Friday, August 12, 2005

"Able Danger" Speech Given on June 27

The "Able Danger" story took the blogosphere by storm this week and is hitting the mainstream media now. But why did it languish for over a month? All the pertinent elements of the story were contained in a speech delivered on June 27, 2005 by Representative Curt Weldon of Pennsylvania. The speech was entered into the Congressional Record on June 28. Nobody noticed it. Nobody covered it.

Representative Weldon finally told the story to Jacob Goodwin of Government Security News who published an article in their August edition.

Here's part of what Mr. Weldon had to say on the floor of the House over a month ago (for the full text of Mr. Weldon's speech go here, and type "able danger" into the search box):
Mr. Speaker, September 11 touched all of us; 3,700 of us were wiped out. Two weeks after 9/11, my friends from the Army's Information Dominance Center in cooperation with special ops brought me a chart. This chart, Mr. Speaker, this chart. Two weeks after 9/11, I took the basic information in this chart down to the White House. I had asked for a meeting with Steve Hadley, who at that time was Deputy National Security Advisor. The chart was smaller. It was 2 feet by 3 feet, but the same information was in the center.

Steve Hadley looked at the chart and said, Congressman, where did you get that chart from? I said, I got it from the military. I said, This is the process; this is the result of the process that I was pitching since 1999 to our government to implement, but the CIA kept saying we
do not need it.

Steve Hadley said, Congressman, I am going to take this chart, and I am going to show it to the man. The man that he meant, Mr. Speaker, was the President of the United States. I said, Mr. Hadley, you mean you have not seen something like this before from the CIA, this chart of al Qaeda worldwide and in the U.S.? And he said, No, Congressman. So I gave him the chart.

Now, Mr. Speaker, what is interesting in this chart of al Qaeda, and you cannot see this from a distance, but right here in the center is the name of the leader of the New York cell. And that name is very familiar to the people of America. That name is Mohammed Atta, the leader of the 9/11 attack against us. So prior to 9/11, this military system that the CIA said we did not need and could not do actually gave us the information that identified Mohammed Atta's cell in New York. And with Mohammed Atta they identified two of the other terrorists with

But I learned something new, Mr. Speaker, over the past several weeks and months. I have talked to some of the military intelligence officers who produced this document, who worked on this effort. And I found something out very startling, Mr. Speaker. Not only did our military identify the Mohammed Atta cell; our military made a recommendation in September of 2000 to bring the FBI in to take out that cell, the cell of Mohammed Atta. So now, Mr. Speaker, for the first time I can tell our colleagues that one of our agencies not only identified the New York cell of Mohammed Atta and two of the terrorists, but actually made a recommendation to bring the FBI in to take out that cell. And they made that recommendation because Madeleine Albright had declared that al Qaeda, an international terrorist organization, and the military units involved here felt they had jurisdiction to go to the FBI.

Why, then, did they not proceed? That is a question that needs to be answered, Mr. Speaker. I have to ask, Mr. Speaker, with all the good work that the 9/11 Commission did, why is there nothing in their report about able danger? Why is there no mention of the work that able danger did against al Qaeda? Why is there no mention, Mr. Speaker, of a recommendation in September of 2000 to take out Mohammed Atta's cell which would have detained three of the terrorists who struck us?
The full speech was 45 minutes long. Evidently, no one felt like sifting through the Congressional Record looking for news. What else is buried in there?