Clowns to the Left of Me
Jokers to the right. Taking the latter first, Fox News resuscitates the Able Danger story with a NEW DOCUMENT that proves... well, let's get into that later. First, let me say that I'm not entirely certain that the Able Danger claims are a bunch of hooey, just about 99%. Here's the res of the claim:
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.
Able Danger, of course, was a huge computerized data mining operation that hoped to discover links that might not be apparent to humans. So far so good. But the problem I have always had with the claim that Able Danger identified Atta, is that nobody to date has come up with the datum that says that Atta was somebody to be interested. Remember, the claim is that Atta was identified as so important that he was included on a wall chart that was printed out, with maybe 30 or so other people on the chart.
But why? Atta was just an engineering student in Hamburg at the time. He was supposedly identified as part of the "Brooklyn cell"; okay, what was his tie to Brooklyn, or anybody located dere, err, there?
As for the earth-shattering document:
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.
Okay, so a congressman wrote the Defense Department to claim that Shaffer's security clearance was improperly taken away. In other words, this document does nothing to bolster the Able Danger claims, it just indicates that some of the military officials involved might--might I say--have reacted in a vindictive manner to the circus that Shaffer and Curt Weldon created with the Able Danger claims. Note in particular that Shaffer is somewhat less forceful than he used to be about the Atta ID:
"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."
Of course, that is not exactly news, as the USS Cole incident and the embassy bombings were both pre-9/11 events.
On the left, the Huffington Post mentions a recent poll that found 9-11 kookery especially prevalent in the Middle East, and the nuts came out to play. Over 1600 comments on the article, many of them mentioning kooks like Box Boy Gage, or "facts" like OBL isn't wanted for 9-11.