Curt Weldon held a press conference yesterday where he outlined some new information on the ongoing Able Danger investigation:
Dissatisfied with the response, Weldon today announced new revelations, which he says, ?expose even more blunders prior to 9/11 and point to a wider coverup.? The latest findings include Able Danger information provided to defense officials about terrorist activity in the Port of Aden prior to a deadly attack on the USS Cole in October 2000; the discovery of another Able Danger member who confirms a set of data not accounted for by the Pentagon; recent statements by the 9-11 Commission about Able Danger; and the latest efforts by the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) to smear Able Danger member Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, who broke the silence about the Pentagon?s efforts to track al-Qa?ida worldwide prior to September 11.
Weldon says it was ?the intent of Congress that the 9/11 Commission take seriously its mission to gather all available facts and information relevant to whatever pre-9/11 activities might have impacted the tragedy.? Information culled by Able Danger?s analysts, including LTC Shaffer and Captain Scott Philpott, would appear to qualify. Despite having interviewed both Shaffer and Philpott (at their initiation) and being told that ?a secret military program was authorized by the previous Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Hugh Shelton, and assigned to Special Operations Command (SOCOM) under the leadership of General Peter Schoomaker, for the specific purpose of defeating transnational terrorist threats, specifically al-Qa?ida,? the Commission and its staff never undertook any investigation.
?In two months, my limited staff has done what 80 staffers at the Commission and $15 million failed to do,? says Weldon in his letter to Specter and Leahy. ?In fact, when the New York Times broke this story in early August of this year, the 9/11 Commission was put in the uncomfortable position of having each of its successively evolving responses rebutted by newly emerging facts. Each time the Commission changed its story, it brought further discredit upon its work.?
The best-selling 9/11 Commission Report never mentions Able Danger?s existence, activities, or findings. Yet the following is now known about the program and related efforts:
? At least five professional employees in DOD have stated on the record that Mohammed Atta was identified in name and photograph prior to 9/11.
? The pre-9/11 identification of Atta was accomplished not only by Able Danger through data analysis at the Army?s Land Information Warfare Activity (LIWA), but also by another completely separate SOCOM data mining effort.
? At least 2.5 terabytes of data pertaining specifically to al-Qa?ida cells, equal to one fourth of all printed material in the Library of Congress, was collected and later destroyed.
? Another massive data mining effort collected an equal or greater amount of data on al-Qa?ida and Atta at a separate location ? and still may be intact.
? Five international al-Qa?ida cells, including the Brooklyn cell Atta was allegedly involved in, were identified by Able Danger data mining more than one year prior to 9/11.
? An FBI employee arranged three meetings with military intelligence officials in September 2000 to transfer sleeper cell data, including information on Atta and three other terrorists, to the FBI. The employee has stated on the record that she arranged the meetings with the SOCOM team and knew the purpose of the planned meetings. DOD canceled each at the last minute. Able Danger team members were told that lawyers were fearful of the political fallout.
? Able Danger briefs were provided to a number of operational and leadership intelligence officers prior to 9/11. In one case a Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) intelligence officer, who is now acting DIA Deputy Director, refused to listen to or even acknowledge the brief once it had started.
? A three-hour brief was prepared for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs in the December 2000/January 2001 timeframe using information and analysis collected by Able Danger.
? Weldon personally delivered an organizational chart depicting al-Qa?ida, produced by Able Danger, to now- National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley at the White House two weeks after 9/11. Then-Chairman of the House Government Reform Committee Dan Burton and Chairman of the Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security Christopher Shays both attended the meeting and witnessed the transfer of the chart to Hadley.
? Former FBI Director Louis Freeh appeared on Meet the Press on October 16, 2005, and told program host Tim Russert: ?We have now very honorable military officers telling the United States, Tim, that in 2000, not only had Mohamed Atta had been identified by photo and name but was earmarked as an al-Qa?ida operative in the United States. Apparently this information was brought to the 9/11 Commission prior to their report. There?s no reference to it. That?s the kind of tactical intelligence that would make a difference in stopping a hijacking? We?re very interested in what the 9/11 Commission didn?t do with respect to Able Danger.?
? Able Danger identified threat data in Yemen related to the Aden port in a brief given on October 10, 2000. The attack on the USS Cole in Yemen occurred two days later and may have been preventable. 17 people died as a result of the attack.
? Commander Kirk Lipold, the commanding officer of the USS Cole at the time of its attack, told Weldon that he had three options for refueling venues, was never briefed on any intelligence indicating that there might be danger at the port of Aden for an American naval vessel, and that had he been told, he would have refueled elsewhere.
You can check out the video here.
I have yet to find the time to view this video and will be busy at work today so please head over to AJStrata and read what he has. He is always on top of this investigation, and reveals some bombshell news that was not covered by the MSM last night, of course:
Weldon has been meeting with a Dr. Bob Johnson (son of Sam Johnson)who is a professor, IT expert and mannager on a parallel data mining program called ?Garland Unit?. Dr Bob Johnson last talked with Able Danger members back in 2000. Dr Johnson c,aims his unit also was able to identify Atta by name before 9-11!
The 9-11 commission never talked to Bob Johns0n – and neither has the Pentagon. Only managers from his employer at the time (Raytheon) talked to him. Johnson?s data also was sent to SOCOM, where Weldon thinks it may still be intact.
Weldon discusses the pentagon?s claims about the 90 day rule on destroying data on US persons. Johnson relayed to Weldon what a joke that pentagon claim was in front of Specter?s committee. Johnson mentioned the in-house lawyer dealing with data mining, Shiffrin (sp?), and claims Shiffrin new about the rule and had a process established to deal with it. Weldon does let slip that Johson?s group was stationed in Garland Texas.