Apparently, the Pentagon was running a covert data mining operation that revealed who Mohammed Atta (you remember him, the 20th hijacker?) was and that he was up to no good.
That team was called Able Danger and it apparently tried to give the information it had to the FBI, but was advised not to do so by lawyers either in the White House or the Pentagon.
After 9/11 (you remember that, the mass murder that Mohammed Atta helped to engineer), the Pentagon gave the information it had about Able Danger to the 9/11 Commission. The Commission decided, for reasons it has not divulged, not to report that information, or even the existence of Able Danger. In fact, when Representative Curt Weldon revealed this information, the Commission, though one of its chairmen Lee Hamilton, denied that the divulging ever took place.
This story, as it developes, seems to encompass, at least in part, the period of time when former NSA, Sandy Berger absconded with and destroyed several classified documents from the National Archives. It also involves the “wall” that was constructed by Jamie Gorelick, who was then a US Deputy Attorney General in the Clinton administration. Gorelick also sat on the 9/11 Commission where that “wall” was mentioned in testimony only one time, by Attorney General John Ashcroft. Gorelick never had to testify about her role in creating that wall
The Anchoress has a pretty comprehensive roundup on the story, including some very interesting conjecture about Sandy Berger (including this post from AJStrata, that ties together some very disparate facts) and Jamie Gorelick. Also of interest should be this post from Dr. Sanity, who put together a very helpful timeline of events.
Now I doubt very seriously that even if the Able Danger information would have been enough to warrant apprehending Atta before 9/11. That’s something, though, we will never know for sure. I do know that if the FBI had gotten it, it would have been in a far better position to do something. The likelihood that 9/11 would not have happened would have been less. We can say that for sure.
What we do know is that the FBI never had the chance to “connect the dots” on Atta and the other 9/11 hijackers because Gorelick’s wall prevented Able Danger from getting its information to the FBI. We also know that the 9/11 Commission’s investigation was incomplete, apparently purposefully incomplete, and that at least one commissioner has been less than honest about what the Commission knew and when it knew it.
I’m siding with Captain Ed on this matter and saying that this is beyond the scope of the grandstanding Commission now. This is a matter for Congress and people like Gorelick, Berger, members of the 9/11 Commission, and the lawyers who prevented the transfer of information ought to be standing tall there, telling the American people what happened and why. It’s vitally important that we get this sorted out, where we can all see it, so we can fix the problems that existed then (and still may very well exist now) to prevent the likelihood of another 9/11.
Category: Fighting the Islamists