Able Danger Blog

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Monday, January 30, 2006

Peter Lance on Lou Dobbs tonight

From CNN Lou Dobbs Tonight:

And investigative reporter Peter Lance on why the Justice
Department didn’t learn as much as it should have about the
Able Danger investigation.

UPDATE: Here is the transcript from CNN. Lou only gave the segment two or three minutes. Other than some new details on an investigation into the Scarpa case, Peter did not have time to do much other than rehash the key points from his book last year, Cover Up. He has a new book on the way, though. Stay tuned for new developments on that end.

DOBBS: Tonight, an organized crime investigation under way now in New York City could shed new light into the controversy over Able Danger and uncover new U.S. intelligence failures leading up to September 11.

Joining me now to discuss his findings, Emmy award winning journalist Peter Lance. He's the author on of the book "Cover Up," with an extensive examination of this investigation, now under way in Brooklyn as well. Peter, good to have you here. What's the connection between this case in Brooklyn and 91/1 and Able Danger?

PETER LANCE, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: Try to do it in three dots, OK. Dot number one, 1996, Ramsi Yusef, the original World Trade Center bomber. The man who I say is the architect of 9/11, he's in federal jail in lower Manhattan, awaiting trial. In the cell next to him, Gregory Scarpa Jr. Greg Scarpa Jr. is awaiting racketeering charges. He's a wise guy for the Colombo crime family.

DOBBS: A hit man.

LANCE: No, he sold marijuana. He was a relatively benign organized crime figure. RICO charges. Nothing heavy.

DOBBS: Minor item?

LANCE: Pardon me?

DOBBS: A minor item?

LANCE: Well, when you compare it to what he uncovered for this country it was amazing. What he did, Lou, over 11 month, he risked his life. Ramsi Yusef is passing him notes with extraordinary pieces of information about al Qaeda: admissions that there's an al Qaeda cell in New York City in 1996. Admissions they want to hijack a plane to free blind Sheikh Rahman, et cetera. And --

DOBBS: How could this tie to Able Danger. LANCE: Deitrick Snell (ph). Our friend, Detrick Snell. Detrick Snell is the prosecutor of Yusef in this upcoming case. He's the man that is privy to all of this intelligence and ultimately what happens is, because Scarpa Jr.'s father was involved in a relationship with an FBI agent named DeVecchio, and that's what the Brooklyn D.A. is looking into now, this alleged corrupt relationship.

The FBI and the Justice Department, I say, made an end's means decision. If they believed young Greg Jr for the intelligence about Yusef, he would be credible. And if he's credible in that case, he will be credible when he went to expose later on, his father and this corrupt FBI agent. And therefore, they made an end's means decision. Let's flush this intelligence on al Qaeda so we can preserve 60 mob cases in the Eastern District in Brooklyn.

DOBBS: So that's the reason you think they basically were discrediting?

LANCE: Absolutely. The proof of it is on my Web site, Lou, I have dozens of FBI 302 memos that prove the intelligence from Ramsey Yusef to Greg Scarpa in 1996, including --

DOBBS: Are we going it see much this much come out into you think in the Able Danger hearings or are we going to be focused otherwise?

LANCE: I believe Congressman Curt Weldon.

DOBBS: The leading to the charge. Trying to get to the truth.

LANCE: And now his staff in particular sees the connection and the value in the Brooklyn's D.A.'s really courageous investigation.

DOBBS: Hearings which we have yet to learn when they will begin but nonetheless promised. Thank you very much, Peter Lance.