Monday, February 20, 2006

Conference Call on the Able Danger Hearings With Attorney Mark Zaid

This evening I participated in a conference call about the Able Danger hearings with Mark Zaid, attorney for Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer and other Able Danger figures, with several other bloggers. The call was organized by Mike Kasper of the Able Danger Blog.

The bloggers were:

Ed Morrissey of Captain's Quarters
AJ Strata of The Strata-Sphere
Mark Coffey of Decision '08
QT Monster's Place
Pierre of The Pink Flamingo Bar & Grill
Rory O'Connor
Moi, representing The Dread Pundit Bluto , The Jawa Report, and Vince Aut Morire.

Each blogger will undoubtedly be posting about the call.

Mr. Zaid was quite forthcoming, but unfortunately, more questions were raised than answered, and I got the impression that the hearings are a pro forma exercise that will probably shed little light on the Able Danger program. He described the conduct of the hearings as "very disconcerting" and said that the Representatives involved displayed "very superficial knowledge" of the Able Danger saga.

Unaswered questions raised by Mr. Zaid:

Who was the Orion subcontractor who supplied the photo of Mohammed Atta?

Why did Zelikow testify before a closed session when he wasn't supposed to be discussing anything classified?

Who ordered armed Federal agents to raid Orion and confiscate non-classified materials related to Able Danger?

Why did Jamie Gorelick say that she had done nothing wrong, when no one had accused of doing anything wrong?

The biggest question I have is this: why isn't the mainstream media all over this story? It stinks to high heaven of coverup. NBC can provide nightly coverage of the Katrina aftermath for five months, but a story that has profound implications for national security doesn't rate thirty seconds?

Mr. Zaid was very diplomatic when I asked him about the lack of media attention, praising Fox News, the New York Times and Chris Matthews of MSNBC, but the fact is that a story isn't real to most of America until they hear it on the network news.

I'll have more on this later. In the meantime, you could do worse than write your Representatives to demand a real investigation, and maybe stop by the Able Danger Blog to make a donation to Colonel Shaffer's legal fund.

Also posted at The Jawa Report and Vince Aut Morire.