Friday, August 12, 2005

Defending America From The Truth

There's been much talk of Able Danger in the last week -- the report that Mohammed Atta and 3 other 9/11 terrorists came to the attention of elite military intelligence. But, because of the legal Wall, erected by Janet Reno and Jamie Gorelick, that blocked intelligence on terrorists from being shared with law enforcement, no one in law enforcement was able to act on that information.

The question in the last few days is why did the 9/11 Commission not report on Able Danger? As it turns out, they were twice briefed on it. And suspicion is beginning to fall on the composition of the Comission itself, since Jamie Gorelick, responsible for the creation of the Wall, was also, herself, a Commissioner.

Deborah Orin, writing in the NYPost, points out:
Gorelick's defenders might argue that hindsight is 20-20. But that excuse doesn't work in this case, because she was warned way back then — when the see-no-evil wall was created.

That warning came right from the front line in the War on Terror — from Manhattan U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White, who headed up key terror probes like the prosecutions for the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993.

White — herself a Clinton appointee — wrote directly to Reno that the wall was a big mistake.

"It is hard to be totally comfortable with instructions to the FBI prohibiting contact with the United States Attorney's Offices when such prohibitions are not legally required," White wrote on June 13, 1995.

"The most effective way to combat terrorism is with as few labels and walls as possible so that wherever permissible, the right and left hands are communicating."

That memo surfaced during the 9/11 hearings. But The Post has learned that White was so upset that she bitterly protested with another memo — a scathing one — after Reno and Gorelick refused to tear down the wall.

With eerie foresight, White warned that the Reno-Gorelick wall hindered law enforcement and could cost lives, according to sources familiar with the memo — which is still secret.
Last year, the Commission made a very big deal out of the fact that it was not going to blame either the Clinton Administration or the Bush Administration for the intelligence failures that led to 9/11. Because that would politicize the process.

If this fact had been known, there would have been no way to stop blame from being laid since this whole intelligence debacle, from start to finish, took place during the Clinton Administration. So, in other words, in order to keep the process from becoming politicized, they withheld the truth, thus defeating their entire purpose for existence.

I'm just speculating here on the hard negotiations that would have gone on in order to suppress this information -- because it would not have damaged the hawks.

At the Corner, John Podhoretz points out another reason the Commission may have suppressed its information about the Able Danger report.
The 9/11 Commission staff did hear about intelligence-gathering efforts that hit pay dirt on the whereabouts of Mohammed Atta -- in 1999 -- and deliberately chose to omit word of those efforts.

And why? Because to do so might upset the timeline the Commission had established on Atta.

And why is that significant? Because the Mohammed Atta timeline established by the Commission pointedly insisted Atta did not meet with an Iraqi intelligence agent in Prague.

And why is that significant? Because debunking the Atta-Iraq connection was of vital importance to Democrats, who had become focused almost obsessively on the preposterous notion that there was no relation whatever between Al Qaeda and Iraq -- that Al Qaeda and Iraq might even have been enemies.
He thinks this is going to be the biggest story of the summer.

Gee and I thought that was Natalee Holloway.

For an article that gives an excellent presentation of the situation to date, see: Atta Report Hints Solons May Have Acted Too Quickly, which includes this tidbit:
Most privacy advocates appear to be unmoved by the news that data mining could have helped the government find the September 11 hijackers in advance.

"It actually does not cause us to rethink this," a legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, Timothy Sparapani, said. "The American public's most sensitive personally identifiable information should not be subjected to this kind of experiment unless and until we have some kind of confidence that society is going to get some kind of tangible benefit out of it."

However, Mr. Sparapani said the failure to act on the information that was developed does merit investigation. "The problem is nobody conveyed it to anyone who could do anything about it. It says to me enormous structural divisions in the intelligence community need to be overcome," he said.
UPDATE: At the Corner, Andy McCarthy has a must-read series of inquiries speculating on a connection between Sandy Berger's activities in, ahem, innocently misappropriating classified documents from the archive and the Timeline of the 9/11 Commission.

It all comes down to What did they know about Able Danger and when did they know it. Was this omission and the subsequent document grab all Democrat about ass-covering at a time when political sensitivities, with the emphasis on the war on terror were very high, just before the 2004 election?

Previous Posts on this issue: Of What Ifs and Isolationists

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