Able Danger Blog

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Monday, December 05, 2005

Freeh and Weldon respond

Philadelphia talk radio host Michael Smerconish writes, at

Or, as former FBI Director Louis J. Freeh said to me today, “Why is the 9/11 Commission talking about hurricanes and tunnels and all these other things when it looks like they may have missed the single most important fact with respect to September 11th?”

Freeh was answering my request for a response to comments made by Lee Hamilton and Tom Kean on Meet the Press, yesterday.

Smerconish has also interviewed Shaffer in the past, and recounts some of his past conversations with Lt. Col. Shaffer. Then he picks up where he left off from his interview with Freeh:

Today, I had the opportunity to ask former Director Freeh to respond. He was very direct. “We had given the Commission the mandate of looking at any and all relevant information to figure out what happened with respect to September 11: why did it occur, what law enforcement, intelligence, government, and private agencies had a stake in that or input into it, and come up with the definitive report to explain to the American people and the world, our take and our evaluation of the evidence with respect to 9/11. Not even a footnote in the report was about Able Danger when we have two very credible military intelligence experts - these aren’t day loaders – who say that Atta was identified a year prior to September 11th at least by name, and maybe by photo, and more importantly, that they gave this information to the 9/11 Commission staff members ten days before final report’s release, and yet not a footnote and not a reference. In hindsight, when confronted with this, somebody on behalf of the Commission said this was ‘historically insignificant’. Well, the Senate Intelligence Committee is investigating this, the question is why didn’t the 9/11 Commission investigate it?”

Freeh called the words of Hamilton and Kean a “silly response”.

And he underscored that the Able Danger participants who have come forward “are not informants or criminals who have to prove their case. They are intelligence officers who had that job to perform.”

“I take exception to this notion that it was fully investigated. The longest period of time they had was 10-days. That was what they had. How could you fully investigate, with all due respect to Mr. Hamilton who is not an investigator, a fact of that potential significance within ten days?” wondered Freeh.

“As for me reviewing new evidence, that is not my job. It was the 9/11 Commission job to go out and not only find, but to fully and fairly evaluate evidence, and how could they do that in ten days, it is ridiculous,” Freeh continued.

While I was interviewing Director Freeh, Congressman Curt Weldon called. He was much more blunt.

“Lee Hamilton has just lied to the American people. They did NO investigation.”