Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Specter Wants Answers About 'Able Danger'
FOX News online ^ | September 21, 2005 | Unattributed

Posted on 09/21/2005 11:17:25 AM PDT by YaYa123

WASHINGTON — Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter said Wednesday he wants answers from the Defense Department about Able Danger, a secret military unit that is said to have identified four of the Sept. 11 hijackers more than a year before the terrorist attacks.

Pentagon officials blocked five key witnesses from testifying in the Able Danger hearings on Capitol Hill Wednesday, citing security concerns.

"I think the Department of Defense owes the American people an explanation about what went on here," Specter said. "The American people are entitled to some answers."

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Breaking News; Constitution/Conservatism; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: abledanger; abledangerhearing; atta; coverup; gorelick; specter; whitewash
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-6061-80 ... 121-129 next last
This FOXNews online report on Specter's Hearing this morning, is the only one I can find. Nothing at AP, nothing at,, or MSNBC. UPI evidently had an article posted, it is linked at But the UPI article has been pulled, no longer available.

I've never seen an important Washington hearing end without an AP article online almost immediately. I've never seen Specter hold a hearing without ending it with a presser.

This hearing today has gotten NO COVERAGE that I can find, except for this lone FOXNews article.

1 posted on 09/21/2005 11:17:28 AM PDT by YaYa123
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: YaYa123

Who's side is Specter on?

2 posted on 09/21/2005 11:18:52 AM PDT by lormand (George W. Bush is saving your ass, whether you like it or not.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: YaYa123

The press knows that this all points to Clinton.

I don't understand why Rummy is blocking witnesses, though.

So the only MSM coverage will be about the blocking and not about the fact that the data was deleted in May or June of 2000.

3 posted on 09/21/2005 11:19:07 AM PDT by nuffsenuff (Don't get stuck on Stupid.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: YaYa123

Fortunately, I did a copy/past of Ed Klein's testimony and sent it to myself, then forwarded it on to others.

4 posted on 09/21/2005 11:19:16 AM PDT by zerosix (Native Sunflower)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: YaYa123

Why do they always couch everything "as the people have a right to know?" They hide plenty of stuff from "the people."

5 posted on 09/21/2005 11:20:30 AM PDT by Sunshine Sister
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SuzanneC

My notes are ragged, but the best I could do while seething.

My notes on the hearing: :

Biden says he is here because of his high regard for Curt Weldon, and much he told me I was unaware of , and it turns out to be true.

Specter and Biden both are vouching for Weldon. Biden says Weldon is a strong republican but he has no political agenda here. Biden says his staff verifies Able Danger uncovered Atta before 9-ll. Biden is disappointed, can't understand why the DoD witnesses have been pulled...Biden thinks this is a mistake. Biden says Specter never takes no for an answer, and Biden expects Specter to pursue those witnesses.

Biden has to leave, will stay as long as possible, and hopes the Pentagon will reverse itself. Biden says he's seen no reason for their action.

Senator Kyle welcomes Weldon, appreciates his efforts, blah blah. Klye says we are going to have a lot of work ahead of us. Kyle agrees with Specter that their committee must do a lot of work on posse commitattas in order to resolve problems.

No one elsse on the committee there, This is a big diss!

Weldon begins reading, thanks Biden and Kyle for showing up.

Able Danger existed. 5 have told me and your staff that Atta and 3 other terrrorists were identified before 9-ll.
Weldon makes the point: The pentagon says the 5 can't testify because of classified information, but wweeks ago said all the Able Danger info was all open source information, not classified.

Weldon says it was a 9-ll commission member who encouraged him to investigate Able Danger.

Biden elicits the informaition "
Able Danger started in 98, terminated in 2000.

Biden asked why was Able Danger shut down.
Weldon says important names were included in data mining. (It was Condeleeza Rice)
this was prototype operation, so sensitive to coincidental, embarrassing information.

Weldon says it was significant reason Able Danger was shut down.

Massive data mining is the same info Dems and Reps use in gathering voter information.

Biden says he's inclined to accept what the witnesses would have said as truthful, the part that confuses Biden is it started in the Clinton administration, continued through Bush administration. Biden doesn't understand why Pentagon is so adament it be hidden. Doesn't understand why a cover -up is necessary. to protect Clinton? to protect Bush?

Biden will submit questions in writing.

Specter asks about "character assasination' Weldon says witnesses were threatened, LTC Schaaeffffer haad his security clearance removed day before yesterday. Weldon says Pentagon's Larry Dirita questioned the memory of Philpottt.

Weldon says the pentagon did not conduct a formal investigation. No notes, not supoenas, just "informal" meetings.

Eileen Prisser (sp) concurs Atta was identified by Able Danger before 9-ll.

Clines Smith (sp) is contractor who will tesstify today who told him to destroy Able Danger data, and threatened with loss of job andd possible jail if he refused.

General Lambert was the Able Danger customer who wasn't told data was destroyed.

Kyle will "game" why pentagon might want to keep testimony from being made public.
Because it might reveal ability, might tip somebody off they were part of an investigation.

Weldon says he agrees with Kyle those concerns are bogus. The information was open source, not classified. "Vote Smart" is the political project to ID's the same as Able Danger. 'you mean we can use open source mining for votes, but not for national security?"

Grassley makes an appearance, he hopes despite the Pentagon's resisstance, that Specter will continue to pursue this. Grassley sayss, "you can't have the pentagon hiding information from the congress." What's at stake here is whether we are going to let the Pentagon prrevent us from doing their jobs. All those stars and ribbons must not prevent us from doing our jobs.
Grassley will submit questions in writing.

Two weeks after 9-ll, Able Danger info fwas taken to Weldon. Weldon took info to Steven Hadley. Hadley asked, "where'd you get this info on Atta and the Brooklyn Cell?"
Hadley said, "ive got to show this to the man", meaning the president. Hadley was deputy national security chairman.

Slate Gorton has written a letter to Specter which will be put into the record. Damn! I wish Specter had read it aloud. !!
Weldon leaves witness table.

Three lawyers comprise 2nd panel. They speak for their clients.

Mark Zaid, looks very young. He says he's here as surrogate, his lawfirm represents covert clientss involved with national security

LTC Schaeffer, James Smith, private contractor, are his clients.

Zaid says sthis is not a partisan issue, both sides involved in CYA. Nothing is classified
No Pentagon official has told Zaid they were concerned with classified info getting out.


second set of notes

Zaid says the main focus should be "where are the other terrorists identified on those charts".?

Kyle establishes the fact that the witnesses themselves should be allowed to testify.

Maj Erik Kleinsmith, retired, Former Chief of Intelligence, Land Information Warfare Analysis testifies. Explains how data mining can assist in intelligence gathering.

Special Operations approached him to support Able Danger. We were able to map Al Queda as worldwide threat within 4 months. they were shut down because of concerns about
oversight concerns, dictated by Intelligence Oversight rules we had to live by.

Specter asks what knowledge he has about destruction of documents. Kleinsmith says I'm the guy. I destroyed data. all of it classified and unclassified. all charts, all soft and hard copy destroyed or deleted.

We May, JUne 2000 is when documentation was destroyed.
We got instructions, Tony Gentry ordered it all destroyed. Army 381-10 regulation regarding keeping info on private citizens no longer than 90 days.

"Delete this info or you guys will go to jail," Gentry told Kleinsmith"

Specter is most interested in finding out if all this is connected to Posse Commitattttas. spector is a one trick pony, on Posse C. Gentry says no, it's not Posse C, it's army regulations. Specter is disappointed..that's his main interest.

Kleinsmith believes Shaeffer, and Philpott IMPLICITELY. Kleinsmith doesn't remember seeing Atta himself, but he believes Shaeffer and Philpott when they say they saw Atta and remember seeing his picture.

Kleinsmith said every night I say, if we had not been shut down, we would have been able to help prevent 9-ll. we think we might have helped prevent and the members of our team all believe that.

thank God! Senator Sessions showed up!!!
Kleinsmith says I could have convveniently forgotten to delete the information, but that would have violated the specific army regulation.
Kleinsmith consulted legal advice before he deleted Able Danger.

Sessions ask if Army regulation should be changed? Kleinsmith says my recommendation would be to investigate how helpful open data mining can be in fighting terrorists.

Sessions says we get after the mililtary for breaking regulations, now we are after them for keeping them.
Lawyer Zaid tells Sessions private contractors are under no regulations to prevent them from open data gathering. Says the Army got into trouble over helping .local law enforcemtn at Waco.

Zaid says as he understands the laws, Able Danger would not have crossed the line of being in violation of the Army regulation, or Posse C.

Those within Able Danger wwere confident they didn't cross the legal line, Zaid says.
What happened is when Atta was connected to Brooklyn, that made legal eagles think he was a private citizen.

Specter identifies Schaeffer and J. D. Smith The DoD has prohibited them from testifying, explains Zaid. Schaeffer specifically, and Smith becsause I advised him not to until we get specific instructions, because he still works for DoD.

J.D. Smith's contract with Orion at the Pentagon had no link to classified information.
Zaid says no information involved here is classified. Zaid says there is no reason why they should be prevented from testifying today.

Atta's photo was not a government provided photo. It was from private source. Smith remembers it because of the evil look.

Zaid is good, doing excellent job in explaining background of how 9-ll Commission staff got briefing on Atta, but never followed up. (I missed the name of the 9-ll Commission Deputy who got the briefing from Schaefffer). Sometime between the time Schaeffer briefed the 9-ll staff and the publication of the Report, someone made the decision for the Commission to ignore Able Danger.


3rd set of notes:

next panel:

FBI Gary Bald, FBI Executive Assis Director Counterterrorism/Counterintelligence

Before 9-ll, sharing info was hampered by "the Wall". Since 9-ll, the Patriot act eliminated "the wall". removed real and perceived barriers. FBI has information sharing agency, Bald says.
The national data exchange.
The regional data exchange
Law Enforcement on line
FBI has 56 agencies, all involved with preventeing terrorism.

Tthe FBI also participates with the National Joint Force Task Force. The FBI is proud of it's cooperation with the military, so says Bald. This includes finger printing those captured by the military in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Gitmo.

Other member of panel.
William Dugan, Assistant to Rumsfeld for Intelligence Oversight.
The purpose of our oversight program is to ensure American persons are protected. " Persons" includes more than just "citizens". It includes foreign nationals.
Attorney General approved regulations from back in the 80s are what governs us.
He explains how it was created to protect anti-war demonstrators, civil rights demonstrators, etc.
Dugan explains no one in DOD has mission to collect data on Amreican citizens. In the course of performing our mission, sometimes we inadvertantly identify Americans, that's when the guidelines kick in.

Dugan says in answer to

HEY....Specter didn't swear in these people!!

Specter is trying to nail Dugan,asks again and again, if Able Danger could have helped prevenet 9-ll. Dugan refuses to respond. Dugan is there to dodge! Weldon is shaking his head "no", as he listens to Dugan.

At least Specter clearly nails Dugan as non-responsive, evasive, anad he clearly says, "i know you are here at the bidding of your boss". that would be Rumsfeld.

I had a phone it over? Or in the inimitable lyrics of Peggy Lee...."Is that all there is my friends?"

6 posted on 09/21/2005 11:23:53 AM PDT by YaYa123 (@ God Bless President Bush As the MSM and Democrats Seek To Destroy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: YaYa123
I had a phone it over?

At least for today. Rummy is supposed to be on Capitol Hill this afternoon to meet with Specter for some other reason. It's a closed door session I believe.

7 posted on 09/21/2005 11:29:51 AM PDT by McGruff (Woof!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: YaYa123; Dog

Condoleeza Rice on the Able Danger list?

Probably millions of Americans, and others.

Able Danger most likely and illegal spying/data mining operation. The worry from the top is not whether they i.d.'d Atta or not - other terrs were known and nothing done about them - the worry is exposing the whole operation.


8 posted on 09/21/2005 11:37:01 AM PDT by Shermy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: nuffsenuff
I don't understand why Rummy is blocking witnesses, though.

It may be due to the sensitive nature of sources and methods used to develop the info. What I don't see in any of the articles is whether the Pentagon is refusing to send witnesses outright, or just refusing to send witnesses to an open session. I'm willing to bet heavily on the latter.

9 posted on 09/21/2005 11:37:46 AM PDT by kevkrom ("Political looters" should be shot on sight)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: lormand

The liberal side. He thinks he'll embarass America, but I think he'll end up embarrassing liberals.

10 posted on 09/21/2005 11:38:05 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: YaYa123

Thank you. That's a lot of work. I saw a file of a speech Weldon gave to a conservative think tank some time back. It was chilling. The link is in a FR thread several weeks ago. Weldon told how he discovered before 9/11 that the army kept an excellent database of open and closed source information. Heretofore, intelligence dbs only included closed source info. The problem is that some very good info is published in papers throughout the world, yet because US intelligence only includes closed source info, they missed things that the army db included. He gave in some detail what he learned about a Russian involved with the Bosnian conflict. The FBI and CIA were wild when they learned that Weldon was set to go over and meet with him and they didn't even have info on him. Biden probably respects Weldon because W. told him about this at the time... If you can find that link, it's a long speech, but worth the listen. It's the speech where he uses a chart that some say proves what these men are saying about Atta. I couldn't see it that closely, but the speech was interesting.

11 posted on 09/21/2005 11:40:15 AM PDT by twigs
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: lormand

"Who's side is Specter on?"

Ours! I think this is a very clever way to draw attention to these hearings, which the MSM would otherwise ignore. The MSM will start getting outraged with "what's the Pentagon hiding", and then Rummy will 'fold' and the info will come out.

12 posted on 09/21/2005 11:45:58 AM PDT by W1_hooyah (I actually did vote for John Kerry, right before I voted against him.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: lormand
Who's side is Specter on?

It seems our side ... we, the people.
13 posted on 09/21/2005 11:47:25 AM PDT by sono
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: lormand

I dunno, but I think a single bullet wiped out all 2.4 terabytes and also managed to pull security clearances.

14 posted on 09/21/2005 11:49:50 AM PDT by thoughtomator (Gentlemen may cry, "Peace! Peace!" -- but there is no peace. - Patrick Henry)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: W1_hooyah
Could this actually be a Rove-inspired "Rope-a-dope"? I am going to sit back and watch to see if the LSM takes the bait.
15 posted on 09/21/2005 11:50:29 AM PDT by LayoutGuru2 (Know the difference between honoring diversity and honoring perversity? No? You must be a liberal!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: YaYa123

Thanks for the great summary!

16 posted on 09/21/2005 11:51:40 AM PDT by maryz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: W1_hooyah
Nothing on Rush or Laura Ingraham. Very little on Tony Snow. JPod's continued cynicism on NRO but Andy McCarthy did have a solid observation in the Corner, also on NRO. It's like rolling a stone up a hill.
17 posted on 09/21/2005 11:53:54 AM PDT by ncphinsfan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: YaYa123

Many thanks for your great notes!

18 posted on 09/21/2005 12:06:56 PM PDT by jigsaw (God Bless Our Troops.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: ncjetsfan

Ingraham interviewed Rummy this morning. I read the transcript and she didn't even bring it up.

19 posted on 09/21/2005 12:08:55 PM PDT by johnny7 (“I'm American, honey. Our names don't mean sh_t.”)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: YaYa123

Thanks for the play by play. That was better than a baseball game.

20 posted on 09/21/2005 12:13:12 PM PDT by Rebelbase (The Mainstream Media is "Stuck on stupid". (Gen. Honore))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-6061-80 ... 121-129 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson