8.22.2005

Able Danger double overtime


This story should be dead but it just keeps on ticking. It twists and turns like an Egyptian belly dancer but at the end of every day we never know anything more than we knew before. But what the hell, here's a recap of stuff that looks new but really contains no new information, just tidbits of explanations about the same thing we've been rehashing for two weeks.

The DoD can't seem to find anything to back up any claims about Atta.

Meanwhile, the two guys who actually say they saw Attas name have finally spoken about it. Phillpott, the man who testified to the 911 commission that he briefly saw Attas name on a chart in 2000, released a statement saying that doesn't want to talk about it but affirming that Atta had been identified in 2000.

We also finally get to hear from the unnamed civilian who Shaffer said knew of the Atta ID.
The former contractor, James D. Smith, said that Mr. Atta's name and photograph were obtained through a private researcher in California who was paid to gather the information from contacts in the Middle East. Mr. Smith said that he had retained a copy of the chart for some time and that it had been posted on his office wall at Andrews Air Force Base. He said it had become stuck to the wall and was impossible to remove when he switched jobs.
So Shaffer says the charts were destroyed, Weldon says he gave his last copy to National Security Advisor Steve Hadley (who refuses to comment) in 2001 (which looks like a lie), and Smith says he left the chart hanging on a wall at Andrews?

The only person who doesn't sound like a crank is Phillpott, but as Laura Rozen has pointed out all of these guys are in bed together working angles for funding of datamining projects. Shaffer actually said the reason this is a fuss is because they went to Weldon looking for funding support and Weldon thought it would be a good idea to make the fuss.

On the lighter side of Able Danger, Shaffer said in an interview with Michael Savage recently:
At one point in time, senior DOD officers compared my little unit called Able Danger to, you've probably seen the movie, Kelly's Heroes. They called them Shaffer's Heroes..."
Riiiiiight...

I give up caring about this story. What seemed like an earth-shattering story is now just a melee of rehashed accusations and everyone who is telling the tale is on a different page and all have an excuse as to why they can't prove what they're saying.

Put up or shut up.

There may be some truth to the Atta claim. I want to believe Phillpott, but knowing that there are money interests involved here plus a congresscritter with a reputation as a crank, it's asking a lot to care about something that can't be proven.



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