a Someone should care, maybe not you....: Speculation on Able Danger .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Someone should care, maybe not you....

My thoughts on many things including the army, war, politics, the military corrections system, chaos, life, books, movies, and why there is no blue food. Feel free to comment on what I say. Feedback is nice.

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40+ year old former teacher, linguist, interrogator, soldier, and lastly convict. We all do stupid things every once and awhile. I am an economic conservative and a firm believer in civil rights. Starting a new life now and frankly not sure what I am going to be doing.

17 August 2005

Speculation on Able Danger

There is a growing wave of agitation about the alleged identification of Mohammad Atta before 9/11 by a secret army intellegence unit called Able Danger. As it is told they I.D.ed Atta as a member of Al Queda operating in the US and were going to tell the FBI about it but were waved off by JAG lawyers.

Now here is my speculation based to a great extent on what I know from personal experience about the army intel system. First and foremost, there is this thing called Intellegence Oversight which is long and complicated but can be summed up by saying the Army cannot gather intellegence on any "U.S. Persons" without specific permission from God. (Well not quite God but pretty dang high up the chain) Who is or is not a US Person is sometimes a rather vauge issue. (it has been cleared up alot, the above web page does a much better job than most of the instructors I have had over they years, and I expect some definitions have been modifeid post 9/11) So Able Danger is out there gathering info and they come across Atta and his buddies and they gather the info in and stick it in their files. Then they later decide that the FBI should be brought in and sicced on these guys and the lawyers freak. Why do the lawyers freak out? Well technically under the law the Army should not be gathering intellegence on people inside the US, that is the job of the FBI. Now they MAY have been authorized to do this but that hasn't been stated and probably never will because this group was way up classified. But this is pre 9/11 and let's face it, in the Clinton Administraion, which did not have a great relationship with the military. So the lawyers said, "Nope, we weren't supposed to gather on people in the US and if we report that shit will hit the fan for us all." So they killed the process. Today the info would have been passed without so much as a hiccup. Then, they took a broader perspective of the law.

I really hate all the 20/20 hindsight being employed about 9/11. It is dirt easy to see NOW all the connections. At the time they were nothing significant. Bunches of little things that slipped between the cracks. We will never know how many things didn't slip between cracks, how many possible attacks were thwarted. This hindsight accomplishes no more than looking aback and saying "How could Chamberlin have missed all the signs about Hitler?" (Actually those were ALOT more obvious but you get the point.) It was not the fault of the Clinton Administraion, or the C.I.A. or the Army, or the F.B.I. It was just something that happened, things were missed because the focus was on other things that were determinbed at the time to be more important. It happens, get over it and move on. All the press, politicians, and conspiracy theorists digging into this serve no usefull function. In fact by making the various agencies go back and rehash old decsions, these people are distracting these agencies from doing their jobs now.


Blogger Jenn said...

Wow, learned some from this post. Great post at that!

3:38 AM  
Blogger The Zombie Lama said...


I'm pretty sick of the finger pointing going on. On top of which, does nobody realize the sheer volume of complaints, "suspicious persons" calls, and who knows what else, that the FBI and police agencies get every day?

Great post!

8:39 AM  
Blogger Adrian said...

Same here.

I hate the finger pointers that seem to creep out of the woodwork when the chips are down.

Like you say, hindsight is 20/20 vision.

5:05 PM  

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