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  • Able Danger Blog: February 2007
    07 PM Weldon hired by Defense Solutions Here is the press release Former Congressman Curt Weldon Appointed Chief Strategic Officer for Defense Solutions Defense Solutions LLC announced today the appointment of former 10 term US Congressman Curt Weldon as the company s Chief Strategic Officer Congressman Weldon is the former Vice Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee and Vice Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee February 6 2007 Defense Solutions LLC announced the appointment of former 10 term US Congressman Curt Weldon as Chief Strategic Officer to implement the company s vision of becoming the leading provider of professional services and products to the international defense and homeland security markets At the time of his retirement from Congress last month Mr Weldon was serving as Vice Chairman of the Armed Services Committee Vice Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Land and Air Forces Earlier he chaired the Procurement Subcommittee and the Subcommittee on Research and Development for the House Armed Services Committee A 10 term Member of the House Congressman Weldon took leadership roles on a wide variety of issues ranging from national security to the environment to homeland security Mr Weldon is widely recognized as the champion of the fire service and public safety community during his 20 years in Congress Shortly after his election to Congress in 1987 Weldon created the Congressional Fire Services Caucus a congressional organization dedicated to promoting greater awareness about fire and life safety issues among legislators Similarly Weldon helped establish the Congressional Fire Services Institute a non partisan non profit organization serving as a link between Congress and the fire service Congressman Weldon shares our genuine belief that America s armed forces and first responders deserve nothing short of the world s best products and services to protect themselves as they work to accomplish their mission Curt Weldon knows how our Armed Forces and emergency response communities work and what they need He has the right combination of military and first responder expertise to lead our growing defense and homeland security practice areas said Defense Solutions CEO Colonel US Army retired Tim Ringgold With Congressman Weldon as a key member and leader of the Defense Solutions team we look forward to expanding our industry partnerships as well as continuing to develop a strong organization that offers defense and homeland security related programs that are second to none he said About Defense Solutions LLC Defense Solutions is a leading contracting program management consulting and sales company in the military and government marketplaces The company headquartered in Exton PA has offices in Washington DC and Miami FL with international satellite offices in Israel Hungary and Colombia The company s reputation for cost effectiveness solid execution and results oriented delivery has led to it successfully representing not only the largest US and international defense contractors but also those companies with high value security products technologies and or services for the military homeland security organizations and commercial sectors CEO Tim Ringgold also had this to say of Weldon That the investigation is of no concern to me whatsoever I have absolute trust that Congressman Weldon did no wrong and that will absolutely come out Furthermore he said If there is somebody who thinks he did wrong and doesn t want to do business with us because of it I don t want to do business with them posted by Supporter 6 57 PM Wednesday February 07 2007 Peter Lance on CBS News in January Here is the podcast from his site CBS News Correspondent Dan Raviv interviews Peter Lance posted by Supporter 11 31 AM Why We Need a New 9 11 Commission Veers off a little after this excerpt but a good op ed piece overall 9 11 is unquestionably the most important event in American history since December 7 1941 when Japanese forces attacked Pearl Harbor The magnitude of its impact on America and the world cannot be overstated The terrible acts of 9 11 and the events leading up to them deserve a thorough and unimpeachable investigation to learn the facts And if some rogue elements within the U S government were complicit in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on 9 11 it is critical that these elements be exposed and removed from power A new commission is clearly called for because the investigation and report by the 9 11 Commission were badly flawed as will be discussed below The most important tools of any criminal investigators are the accounts of the eyewitnesses and first responders The first thing the police do at an accident scene is to gather all witness accounts and within a week the insurance companies are also telephoning the witnesses to take their testimony Many New York City firemen who were eyewitnesses are calling the Commission s report a cover up and victims family organizations are saying the same thing If it had been a comprehensive and thorough scientific investigation it would have looked like the investigation that followed the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster Although there may remain minor questions concerning some of the peripheral conclusions the report on the Columbia accident on the whole stands without major dispute within the scientific community Contrast this with the 9 11 Commission report which sidestepped critical questions and the FEMA 9 11 report and its major inconsistencies Flaws in the Commission s Investigation Conflicts of Interest in the Commission One important reason for asking for a new truly independent commission is because of the conflicts of interest of the 9 11 Commission members and staff particularly Philip Zelikow Executive Director of the Commission The 9 11 Family Steering Committee came to the conclusion that each of the commission members was placed on the commission to protect specific interests For example Jim Thompson s and Slade Gorton s law firms represented the airlines Jamie Gorelick was on the board of Schlumberger a large defense contracting company and had also served

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  • Able Danger Blog: March 2007
    to America s War on Terrorism From the AP NORFOLK Va A federal judge said Wednesday that Sudan is responsible for the bombing of the USS Cole but he needs more time to determine damages for the families of the 17 sailors killed when terrorists bombed the ship in 2000 There is substantial evidence in this case presented by the expert testimony that the government of Sudan induced the particular bombing of the Cole by virtue of prior actions of the government of Sudan U S District Judge Robert G Doumar said The civil trial started Tuesday in which the victims relatives tried to prove the terrorist attack couldn t have happened without Sudan s support Doumar said that he would issue a written opinion later to fully explain his ruling He requested additional paperwork including tax returns of the sailors killed to determine the appropriate damages Words can t express the loss my family has gone through Shalala Swenchonis Wood whose brother died testified Wednesday It s not financial it s not material it s always the things the little things you don t see Four experts on terrorism including R James Woolsey CIA director from early 1993 to early 1995 also testified in person or by deposition Tuesday to support the families position that al Qaida needed the African nation s help to carry out the attack It would not have been as easy it might have been possible but it would not have been as easy Woolsey said in a videotaped deposition without Sudan providing economic support places to train and false documents The experts testified that Sudan has given safe haven to Osama bin Laden s al Qaida terrorist network since 1991 long before Yemeni operatives attacked the Cole They cited testimony from other trials a declassified Canadian intelligence report U S State Department reports and their own studies as they testified that Sudan let terrorist training camps operate within its borders and gave al Qaida members diplomatic passports so they could travel without scrutiny and diplomatic pouches to ship explosives and weapons without being searched posted by Supporter 1 53 PM Saturday March 10 2007 Inside 9 11 re airs this month Updated version of Inside 9 11 re airs this month The updated version of Inside 9 11 the National Geographic Channel s Emmy nominated documentary is being re broadcast on March 25 at 7 00 p m Since the original four hour miniseries first aired new details about the tragedy have sprung up including the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui information on Able Danger the intelligence team assigned to track al Qaeda new video of the attack on the Pentagon audio from Flight 93 the CIA s dismantling of the bin Laden unit the death of Abu Musab al Zarqawi and new video from bin Laden himself It s been over five years since the events of September 11 2001 and I can understand how some might be sick of hearing about it but it s not surprising that the aftershocks of an event of this magnitude would still be felt even today I d like to think my ongoing curiosity is natural and not morbid but I still want to learn as much as I can about everything that happened that day and the people and events it connects to posted by Supporter 12 12 PM Triple Cross mentioned on Limbaugh From yesterday s show RUSH Chico in California Welcome sir to Open Line Friday Nice to have you with us CALLER Sir thank you Mega Sierra Nevada 82nd Airborne dittos Rush Thank you RUSH You bet CALLER I was calling because I m just pretty incensed about this prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald for just the actions that he s done He hasn t allowed Scooter Libby to provide experts to corroborate his own memory loss but also others not to mention just the fact of how memory works not to allow it for his own defense and I can t understand how they let this juror who was writing a book stay on the jury RUSH Well they didn t know that the juror was writing a book I ve talked to somebody in the know on this and by the time this juror this Denis Collins got to them they had used up all their strikes They had MoveOn org people in the jury pool They had all kinds of leftists By the time this guy came around they knew he was a journalist They knew he was a neighbor of Russert s worked for Woodward and worked for the Washington Post that het d written books on the CIA and spying But there was nothing they could do CALLER Is that an out for a possible appeal Are they going to use that do you know or is that something that they can actually go after RUSH Here s what I think they re going to use on appeal First they re going to ask for a new trial That will be denied Because you ask the trial judge and Reggie Walton is not going to say Yeah I screwed up Let s do it again CALLER Of course not RUSH So here s the grounds for the appeal The judge was in a state of personal pique when they didn t put Libby on the stand At the opening of the trial Ted Wells said they were going to call Libby They decided not to call Libby It s none of the judge s business There s a Fifth Amendment right You don t have to take the stand when you re the defendant and it cannot be held against you This is law Once you get to the jury room of course all things can change But it cannot be held against you especially by the trial judge when you decide not to testify Because Libby didn t testify after his lawyers indicated that he would They did not

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  • Able Danger Blog: April 2007
    to political powers as early as January 2001 intelligence coming from French intelligence regarding the tactical choice of bin Laden to hijack American airliners And beyond that the most astounding thing about the 328 page DGSE report lies in the juxtaposition of the reports warning of the threat like that of January 2001 and those that give quite early on highly detailed information on the function of the organization Beginning on July 24 2000 with a 13 page report entitled The Networks of Osama bin Laden it s all there in black and white The context the anecdotal details and all the strategic aspects relative to al Qaeda are already there Quite often later documents simply add additional details For example the rumor that bin Laden was dead which went around in September 2006 is reported with the intonations of an oft heard refrain but nonetheless not without foundation The ex Saudi who has lived for several years in grim circumstances is constantly on the move from camp to camp suffering equally from kidney and back problems Recurring rumors speak of his imminent demise but he does not seem to have changed his daily habits up to now On an aerial photo from August 28 2000 DGSE agents spot a key figure Abu Khabab Abu Khabab al Masri al Qaeda s chief bomb maker and chemical weapons expert close to bin Laden He is an Egyptian bomb maker known for having taught how to make home made bombs to generations of jihadists and he is a high ranked target In two biographical items on him dated October 25 2000 and January 9 2001 the DGSE specifies information exchanged with Mossad the CIA and Egyptian security services regarding him His activities and movements are well covered Likewise for Omar Chabani a k a Abu Jafar said to be killed in Tora Bora in late 2001 the emir who is in charge of training all the militant Algerians who have come to Afghanistan according to the DGSE Al Qaeda thanks to him have set up during 2001 some infrastructures made available to the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat GSPC the terrorist Algerian movement whose head Hassan Hattab ex ally of bin Laden which endorsed in 2006 a policy of reconciliation with the Algerian president Bouteflika provoking the ire of the younger generation in the GSPC These younger people kept up the combat which their elders had dropped the younger created a new GSPC renamed al Qaeda for an Islamic Maghreb which seems to have been responsible for the attacks of April 11th in Algiers Alongside operational aspects of the functioning of al Qaeda these DGSE documents propose another look at the political go betweens used by its chief An example in a note of February 15 2001 devoted in part to the risk of attacks against the French military base in Djibouti the authors note the presence in the country of bin Laden s representative for the Horn of Africa Nidal Abdel hay al Mahainy They note that he arrived on May 26 2000 and met with the president of the Djibouti Republic But it is Saudi Arabia that is constantly the most worrisome with regard to sympathies for Afghanistan which bin Laden is profiting from The DGSE reports explore bin Laden s relations with business men and various organizations in that country Certain Saudi personalities have proclaimed their hostility to al Qaeda but evidently they have not convinced everyone Pierre Antoine Lorenzi remembers well what the high placed people at the DGSE were thinking The DGSE had a lot of difficulty believing that he didn t have any relations with the Saudi monarchy just because he was banished It was hard to accept The report from July 24 2000 mentions a payment of 4 5 million dollars going to bin Laden from the International Islamic Relief Organization IIRO a group directly under the Muslim World League itself considered the political instrument of the Saudi ulemas Islamic scholars It was not until August 3 2006 that the IIRO offices appeared on the official list of organizations financing terrorism according to the US Department of the Treasury Throughout July 2000 two years after the attacks in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam the authors of this memo doubt the sincerity of the public positions taken by bin Laden s family It seems more and more likely that bin Laden has maintained contacts with certain members of his family although the family which directs one of the largest groups of public works in the world has officially renounced him One of his brothers apparently plays a role as intermediary in its professional contacts or the monitoring of its business According to Lorenzi it was his recurring doubts and more specifically the ambivalence of the IIRO which led the DGSE to work together with the Quai d Orsay the Foreign Ministry in Paris when French diplomats would propose an international convention to the UN against the financing of terrorism Another note from DGSE dated September 13 2001 entitled Elements on the financial resources of bin Laden repeats the suspicions regarding the Saudi Binladin Group the family empire It speaks of a powerful banker once close to the royal family as the chief architect of a plan that seems to have been used for the transfer to the terrorist of funds that came from the Gulf countries An annex to this memorandum of September 13 2001 lists the assets supposedly under Osama bin Laden s direct control Surprise In the middle of the known structures that the Sheikh managed in Sudan Yemen Malaysia and Bosnia a hotel situated in Mecca in Saudi Arabia still figures in 2001 Alain Chouet is skeptical about the desire on the part of Saudi authorities to capture bin Laden before September 11 His loss of Saudi nationality is nothing but a farce As far as I know no one did anything in fact to capture him between 1998 and 2001 And a document backs this up a report from October 2 2001 The departure of Prince Turki al Faisal head of Saudi intelligence a political eviction which reveals the underside of this spectacular firing just before September 11 The authors underscore the limits of Saudi influence especially in Kandahar Prince Turki was not able during his recent trips to Kandahar to convince those he met with to extradite bin Laden And 6 years later In a large report of the DGSE dated June 6 2005 that we were able to peruse and entitled Saudi Arabia A Kingdom in Danger a picture is painted in which the Saudi regime is doing more to combat al Qaeda Nonetheless some paragraphs betray remaining doubts about the real desire of the Saudis The French secret services are still anxious about the penchant for holy war among some Saudi doctors of the faith ulema 11 septembre 2001 les Français en savaient long Guillaume Dasquié Le Monde 16 04 07 est une impressionnante masse de documents De loin on croirait une thèse universitaire De près rien à voir Des coups de tampons rouges confidentiel défense et usage strictement national sur chacune des pages En haut à gauche un logo bleu roi celui de la DGSE la Direction générale des services extérieurs les services secrets français Au total 328 pages classifiées Notes rapports synthèses cartes graphiques organigrammes photos satellite Le tout exclusivement consacré à Al Qaida ses chefs sous chefs planques et camps d entraînement A ses soutiens financiers aussi Rien de moins que l essentiel des rapports de la DGSE rédigés entre juillet 2000 et octobre 2001 Une véritable encyclopédie Au terme de plusieurs mois d enquête sur cette documentation très spéciale nous prenons contact avec le quartier général de la DGSE Et le 3 avril l actuel chef de cabinet Emmanuel Renoult nous reçoit sur place dans l enceinte de la caserne des Tourelles à Paris Après avoir parcouru les 328 pages que nous posons sur son bureau il ne peut s empêcher de déplorer une telle fuite tout en nous laissant entendre que ce paquet représente la quasi intégralité des productions de la DGSE sur le sujet pour cette période cruciale En revanche sur le fond impossible de lui soutirer le moindre commentaire Trop sensible Il est vrai que ces chroniques des services secrets sur Al Qaida avec leurs diverses révélations soulèvent quantité de questions Et d abord une surprise le nombre élevé de notes uniquement consacrées aux menaces d Al Qaida contre les Etats Unis des mois avant les attaques suicides de New York et de Washington Neuf rapports entiers sur le sujet entre septembre 2000 et août 2001 Dont une note de synthèse de cinq pages intitulée Projet de détournement d avion par des islamistes radicaux et marquée d une date 5 janvier 2001 Huit mois avant le 11 Septembre la DGSE y rapporte les discussions tactiques menées depuis le début de l année 2000 entre Oussama Ben Laden et ses alliés talibans au sujet d une opération de détournement d avions de ligne américains Pierre Antoine Lorenzi chef de cabinet du patron de la DGSE jusqu en août 2001 aujourd hui président d une société spécialisée dans les stratégies de crise et d influence Serenus Conseil parcourt devant nous ces 328 pages et tombe en arrêt lui aussi sur cette note Il hésite prend le temps de la lire et admet Je me souviens de celle là Il faut se rappeler précise M Lorenzi que jusqu en 2001 le détournement d avion n a pas la même signification qu après le 11 Septembre A l époque cela implique de forcer un appareil à se poser sur un aéroport pour mener des négociations On est habitué à gérer ça Mise en perspective utile pour comprendre pourquoi cette alerte du 5 janvier n a provoqué aucune réaction chez ses destinataires les piliers du pouvoir exécutif Dès janvier 2001 la direction d Al Qaida se montre néanmoins transparente aux yeux et aux oreilles des espions français Les rédacteurs détaillent même les désaccords entre terroristes sur les modalités pratiques du détournement envisagé Jamais ils ne doutent de leur intention Provisoirement les djihadistes privilégient la capture d un avion entre Francfort et les Etats Unis Ils établissent une liste de sept compagnies possibles Deux seront finalement choisies par les pirates du 11 Septembre American Airlines et United Airlines voir fac similé Dans son introduction l auteur de la note annonce Selon les services ouzbeks de renseignement le projet d un détournement d avion semble avoir été discuté en début d année 2000 lors d une réunion à Kaboul entre des représentants de l organisation d Oussama Ben Laden Des espions ouzbeks renseignent donc les agents français A l époque l opposition des fondamentalistes musulmans au régime pro américain de Tachkent s est fédérée dans le Mouvement islamique d Ouzbékistan le MIO Une faction militaire de ce parti emmenée par un certain Taher Youdachev a rejoint les camps d Afghanistan et prêté allégeance à Oussama Ben Laden lui promettant d exporter son djihad en Asie centrale Des livrets militaires et des correspondances du MIO trouvés dans des camps afghans d Al Qaida en attestent Alain Chouet a gardé en mémoire cet épisode Il a dirigé jusqu en octobre 2002 le Service de renseignement de sécurité la subdivision de la DGSE chargée de suivre les mouvements terroristes Selon lui la crédibilité du canal ouzbek trouve son origine dans les alliances passées par le général Rachid Dostom l un des principaux chefs de guerre afghans d ethnie ouzbek lui aussi et qui combat alors les talibans Pour plaire à ses protecteurs des services de sécurité de l Ouzbékistan voisin Dostom a infiltré certains de ses hommes au sein du MIO jusque dans les structures de commandement des camps d Al Qaida C est ainsi qu il renseigne ses amis de Tachkent en sachant que ses informations cheminent ensuite vers Washington Londres ou Paris La formulation de la note française de janvier 2001 indique clairement que d autres sources corroborent ces renseignements sur les plans d Al Qaida Selon un dispositif bien huilé en Afghanistan la DGSE ne se contente pas d échanges avec des services secrets amis Pour percer les secrets des camps d une part elle manipule et retourne des jeunes candidats au djihad originaires des banlieues des grandes villes d Europe D autre part elle envoie des hommes du service action auprès de l Alliance du Nord du commandant Massoud Sans compter les interceptions des téléphones satellitaires Un proche de Pierre Brochand l actuel patron de la DGSE nous a assuré que le service disposait d une cellule Oussama Ben Laden depuis au moins 1995 L alerte du 5 janvier s appuie donc sur un système éprouvé Alain Chouet après nous avoir demandé de préciser qu il ne s exprimait pas au nom des institutions françaises reste laconique mais clair Il est rare qu on transmette un papier sans recouper D autant que ledit papier suit et précède de multiples rapports de la DGSE étayant la crédibilité des incantations guerrières d Oussama Ben Laden Dans sa note la DGSE estime enfin que la volonté d Al Qaida de concrétiser son acte de piraterie contre un appareil américain ne laisse aucun doute Au mois d octobre 2000 Oussama Ben Laden a assisté à une réunion en Afghanistan au cours de laquelle la décision de principe de mener cette opération a été maintenue Nous sommes le 5 janvier 2001 les dés sont jetés les Français le savent Et ils ne sont pas les seuls Comme toutes les informations évoquant des risques contre des intérêts américains la note a été transmise à la CIA par le service des relations extérieures de la DGSE responsable des coopérations entre alliés renommé depuis service des liaisons Son premier destinataire est le chef de poste de la CIA à Paris Bill Murray un francophone au physique de John Wayne rentré depuis aux États Unis Nous avons pu établir le contact mais M Murray n a pas souhaité donner suite à nos demandes Pierre Antoine Lorenzi dont les responsabilités à la DGSE couvraient alors les questions relatives à la coopération avec les agences étrangères ne conçoit pas que ces renseignements là ne lui aient pas été remis Ça typiquement c est le genre d information qui est transmise à la CIA Ce serait même une faute de ne pas l avoir fait De l autre côté de l Atlantique deux anciens agents de la CIA spécialistes d Al Qaida que nous avons sollicités ne se souviennent pas d alertes particulières envoyées par la DGSE Ni Gary Berntsen rattaché à la direction des opérations de l agence de 1982 à 2005 ni Michael Scheuer ancien responsable de l unité Ben Laden au siège de la CIA n ont gardé en mémoire des informations spécifiques en provenance de la DGSE A Washington la commission d enquête du Congrès sur le 11 Septembre dans son rapport final publié en juillet 2004 a mis l accent sur l incapacité du FBI de la CIA ou des services d immigration d agréger des données éparses visant certains membres des commandos du 11 Septembre A aucun moment la commission n a évoqué la possibilité que la CIA aurait répercuté au pouvoir politique dès janvier 2001 des renseignements émanant des services français sur le choix tactique d Oussama Ben Laden d organiser des détournements d avions américains Au delà le plus confondant à la lecture des 328 pages de la DGSE tient peut être dans la juxtaposition entre les notes qui alertent sur des menaces comme celle de janvier 2001 et celles qui décrivent très tôt et avec minutie le fonctionnement de l organisation Dès le 24 juillet 2000 avec la rédaction d un rapport de treize pages intitulé Les réseaux d Oussama Ben Laden l essentiel se révèle consigné noir sur jaune pâle la couleur des originaux de la DGSE Le contexte les détails anecdotiques et tous les aspects stratégiques relatifs à Al Qaida y figurent déjà Bien souvent les documents ultérieurs se contentent de les préciser Ainsi l hypothèse de la mort de Ben Laden qui a connu un certain succès en septembre 2006 prend dans cette note du 24 juillet 2000 les intonations d un refrain connu mais néanmoins fondé L ex Saoudien qui vit depuis plusieurs années dans des conditions précaires se déplaçant sans cesse de camp en camp souffre également de problèmes rénaux et dorsaux Des rumeurs récurrentes font état de sa mort prochaine mais il ne paraît pas avoir jusqu à présent changé ses habitudes de vie Sur un cliché aérien du 28 août 2000 les agents de la DGSE localisent un homme clé très proche d Oussama Ben Laden Son nom Abou Khabab Cet artificier d origine égyptienne connu pour avoir enseigné la science des explosifs artisanaux à des générations de djihadistes constitue une cible en théorie prioritaire Dans deux notices biographiques sur ce personnage du 25 octobre 2000 et du 9 janvier 2001 la DGSE énumère les renseignements échangés avec le Mossad israélien la CIA et les services de sécurité égyptiens à son sujet On n ignore rien de son parcours et de ses déplacements C est également le cas d Omar Chabani l émir chargé d encadrer tous les militants algériens venus en Afghanistan selon la DGSE Grâce à lui au cours de l année 2001 Al Qaida a mis des infrastructures à la disposition du Groupe salafiste pour la prédication et le combat GSPC le mouvement terroriste algérien dont le chef historique Hassan Hattab ex allié de Ben Laden a souscrit en 2006 à la politique de réconciliation nationale du président algérien Abdelaziz Bouteflika ce qui avait provoqué l ire des jeunes générations du GSPC Celles ci ont repris depuis le mois d octobre la lutte armée délaissée par leurs aînés en se réclamant d un nouveau GSPC renommé Al Qaida pour le Maghreb islamique qui semble être responsable des attentats du 11

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  • Able Danger Blog: May 2007
    he has said instead he worked the bureaucracy beneath the president by asking then National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and others for action Bond said some intelligence officials have dismissed the inspector general s report as ancient history which he doesn t accept He said the report has additional information which would be useful to the public We have no desire to embarrass or throw cold water on the enthusiasm of the great men and women of the CIA but let s just take a clear and open look at what the IG found and see if we have all of those problems corrected Bond said In an October 2005 statement Goss said the officers involved in counterterrorism were stars who had excelled in their areas singled out by the CIA to take on difficult assignments Unfortunately time and resources were not on their side despite their best efforts to meet unprecedented challenges he said Goss rejected a recommendation from CIA Inspector General John Helgerson that the agency form accountability review boards to examine any personal culpability Bond said that move was regrettable In his statement Goss also noted that the agency had received a Freedom of Information Act request for the report and that a review process was ongoing But the CIA has not released any documents to The Associated Press or other organizations that began requesting the information at least 20 months ago The law requires agencies to respond to requests within 20 days but officials rarely meet those deadlines and often blame lengthy backlogs Groups including the National Security Archive have clashed with the agency over its FOIA policies Last year the archive gave the CIA its prize for the agency with the worst FOIA record Called the Rosemary Award it s named after President Nixon s secretary Rosemary Woods who erased 18 minutes of a key Watergate conversation on the White House tapes The citation noted that CIA s oldest FOIA requests could apply for drivers licenses in most states CIA has for three decades been one of the worst FOIA agencies archive Director Thomas Blanton said this week Many of the individuals highlighted in the inspector general s report are likely to have retired But some are believed still to be in senior government positions making the report s findings even more sensitive at the CIA and perhaps elsewhere within the intelligence community The AP has reported that the two year review of what went wrong before the suicide hijackings harshly criticized a number of the agency s most senior officials That includes Tenet former clandestine service chief Jim Pavitt and former counterterrorism center head Cofer Black according to individuals familiar with the report who spoke in 2005 on condition they not be identified Yet the report also offered some praise for actions of Tenet and others Pavitt is now a principal with The Scowcroft Group an international business advisory firm and Black is vice chairman of Blackwater USA an international security firm whose clients include the CIA and other U S agencies posted by Supporter 6 04 PM Monday May 07 2007 A Resurgent Menace From USA Today U S spy agencies say al Qaeda s top leaders once on the run have regrouped By Kevin Whitelaw Posted 5 6 07 When President Bush talks about Osama bin Laden these days it s usually to rally support for the U S effort in Iraq Last month he told an audience that bin Laden and his al Qaeda network have made it clear they want to drive us from Iraq to establish safe haven in order to launch further attacks But over the past year U S intelligence agencies have completely revised their assessment of al Qaeda and reached an alarming conclusion Bin Laden already has a safe haven in Pakistan and may be stronger than ever The shift is dramatic Two years ago when the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency Vice Adm Lowell Jacoby went to Capitol Hill to deliver his annual threat assessment he described al Qaeda leaders as battered and isolated Osama bin Laden and his senior leadership no longer exercise centralized control and direction he told Congress The more serious threat he added was a burgeoning network of individual extremists and entrepreneurial cells inspired by bin Laden That judgment remained essentially unchanged through early 2006 When the current head of DIA Lt Gen Michael Maples visited Capitol Hill this year he warned that the group s leaders are resilient and are actively plotting from their new base in Pakistan Al Qaeda retains the ability to organize complex mass casualty attacks and inspire others Maples said Al Qaeda has consistently recovered from losses of senior leadership Damage control The spy agencies shift was driven by al Qaeda s resurgence as well as new information they had obtained about its deep involvement in recent terrorist plots Privately U S officials concede that they had overestimated the damage they had inflicted on al Qaeda s network The captures of successive operational commanders including 9 11 planner Khalid Shaikh Mohammed amounted only to temporary setbacks they were replaced with disturbing ease We understand better how al Qaeda is withstanding the offensive that was launched against it in 2001 and later says a senior U S government official Iraq has of course been an undeniable boon for al Qaeda both as a battleground and a rallying cause But when it comes to exporting terrorism U S intelligence is more worried today about the badlands of western Pakistan That s where bin Laden has succeeded in reconstituting a safe haven after several years on the run The rugged tribal provinces have long been ungoverned and a controversial truce that the government of Pakistan signed last September with the tribes to go after al Qaeda has backfired There are indications that due in large part to the truce al Qaeda operatives can operate with a higher degree of impunity says a U S counterterrorism official They have

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  • Able Danger Blog: June 2007
    win this thing Yes it was indeed a misguided reference to the DeVecchio case After all the speculation that Agent Harris might turn Tony instead we saw that Harris had turned passing along info on Phil s whereabouts and cheering We re going to win this thing when learning of Phil s demise This is based on an actual case of an FBI agent who got a little bit too partisan and excited during the Colombo wars of the 70s says Chase of the story of Lindley DeVecchio who supplied Harris line posted by Supporter 6 40 PM Taking another look at 12333 It should be noted the entire Able Danger program complied with 12333 Regardless WASHINGTON The national intelligence director has won White House approval to begin revising an executive order that lays out each spy agency s responsibilities and the government s protections against spying on Americans The Reagan era 1981 presidential order is woven into the culture at the 16 spy agencies and spells out their powers It also provides fundamental guidance to protect against spying on Americans prohibitions against human experimentation and the long standing ban on assassination Some officials familiar with Intelligence Director Mike McConnell s plans speaking only on condition of anonymity because the deliberations remain internal said his intent is solely to update the policy to reflect changes in the intelligence community since Sept 11 2001 including the creation of his own office But other officials who also spoke on condition they not be identified said opening the order to changes could lead well beyond that They said the exercise could threaten civil liberties protections approved by President Reagan following intelligence abuses in the 1970s and that intelligence agencies will be tempted to expand their powers McConnell himself has said the authorities of his office need to be adjusted We don t have it right yet he told an audience in April In a recent interview Vice Adm Robert Murrett director of the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency characterized the effort as an overhaul aimed at helping all 16 spy agencies work more closely together He said the discussions about the order known by its number 12333 are still in the early stages Murrett has told McConnell he supports the effort I ve told him I think it s time I think his intentions in taking another look at 12333 are right Murrett said noting the document is a quarter century old The debate comes at a politically touchy time with President Bush still under scrutiny for his post 9 11 intelligence gathering methods McConnell who became spy chief in February is expected to be in the job until the end of the Bush administration and some officials believe he would like to leave his mark on national security issues like this one before leaving office The effort to redo the executive order comes as McConnell has been pushing a skeptical Democratic Congress to overhaul a landmark law that provides the rules of the

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  • Able Danger Blog: July 2007
    the Army Ranger was cut down by an M 16 fired from a mere 10 yards or so away Ultimately the Pentagon did conduct a criminal investigation and asked Tillman s comrades whether he was disliked by his men and whether they had any reason to believe he was deliberately killed The Pentagon eventually ruled that Tillman s death at the hands of his comrades was a friendly fire accident The medical examiners suspicions were outlined in 2 300 pages of testimony released to the AP this week by the Defense Department in response to a Freedom of Information Act request Among other information contained in the documents In his last words moments before he was killed Tillman snapped at a panicky comrade under fire to shut up and stop sniveling Army attorneys sent each other congratulatory e mails for keeping criminal investigators at bay as the Army conducted an internal friendly fire investigation that resulted in administrative or non criminal punishments The three star general who kept the truth about Tillman s death from his family and the public told investigators some 70 times that he had a bad memory and couldn t recall details of his actions No evidence at all of enemy fire was found at the scene no one was hit by enemy fire nor was any government equipment struck The Pentagon and the Bush administration have been criticized in recent months for lying about the circumstances of Tillman s death The military initially told the public and the Tillman family that he had been killed by enemy fire Only weeks later did the Pentagon acknowledge he was gunned down by fellow Rangers With questions lingering about how high in the Bush administration the deception reached Congress is preparing for yet another hearing next week The Pentagon is separately preparing a new round of punishments including a stinging demotion of retired Lt Gen Philip R Kensinger Jr 60 according to military officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because the punishments under consideration have not been made public In more than four hours of questioning by the Pentagon inspector general s office in December 2006 Kensinger repeatedly contradicted other officers testimony and sometimes his own He said on some 70 occasions that he did not recall something At one point he said You ve got me really scared about my brain right now I m really having a problem Tillman s mother Mary Tillman who has long suggested that her son was deliberately killed by his comrades said she is still looking for answers and looks forward to the congressional hearings next week Nothing is going to bring Pat back It s about justice for Pat and justice for other soldiers The nation has been deceived she said The documents show that a doctor who autopsied Tillman s body was suspicious of the three gunshot wounds to the forehead The doctor said he took the unusual step of calling the Army s Human Resources Command and was rebuffed He then asked an official at the Army s Criminal Investigation Division if the CID would consider opening a criminal case He said he talked to his higher headquarters and they had said no the doctor testified Also according to the documents investigators pressed officers and soldiers on a question Mrs Tillman has been asking all along Have you at any time since this incident occurred back on April 22 2004 have you ever received any information even rumor that Cpl Tillman was killed by anybody within his own unit intentionally an investigator asked then Capt Richard Scott Scott and others who were asked said they were certain the shooting was accidental Investigators also asked soldiers and commanders whether Tillman was disliked whether anyone was jealous of his celebrity or if he was considered arrogant They said Tillman was respected admired and well liked The documents also shed new light on Tillman s last moments It has been widely reported by the AP and others that Spc Bryan O Neal who was at Tillman s side as he was killed told investigators that Tillman was waving his arms shouting Cease fire friendlies I am Pat expletive Tillman damn it again and again But the latest documents give a different account from a chaplain who debriefed the entire unit days after Tillman was killed The chaplain said that O Neal told him he was hugging the ground at Tillman s side crying out to God help us And Tillman says to him Would you shut your expletive mouth God s not going to help you you need to do something for yourself you sniveling posted by Supporter 12 35 AM Tuesday July 17 2007 Page Five National Intelligence Estimate Key Judgments We judge the US Homeland will face a persistent and evolving terrorist threat over the next three years The main threat comes from Islamic terrorist groups and cells especially al Qa ida driven by their undiminished intent to attack the Homeland and a continued effort by these terrorist groups to adapt and improve their capabilities We assess that greatly increased worldwide counterterrorism efforts over the past five years have constrained the ability of al Qa ida to attack the US Homeland again and have led terrorist groups to perceive the Homeland as a harder target to strike than on 9 11 These measures have helped disrupt known plots against the United States since 9 11 We are concerned however that this level of international cooperation may wane as 9 11 becomes a more distant memory and perceptions of the threat diverge Al Qa ida is and will remain the most serious terrorist threat to the Homeland as its central leadership continues to plan high impact plots while pushing others in extremist Sunni communities to mimic its efforts and to supplement its capabilities We assess the group has protected or regenerated key elements of its Homeland attack capability including a safehaven in the Pakistan Federally Administered Tribal Areas FATA operational lieutenants and its top leadership Although we have discovered only a handful of individuals in the United States with ties to al Qa ida senior leadership since 9 11 we judge that al Qa ida will intensify its efforts to put operatives here As a result we judge that the United States currently is in a heightened threat environment We assess that al Qa ida will continue to enhance its capabilities to attack the Homeland through greater cooperation with regional terrorist groups Of note we assess that al Qa ida will probably seek to leverage the contacts and capabilities of al Qa ida in Iraq AQI its most visible and capable affiliate and the only one known to have expressed a desire to attack the Homeland In addition we assess that its association with AQI helps al Qa ida to energize the broader Sunni extremist community raise resources and to recruit and indoctrinate operatives including for Homeland attacks We assess that al Qa ida s Homeland plotting is likely to continue to focus on prominent political economic and infrastructure targets with the goal of producing mass casualties visually dramatic destruction significant economic aftershocks and or fear among the US population The group is proficient with conventional small arms and improvised explosive devices and is innovative in creating new capabilities and overcoming security obstacles We assess that al Qa ida will continue to try to acquire and employ chemical biological radiological or nuclear material in attacks and would not hesitate to use them if it develops what it deems is sufficient capability posted by Supporter 1 19 PM Wednesday July 11 2007 U S intel warns al Qaida has rebuilt From the AP WASHINGTON U S intelligence analysts have concluded al Qaida has rebuilt its operating capability to a level not seen since just before the Sept 11 terrorist attacks The Associated Press has learned The conclusion suggests that the network that launched the most devastating terror attack on the United States has been able to regroup along the Afghan Pakistani border despite nearly six years of bombings war and other tactics aimed at crippling it Still numerous government officials say they know of no specific credible threat of a new attack on U S soil A counterterrorism official familiar with a five page summary of the new government threat assessment called it a stark appraisal to be discussed at the White House on Thursday as part of a broader meeting on an upcoming National Intelligence Estimate The official and others spoke on condition of anonymity because the secret report remains classified Counterterrorism analysts produced the document titled Al Qaida better positioned to strike the West The document focuses on the terror group s safe haven in Pakistan and makes a range of observations about the threat posed to the United States and its allies officials said Al Qaida is considerably operationally stronger than a year ago and has regrouped to an extent not seen since 2001 the official said paraphrasing the report s conclusions They are showing greater and greater ability to plan attacks in Europe and the United States The group also has created the most robust training program since 2001 with an interest in using European operatives the official quoted the report as saying At the same time this official said the report speaks of significant gaps in intelligence so U S authorities may be ignorant of potential or planned attacks John Kringen who heads the CIA s analysis directorate echoed the concerns about al Qaida s resurgence during testimony and conversations with reporters at a House Armed Services Committee hearing on Wednesday They seem to be fairly well settled into the safe haven and the ungoverned spaces of Pakistan Kringen testified We see more training We see more money We see more communications We see that activity rising The threat assessment comes as the 16 U S intelligence agencies prepare a National Intelligence Estimate focusing on threats to the United States A senior intelligence official who spoke on condition of anonymity while the high level analysis was being finalized said the document has been in the works for roughly two years Kringen and aides to National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell would not comment on the details of that analysis Preparation of the estimate is not a response to any specific threat McConnell s spokesman Ross Feinstein said adding that it would probably be ready for distribution this summer Counterterrorism officials have been increasingly concerned about al Qaida s recent operations This week Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said he had a gut feeling that the United States faced a heightened risk of attack this summer Kringen said he wouldn t attach a summer time frame to the concern In studying the threat he said he begins with the premise that al Qaida would consider attacking the U S a home run hit and that the easiest way to get into the United States would be through Europe The new threat assessment puts particular focus on Pakistan as did Kringen Sooner or later you have to quit permitting them to have a safe haven along the Afghan Pakistani border he told the House committee At the end of the day when we have had success it is when you ve been able to get them worried about who was informing on them get them worried about who was coming after them Several European countries among them Britain Denmark Germany and the Netherlands are also highlighted in the threat assessment partly because they have arrangements with the Pakistani government that allow their citizens easier access to Pakistan than others according to the counterterrorism official This is more troubling because all four are part of the U S visa waiver program and their citizens can enter the United States without additional security scrutiny the official said The report also notes that al Qaida has increased its public statements although analysts stressed that those video and audio messages aren t reliable indicators of the actions the group may take The Bush administration has repeatedly cited al Qaida as a key justification for continuing the fight in Iraq The No 1 enemy in Iraq is al Qaida White House press secretary Tony Snow said Wednesday Al Qaida continues to be the chief organizer of mayhem within Iraq the chief organization for killing innocent Iraqis The findings could bolster the president s hand at a moment when support on Capitol Hill for the war is eroding and the administration is struggling to defend its decision for a military buildup in Iraq A progress report that the White House is releasing to Congress this week is expected to indicate scant progress on the political and military benchmarks set for Iraq The threat assessment says that al Qaida stepped up efforts to improve its core operational capability in late 2004 but did not succeed until December of 2006 after the Pakistani government signed a peace agreement with tribal leaders that effectively removed government military presence from the northwest frontier with Afghanistan The agreement allows Taliban and al Qaida operatives to move across the border with impunity and establish and run training centers the report says according to the official It also says that al Qaida is particularly interested in building up the numbers in its middle ranks or operational positions so there is not as great a lag in attacks when such people are killed Being No 3 in al Qaida is a bad job We regularly get to the No 3 person Tom Fingar the top U S intelligence analyst told the House panel The counterterror official said the report does not focus on al Qaida leader Osama bin Laden his whereabouts or his role in the terrorist network Officials say al Qaida has become more like a family oriented mob organization with leadership roles in cells and other groups being handed from father to son or cousin to uncle Yet bin Laden s whereabouts are still of great interest to intelligence agencies Although he has not been heard from for some time Kringen said officials believe he is still alive and living under the protection of tribal leaders in the border area Armed Services Committee members expressed frustration that more was not being done to get bin Laden and tamp down activity in the tribal areas The senior intelligence analysts tried to portray the difficulty of operating in the area despite a 25 million bounty on the head of bin Laden and his top deputy They are in an environment that is more hostile to us than it is to al Qaida Fingar said posted by Supporter 10 27 PM Two interesting stories Data on Americans mined for terror risk All but one of the databases the one to track terrorists have been up and running for several years the report showed The lone exception is the System to Assess Risk or STAR program to rate the threat posed by people already identified as suspected terrorists or named on terror watch lists The system still under construction is designed to help counterterror investigators save time by narrowing the field of people who pose the greatest potential threat and will not label anyone a terrorist Boyd said But it could be based in part at least on commercial or public information that might not be accurate potentially ranking an innocent person as a terror threat Watch lists for example have mistakenly identified people as suspects based on their similar names or birthdates to terrorists The Justice report also leaves open the possibility that the STAR program might draw up lists of terror suspects based on information from other sources including from Data Mart The report described Data Mart as a collector of government information but also travel data from the Airlines Reporting Corp and other information from private data aggregators like Choicepoint Private data aggregators often sell commercial credit records as well as other databases like voter and vehicle registration FBI Plans Initiative To Profile Terrorists The Federal Bureau of Investigations is developing a computer profiling system that would enable investigators to target possible terror suspects according to a Justice Department report submitted to Congress yesterday The System to Assess Risk or STAR assigns risk scores to possible suspects based on a variety of information similar to the way a credit bureau assigns a rating based on a consumer s spending behavior and debt The program focuses on foreign suspects but also includes data about some U S residents A prototype is expected to be tested this year Justice Department officials said the system offers analysts a powerful new tool for finding possible terrorists They said it is an effort to automate what analysts have been doing manually STAR does not label anyone a terrorist the report said Only individuals considered emergent foreign threats as opposed to other criminal activity such as U S bank robbery threats will be analyzed Some lawmakers said however that the report raises new questions about the government s power to use personal information and intelligence without accountability The Bush administration has expanded the use of this technology often in secret to collect and sift through Americans most sensitive personal information said Sen Patrick J Leahy D Vt chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee which received a copy of the report on data mining initiatives The use of data mining in the war on terror has sparked criticism An airplane passenger screening program called CAPPS II was revamped and renamed because of civil liberty concerns An effort to collect Americans personal and financial data called Total Information Awareness was killed Law enforcement and national security officials have continued working on other programs to use computers to sift through information for signs of threats The Department of Homeland Security for example flags travelers entering and leaving the United States who may be potential suspects through a risk assessment program called the Automated Targeting System STAR is being developed by

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  • Able Danger Blog: August 2007
    not clear about is what exactly Bruce is accused of doing Clearly the plaintiff s attorney can quote a number of emails critical of Islam However most if not all of those emails were sent after the defense contractor that Bruce worked for was no longer even under a contract with the city Instead police officers subscribed to his email list completely on their own It seems the Muslim officer is suing because no one stopped him from subscribing to Bruce s email If anyone had stopped him from subscribing simply because he is a Muslim and might be offended by some of Bruce s views wouldn t that be discrimination instead From a Der Speigel article that give s the plaintiff s perspective The e mail excerpts were forwarded to SPIEGEL ONLINE by Ilann Maazel the Arab police officer s lawyer They re part of a federal lawsuit for religious and racial discrimination filed with a United States district court and stamped Judge Jones and Received Dec 05 2006 The police officer has had enough A press statement released by Maazel says the NYPD s culture of discrimination has left the man depressed and demoralized Until the Sept 11 2001 attacks no one seemed to be bothered by the fact that John Doe was a practicising Muslim an American and a member of an antiterrorism unit all at once But then the tide started to turn at the very moment when Bruce Tefft appeared on the scene as a counterterrorism and intelligence advisor to the NYPD Tefft sent the e mails that prompted John Doe to file his lawsuit But the lawsuit has been filed against the city of New York The reason is that John Doe says he complained in person to four of his superiors reading them the e mails before complaining in writing He always kept to the official complaint procedure developed for cases such as his There was no reaction The city of New York takes a different view Wednesday s edition of the New York Times cites an e mail from Paul J Browne the NYPD s Deputy Commissioner of Public Information As soon as the Police Department became aware of a complaint about the content of e mail sent by an individual not employed by the Police Department we took immediate action to block his e mails followed by a cease and desist letter to the individual and his employer a consulting firm the e mail states Browne also told the New York Times that the NYPD s contact with Orion Tefft s employer ended sometime in 2003 but that Tefft was somehow able to continue sending e mails to NYPD officers Maazel believes the NYPD waited too long before taking action Another odd detail from the article What is so bad about this If he worked in the Cyber Unit isn t this exactly the kind of an article he would be interested in The Cyber Unit monitors jihadist Web sites and writes risk analyses based on the online exchanges between terrorism supporters One day the officer found an email printout on his desk with the subject line Al Qaida Recruits Through the Internet But the e mails the police officer received were worse posted by Supporter 2 53 PM Friday August 24 2007 What s Philip Zelikow been up to lately UPDATE ABC News released the following statement When ABC News interviewed Philip Zelikow on August 21 he did not disclose that he was working for Barbour Griffith Rogers this information did not become public until several days later We are deeply disappointed that Mr Zelikow did not disclose his lobbying relationship to us As a former advisor to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and now a professor at the University of Virginia we believe that his statement to us accurately reflects ongoing internal discussions at the State Department Nevertheless his statement is sullied by the fact that he did not disclose his relationship with Barbour Griffith Rogers But he looks like such an honest respectable guy CNN fills in the details A senior Bush administration official told CNN the White House is aware of the lobbying campaign by Barbour Griffith Rogers because the firm is blasting e mails all over town criticizing al Maliki and promoting the firm s client former interim Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi as an alternative to the current Iraqi leader But the administration official insisted that White House officials are not privately involved or blessing the lobbying campaign to undermine al Maliki TIME com Few good alternatives to al Maliki There s just no connection whatsoever the official said There s absolutely no involvement The lobbying firm boasts the services of two onetime foreign policy hands of President Bush Ambassador Robert Blackwill the former Deputy National Security Adviser and Philip Zelikow former counselor to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice posted by Supporter 4 43 PM Here is who Bruce is up against Please consider making a donation at the link above From ecbalaw com Ilann Margalit Maazel Partner Ilann Margalit Maazel has a diverse trial and appellate practice with extensive experience in both state and federal court Mr Maazel s civil rights docket focuses upon police misconduct free speech election education employment discrimination international and class action litigation He also represents a number of institutions and individuals in complex commercial and intellectual property disputes Mr Maazel joined the firm after clerking for the Hon John M Walker on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit At ECBA Mr Maazel has represented Martha Stewart Friends of the High Line the New York City Council New York gubernatorial candidate Tom Golisano the City of Mount Vernon and a diverse array of commercial and civil rights clients He has also served as class counsel or co counsel to a putative class of millions of Americans subjected to illegal surveillance by the federal government to a class of hundreds of disabled preschool children in a suit against the New York City and State Departments of Education and to a class of thousands of inmates in New York City prisons in a suit against the New York City Department of Corrections Mr Maazel is a recipient of the Legal Aid Society s 2004 and 2005 Pro Bono Publico Awards a 2001 02 recipient of a Coro Fellowship Leadership New York and received an Echoing Green Public Service Fellowship awarded to outstanding individuals who are committed to public service work Mr Maazel previously worked at Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton Garrison and at the Federal Defenders in the Eastern District of New York He regularly writes and lectures on civil rights First Amendment education and election law issues and is a frequent commentator on civil rights issues in the national media Mr Maazel also writes a regular Civil Rights Litigation column for the New York Law Journal Cached from NYCPR org Sean Bell is the tip of the iceberg said Ilann Maazel a partner at Emery Celli Brinckerhoff Abady posted by Supporter 11 36 AM Thursday August 23 2007 More background on the Tefft case I m in contact with Dr Tefft and hope to have more details to report soon but in the meantime here are three more articles with background on the case Neal Boortz Der Speigel Reuters UPDATE Here is an unrelated article about the judge the Der Speigel article claims will be hearing the case No Dates for Plame U S District Judge Barbara S Jones said Wednesday the CIA had convinced her in statements by its deputy director Stephen Kappes that national security could be harmed if the agency acknowledged whether the information at issue in the case was true the Associated Press reports According to published reports including in the Congressional Record Plame worked at the agency from 1985 to 2006 AP reported The government has publicly acknowledged that she worked for the CIA from 2002 to January 2006 Plame s publisher Simon Schuster said in a statement that it was displeased with the decision is considering its legal options and is still planning to publish the memoir titled Fair Game posted by Supporter 2 41 PM War on Weldon The full series by Jack Cashill is available online Editors note This the last in a four part series detailing how and why a collaboration of Democratic activists conspired to unseat Pennsylvania Rep Curt Weldon in the November 2006 elections Read part 1 part 2 and part 3 In December 2006 FBI Director Robert Mueller appeared before a Senate Judiciary Committee with serious egg on his face According to the Associated Press he confessed to being exceptionally disappointed about the leak made public on Oct 13 2006 that Pennsylvania Rep Curt Weldon was under investigation for influence peddling That leak and the subsequent raid prompted by the leak cost Weldon his House seat The Los Angeles Times article that prompted this whole fiasco cited 28 congressmen and women whose children worked as lobbyists or consultants Among that group none stood out like Sen Harry Reid a Democrat from Nevada who was according to the Times in a class by himself The Times identified three sons and a son in law who profited from their relationship to Reid In the last four years alone claimed the Times their firms have collected more than 2 million in lobbying fees from special interests that were represented by the kids and helped by the senator in Washington Reid is now Senate majority leader lauded by the same media that drove Weldon out of office posted by Supporter 2 12 PM Interesting detail from the CIA IG report From Newsweek The report found that U S counter terrorism efforts against Al Qaeda were damaged by a fierce turf battle between the CIA and the National Security Agency then under Hayden s leadership over access to transcripts of intercepted communications picked up by the government s spy satellites and listening posts Throughout the late 1990s right up to 9 11 the two U S intelligence agencies appear to have sharply feuded over the issue The NSA eavesdropped on the conversations of top Al Qaeda leaders in Afghanistan and elsewhere around the globe It then prepared verbatim written transcripts of this raw signals intelligence known as SIGINT in the intel world But Hayden s NSA apparently wouldn t share the transcripts with the CIA which was responsible for tracking Al Qaeda operatives overseas The NSA s unwillingness to share raw SIGINT transcripts with CIA made it more difficult for CTC the Counter Terrorism Center to perform its mission against Al Qaeda the report stated The NSA also snubbed the FBI whose job it was to hunt down terrorist operatives within the United States Some in the intelligence community take issue with the report s characterization of the disagreement It was a question of law not turf one U S intel official said Tuesday when asked why Hayden s NSA had refused to share such vital information with another U S intelligence agency The most efficient way to ensure compliance with the law when it comes to raw transcripts was to have the SIGINT reviewed inside NSA spaces The practical impact of the feud was first glimpsed three years ago when Michael Scheuer former chief of the CIA s bin Laden unit sent a letter to the Senate Intelligence Committee complaining that the NSA would only provide his office written summaries of the Al Qaeda conversations which were much less useful for operations than the actual transcripts The NSA repeatedly rebuffed CIA requests to see the transcripts Scheuer wrote One senior NSA officer he claimed told the agency that the National Security Act of 1947 gave the NSA control over the raw signals intelligence and she therefore would not share it with any other branch of the government They were stonewalling us Scheuer said in an interview Tuesday We came back and told Tenet that people were going to die without these things A one point Scheuer told NEWSWEEK the agency s bin Laden station lost out on a chance to capture a senior Al Qaeda leader visiting Holland because the NSA provided its summaries of SIGINT too late From Tony Shaffer s Congressional testimony REYES Thank you Mr Chairman In the context of your comments about sharing information what were the Department of Defense procedures for sharing the Able Danger information with other agencies Were there and I m interested in finding out were there clear cut guidelines procedures and processes on how that was to be done and what criteria SHAFFER Right The answer I ll give you in two parts First there were standing agreements between intelligence organizations regarding information sharing For example one of the roles my unit provided to Able Danger was to provide the DIA whole top secret database and the NSA whole top secret database Regarding the fact we got that and we gave it to SOCOM and keep in mind SOCOM was a Title X organization The intelligence committee is Title 50 So that took some doing So we legally found ways to bring information out of the intelligence community provide it to SOCOM for the purposes of Able Danger REYES When you say database SHAFFER Right REYES is this the lookout classified system SHAFFER We did a combination of things We actually obtained raw data from both NSA and DIA which were essentially copies of the IDB which is the DIA s big database and then also NSA s databases regarding their SIGINT searches I have to go more into this in closed session But suffice to say we played this concierge role essentially as a kind of a middle man to get these databases So we did have agreements posted by Supporter 1 54 PM Monday August 20 2007 Terror adviser sued for anti Islamic messages Bruce Tefft who posts to the OSINT yahoo group has accumulated upwards of 64 000 in legal fees in a lawsuit over messages that he sent to a different email list I guess free speech really isn t free after all Please consider visiting the link above and making a donation If you can add a banner to your own web site or blog that would help too a href http www falconnest org index files defensefund htm img src http www abledangerblog com banner drtefft gif height 200 width 150 border 0 a NYPD terror adviser sued for anti Islamic messages A Muslim analyst for the New York City Police Department is suing the city for workplace harassment alleging he was subject to a regular stream of anti Islamic messages from an e mail list run by a former adviser who trained detectives in counter terrorism The contracted adviser retired 21 year CIA veteran Bruce Tefft is also a defendant in the suit filed in federal court in Manhattan last December But Tefft a founder of the CIA s Counter Terrorism Unit told WND he believes the analyst who is not named in court papers has no case against him Tefft noting the suit so far has cost him 50 000 in legal fees cites First Amendment protections and argues NYPD personnel signed up for his e mail list at their own will and were completely free to unsubscribe at any time He also points out his employer at the time the private intelligence firm Orion Scientific Systems covered his entire salary and expenses effectively donating his services to the NYPD A hearing is scheduled for next month on a motion to dismiss the case Tefft continues to send out about 50 to 60 e mails a day comprised mostly of unclassified material and news reports from around the world related to terrorism and Islam In a fraction of those dispatches he adds his own comments some of which became a focus of the complaint This is a global war we are in Tefft said explaining the relevance of the e mailed reports to domestic officials The enemy is a global enemy Jihadists are all over the world So whatever goes on around the world has value here The suit by the Egyptian born analyst who filed as John Doe Anti Terrorism Officer because he works undercover in the Cyber Unit says the e mails ridiculed and disparaged the Muslim religion and Arab people and stated that Muslim and Arab Americans were untrustworthy and could not reliably serve in law enforcement positions or handle sensitive data The Columbia World of Quotations QUOTATION I disapprove of what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it ATTRIBUTION Voltaire François Marie Arouet 1694 1778 French philosopher author what you write but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue to write posted by Supporter 6 42 PM Part one in Cashill series The war on Weldon gets scarier part I When the history of the Bush era is written no scandal will impress the reader as more telling of the time and place than the one that has engulfed Curt Weldon the deposed Republican congressman from Pennsylvania The House Ethics Committee in fact cleared Weldon of any wrongdoing That was not clearance enough for the mischief makers from CREW Its executive director Melanie Sloan petitioned the Justice Department to investigate Weldon and determine whether the congressman had violated a federal bribery law This petition once executed and amplified would spell the end of Weldon s career Sloan had been recruited just the year before by a pair of wealthy Democratic activists Norman Eisen and Louis Mayberg Sloan then an assistant United States attorney in Washington D C saw the potential in their brainchild signed on and nurtured CREW to life In principle CREW was to function as something of a counterweight to Judicial Watch the D C based conservative watchdog group CREW describes itself in fact as nonpartisan Its presumed target government officials who sacrifice the common good to special interests In reality however CREW has emerged as something of a dirty tricks operation for a truly worrisome cabal known as the Democratic Alliance Follow the link for the full article posted by Supporter 5 52 PM Sunday August 19 2007 Clinton takedown of congressman exposed From WorldNetDaily COMING MONDAY Clinton takedown of congressman exposed Columnist Jack Cashill offers 4 part series on targeting of Rep Curt Weldon Posted August 18 2007 1 00 a m Eastern Jack Cashill Beginning Monday WorldNetDaily will feature a four part series by columnist Jack Cashill presenting new information about the Clinton directed targeting and defeat of former Rep Curt Weldon R Pa the one member of Congress who likely did more to expose Clinton administration culpability in 9 11 than any other Weldon writes Cashill was the victim not of ideologues but of well placed Democratic activists whose motives involve some combination of fear greed spite wishful thinking and lust for power These collaborators did not have to rely on Arkansas state troopers to leak private information They had and have allies working within the FBI the CIA and the Justice Department Cashill points out that the Clintons and their allies have willing media to help in their efforts These same media that functioned and still do as a firewall in the service of the Clintons serve now as sappers in the undermining of their enemies With a willing media to trumpet useful messages this collaboration has effectively ended any number of Republican careers most recently those of White House staffer Scooter Libby and Reps Curt Weldon Tom DeLay and Mark Foley In the four part series Cashill will detail how Weldon was targeted and taken down in 2006 noting that the congressman committed only one unforgivable crime investigating the intelligence failures of the Clinton era Visit WorldNetDaily Monday to read Part 1 of Cashill s expose posted by Supporter 1 43 AM Friday August 17 2007 One Analyst Who Got It And Got It Interesting post by Stephen Charest at DailyKos from July 19th We think of intelligence analysts in fact of any government flunkies as faceless drones But I knew Eileen Preisser when she was an officer in the US Air Force working in the USAF Special Activities Agency the Air Force s clandestine intell agency Yes Eileen could be a flake think of the scientist in the film Independence Day But then almost everyone I know who was or is in intell is a flake It s a job requirement No she doesn t play well with others But there s a reason when she knows she s right she will not back down During her military career she brought an IG complaint against a colonel who demonstrated consistent sexual harassment against his female officers Ultimately the colonel was relieved of command and encouraged to retire Eileen of course was moved to another agency where they thought she wouldn t cause any trouble Wrong She was one of the first to state unequivocally that the Berlin Wall was coming down and that we were concentrating on the wrong enemy Since at least 1989 she s been warning anyone who would listen or couldn t get away from her that the real danger to the US was and is from radical terrorist groups of all stripes Of course being a flake she is rarely listened to And being pretty damned smart she is usually right Last I heard she d been shuffled off to something called the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency I ll google them later But I ll bet long odds it s another attempt to put her where she won t disturb anyone It won t work Eileen is the kind of intell analyst we need right now one who is capable of thinking not just outside the box but outside the four known dimensions one who is unafraid to tell her story and one who is not intimidated by the powers that be Wherever you are Eileen I remember you And you were and are right posted by Supporter 1 09 PM Thursday August 16 2007 From the archives Look what the Google dragged in I may have to go watch that grainy Heritage speech again now Congressional Record May 21 2002 House Page H2820 H2834 In fact Mr Speaker I firmly believe that if we would have implemented the NOAH which John Hamre offered to pay for with DOD dollars back when we first recommended it I am convinced we could have stopped or known about and prevented September 11 from ever happening Let me give an example CIA information on terrorism combined with what the FBI knew about training pilots and open source information on remarks by al Qaeda would have helped the intelligence community and enforcement agencies focus better on the threat For example in August of 2000 an al Qaeda member had been interviewed by an Italian newspaper and reported that al Qaeda was training kamikaze pilots The intelligence community and enforcement agencies however do not read open source information Yes they read all the classified stuff but this interview in 2000 was in an open source newspaper account in Italy If we would have had a fusion center all of that data would have been processed and in very real quick time through massive high speed computers and we would have seen the linkages between what was occurring But with each agency doing its own thing it is impossible to see the linkages And that is why when President Bush before September 11 got a bit of information from the CIA and a bit from the FBI and something else and nothing from open sources there is no way he could have foretold what was about to occur If we would have had the NOAH in place an idea that was developed with the intelligence community an idea that was briefed to the FBI briefed to the CIA and briefed to the Defense Department I think we could have done something to prevent al Qaeda In fact Mr Speaker there is another interesting development that occurred After the Army showed the capability of the LIWAC model at Ft Belvoir other services began to take interest Special forces command down in Florida contacted the Army and said hey we hear you are doing some neat things We want to build a mini version of what you are doing down at our headquarters I did not find out about this until October of 2001 after the attack on the trade center A year before special forces command developed their own mini version of a data processing or collaborative center with very limited capabilities But what they did Mr Speaker they did a profile of al Qaeda 1 year before 9 11 The SPEAKER pro tempore Mr Issa The gentleman from Pennsylvania Mr Weldon is recognized to continue until midnight Mr WELDON of Pennsylvania Mr Speaker here is the chart the unclassified chart of what special forces command had 1 year before 9 11 Interesting The entire al Qaeda network is identified in a graphic chart with all the linkages to all the terrorist groups around the world In fact Mr Speaker I was told by the folks who developed the capability for special forces command that this chart and the briefing that was supposed to be given to General Shelton Chairman of our Joint Chiefs had a recommendation to take out 5 cells of bin Laden s network Mr Speaker this was 1 year before 9 11 This was not during President Bush s administration This occurred in the fall of the remaining term of President Bill Clinton The key question I have been trying to get at is why was this 3 hour briefing which I also got I got General Holland to bring his briefers up from Florida with special forces I went in the Pentagon went in the tank and they gave me the briefing as much as they could give me because part of it is being used for our operational plan why was that 3 hour briefing with the recommendations to take out 5 cells of bin Laden s network condensed down to a 1 hour brief when it was given to General Hugh Shelton in January of 2001 And why were the recommendations to take out 5 cells not followed up on That is the question we should get answered Mr Speaker Because 1 year before 9 11 the capability that special forces built actually identified to us the network of al Qaeda And they went beyond that and gave us recommendations where we could take out cells to eliminate their capability So for those pundits out there sitting in their armchairs criticizing President Bush they have it all wrong Facts are a tough thing to refute and the fact is that back in 1997 we told the administration at that time what to do In 1998 we briefed the agencies In 1999 we put language in a defense bill In 2000 we put language in a defense bill In 2000 special forces command built another mini version of that capability And in 2000 they briefed General Shelton telling him to take out 5 cells of bin Laden s network All of that activity could have prevented or helped to prevent 9 11 from ever occurring I challenge my colleagues Mr Speaker to review the facts I challenge the media to report the truth We still do not have a national collaborative center That capability still does not exist We are getting there but it has been a long road I briefed our Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge with the gentleman from Indiana Mr Burton chairman of the Committee on Government Reform about 4 months ago He agreed with us but he has not yet been able to achieve this new interagency collaborative center and that is an indictment of our government that the American people deserve to be outraged over We need this kind of capability in the 21st century because these bits of pieces of information have to be pieced together both classified and unclassified so that our analysts can get the clear picture of what may be about to occur against our people and our friends From Cambone s testimony WELDON I thank the gentlelady for yielding Dr Cambone do you agree in your assessment or your team here that the Able Danger team identified five hotspots what they called hotspots which would include Malaysia Mauritania Hamburg Germany New York and Aden Yemen CAMBONE Yes there s said to be that sort of designation of places to include the Brooklyn cell issue WELDON Now I realize you can t speak on behalf of the 9 11 Commission obviously and I m not asking you to But let me ask you this After having identified those five hotspots and then having an attack on the USS Cole in the Port of Aden Yemen how could anyone in their right mind classify Able Danger as historically insignificant Seventeen sailors were killed in one of the five hotspots that the Able Danger team you ve just acknowledged identified How in the world could any commissioner on any well I m asking you could you think of how anyone could classify that work after we had a warship 17 sailors killed at one of those hotspots and to call that work historically insignificant CAMBONE Sir I didn t do the work for the 9 11 Commission and I was not involved in that kind of effort WELDON How about your own opinion CAMBONE I don t know how they would answer WELDON I think that there s a lot of information that was generated over that period of time And I don t know that the crew in the Able Danger exercise was the only one to have identified troubles in Yemen and Aden at the time And that as a consequence of the investigations that were done what we discovered is information that might have been available through a variety of channels hadn t been made available That s a matter of record sir And so you know there you are I didn t do the look at Brooklyn cell and the other cells I mean that was the 9 11 Commission s function WELDON But you know that they identified five cells And one of those five cells was in fact a location of where 17 of our sailors were murdered The Department of Defense has conducted a search specifically for Able Danger products Has any search of DOD databases been conducted to determine if any Able Danger data was incorporated into other second and third order intelligence products And if not why not CAMBONE Intelligence products as such I don t know that I do know that I know what I ve been told is and I ve mentioned this already as the planning process moved forward in the 2001 timeframe in the Joint Staff information generated in the Able Danger project was taken into other planning efforts and documents Substantially But in terms of an intelligence product I don t know the answer to that posted by Supporter 11 48 PM Of course Clinton knew about it In case there was still any doubt The 9 11 Commission identified five people who they interviewed about Able Danger General Schoomaker General Hugh Shelton Admiral Scott Fry General Gregory Newbold Brian Sheridan LTC Shaffer has already mentioned briefing Brian Sheridan ASD SOLIC on Able Danger Sheridan was supportive He was also a Clinton appointee and key member of Clarke s Counterterrorism Strategy Group Perhaps Vice Admiral Fry is someone we should have been talking about Here is an excerpt from The Age of Sacred Terror p 321 Convinced that the intelligence needed for a cruise missle attack on al Qaeda was not going to materialize the Joint Chiefs decided to see what they could do about the submarine deployments which struck them as an excercise in futility Admiral Scott Fry head of operations for the Joint Staff was dispatched to the White House to meet with Dick Clarke and tell him that without better intelligence the vessels should be brought home Clarke suprised his visitor by agreeing and challenged him to find ways of improving the intelligence Frye returned to the Pentagon and ordered his staff to draw up a list of possibilities Like most military options lists what emerged in early summer of 2000 included ideas that ranged from the unfeasible to the absurd One of them however appealed to Clarke use a forty nine foot unmanned flying drone called Predator armed with precision video and infrared cameras to locate bin Laden Here is a quote from Clinton on p 317 also set in the same time frame Back in Washington the sense that the Unites States was dodging al Qaeda bullets rekindled the desire for a military plan to end the bin Laden problem At the end of one meeting in the Cabinet Room Clinton approached Joint Chiefs chairman Hugh Shelton and said You know it would scare the shit out of al Qaeda if suddenly a bunch of black ninjas rappelled out of helicopters into the middle of their camp It would get us enormous deterrence and show those guys we re not afraid Shelton a huge powerfully built man blanched The NSC followed up with a request for a military plan a small package that did not require using the entire 101st Airborne Division Now in his own words from p 804 of My Life referencing fall 1998 I had also asked General Shelton and Dick Clarke to develop some options for dropping commando forces into Afghanistan I thought that if we took out a couple of al Qaeda s training operations it would show them how serious we were even if we didn t get bin Laden or his top lieutenants It was clear to me that the senior military didn t want to do this perhaps because of Somalia perhaps because they would have had to send in the Special Forces without knowing for certain where bin Laden was or whether we could get our troops back out safely At any rate I continued to keep the option alive Is it just me or do all roads lead back to Able Danger posted by Supporter 2 32 AM Wednesday August 15 2007 Inside 9 11 I still haven t figured out if the Updated and Commemorative DVDs are the same or if they just never plan to release the Updated version for sale Special Encore Presentation Inside 9 11 Updated Version Sunday August 26 7 00 11 00 PM ET 4 Hours with Limited Commercial Interruption We will never forget September 11 2001 a day of unimaginable tragedy forever altering history and our place in the world Now the National Geographic Channel presents an updated version of its Emmy nominated Inside 9 11 New details that have come to light have been incorporated into the special including the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui information about the existence of Able Danger the highly classified military intelligence team charged with tracking al Qaeda video of the 9 11 attack on the Pentagon and audio from Flight 93 the dissolving of the CIA s bin Laden unit the killing of al Qaeda s leader in Iraq Abu Musab al Zarqawi and recent tapes from bin Laden posted by Supporter 11 37 AM Tuesday August 14 2007 CIA report on 9 11 due Labor Day From the Hill August 08 2007 The CIA has been ordered to release by Labor Day a declassified summary of an internal report on the agency s performance prior to the terrorist attacks of Sept 11 2001 possibly shedding light on whether senior officials made fundamental lapses in judgment Under the 9 11 bill that President Bush signed

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  • Able Danger Blog: September 2007
    out as soon as possible Generally speaking we were briefed that Bin Laden made a statement that he was going to have two suicide bombers in a boat bomb a USS in or around the Persian Gulf in the year 2000 From the third statement as shown While in the Adriatic we received a threat brief from ISC SW Redacted that U B L had promised an attack against a US ship in the C6F or C5F AOR The brief stated the ship would be steaming independently and the attack would most likely be with a kamikaze boat The NCIS report on the attack confirms their accounts but not conclusively From pages 80 and 81 of the NCIS investigation On 17 August 2000 LT Redacted Force Protection Officer conducted a Med Arabian University brief exclusively on Force Protection covering the following topics the Naval Criminal Investigative Service Counter Intelligence structure spot Reports and Blue Darts Threat Levels THREATCONS international terrorist incidents from 1980 1999 the East Africa American Embassy bombings in 1998 and terrorist Usama bin Laden Blue Darts are time sensitive reports to warn unit and installation commanders of an imminent terrorist attack against their unit or installation Spot Reports are time sensitive reports in response to specific Force Protection terrorist threats and are tailored to alert potentially affected Department of the Navy assets Additionally a Med Arabian University briefing covered the Current Terrorist Threat in both the EUCOM and Commander in Chief United States Central Command Areas of Reponsibility A slide entitled Summary of DoD Terrorist Threat Levels U S Central Command listed Yemen as having a HIGH Threat Level Several crewmembers of USS COLE DDG 67 stated that one of the Med Arabian University briefings cited intelligence reports warning of possible terrorist attacks against United States warships operating in the FIFTH and SIXTH Fleet Area of Responsibilities by one of Usama bin Laden s groups This Finding of Fact reflects crewmembers recollection of what was briefed not the actual content of the messages Now this is significant because the intelligence about a threat against a warship in the Middle East combined with the threat information uncovered by Able Danger regarding the Port of Aden should have been more than enough to send a Blue Dart Two articles in the New York Times two days after the bombing and Newsweek three weeks later describe the exact same intelligence report From the New York Times on October 14 2000 The United States received a general warning of a possible attack on an American warship last month senior defense officials said here today but the warning lacked detail and did not specify the country in which to expect the attack It was a question of how directly you could tie it to a certain place one of the officials said Since the warning reported by an intelligence source in the Arab world was not specific enough it got put on the shelf From Newsweek on November 6 2000 Two weeks before a pair of suicide bombers hit the USS Cole a popular satellite TV channel in Qatar broadcast an ominous message from Osama bin Laden With the camera rolling bin Laden s top lieutenant Ayman al Zawahiri warned darkly that it was time to take action against the iniquitous and faithless U S forces in Yemen Egypt and Saudi Arabia Bin Laden clad in tribal Yemeni dress and sporting a traditional dagger looked on approvingly Was the Saudi militant unleashing his terror operatives Was he claiming responsibility in advance for the strike against the Cole As U S investigators weighed these questions last week an equally unsettling one hung in the air did they overlook other clues that might have foiled the attack that killed 17 American sailors Consider some of the traffic that preceded the Cole attack In mid September a few days before bin Laden s broadcast the CIA issued a secret warning Agency reports feared that terrorists were likely to attack a Sixth Fleet warship in the Mediterranean using a small bomb laden boat precisely the tactic used against the Cole Another warning issued Oct 11 identified bin Laden as the possible sponsor of an imminent attack on U S or Israeli targets in several Middle East countries including Yemen But the first warning did not mention Yemen it does not border the Mediterranean and the second said nothing about an attack on a U S Navy ship A third from the National Security Agency was sent out on Oct 12 four hours after the Cole was blown up Considering the US had no troops in Yemen other than for embassy protection the Port of Aden where twenty three USS warships had refueled in the last eighteen months seems like an obvious focus That September 22 2000 video was even covered on CNN On the tape bin Laden vows to work to obtain the freedom of Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman who is serving a life sentence in a U S federal prison He was convicted in 1996 of conspiracy in a plot to blow up the United Nations kill Egypt s president and bomb vital highway tunnels in New York Bin Laden also vows to work for the freedom of all our prisoners in the U S Egypt and Saudi Arabia From a Pentagon news briefing on October 19 2000 Q On September 22nd Osama bin Laden and members of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad went on Qatar TV it was probably a tape not a live shot but there was a tape played of Osama bin Laden and Egyptian Islamic Jihad officials making pretty specific threats against American forces and specifically threatening attacks on ships Now there are some within the administration who said they were unaware of these bin Laden threats Did the Pentagon did CENTCOM did the U S Navy did the Cole get any kind of threat assessment or warning as to the threats being made Osama bin Laden and the Egyptian Islamic Jihad Bacon Well that s precisely the type of question that the various panels will look at And I think rather than rifle shoot at questions like that it s better to look at the whole pattern That s one of the reasons Secretary Cohen is setting up this Cole Panel It will look at the full panoply of intelligence factors that were available whether intelligence reached the right people at the right time whether the information was as accurate as it could be whether there was a proper distinction between general threats and specific threats These are the type of questions they ll be looking at Rather than try to answer these questions piecemeal I think it s better just to let the panel do its work and try to release a complete report as soon as possible Of course the panel did nothing of the sort but what would you expect As it is warnings of an attack were available from sources besides Osama From the New York Times on October 20 2000 American intelligence officials said yesterday that they received reports in late May that a militant Egyptian Islamic group was in the final stages of preparing a terror attack against American targets and that they passed on the warning to all American posts and foreign governments in the Middle East The group said to be preparing the attack was the Egyptian Islamic Jihad a faction of which is closely associated with Osama bin Laden the Saudi financier who tops the United States list of most wanted terrorists The Jihad and Mr bin Laden s organization Al Qaeda or the base have come under scrutiny by American and Yemeni officials as possible culprits in the bombing last Thursday of the American destroyer Cole in Aden Yemen an attack that killed 17 sailors American officials said the administration had received two separate warnings about a possible terrorist attack against American forces The first in late May warned that the Egyptian Islamic Jihad was in the final stages of preparing an attack against American forces The second received in mid September warned about a possible attack against an American warship but did not specify where or when From the Complete 9 11 Timeline July 2000 CIA Learns Al Qaeda Related Group Plans to Attack US Naval Ship A CIA informant reveals that a militant group based in Sidon Lebanon that is affiliated with bin Laden is planning to attack a US naval ship somewhere in the Eastern Mediterranean probably off the coast of Lebanon Miniter 2003 pp 215 This is a probable reference to Asbat al Ansar the only group that fits such a profile US Department of State 5 21 2002 The CIA and Defense Department discount the threat pointing out the US is not deploying ships near Lebanon However counterterrorism tsar Richard Clarke will later say he was alarmed by the warning because it showed increased ambitions for al Qaeda in going after hardened military targets Miniter 2003 pp 215 Al Qaeda will successfully bomb the USS Cole several months later in Yemen see October 12 2000 August Early October 2000 FBI Notices Increased Al Qaeda Telephone Activity in Yemen before Cole Attack The FBI and other US intelligence agencies have been monitoring an al Qaeda communications hub in Sana a Yemen since the attacks on US embassies in East Africa and have used it to map al Qaeda s global network see Late August 1998 and Late 1998 Early 2002 In the run up to the bombing of the USS Cole in Aden Yemen the FBI notices that there is increased telephone activity to and from the Sana a hub One of the messages says that bin Laden is planning a Hiroshima type event see August 2000 PBS 10 3 2002 Late Summer 2000 Informant Says Al Qaeda to Attack US Warship According to PBS an Egyptian informant warns US intelligence that al Qaeda will attack an American warship PBS 10 3 2002 The FBI also notices increased telephone activity by al Qaeda in Yemen around the same time see August Early October 2000 The USS Cole is attacked in the autumn of this year see October 12 2000 A quote from Kie Fallis in Breakdown by Bill Gertz I obtained information in January of 2000 that indicated terrorists were planning two or three major attacks against the United States he said The only gaps were where and when As September ended the DIA and the rest of the intelligence community the CIA the FBI the National Security Agency and the State Department s Bureau of Intelligence and Research received extremely solid information supported by several sources that an attack was imminent I went to my supervisor and he told me there wasn t going to be a warning issued Mr Fallis said For Mr Fallis the eureka point before the Cole bombing in determining an impending terrorist attack came from a still classified intelligence report in September 2000 which he will not discuss But after the bin Laden video surfaced that same month Mr Fallis said he knew then it would be within a month or two Another excerpt from Breakdown by Bill Gertz The National Security Agency which conducts electronic eavesdropping around the world received an intelligence intercept about terrorists planning for an attack against the United States On the day the Cole bombing was carried out NSA produced a top secret intelligence report warning that terrorists were planning an attack on an American target in the Middle East But the NSA report was not dispatched until several hours after the bombing The report according to officials who were familiar with the top secret intelligence stated that unidentified terrorists were involved in operational planning for an attack on U S or Israeli personnel or property in the Middle East One official said the warning was specific as to an attack in Yemen Congressman Curt Weldon a Pennsylvania Republican and a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee agreed that the NSA report was specific He investigated the NSA warning and told me that the warning related specifically to Yemen But other officials claimed the NSA s intercept was more general and referred to the Persian Gulf region Either way it was accurate The intercept stated that a member of a terrorist group had been tracked to Dubai and Beirut and was planning terrorist operations Now back to Able Danger You might recall the New York Post scoop September 17 2005 WASHINGTON Members of a secret Pentagon intelligence unit known as Able Danger warned top military generals that it had uncovered information of increased al Qaeda activity in Aden harbor less than three weeks before the attack on the USS Cole The Post has learned In the latest explosive revelation in the Able Danger saga two former members of the data mining team are expected to testify to the Senate Judiciary Committee next week that they uncovered alarming terrorist activity and associations in Aden weeks before the Oct 12 2000 suicide bombing of the U S warship that killed 17 sailors Lt Col Anthony Shaffer the Defense Intelligence Agency s former liaison to Able Danger told The Post that Capt Scott Phillpott Able Danger s leader briefed Gen Peter Schoomaker former head of Special Operations Command and now Army chief of staff about the findings on Yemen two or three weeks before the Cole attack Yemen was elevated by Able Danger to be one of the top three hot spots for al Qaeda in the entire world Shaffer recalled Shaffer and two other officials familiar with Able Danger said contractors uncovered al Qaeda activities in Yemen through a search of Osama bin Laden s business ties The Pentagon had no immediate comment Of course they never testified in the Senate but there was some related testimony in the House From the House Armed Services Committee on February 15 2006 SHAFFER My understanding and this is not my direct knowledge but information I received from Captain Philpot they discovered information about two weeks before the Cole attack about the 1st of October that there was activities of interest within the Port of Aden in Yemen That information was researched by the intelligence analysts and two days before the attack was briefed to General Schoomaker the commander of Special Operations Command WELDON Do you know what happened to it SHAFFER I know that one of the individuals who was integrated within the Able Danger element at Garland Texas was a CENTCOM intelligence representative It is my understanding that information was provided from Captain Philpot to the CENTCOM intelligence representative at which time Captain Philpot requested they do something with it they take action on it As expected General Chope had a slightly different view CHOPE Sir in the days preceding 12 October 2000 which was the day the Cole was attacked in Aden harbor one of the intelligence analysts assigned to the Able Danger effort began to get what he calls gut feel that things were going awry in Yemen he didn t have any hard intelligence He asked then Commander Scott Philpot if that could be briefed at a high level briefing that took place on 10 October during a VIP visit to the Garland facility and it was To the best of our knowledge and through the course of our interviews that information was not of actionable quality It was not of predictive quality It was a general feel and a general beginning of bad things for lack of a better way to put it in Yemen in general sir Leave it to a general to fit the word general in the same sentence three times Two bombers in a kamikaze boat directed by Bin Laden to bomb a USS warship steaming independently somewhere in the Middle East at the same time that Yemen as a whole and the Port of Aden specifically are tagged as having a high threat of a terrorist attack Generally speaking not sending a Blue Dart sounds like negligence to me posted by Supporter 2 15 PM Friday September 21 2007 U S Spy Chief 9 11 Could Have Been Prevented From ABC News Director of National Intelligence Says U S Didn t Connect Available Information Six years after the deadliest attack on U S soil the head of U S spy operations admitted to lawmakers that 9 11 should have and could have been prevented Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell told members of the House Judiciary Committee Tuesday that it was an issue of connecting information that was available McConnell explaining that the intelligence community was at the time very focused on foreign threats said the community allowed itself to be separated from anything that was potentially domestic and that domestic threats were not something we were supposed to be concerned with Given the vast resources of the intelligence community along with the FBI s and CIA s knowledge that al Qaeda had an interest in flight training and had sent 9 11 hijackers Khalid al Mihdhar and Nawaf al Hazmi and terrorism suspect Zacarias Moussaoui to undertake such training in the United States McConnell said For whatever reason we didn t connect the dots posted by Supporter 12 35 AM Thursday September 13 2007 Sestak received 2 750 from Hsu According to analysis done by several bloggers at Suitably Flip Norman Hsu donated or raised at least 2 750 for Sestak in the 2006 election cycle Recipient Office State All Receipts Hsu Only Associates Sestak Joe House PA 2 750 1 000 1 750 posted by Supporter 11 25 PM Hsu is an associate of Bernard Schwartz As you can see on this original chart that was produced by Orion Scientific in 1999 Loral Corp was one of the companies with close ties to the Clintons that were identified by LIWA in 1999 as being involved with Chinese missile and weapon proliferation It seems those ties are

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