Army Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, who worked at the DIA, became aware of Atta and his three colleagues in mid-2000. Shaffer informed the FBI of what was known about these four Al Qaeda operatives. Pentagon lawyers became involved to prevent passing on the information. There were concerns about whether there was adequate supervision of collecting information from open sources, which would necessarily net information on US citizens as well as people legally living within the United States. The lawyers claimed they had problems recommending action against someone holding a green card. But Atta did not have a green card or a valid entry visa. He came to the US three times on a visitor=s visa. For a time he was enrolled at the International Officers at Maxwell Air Force Base. The Pentagon is now denying that it knew anything about these people before 9-11. Pentagon lawyers had also required a unit tied to Able Danger to discard information about four Chinese from corporations in the US that were attempting to acquire US military technology.
There is mounting evidence that concealing information about Able Danger was much more than protecting the methods of an anti-terrorist operation. The Pentagon should not be faulted with keeping quiet about those aspects that involved highly sophisticated electronic surveillance of foreign targets outside the US. There could also have been concerns that FBI action on these leads would eventually lead to revealing information about the governments=s highly sophisticated data mining technology. That would have opened a bigger can of worms. But as it turned out, most Americans later seemed to support the government=s extensive domestic and foreign electronic spying programs.
Another possibility is that a discussion of Able Danger would have led to a discussion of what else government knew about Atta before 9/11. Eventually the Army destroyed the Able Danger files on Atta claiming this was necessary because he was a "US person" under the meaning of legislation that said the military could only retain intelligence information on US persons for 90 days. In all, 2.5 tetrabytes on Al Qaeda were erased. It has been reported that some of the destroyed information involved ties between prominent Americans and the Chinese military The data also showed that several Al Qaeda operatives rented rooms in a New Jersey hotel and that a cell met there. The Able Danger team was so good at tracking these terrorists that they discovered a meeting of representatives of cells at the Wayne Inn in northern New Jersey.. Able Danger was moved from Virginia to Texas, and in February and March of 2001, it was shut down by the Defense Department, only to be reactivated later as Able Providence. Able Danger was shut down soon after the Bush administration took office. General Schoomaker , its protector, retired, and the new officers to whom the Able Danger people were to report were clearly hostile. A two star general in DIA bluntly told Shaffer to back away from the project telling him spying was not his job. The general subsequently denied that the conversation took place.
"Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past." Orwell-- The US is probably moving toward becoming a heavily controlled Rightist state. This blog is an effort to document how that happened.
- Sherman De Brosse
- Sherm spent seven years writing an analytical chronicle of what the Republicans have been up to since the 1970s. It discusses elements in the Republican coalition, their ideologies, strategies, informational and financial resources, and election shenanigans. Abuses of power by the Reagan and G. W. Bush administration and the Republican Congresses are detailed. The New Republican Coalition : Its Rise and Impact, The Seventies to Present (Publish America) can be acquired by calling 301-695-1707. On line, go to http://www.publishamerica.com/shopping. It can also be obtained through the on-line operations of Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Do not consider purchasing it if you are looking for something that mirrors the mainstream media!