Wednesday, August 17, 2005

"Able Danger" Story Entering Mainstream Media

Now that Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Shaffer is no longer just one of Representative Curt Weldon's anonymous sources, the mainstream media are starting to go with the story. Shaffer has given interviews to the Michael Savage radio show, Fox News, and CBS. Coming out openly seems to have given the story new legs with the press. From the Associated Press:
WASHINGTON - An Army intelligence officer said Wednesday he does not believe the 9/11 commission pressed hard enough for documentation of claims that military intelligence found a U.S.-based terrorist cell that included Mohamed Atta, who turned out to be the leader of the Sept. 11 attacks, prior to the terrorist strikes.

"I don't believe they ever got all the documents, but then again I don't think that they pressed properly to get all of the documents," Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer said on CBS' "The Early Show."

He says he was associated with a small intelligence unit, called "Able Danger," that had identified Atta and three of the other future Sept. 11 hijackers as al-Qaida members by mid-2000.

He said military lawyers stopped the unit from sharing the information with the FBI out of concerns about gathering and sharing information on people in the United States legally.
Most of the Able Danger information has been publicly available at least since June 28 when Representative Weldon's June 27 speech was printed in the Congressional Record. No one noticed. Weldon then passed the information to Government Security News which printed the story in its August edition.

The New York Times has been writing about Able Danger, but for many people a story doesn't really exist until they see it on the network news evening broadcast. Network news attention seems inevitable now.