Able Danger Blog

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Monday, April 10, 2006

SOCOM admits to using post-it notes

Sources familiar with the unclassified testimony at the closed session of the Able Danger hearing in February have described some interesting details from the hearing.

For one thing, a SOCOM attorney named Kevin Brew admitted that SOCOM had required the faces of suspected Al Qaeda members to be covered with yellow post-it notes if the individual might be here in the US legally. Brew apparently referred to this procedure as "minimization" and while SOCOM would not admit that it had covered the face of Mohamed Atta himself with a yellow post-it, we already know from the testimony of Steve Cambone that the Brooklyn cell Atta was linked with is the only cell identified by Able Danger with links to persons inside the United States:

WELDON: I thank the gentlelady for yielding.

Dr. Cambone, do you agree in your assessment -- or your team here -- that the Able Danger team identified five hotspots, what they called hotspots, which would include Malaysia, Mauritania, Hamburg, Germany, New York and Aden, Yemen?

CAMBONE: Yes, there's said to be that sort of designation of places, to include the Brooklyn cell issue.

In addition, there is a temporary duty form - or "TDY" - documenting the travel of Colonel Worthington, Captain Scott Phillpott's direct superior officer on Able Danger, in October 2000 when he was to meet with the FBI regarding Able Danger at their Washington DC headquarters. This is the same meeting that the FBI refuses to provide any witnessees to testify as to whether or not any meetings were actually scheduled. In other words, the FBI dodged the question, but SOCOM has admitted it.

Last but not least, the same sources have confirmed the following exchange between Congressman Curt Weldon and a former DIA analyst named Jay Boesen. At one point Boesen, who believed other witnesses were mistaking Mohamed Atta for Mohamed Atef, complained about the fact that Weldon was using his unclassified charts to show an example of what an Able Danger chart might have looked like if they still existed. When Boesen raised this, Weldon left the room only to return later with a copy of a book by Peter Lance which features one of the same charts by Jay Boesen. When Curt asked him if he was aware that his chart appeared in a book that hold sold millions of copies, Boesen did not have much to say. He'd given permission to use the chart.

Stay tuned for more developments here or at Captain's Quarters, where Ed Morrissey has been providing great coverage of the Able Danger story, too.