adviser to then-candidate George W. Bush, and former Defense Secretary William Perry by linking their associations at Stanford, along with their contacts with Chinese leaders, sources said."


To which Tom asks: "Hello - how could Specter's staff get that wrong? And how did the Times get that wrong on Aug 9 when they met with Weldon and a fellow later revealed to be Shaffer? And might source credibility be a reason that the NY Times seems to have lost interest in this story?

As a communicator and liason, Shaffer may not have been a great first choice. One might almost wonder if the 9/11 Commission staffers are correct in saying Shaffer did not mention Atta to them in October 2003."


Capt Ed. say's he thinks Tom's got it wrong on Col. Schaffer, but Tom is right.

There is a credibility question here with his story and there always has been.

Let me be clear. The fact is that only if with all you're heart you would like to see the 9/11 Commission hog tied and Jamie Gorelick hung at Sunrise, and the Clinton Administration as a whole blamed for 9/11, could anyone continually defend this story.

Every day, the more that comes out, the more Shaffer's story begins to shift and change and become so incredible and convoluted that when it's all said and done, ...... they'll be enough eggs to pass around.

Yet remember, when it's all said it done, it will have been EVERYONE elses fault but Weldon's and Shaffer's.

UPDATE II: AJ over at Strata-Sphere is single handedly keeping this story on the map! He links to this story for which he rightly warns us to keep our "tin foil hats" at the ready.

If the conspiracy/wild speculation wasn't rampant by now, this story will take it through the (sorry AJ) Strata Sphere.

However, I do find this re-conformation of one my findings, with a twist I find irresistible. More on this in a minute, but check out this paragraph from the article:

"Recently, there has been revealing news about the U.S. Army's Project "Able Danger," which was established in September 1999 by Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, then head of the Special Operations Command. Schoomaker had previously advised Texas Governor Ann Richards and the FBI regarding what military equipment could be used in the attack upon the Branch Davidians at Waco (a mock-up of the Davidians' compound was at Fort Hood, Texas, where Schoomaker was an assistant to Gen. Wesley Clark, a Rhodes Scholar named by fellow Rhodes Scholar President Bill Clinton to be military head of NATO). Schoomaker has also advocated joint military training exercises with the Communist Chinese, and on August 1, 2003 President George W. Bush named him Army Chief of Staff."

Holy Cr-p!

Schoolmaker.....Waco mockup (Reno?).....Governor Richards (Democrat).....Gen. Wesley Clark (Superdemocrat).........

Oh stop it! I can't stand the irony! At this point, allow me to just wax tin foil myself a little:

Want to know what I think? Able Danger (if real), was set up to "spy" not on Al Qaeda - but on citizens US. Simple this, Able Danger was simply product of the paranoid Clinton Administration.

Follow me. It has been long alledged that the Clintons used "intel' (FBI records, et) to get to their 'political enemies'. What IF this ABLE DANGER was such a program - at least in it's genesis? Just a simple program to keep tabs on citizens - specifically citizens that the Clinton's found "dangerous".

So they get this program together. Yet it's of course "Super-Secret".

As I said before, General Schoomaker running his 'afterschool program' under General Shelton's (Able What?) nose with that super secret "plussed up" funding of Weldon (Republican). But not to find "Al Qeada" but to "play around" a little with "domestic intel" - or "big daddy spying on you!"

Weldon then "opens the door" to more greater use by asking the "team" to get some background on the "Serbian" in preparation for Vienna trip. It works, he get's ten pages on the Serb and the FBI and CIA are amazed! Note, no problem with the wall on sharing that information in his office..hmmmm,...

Yet, these contractors get froggy, and begin to fool around....you know inputing things like, "Al-Qaeda" + American Infidel + Easy Targets"....and come up with all kinds of "hits" - not necessarily Atta, but hits.

They even come up with obviously crazy hits such as "Condi Rice = Dirty Rotten Chinese Agent".

Of course these kind of "discoveries" would have the pontential to take the information outside the parameters (and into the open) and therefore it wouldn't be a "super-secret" program anymore.

Not good. Damn it, when the Government has a super-secret program, they want to keep it that way!

So, what happenes if the secret get's out back in 99/2000? Well, press goes nuts, not to mention asking embarrassing questions about that "plussed up funding" and how it got diverted from where it was appropriated to where it ended up.

so...what to do?

Sure! Hit the "Kill Switch!"

It's Katie bar the door, shred the files, everyone go home.

Wierd? Yeah. Crazy? Yeah. But no more crazy or wierd than what we've seen so far.

UPDATE: Per AJ via an email from Rick Moran at Right Wing Nuthouse, the Global Research article referenced above should be taken with a tall glass of grape Kool Aid. Figures.

As well AJ has a link to a "bust" on the NY Post "Condi Rice" Article.

Just a note to remember, as I have consistantly seen this "google" comparison to Able Danger.

Let's not atribute 2005 search/datamining technology to it's 1998-2000 equivilant , it is not the same. For one, many of the existing data-mine technologies, such as information data-trees, search parameters and results, hardware and query load balancing, as well as Linux cluster topology, scalability, and fault tolerance, simply didn't exist back then in the advanced state as they do now.

Describing how someone found "Atta in a Haystack" in 1999, would be a lot harder if not clearly impossible with the PMML Verson 1.0 at that time - if in fact it was the prototype in use then. This has been one my "sticking points" since this story broke and one which cannot be easily over come if the charges are true.
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Spanking the CIA - "Gotta Paddle for Ms. Plame"?

I noted this story of CIA 9/11 Review Suggests Disciplining Top Officials, makes me long for the Roberts hearings to begin - ENOUGH FLOGGING ALREADY.

Well, commenter "Ann" over at Captain's Quarters has reawakened my interest!

"Ann wonders in the comments whether anyone from the WMD section will get selected for disciplinary action. It's a good question, especially regarding the people who decided to send Joe Wilson on a trip to Niger, only to have him leak a false version of his report all over the place. Think we'll hear about that if the report addresses it?

Hmmmmm,

This is most often missed point of the Plame Game. That being that the infamous WMD unit within the CIA that Valerie worked in. Will it be cited for intelligence failures? Will George (It's a slam dunk!) Tenet roll on the sword, or come out from his retirement silence and tell us what he really knows. Or does he have a book deal coming?

Cripes!

Anyone still watching the borders?

Thursday, August 25, 2005

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Get Ready for the Ultimate Dog and Pony Show

Senate May Hold Hearings on Able Danger, Info-Sharing

Get ready for the Ultimate Dog and Pony show coming to a C-Span near you.

"Though no date has been set for any hearings, Specter sent a letter to FBI Director Robert Mueller on Wednesday asking the agency to provide to the committee "all information and documents it has in connection with Able Danger, Lt. Colonel Anthony Shaffer, Captain Scott Philpott or any other persons having any connections with Project Able Danger, including, but not limited to, e-mail communication, notes, phone message slips, memos or any other supporting documentation."

Specter also asked Mueller to make available FBI agent Xanthig Mangum to meet with his staff. Mangum is reported to have corresponded in 2000 with Shaffer, who helped run Able Danger's mission and has offered to testify on its findings, about scheduling a meeting between Able Danger and FBI staffs. No meeting ever took place.

Shaffer, Philpott and another analyst involved with Able Danger have recently gone public with their findings, saying they were discouraged from looking further into Atta, and their attempts to share their information with the FBI were thwarted because Atta was a legal foreign visitor at the time."


Weldon is really beginning to fit into that little hat we sometimes talk about, and showing it:

""This story needs to be told. The American people need to be told what could have been done to prevent 3,000 people from losing their lives," said Rep. Curt Weldon (search), R-Pa.

The Pentagon has been looking into what it knew and when it knew it, but spokesman Larry DiRita on Monday said defense officials have not been able to verify the Able Danger claims so far.

"There appear to be more memories than there is information to substantiate those memories. We're reviewing the matter carefully, but thus far have not found what it is these handful of individuals seem to remember. At a certain point, we'll decide we have looked long enough and welcome anyone else coming forward with additional information," the Pentagon said in a statement.

A Pentagon spokesman confirmed Thursday that the department has interviewed both Shaffer and Philpott as part of its investigation.

But Weldon on Thursday urged the Pentagon not to issue any more statements on Able Danger until its findings are complete.

Weldon said in a statement that doing so "might give the unfortunate impression that its results are predetermined."

The congressman said he spoke to DiRita on Wednesday and that "he was backpedaling left and right," claiming he was misquoted about the status of the search.

"There's something very sinister going on here that really troubles me," Weldon told FOX News on Thursday, blasting the Sept. 11 commission (search) for not taking the claims more seriously. He said some panel members were trying to smear Shaffer and Able Danger.

"What's the Sept. 11 commission got to hide?" Weldon asked. "The commission is trying to spin this because they're embarrassed about what's coming out. In two weeks with two staffers, I've uncovered more in this regard than they did with 80 staffers and $15 million of taxpayer money."


"It's always about you Rep. Weldon, isn't it?"

Again, as I said here the evidence in this story is wanting. Yeah, we have some witnesses coming forward, but all of them are "on the payroll" so to speak with Weldon. Yet this is NO paper trail, no documents, no chart, no proof - NADA.

Yet it is amazing that so many are creating senerios around "What might have happened".....

It's a free country....

So let's have some hearings. I have always been for getting the truth out. Yet after all the misinformation about Intelligence and lack thereof, I'm not jumping on this wagon until I see complete and irrefutable facts.

If Weldon was right, so be it - got no problem. If he turns out to be a hack (as it is becoming increasingly clear), I'll put the cuffs on myself.

More at Captain's Quarters and Tom Mcguire. Also AJ Strata.

UPDATE: Oh Gee, and now this......Holy Cr-:P!

CIA 9/11 Review Suggests Disciplining Top Officials

The Roberts confirmation hearings can't get here soon enough....

UPDATE I: As I thought, via this AP/Newsmax article:

"In a letter to FBI director Robert Mueller, Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., asked the agency for "all information and documents it has" on Able Danger, Shaffer, Philpott and any other people linked to the operation. The letter, dated Wednesday and distributed Thursday to reporters, also seeks a meeting between Specter's staff and FBI agent Xanthig Mangum.
A handwritten note at the bottom says, "Bob, I'd like to move head on this ASAP."


Whenever you see this kind of notation, "I'd like to move head on this ASAP", you might as well translate it:

"Bob, let's just get this over with so I can get Weldon off my back".

Fact is that there are oo many things on the table for September/October and beyond.

Contrary to what we would all like to see, 9/11 and the Commission's findings are going to stand where they are. It's done, it's over. "It's "old history" as an old Washington insider friend told me, they aren't going to dig up the dead on this - no matter what anyone later writes about it."

So unless something drastic takes place Spector isn't going anywhere with this - he's just trying to shut Weldon up.

Oh yeah, we'll have a "Show", maybe hearings of some sort, but ulimately nothing will colaborate Weldon, and the story will go off into the night and sell a lot of books for Weldon.

Yeah, that's cynical and unfortunate, but it's also Washington - it's life in the Big Leagues.
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Pat Robertson was Right

Pat Robertson came under fire this week for saying what ex CIA Ops, White House Officials, and Military experts have been saying for a long time.

Chavez is a thug and he needs to be taken out.

CIA, Military Men Agree Pat is Right

"While televangelist Pat Robertson has apologized for suggesting that Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez be assassinated, a former military man and an ex-CIA operative have stepped forward to say that his concerns about Chavez aren't exactly unwarranted.

"Chavez is a dangerous guy," retired Col. David Hunt told Bill Bennett's "Morning in America" fill-in host Steve Malzberg on Wednesday. "We helped to elect the son of a gun [and] after 9/11 you don't get to threaten us."

The issue of assassination "should be on the table," Hunt said. "I'm suggesting that we use it as a tool . . . to get those guys nervous." Former CIA operative Wayne Simmons agreed, telling Fox News Channel's "Hannity & Colmes," that Chavez has "threatened not only the United States and the west, but [has]armed himself with the revolutionary armed forces of Colombia, which is the oldest, most well-trained terrorist organization in Latin America."

"He should have been killed a long time ago," Simmons said."


Predictability many conservative bloggers joined in the MSM public flogging (the MSM meme factor) of Brother Pat instead of just discusssing the merits of what he said.

I withheld my statements until I saw other news outlets report what I, as a career military type knew all along. Pat is right.

Chavez is a thug and if left in power could prove to be more trouble than he's worth.

Pat had said the same thing about Bin Laden, Saddam.

The problem of course is that it is "illegal", but I submit, "What is the difference if we 'take someone out' before, or during an conflict when we call it, "surgical"?

The difference is exactly what Pat was talking about.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

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Monday Morning Intelligence and the NY Times with Kool Aid - 15

Alright, I've been to the mountain on this Able Danger story.....and found it wanting!

Let's review shall we?

First, the core of the story, to wit:

"In September 2000, one year before the Al Qaeda attacks of 9/11, a U.S. Army military intelligence program, known as “Able Danger,” identified a terrorist cell based in Brooklyn, NY, one of whose members was 9/11 ringleader Mohammed Atta, and recommended to their military superiors that the FBI be called in to “take out that cell,” according to Rep. Curt Weldon, a longtime Republican congressman from Pennsylvania who is currently vice chairman of both the House Homeland Security and House Armed Services Committees."

The entirety of this story, and Weldon's charge of FBI/CIA "stonewalling" hinges on whether this "cell" actually existed.

I mean, like brother Porky said, Thatss, alllll folks!

That's the whole ballgame. If this cell didn't exist, there is no story - period.

As it stands now, however, it just looks like this who story has been just another "book selling moment".

Consider the facts:

1. Beside Weldon's assertions above, a Government Security News article, and three uncolaborated witnesses - what other solid evidence is there that this "Brooklyn Cell" EVER existed? Moreover, that Mohammed Atta, or any other 9/11 hijacker was a member of it?

(Buzzer Sound!)

The answer is None!

Isn't that simple?

Oh, we have speculation galore among bloggers and MSM pundits. But speculation isn't evidence.

It is amazing that no one at the Pentagon, State Department, NIS, CIA can or will positively confirm this information about a "cell in Brooklyn" in 1999/2000. Quite the contrary, according to what we hear, no one can find jack- squat on it. Specifically there is NO colaboration from the Intel world - CIA/NIS/ not even Army Intelligence and hell they OUGHT to know, the supposed AD team members were using their facilities!

To be more clear, there is absolutely NO documentation to back up Ltc. Schaffer or the other 'witnesses' and Weldon's claims - NADA. There is NO chart, no 'spreadsheets', no "backups" and no "team".

Another point....!

One would think with the numerous leaks that came out/continue to come out of the Plame Game that SOMETHING would have leaked out the Pentagonby now.

You would think by now that some document, any document, anything...

I mean, IF they're were ANYTHING, there would be SOMETHING OUT by now. But there hasn't been a blasted thing OUTSIDE of Weldon's Book Script.

Maybe even a memo, you know, with a little "S" on it next to Plame's name....would surface by now - but it hasn't.

Again, this story began with a story - that the 9/11 hijackers were in Brooklyn a year before 9/11 - and it's where - unless there is new solid evidence - where the story will die - a story.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

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Keeping Eyes to the East Update - Joint Russia/China Exercises

AP: Chinese, Russian Troops Join War Games

"SHANGHAI, China - Nearly 9,000 Russian and Chinese troops began a mock assault on the beaches of northern China Tuesday in the final stage of unprecedented joint war games between the two former Cold War rivals.
ADVERTISEMENT

The live-fire exercise, dubbed "Peace Mission 2005," involves about 7,000 Chinese troops and 1,800 Russians, along with warships, warplanes and amphibious tanks.

Operations began with a simulated naval blockade off the coast of the Shandong Peninsula in the Yellow Sea, southeast of Beijing, China's official Xinhua News Agency reported. Chinese state television showed ships and warplanes firing missiles and rockets while military music blared from shipboard speakers.

Chinese participants included three destroyers, three frigates and one submarine, along with naval aircraft, Xinhua said. They were joined by an anti-submarine vessel, missile destroyer, helicopters and a surveillance plane from the Russian navy, it said.

Top Chinese and Russian generals have sought to reassure the region that the exercises aren't directed against any third nation. Under the fictional scenario for the exercises, the forces have a U.N. mandate to stabilize a country plunged into violence by ethnic strife.

Yet Chinese media have also said the exercises are intended to advertise China's determination to deal with regional terrorist, extremist and separatist threats — the last a likely reference to self-governing Taiwan, which China has vowed to reclaim by force if necessary.

The games "will frighten the three evil forces of 'ethnic separatism, religious extremism and international terrorism,'" Maj. Gen. Peng Guanglian, a frequent hardline critic of Taiwan and the United States, was quoted as saying in an interview with the Shanghai's Oriental Morning Post.

The eight-day exercises were inaugurated last week in the Russian port of Vladivostok; they end Thursday.

The war games reflect strengthening ties between Russia and China over shared concerns about U.S. dominance of world affairs. U.S. officials have said they are watching the exercises closely and hope they will help support regional stability.


As I posted here, this growing and expanding Sino-Russia cooperation is a growing area of concern for the US and one that cannot be ignored as it has been except for sporatic reporting.

Specifically, the following sentence alerts us to the fact that both China and Russian resent US power and dominance on the world stage.

"The war games reflect strengthening ties between Russia and China over shared concerns about U.S. dominance of world affairs. U.S. officials have said they are watching the exercises closely and hope they will help support regional stability."

Unfortunately, for US Officials, if true that they are "hoping" for the best, this is whistling in the dark. These exercises are in direction relation to the threat of US intervention in the event of a Chinese mainland attack of Taiwan.

Again, I mentioned in this post about Bill Gertz's article - "Chinese Dragon Awakes" in the Washington Times about China's unnoticed miliary buildup.

His article tells us that military analysis are getting real concerned that this buildup is a prelude to an invasion of Taiwan. The US has vowed to defend a Chinese attack.

Back on 30 April 2001, Mr. Gertz wrote that, "The Russians have been practicing nuclear intervention against the U.S. troops on Taiwan in a mock nuclear conflict between China and the United States over Taiwan. During these strategic exercises they included Russian preparations to use nuclear weapons on U.S. forces in Asia."

As I've said before. While we fight a GWOT, we cannot ignore more conventional threats. We need to keep a careful eye on the east.
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Monday Morning Intelligence and the NY Times with Kool Aid - 15

Jim Geraghty over at National Review summerizes "what we know" about the Able Danger story.

"Able Danger existed. Its mission was to seek out al-Qaeda cells. Tony Shaffer was the program’s liaison with the Defense Intelligence Agency in Washington, and that he was not one of the team’s intelligence analysts. Shaffer said there were eleven members of Able Danger; so far, nothing has contradicted this statement."

Ok, yet at the same time nothing outside of Schaffer and the witnesses so far has collaborated his/or their statements. Where's the beef? Where is the "paper"?

"Shaffer claims they discovered Atta and three other would-be-hijackers in 2000. Captain Phillpott, who managed the program for the Pentagon's Special Operations Command, makes the same allegation. James Smith claims he, too, was involved in creating this mysterious chart that included Atta that year."

Admittedly, I've giving this a little more credibility as we have an active flag officer going public now. He would be really risking his cookie dough if he was running cover and/or just flat out lying. But again, "Where is the chart?"

"The Pentagon has yet to confirm any of this with anything on paper.

It’s tough to ignore that Shaffer’s account makes the Pentagon look terrible; not pursuing a lead on an al-Qaeda operative because of the doubts about the legal ramifications of military intelligence collecting data on American citizens. (Of course, the hijackers were not U.S. citizens.) We can wonder about how eager the Pentagon would be to find the paperwork that would verify claims that they made legal errors in 2000 that may have cost nearly 3,000 lives; but right now we have no evidence that there’s some hidden cache of files that would verify these claims."


Another "sticky" problem, although at this point (new administration), there would be no reason for the Pentagon to really "coverup" this up. None of this "Able Danger" stuff happened "current" watch, and in Washington, the "Blame Game" is the rule. The Pentagon really has nothing to lose by "putting it all out on the table now", rather than take the chance of being found out laer. So now or later the Pentagon would have a lot more to lose by "withholding" information. Which is why I think if there were anything to this story (evidence), you would have seen it by now.

"The Gorelick “wall” is a bit of a side issue for now. (First let’s figure out exactly what Able Danger knew, when it learned it, and how the process of trying to contact the FBI went.) On the one hand, as a Justice Department official, Gorelick’s directives should not have been seen as the last word at William Cohen’s Department of Defense. On the other hand, as Ed and William Tate noted, her infamous memo was also directed to the DOJ Counsel of Intelligence Policy and Review, which advises the Attorney General, CIA, FBI, the Department of Defense and State on “questions of law, regulation, and guidelines as well as the legality of domestic and overseas intelligence operations.” In other words, both that memo and the attitude from the top made the priorities clear in the Clinton administration: Don’t foul up our prosecutions by using inadmissible intelligence gathered by foreign sources. In many cases, that is wise policy – you don’t want a criminal or terrorist walking free because the prosecutor was relying on inadmissible evidence. But the problem is, that puts a higher priority on a clean prosecution than arresting these guys before they commit their criminal act. If the act is counterfeiting, that’s not such a big deal. But if the act is crashing airliners into skyscrapers, then any court case is moot."

"The 9/11 Commission claims Shaffer never told them about Able Danger spotting Atta and the other hijackers in 2000; he claims he did. Phillpott told them about Able Danger and these findings in July 2004; they consulted the documentation they had received and concluded that there wasn’t much to Phillpott’s claims and that AD was “not historically significant.” In retrospect, the Commission’s dismissal of this after a routine consultation of the files turned over from DOD, instead of talking to someone who was actually involved with the program, appears… what’s the word I’m looking for here…. Um… boneheaded."

I've got no problem with the commission's response (or lack of it) initially to the story. However I do think it's kind of telling that they are coming out with barrels blazing to a point. Yeah, this could be their "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" moment, but I rather think it signals that they are confident that there is simply no evidence to back the up the story at this point.

"One cannot help but wonder about other cases where the Commission dismissed what interviewees were telling them, because it wasn’t supported in the files turned over by various agencies and bureaucracies.

More than one reader has reminded me of my peak moment of skepticism, and taken the opportunity to accuse me of being “all over the map” on this story.

Let’s recall that at that moment of supreme skepticism, 1) None of Weldon’s sources had come forward; 2) Weldon had generated no paperwork to support his allegations; 3) he appeared to be backtracking in the Time magazine article and 4) he was moving on to other shocking, unsupported allegations about Iran planning U.S. troops in Iraq with chemical weapons.

The good news is, three of Weldon’s sources have come forward, and he’s stopped talking about other shocking allegations. He says Time got the story wrong. It would still be nice to see some supporting paperwork about what Able Danger found – that infamous chart, a memo, a summary of findings, data tables, whatever, something from 2000 to indicate this isn’t just a bunch of well-meaning guys misremembering things."


I asolutely agree.

"Some days we have been getting new information that indicates Shaffer and Weldon are on the right track; some days we are getting new information that urges skepticism, or Shaffer changes his story a bit and people wonder how reliable his memory (or second-hand information) is. Shaffer and these two new witnesses don't seem crazy, and if they're lying or making this up, they are ruining their careers. On the other hand, the lack of any supporting documentation — and the oddities of this story, like the chart being stuck on the wall, or no one in government saying anything about this until now — should give one pause.

I think it’s safe to say that we still have a long way to go with this story."



Again, agreed.

Monday, August 22, 2005

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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.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

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Able Danger - Off into the Sunset

Newsmax - Lt. Col. Shaffer: Able Danger Docs Disappeared

"Documents detailing the work of a top secret military intelligence unit that identified lead 9/11 hijacker Mohamed Atta before the 9/11 attacks have disappeared, according to the Defense Intelligence Agency's liaison for the group, code named Able Danger.

"There's some troubling things that have happened both to me and the way the [Able Danger] information [was handled]," Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer told C-Span's "Sunday Morning Journal." "Shortly after I talked to the 9/11 Commission, there was some issues going on about the documentation. Right now as it stands this minute, to my knowledge, the documentation I had . . . we don't know where it is."

"It's not where I left it back in March of 2003," Shaffer said, which was "in a Department intelligence facility in the Northern Virginia area."

Shaffer told C-Span he had "one full set of Able Danger documents in my holdings from the DIA."

The Able Danger whistleblower had said previously that a member of the team had delivered two briefcases full of documents to the 9/11 Commission - but Commission spokesman have said they have found nothing that mentioned Atta by name."


Hoooly Cr_p,

This just keeps getting better!

"Ah, I had the documents, .....they we're right here a minute ago, where could they be?"

I remember this from a 60's TV Show

........JENNIE!!!

Pop goes the Story!
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I've got your time table right here! ...Plus, Hagel Responds! What a Freaking Surprise!

Army Planning for 4 More Years in Iraq

"WASHINGTON - The Army is planning for the possibility of keeping the current number of soldiers in Iraq — well over 100,000 — for four more years, the Army's top general said Saturday.

In an Associated Press interview, Gen. Peter Schoomaker said the Army is prepared for the "worst case" in terms of the required level of troops in Iraq. He said the number could be adjusted lower if called for by slowing the force rotation or by shortening tours for soldiers.

Schoomaker said commanders in Iraq and others who are in the chain of command will decide how many troops will be needed next year and beyond. His responsibility is to provide them, trained and equipped.

About 138,000 U.S. troops, including about 25,000 Marines, are now in Iraq.

"We are now into '07-'09 in our planning," Schoomaker said, having completed work on the set of combat and support units that will be rotated into Iraq over the coming year for 12-month tours of duty."


I love this. For all the Cindy Sheehan sideshows, the slanted poll's showing American's upchucking everytime they think "Iraq", the Administration is making it clear - "We are in for the long haul" - "We can't - we won't retreat!"

Of course it didn't take long for the usual suspects to come out with their "Quagmire" rhetoric:

Hagel Says Iraq War Looking Like Vietnam

"Hagel said "stay the course" is not a policy. "By any standard, when you analyze 2 1/2 years in Iraq ... we're not winning," he said.

Hagel, who was among those who advocated sending two to three times as many troops to Iraq when the war began in March 2003, said a stronger military presence by the U.S. is not the solution today.

"We're past that stage now because now we are locked into a bogged-down problem not unsimilar, dissimilar to where we were in Vietnam," Hagel said. "The longer we stay, the more problems we're going to have."

"What I think the White House does not yet understand — and some of my colleagues — the dam has broke on this policy," Hagel said. "The longer we stay there, the more similarities (to Vietnam) are going to come together."


Yeah, because putz's like you Hagel keep making the comparisons.

Cripes, EVERYTHING looks like Vietnam to this dimwit. McDonalds forgets to put the french fries in his lunch bag and Hagel heads to the microphone to decry the "lack of support our troops are getting in Vie.....ur, Iraq!"

Iraq and Vietnam are light years apart both in doctrine and application. Iraq isn't a "destination", it is the beginning. Lose there, we will lose here. There IS a war on Terror, the radical Islamic extermism which has ruled the fears of many for over 40 years is finally being assaulted, and at the first sign of difficulty (no matter how skewed the actual reporting of that is), people like Hagel want to cut and run.

You can't argue with success. We haven't been attacked since 9/11. London was attacked, but it wasn't a "large scale" operation. Most of the terrorism we see today is amatures lobbing archiac missles into warehouses because they're too inept to do any real damage.

We are winning Hagel. We tried the pasifist way, and it got 3000 of us killed. We have to stay the course, and I'm glad we have someone at the helm who isn't letting the MSM and slanted polls dictate our national security.

The fact is that Hagel and others like him are anti-war, yet don't want the label (just yet), because they know it won't help them win elections. I'm glad he's flapping his trap, I'm going to remind him of his words comes 2008.




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Shut UP Bob and Report - We'll Decide if it's Newsworthy

There's only one thing worse than a pretentious newsman, that's a pretentious prima-dona newsman:

Costas should have shut his trap and did the show - no matter what the format or subject. Costas is known for his off air tantrums and demands, so this isn't a surprise to those who know him.

Yet one should remember that "We don't pay to see you Bob" "You are paid to present the news, whether you personally like it or not'.

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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!

Friday, August 19, 2005

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Hearings will be Nice - but I'm not holding my breath

Senate Considers Hearing on Able Danger Findings

Fox News is reporting that Senate hearings into Able Danger will possibly begin this fall.

I'm not holding my breath. Sure I'd like to see them happen, but the reality is that this will be a story only through the rest of August.

Come September the MSM as will Washington will begin the focus on John Roberts and his nomination to the SCOTUS and if that doesn't take all the attention, there is always the end of the Plame Game grand jury in October.

Yeah, it would be nice to get to the bottom of this...but Washington is like a TV Series - re-runs and filler in the Summer - New Fall Schedule coming up.

Note:

I don't know why I didn't mention this before, but General Schoomaker and I once served together back in Korea (70s) with the 1/17 Armor. He with the S3 Ops, I with S2 Intel and S4 Logisitics. Nothing earth shattering to report, except I remember a "run in" I had with him. It's not important what it was about now, but this puts a little more "flesh" on the story for me.

UPDATE: Tom Mcguire reports that Ltc. Schaffing is changing his story. See also Laura Rosen.

This confirms my "feelings" about Ltc. Schaffer that I mentioned here: To quote myself:

"I have to be honest and tell you that Col. Schaffer does not give me a "warm and fuzzy" feeling for some reason. I can't put my finger on it, and maybe I'm full of it....

Or maybe part of the feeling I'm getting is the fact that the good Col. Schaffer is getting better press than I've gathered from some people who know "of him" in Tampa.

There are some people who really think he's just "riding along with Weldon"...you, know, for the fame and fortune. "


The other feeling you get if from the years I did interogations via law enforcement. The first thing you look for is "the gaps", the "wind changes", the "extra info".

I'm now more suspicious of this mess than before.

Seriously when you think about this, it' ought to more simple, yet there seems to be more questions than answers at this point.

In fact it has become so convoluted that I doubt anything productive comes from it.

Face it, most conservative bloggers have really one desire - show the Commission to be a whitewash of the Clinton Administration failures. Then you have others like at the Flamingo Bar who think this makes Bush look bad.

Folks, if Weldon is all you've got, you're crap out of luck.

I'm really starting to form a little foil hat for this guy. I keep referring to his little speech on on June 27th, 2005 and for good reason. It sounded then, and even more so now like a freaking script for a Movie - or a book.

In fact, there are some (in the business) who are ready to come out and rip Weldon a new "reamer" when his book hits the shelf. One friend of mine referred to it as "refuse" (I'm being nice).

That aside....

Fact is that outside the belt-way, either sadly or not, I don't think anyone one gives a crap about any of this.

What I care about and what my neighbors care about is "Whatever the screw ups where, have we fixed it yet?" That's the important question. The facts of the past are that we had out pants around our ankles and we got screwed. It's not hard get that much straight.

Hell I didn't need a commission to tell me that pre 9/11 intelligence sucked - I knew that. It was screwed up 20 or 30 years ago during my time in the shop. I could tell you stories of the 80s and the "could have beens" that would curl your hair! So what?

If we did have such a great data mining - get the bad guys before they smack us - operation, I would have slept better if Weldon would have kept his trap shut about it.

Whatever good could have come out such an operation, is toast now. How long before the bad guys found a way to "taint" the data?

So much for a "Super Secret"......Can't wait for the movie to come out.

UPDATE: Contrary to opinions of the "Weldon Groopies" out there, the fact is that this case is getting more and more obscure, and quite frankly laughable.

And please, PLEASE let no one quote me the "Chart that Weldon showed Hadley" crap anymore unless you can produce the original chart. Cripes.....

The "Pink Flamingo
whomever, thinks me thinks binary
......

Alright, Let me give you some binary thinking on Col. Shaffer.

He's talking out of his duffle-bag!

This week we are going to see just how much that is true. Liason my arse.

To the uniformed, he is impressive - especially to those who WANT to hear his story.

Parse his words anyway you want, the fact is that he can't keep the story straight no matter how he tries. If he knows anything more than what Weldon briefed him to say, I'd be surprised.

Cripes, talk about scripts....just listen to the guy talk about AD, and match it against Weldon's words.

Besides the fact that Weldon keeps foaming at the mouth about real Able Danger 'playas' coming forward

......well, Mr. Weldon? Were are they? Or basically is this it? If it is, the story is OVER.

Tell you what Weldon...

How about you get General Schoomaker to talk?

That would be something........credible.

******************************Stop the Press*********************************

You know....AT this point, I'm jumping off the ABLE DANGER bandwagon....for now.

Something stinks and I didn't have beans last night. In fact, something has always stunk about this story....something just isn't right.

Besides....let's be honest....

The point is that 95 percent of this story is hindsight! As I labled my posting series on this thread, it's all Monday Morning Intelligence. This - if totally the way the Col and Weldon are presenting it -if true, is only relevant because 9/11 is important. Because it happened.

The ones who are buying this story - no matter what - are doing so because of a desire to see the Commission fried.

Good! I'll light the fire.

But along the way, I have to tell you that I believe people who are buying this are getting snookered and taken down the Yellow Brick Road.

Now if you desire, Keep walking it.

But I'm getting off here.

Why?......................Col. Schaffer himself.

For one, Schaffer says he couldn't get the facts to the FBI because some big two-star got in his way. Besides the fact thats a load of crap (every hear of the Inspector General bud?), NOTHING would have stopped him IF he really had something to say. NOTHING.

Hell, people are sucking up every word this guy is saying.....Cripes.

Forget the transcripts. It isn't that he's got the story down. It's just that for some of us who have played the game, it sounds like some drunk wannabe in a bar trying to tell you he's one of you. I'm telling you, something just isn't right about this guy.

Hey Col. Schaffer, I've got a couple of questions for you.

Didn't you have a phone? We know you had a cell phone. Why didn't you call someone?

Didn't you as a "liason" have any connections within the JD? FBI?, SD Anyone? How about an "Anonymouse Tip" line?

If you KNEW that the information was THAT important why didnt you move heaven and earth to get it to someone?

UPDATE III. TM updates that the complete Hannity/Colmes transcript doesn't show the any apparent descrepancy. Cpt Ed's takes the same road.

Forget the Kool Aid,.....Have a coke and a smile.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

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Sheehan is one Mother but not all mothers..

She Does Not Speak for Me

The MSM media is all a buzz with Cindy Sheehan who they would have you believe is the only mother who ever lost a son or daughter in war. But she isn't, and she isn't speaking for the majority of parents who wouldn't dream of making a mockery of their son's death by using it to make a political statement, and that is exactly what Cindy Sheehan is doing.

It's sad and disgusting, and

If that's harsh - screw it. I fought for this country too - took one in the chest, I've earned the right to tell this twit to take a walk.

Like I said below - she needs to shut her yap, and go home. She's had her moment of "free speech", the same free speech she used to dishonor her son and all those who have died for freedom.

I owe this lady nothing, I owe her son everything, and if had the authority I would rip her "gold star" right off her "Bush Lied" T-Shirt in a heart-beat.

Note to the MSM: Get off the bull crap, Cindy Sheehan does NOT speak for all parents of war vets, not even close:

RONALD R. GRIFFIN writing in the Wall Street Journal today has a message for Cindy:

"I lost a son in Iraq and Cindy Sheehan does not speak for me.

I grieve with Mrs. Sheehan, for all too well I know the full measure of the agony she is forever going to endure. I honor her son for his service and sacrifice. However, I abhor all that she represents and those who would cast her as the symbol for parents of our fallen soldiers.

The fallen heroes, until now, have enjoyed virtually no individuality. They have been treated as a monolith, a mere number. Now Mrs. Sheehan, with adept public relations tactics, has succeeded in elevating herself above the rest of us. Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida declared that Mrs. Sheehan is now the symbol for all parents who have lost children in Iraq. Sorry, senator. Not for me.

Maureen Dowd of the New York Times portrays Mrs. Sheehan as a distraught mom standing heroically outside the guarded gates of the most powerful and inhumane man on earth, President Bush. Ms. Dowd is so moved by Mrs. Sheehan's plight that she bestowed upon her and all grieving parents the title of "absolute moral authority." That characterization epitomizes the arrogance and condescension of anyone who would presume to understand and speak for all of us. How can we all possess "absolute moral authority" when we hold so many different perspectives?

I don't want that title. I haven't earned that title."


Neither has Cindy Sheehan.
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Clueless Larry C. Johnson

Remember Clueless Larry Johnson? You know, that ex-CIA guy who told us prior to 9/11 that we had nothing to worry about from Al Qaeda? Read about that here.

He's also the guy who runs cover for Ms. Plame and her little game.

Well, you know what they say, Moonbats that flock together.....

Seems Larry is now coming to the defense of the new poster child for the "Let the terrorists alone" left - Cindy Sheehan.

Read this crap he wrote and you'll know what we all glad Larry is "ex-intelligence" - because people like this dolt we don't need.

"The right wing is up in arms over the momentum of the Cindy Sheehan anti-war movement. There appears no depth they will not plumb, nor mudpit they will not enter in their effort to smear a mother who gave her son in service to our country. I cannot award a Chutzpah prize because there are too many deserving schmucks. Take wheelchair bound Charles Krauthammer's recent vicious attack:

She says she wants to ask the president why her son died. She already knows her own answer, and her answer is -- and she's said this openly -- to enrich the president's friends, meaning oil companies and contractors. There are a lot of honorable reasons and thoughtful reasons to oppose the war in Iraq. That's not one of them. And to advance the idea, as she has also, to the press of the entire world that we are in Iraq as a matter of imperialism is to demoralize our troops, encourage our enemies, and to encourage those who say that we are there as conquerors and not as liberators, which can only endanger our troops, which I think is a disgrace."


Can you believe this idiot? I mean, can't anyone out of the luny left have anything orginal to say, or are they all just taking the same "dumb-ass" pill with Kool Aid?

I mean, this crap is directly off of the luny-left/Micheal Moore and lies galore script.

"War for Oil".......Sure, Larry, sure....

You can read the rest - I ain't wasting the bandwidth. Yet the more this guy pops up and shows his ignorance the more I like it.

If you really want to know why we got our ass handed to us on 9/11, it's because idiots such as Johnson.

Keep drinking that Koolaid my man....
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Monday Morning Intelligence and the NY Times with Kool Aid - 11

So now we await the Pentagon's take on Able Danger.

Yeah.....I'll bet - can't wait!

At this point I don't see the Pentagon delivering any earth shattering revelations

In fact, I know they won't.

When you think about it,The Pentagon could have answered the questions about Able Danger from the outset had the program been "authorized", but it appears that it was really nothing more than a "super-secret start up". Again, Schoomaker was running this deal under the rug for sure. The Pentagon didn't want to own it then, they definiately don't want it now.

Even if everything Weldon/Schaffer are telling us about Able Danger is true, I doubt the Pentagon issues anything more than a statement like:

"Yeah there was a program....."

"No, it's not a program anymore...."

"No, they didn't actually finger Atta or any other 9/11 hijackers."

"We consider the matter closed".


Watching some of the Commission members today on TV, they are beginning to sound rather.....feisty!

In fact I just heard Timothy J. Roemer saying on Fox News, saying something like, "Hey bring it on! "Where is the beef? The charts?... Show us the proof" (Paraphrase).

Whooboy...

I've seen a lot of this feistiness in the Commission members since they've released their statement a week ago. That statement when you read it is rather absolute. They didn't leave themselves a lot of wiggle room, so they MUST think they know all there is to know at this point.

Additionally, it also sounds like the Commission has already gotten some advance notice or heads up from some Pentagon staffer about what they are going to say about the whole deal.

It's like, "Don't worry, we'll handle it!"

You know? At this point, I'm still not convinced what in the hell we have in this whole thing.

Yeah, there was an Able Danger, and they were data mining, etc. But we still don't know FOR SURE what they found - if anything.

I have to be honest and tell you that Col. Schaffer does not give me a "warm and fuzzy" feeling for some reason. I can't put my finger on it, and maybe I'm full of it....

Or maybe part of the feeling I'm getting is the fact that the good Col. Schaffer is getting better press than I've gathered from some people who know "of him" in Tampa.

There are some people who really think he's just "riding along with Weldon"...you, know, for the fame and fortune.

Maybe it's sour grapes, who knows. The guy seems solid enough, yet, I don't know, my radar is buzzing .....again.

I don't know, and I don't want to say either way.

But at this point we really need to start seeing some REAL IN THE DIRT Able Danger team members.

If as Weldon says "they are ready and willing to come forward", then so be it, Bring 'em on!

But Hurry, August is almost over! You can bet that this story will go south real fast come September during Robert's confirmation hearings as well as the closer we get to the culmination of the Plame Game (Hey! remember that one?)

Heh...

Tom Mcguireis asking some real good questions about this story, and even notes some more "waffling" or more likely that "associative memory" Jpod was talking about poping up on Schaffer's interviews.

He agrees as well, we need real witnesses to come forward...real Able Danger members.

The Captain's Quarters has more on the 911 Commission wiggling....

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

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"Gold Star Mother or Not" - Shut yer pie hole!

Drudge Report: Cindy Unleashed!

I haven't said anything about this Cindy Sheehan roadshow. It's a far gone conclusion that this lady is a lune - her below statements just back that up.

Yet I'll cross the line, because it's time that we stop giving her a pass for being a nutcase just because she is the mother of a brave soldier who gave his life for his country.

Defenders say that she is just exercising her free speech....

""We are not waging a war on terror in this country. We’re waging a war of terror. The biggest terrorist in the world is George W. Bush!"

So declared Cindy Sheehan earlier this year during a rally at at San Francisco State University.

Sheehan, who is demanding a second meeting with Bush, stated: "We are waging a nuclear war in Iraq right now. That country is contaminated. It will be contaminated for practically eternity now."

Sheehan unleashed a foul-mouth tirade on April 27, 2005:

"They’re a bunch of fucking hypocrites! And we need to, we just need to rise up..." Sheehan said of the Bush administration.

"If George Bush believes his rhetoric and his bullshit, that this is a war for freedom and democracy, that he is spreading freedom and democracy, does he think every person he kills makes Iraq more free?"

"The whole world is damaged. Our humanity is damaged. If he thinks that it’s so important for Iraq to have a U.S.-imposed sense of freedom and democracy, then he needs to sign up his two little party-animal girls. They need to go to this war."

"We want our country back and, if we have to impeach everybody from George Bush down to the person who picks up dog shit in Washington, we will impeach all those people."


Now it's my turn.

Lady, you're damaged...

..... deranged

......and a nut!

Oh, and....by the way?

...shut your pie hole you leftist twerp!

There, I've said it. I feel better, after all...

It's MY free speech too.

By the Way, join the Caravan to Support the War in Crawford "You don't speak for me Cindy" - go here for more info.

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