9-11 Timeline - Able Danger cover-ups

Skip to first unread message


Dec 17, 2010, 1:21:18 AM12/17/10
to History Commons Discussion Forums
I've been trying to post on the timeline for around 2 hours, but I
have ADD and I just can't make it happen, so I'm putting it here,
since I can't find a way to email it to the project leaders. (I vote
yes that historycommons is a garden behind a wall.)

EXCLUSIVE: Witnesses in Defense Dept. Report Suggest Cover-Up of 9/11
By Catherine Herridge
Published October 04, 2010
| FoxNews.com

Read more:

A document obtained and witnesses interviewed by Fox News raise new
questions over whether there was an effort by the Defense Department
to cover up a pre-9/11 military intelligence program known as "Able

At least five witnesses questioned by the Defense Department's
Inspector General told Fox News that their statements were distorted
by investigators in the final IG's report -- or it left out key
information, backing up assertions that lead hijacker Mohammed Atta
was identified a year before 9/11.

Atta is believed to have been the ringleader of the Sept. 11 hijackers
who piloted American Airlines Flight 11 into the World Trade Center.
Claims about how early Atta first tripped the radar of the Department
of Defense date back to 2005, but those claims never made it into the
Inspector General's report. The report was completed in 2006 and,
until now, has been available only in a version with the names of
virtually all of the witnesses blacked out.

Fox News, as part of an ongoing investigation, exclusively obtained a
clean copy of the report and spoke to several principal witnesses,
including an intelligence and data collector who asked that she not be

The witness told Fox News she was interviewed twice by a Defense
Department investigator. She said she told the investigator that it
was highly likely a department database included the picture of Atta,
whom she knew under an alias, Mohammed el-Sayed.

"When it came to the picture, (the investigator) he was fairly
hostile," the witness told Fox News. She said it seemed the
investigator just didn't want to hear it. "Meaning that he'd ask the
same question over and over again, and, you know, you get to the point
you go, well, you know... it's the same question, it's the same
The IG report didn't accurately reflect her statements to
investigators, she said, adding that she doesn't think the
investigator simply misunderstood her.

Lt. Col Tony Shaffer, an operative involved with Able Danger, said he
was interviewed three times by Defense investigators. He claims it was
an effort to wear down the witnesses and intimidate them. Two other
witnesses, one a military contractor and the other a retired military
officer, said they had the same experience. The two witnesses spoke to
Fox News on the condition of anonymity because they said they feared
retaliation. A fifth witness told Fox that statements to investigators
were ignored.

"My last interview was very, very hostile," Shaffer told Fox News last
month before he was ordered by the department not to discuss portions
of his book, "Operation Dark Heart," which included a chapter on the
Able Danger data mining project.

When asked why the IG's report was so aggressive in its denials of his
claims and those of other witnesses -- that the data mining project
had identified Atta as a threat to the U.S. before 9/11 -- Shaffer
said Defense Department was worried about taking some of the blame for

However, It still isn't clear how -- or whether -- the information on
Atta could have been used to the disrupt the Sept. 11 attacks.

"The big picture was not Atta, not so much the chart," Shaffer said.
"The fact is this: That we had a pre-9/11 Department of Defense
operation focused on taking action against Al Qaeda globally."

Specifically, the Defense Intelligence Agency or DIA wanted the
removal of references to a meeting between Shaffer and the executive
director of the 9/11 Commission, Philip Zelikow, removed. Shaffer
alleges that in that meeting, which took place in Afghanistan, the
commission was told about Able Danger and the identification of Atta
before the attacks. Shaffer, who was undercover at the time, said
there was "stunned silence" at the meeting.

No mention of this was made in the final 9/11 Commission report.

"Dr. Philip Zelikow approached me in the corner of the room. 'What you
said today is very important. I need you to get in touch with me as
soon as you return from your deployment here in Afghanistan,'" Shaffer

Once back in the U.S., Shaffer says he contacted the commission, but
without explanation, the commission was no longer interested.
Last month, the Defense Department took the highly unusual step of
buying and destroying 9,500 copies of Shaffer's book "Operation Dark
Heart" at a cost of $47,000 to U.S. taxpayers.

Link in the article to a Defense Intelligence Agency, or DIA, letter
objecting to parts of the book.

When asked whether Defense Department stood behind the IG report's
findings, Col. Dave Lapan, the acting deputy assistant Secretary of
Defense said in a statement to Fox News dated Oct. 6, "The
investigation found that prior to September 11, 2001, Able Danger team
members did not identify Mohammed Atta or any other 9/11 hijacker.
While four witnesses claimed to have seen a chart depicting Mohammed
Atta and possibly other hijackers or "cells" involved in 9/11, the
investigation determined that their recollections were not accurate."

As for retaliation against Shaffer who said he lost his security
clearance as a result of speaking out about Able Danger, Lapan said
"The investigation found that DIA officials did not reprise against
LTC Shaffer, in either his civilian or military capacity, for making
disclosures regarding Able Danger or, in a separate matter, for his
earlier disclosure to the DIA IG regarding alleged misconduct by DIA
officials that was unrelated to Able Danger."

Separately, Fox News has obtained a letter that challenges the Defense
Department's claim. In October 2006, then Rep. Christopher Shays,
chairman of the Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats
and International Relations, wrote to Shaffer's supervisor, Maj. Gen.
Elbert Perkins, about the revocation of his clearance..
"Based on investigation of security clearance retaliation, it appears
the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) used the security clearance
system in an improper manner against

LTC Shaffer and did not follow DOD security clearance guidelines,"
Shays, R-Conn., wrote.

Link in the article to Shays' letter to Perkins.

In this case, the letter stated that the allegations used by the DIA
to justify pulling Shaffer's security clearance included "the alleged
misuse of a government cell phone in the amount of $67.00 and the
alleged misfiling of a travel voucher for $180.00...these were not
uniformed code of military justice (UCMJ) issues -- that there was no
basis for punitive action and should be dealt with
administratively...This decision cleared the way for LTC Shaffer's
promotion, and his current 'good' standing in the Army Reserve.."

Reply all
Reply to author
0 new messages