Able Danger Blog

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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Actually, it was not illegal

Powerline briefly mentions Able Danger, but only to suggest that sharing information between the military and the FBI was illegal:

One of the things I have been struck by in recent years is the fact that the Defense Department, the CIA, and law enforcement agencies really do follow the laws Congress enacts and the regulations adopted thereunder, no matter how dumb they are. Thus, for example, the Defense Department didn't let the Able Danger analysts tell the FBI about the domestic terrorist cells they had uncovered was illegal. I think that many Senators and Congressmen don't really expect law enforcement agencies and the military to obey all of the laws they enact, and, more important, don't want them to.

Able Danger itself was definitely "controversial" as Shaffer has said. But sharing information with the FBI, as Andy McCarthy and others have pointed out, was perfectly legal:

Specifically, to justify what happened in 2000, DoD is today reading regulations that readily permit effective intelligence analysis as if acquiring information and, God forbid, sharing it, are the gravest of sins. I use "reading" with hesitation. For it's hard to understand how anyone literate in the English language could read the governing regulations to say what the Pentagon is reading them to say.