Monday, December 25, 2006
Poor Curt Weldon
Joe Sestak kicked his butt last month, he's got legal troubles out the wazoo, and now his pet obssession, 'Able Danger', has essentially been kicked to the curb:
The Senate Intelligence Committee has rejected as untrue one of the most disturbing claims about the Sept. 11 terrorist strikes — a congressman's contention that a team of military analysts identified Mohamed Atta or other hijackers before the attacks — according to a summary of the panel's investigation obtained by The Times. The conclusion contradicts assertions by Rep. Curt Weldon (R-Pa.) and a few military officers that U.S. national security officials ignored startling intelligence available in early 2001 that might have helped to prevent the attacks. In particular, Weldon and other officials have repeatedly claimed that the military analysts' effort, known as Able Danger, produced a chart that included a picture of Atta and identified him as being tied to an Al Qaeda cell in Brooklyn, N.Y. Weldon has also said that the chart was shared with White House officials, including Stephen J. Hadley, then deputy national security advisor. But after a 16-month investigation, the Intelligence Committee has concluded that those assertions are unfounded. "Able Danger did not identify Mohammed Atta or any other 9/11 hijacker at any time prior to Sept. 11, 2001," the committee determined, according to an eight-page letter sent last week to panel members by the top Republican and Democrat on the committee. Weldon, the focus of an unrelated Justice Department corruption probe, was defeated last month in his campaign for an 11th term in a suburban Philadelphia district that has a large GOP majority in voter registration. Attempts were unsuccessful Sunday to reach a Weldon spokesman and an attorney representing Weldon in the Justice Department investigation.Cue the Nelson Muntz laugh.
i, too, was initially dismissive of able danger, till i found out who'd signed onto a petition calling for it be investigated in open hearings, including murtha, jane harman, maxine waters and cynthia mckinney.
Early on, I came across indications that Able Danger was, as PW says, a game designed to shift blame for the 9/11 attacks onto Clinton. William Arkin suggested that the data mining operation did exist and was a serious violation of American law. Whether they found anything ahead of 9/11 is doubtful, but the "cover-up" may well be DoD lawyers panicking about the the exposure of how extensive their spying on the American people was.
I agree with you that the intelligence committee under Pat Roberts has been a bad joke. This report might be more credible because he has been deposed as chairman and the rest of the committee knows they need to redeem themselves.
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