Nine Eleven Know Nothings
I have often accused Truthers of talking about subjects they know nothing about, but usually they at least try and pretend that they do. So I was rather amused to read this post by Jon Gold on 9/11 Flogger (emphasis added), which otherwise has been pretty boring lately:
There's a subscription only article written by Dianne Feinstein right now on the WSJ called "The NSA's Watchfulness Protects America" with a sub headline that says, "If today's call-records program had been in place in before 9/11, the terrorist attacks likely would have been prevented." Unfortunately, I can't read it, however… According to www.historycommons.org, in 1997 the U.S. Military and NSA asked for access to Telecom networks. In documents filed in 2006 by Joe Nacchio concerning his trial on insider trading charges, a Lieutenant General "told Mr. (Dean) Wandry (a member of Qwest) that he ran the largest telecom operation in the world, he had looked at Qwest's network, and he wanted to use it for government purposes." […] "By 1999, Qwest is working extensively with the NSA."
Of course if Jon had actually spent $2.00 at the newstand, or 30 seconds on Google looking up the article, he could have read what it actually entailed:
Consider the case of 9/11 hijacker Khalid al-Mihdhar, who was being watched by the CIA while he was in Malaysia. U.S. intelligence agencies failed to connect the dots before the attack to recognize that al-Mihdhar had flown with (future) hijacker Nawaf al-Hazmi to Los Angeles in January 2000.
Intelligence officials knew about an al Qaeda safe house in Yemen with ties to al-Mihdhar as well as the safe house's telephone number, but they had no way of knowing if anyone inside the U.S. was in contact with that phone number in Yemen. Only after 9/11 did we learn that al-Mihdhar, while living in San Diego, had called the safe house.
In congressional testimony in June, FBI Director Bob Mueller said that if intelligence officials had had the NSA's searchable database of U.S. telephone-call records before 9/11, they would have been able to connect the number to al-Mihdhar and produce actionable intelligence on participants of the developing plot. NSA Director Keith Alexander testified before Congress in October that if the call-records program had existed before 9/11, there is a "very high" likelihood that we would have detected the impending attack that killed 3,000 Americans.
And, if Jon had actually read the History Commons story he linked to, he would have seen that it involved a completely different subject:
By 1999 Qwest is working extensively with the NSA. Minihan is particularly concerned about the potential of “cyberwarfare” by foreign governments, terrorist organizations, drug cartels, and organized crime, a prospect which he felt the NSA is unprepared. He particularly worries about Russia and China; in June 1998, he will testify are training personnel in potential cyber-attacks. “These opportunists, enabled by the explosion of technology and the availability of inexpensive, secure means of communication, pose a significant threat to the interests of the United States and its allies,” Minihan will state. In 2007, a former senior NSA official will say that the agency felt those groups knew US privacy laws all too well and were capable of using those laws against the NSA and other intelligence agencies.
If ignorance is bliss, then why aren't they smiling?