Thursday, September 22, 2005

Pentagon Moves To Cover-Up Advance Knowledge Of Sep 11 Attackers

Wednesday 21st September, 2005

Pentagon Moves To Cover-Up Advance Knowledge Of Sep 11 Attackers  

Big News Network.com     Wednesday 21st September, 2005  (UPI) 
 
*** My Note:  When you see stories like this it smacks of "show them in handcuffs going in the front door and slaps on the back out the back door."  This is because both Atta & bin ladin were known to have been CIA / NSA operatives.  Just a big show for the masses.  This story is just a small amount of the stench escaping from the neocon white wash, err, I mean white house.   ~~~ KJG ~~~

Defense Department lawyers have blocked members of a data-mining
intelligence team from testifying Wednesday before a congressional
committee probing their claims that they identified the ringleaders of the
Sept. 11 hijackers more than a year before the attacks.

The Senate Committee on the Judiciary sought testimony from several members
of the team -- code-named Able Danger -- as part of their investigation
into claims that the project identified Mohamed Atta and three of the other
18 hijackers as linked to al-Qaida in early 2000, according to Senate
staffers.

Mark Zaid, an attorney representing a liaison to the team, Army reserve
Col. Tony Shaffer, told United Press International that a letter to his
client gave no reasons for blocking the testimony.

The letter was signed by the principle deputy general counsel for the
Defense Intelligence Agency, Robert Berry.

Zaid said the team members "were told verbally that they would not be
allowed to testify," and that he had requested the decision about his
client be put in writing.

He said that the team leader, Navy Capt. Scott Philpott, a civilian analyst
named James Smith and other members of the team had all been denied
permission to testify.

No one at the Department of Defense or the Defense Intelligence Agency
returned calls for comment Tuesday.

Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Penn., who first put members of the Able Danger team in
contact with the news media, was said by staff to be concerned about the
move.

"It is unfortunate that we're trying to get answers ... and the people who
could help us get them are not going to testify," said Russ Caso, the
congressman's chief of staff.

The Able Danger team will not be the only witnesses missing from
Wednesday's hearing. No one from the Sept. 11 commission will be present
either, despite the fact that Weldon has publicly blamed them for -- in his
words -- "ignoring" evidence about the project.

Commission staffers say that after Shaffer told them about the project in
2003 they requested documents about it from the Defense Department, but
found nothing to support claims that the team had nailed Atta.

Former GOP Sen. Slade Gorton of Washington told United Press International
that he had volunteered to testify, and had been invited to do so, but had
to cancel at the last minute owing to an unexpected conflict. He said that
he would be submitting a letter in place of his testimony, which would
"answer, in detail, all the questions" that the committee had.

Judiciary aides said Shaffer, Philpott and other Able Danger team members
had been interviewed by committee staff, seeking information about a chart
generated using Able Danger's computer software, and listing the names and
connections of about 60 individuals thought linked to the al-Qaida network.

Able Danger used data-mining on massive amounts of "open source"
information: culled from the internet, purchased from credit rating bureaus
or other data brokers or -- like phone and travel records -- obtained in
some cases by means that are still classified.

According to Philpott, that chart -- produced in January or February 2000
-- bore the name and likeness of Mohamed Atta, and linked him to a mosque
in Brooklyn which has been a center of Islamic extremism for more than 20
years.

The Pentagon said earlier this month that three more people who worked on
the project now corroborate Philpott and Shaffer's claims about the chart
-- but that defense officials destroyed documents the project generated.

Pat Downs a senior policy analyst in the office of Undersecretary of
Defense for Intelligence Steven Cambone, told reporters at a Pentagon
briefing on Sept. 1, that a search of "hundreds of thousands, probably" of
documents and electronic files related to the project -- including those
held by contractors who worked on the project -- had found no copies of the
chart, and no documents referring to it.

But she acknowledged that the chart could have been among documents from
the project that were -- in accordance with regulations designed to prevent
U.S. intelligence agencies spying on citizens -- destroyed.

"There are strict regulations about collection, dissemination and
destruction procedures for this type of information," she told a briefing
for reporters at the Pentagon, "and we know that that did happen in the
case of Able Danger documentation."

She said that the regulations had been "very strictly interpreted pre-Sept.
11."

"In a major data mining effort like this," she said, "you're reaching out
to a lot of open sources and within that there could be a lot of more
information on U.S. persons.

"We're not allowed to collect that type of information."

Weldon said that a defense contractor who would testify Wednesday planned
to tell the committee that he was ordered to destroy data from the project.

Weldon told UPI earlier this month that he does not believe the military's
account of how the results of the project's work came to be destroyed.

"I seriously have my doubts that it was routine," he said, adding that he
had asked the Pentagon for the certificates of destruction military
officials must complete when classified data is destroyed.

He said that there had been "a second elimination of data in 2003," in
addition to the destruction acknowledged last week.

"For some reason, the bureaucracy in the Pentagon -- I mean the civilian
bureaucracy -- didn't want this to get out," he said.

1 Comments:

At Thursday, September 22, 2005, Blogger Joern Lillehagen said...

Authors slap Google, Dell slaps itself
In today's IT Blogwatch , we look at the Authors' Guild lawsuit against Google and Ditty , Dell's new tiny-but-ugly MP3 player.
Greetings! Your blog rocks! I will definitly bookmark it!

I have a home based business marketing site/blog. It pretty much covers home based business marketing related stuff.

Check it out if you want :-)

 

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