Able Danger Blog

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Thursday, June 15, 2006

Ann Coulter on Able Danger

You might have heard that Ann's new book mentions Able Danger. Although I usually disagree with her, she has most of the facts right here:

The only valuable information about government failure leading up to 9/11 has come out in the press, not the commission report.

The "Clinton Whitewash Commission" covered up a classified military data-mining project known as "Able Danger," for example. The Able Danger intelligence operation was said to have identified Mohamed Atta, the leader of the 9/11 attack, and perhaps three other hijackers, more than a year before the attack - in other words, back when you-know-who was president. The Commission completely ignored this stunning information, almost as if they were trying to cover something up.

When the media got wind of Able Danger, long after the commission had completed its report, the Democratic co-chairman of the commission, Lee Hamilton, denied that they had heard anything about Able Danger. "The 9/11 Commission," Hamilton said, "did not learn of any U.S. government knowledge prior to 9/11 of surveillance of Mohamed Atta or his cell. Had we learned of it obviously it would have been a major focus of our investigation." A day or two later, Hamilton changed his story, admitting the commission had been told about Able Danger, but claimed they didn't mention it in their report because it was not "historically significant." (This time the word obviously was conspicuously absent from his prepared statement.)

Able Danger wasn't "historically significant" in the sense that the intelligence gathered by the operation did not stop the 9/11 attack. It could not have prevented the attack, because the information produced by Able Danger was destroyed by the Clinton administration. So on Hamilton's theory, the only way for Able Danger to have been "historically significant" is if the intelligence had prevented the attack, in which case there would have been no need for a 9/11 Commission. I think that's what the Commission was supposed to be looking for.

She goes on to talk about Jamie Gorelick and her conflicts of interest serving as a 9/11 Commissioner, although she does not specifically relate that to Able Danger.