Able Danger Blog


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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Major General Lambert confirms Atta identified

I wonder if the DOD Inspector General ever asked him about this?

In his book, Horse Soldiers, Stanton describes (pg 27) the thoughts of Major General Geoffrey Lambert, US Special Forces Command, Fort Bragg on the morning of September 11, 2001.

"It had taken him about ten seconds to figure out who had masterminded the attacks, and who had carried them out. For the past several years, he had observed a top-secret intelligence program called data mining that had identified one man, an Egyptian by the name of Mohammed Atta, as a serious terrorist with links to a Saudi named bin Laden, who was a financier of terrorist training camps for men like the Egyptian. Months earlier, the people involved in the program had tried telling the FBI what they had discovered, but Army lawyers had discouraged the disclosure, even though the project had identified the highjackers. Lambert figured they knew everything there was to know about Osama bin Laden and his military training camps in Afghanistan, but none of the legal minds could decide if the surveillance was lawful. Now Lambert felt sick that more effort had not been made to warn someone. (Lambert, extremely upset, later agreed with lawyers that the information not be shared with the FBI.)"


Here is Lambert's praise for the book:

"Doug Stanton's Horse Soldiers is the story of the first large American unconventional warfare operation since World War II. My Green Berets were launched deep into enemy territory to befriend, recruit, equip, advise, and lead their Afghan counterparts to attack the Taliban. The Horse Soldiers succeeded brilliantly with a highly decentralized campaign, reinforced with modern airpower's precision weapons, forcing the Taliban government's collapse in a few months. Doug Stanton captures the gritty realities of the campaign as no other can." -- Geoffrey C. Lambert, major general (retired), U.S. Army, and commanding general of the U.S. Army Special Forces Command (Airborne), 2001-2003

Friday, May 22, 2009

Sentencing delayed for two months

Not sure what to make of this:

The sentencing of the top aide to former U.S. Rep. Curt Weldon’s has been postponed for two months.

Russell James Caso Jr., Weldon’s former chief of staff, was to be sentenced on Friday. The court date was pushed back until July 30, according to documents filed in the case.

Caso, a Navy veteran who played football at Temple University, pleaded guilty in December 2007 to a conspiracy charge for intentionally failing to disclose $17,500 his wife had received for work she did for a Weldon-connected nonprofit. Federal prosecutors allege Caso’s wife “performed little work” for the $17,500.

Caso’s sentencing was delayed indefinitely while he cooperated with a Justice Department investigation. Federal authorities were looking into allegations that Weldon used his congressional office to steer nearly $1 million worth of contracts to Solutions North America, a consulting firm run by former Springfield Republic Party Chairman Charles Sexton Jr. and Karen Weldon, the congressman’s daughter.

In October 2006, the FBI raided the homes and Media office of Sexton and Karen Weldon. Three weeks later, Weldon, a 10-term Republican from Thornbury, lost his seat three weeks later to Joe Sestak, D-7, of Edgmont.

Caso faces up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000.


From PACER:

Reset Hearings as to RUSSELL JAMES CASO, JR: Sentencing currently scheduled for 5/22/09 @ 9:45am is hereby RESCHEDULED for 7/30/2009 @ 2:00 PM in Courtroom 27A before Judge Henry H. Kennedy. (tj ) (Entered: 05/14/2009)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

"Future dangerousness"

Look, it's Philip Zelikow talking about working closely with Gordon England in June 2005. You can also check out his blog called "Shadow Government" at ForeignPolicy.com:

May 22nd

From PACER at the DC Circuit Court:

Set Hearings as to RUSSELL JAMES CASO, JR: Sentencing set for 5/22/2009 09:45 AM in Courtroom 27A before Judge Henry H. Kennedy. (tj ) (Entered: 02/11/2009)


It's worth noting this is the judge who gave Cecelia Grimes probation.

LTC Shaffer interviewed about LTG McCrystal

From Fox News:

With Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal taking over as the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, the war there now will be led by a former head of the Joint Special Operations Command, a master of the kind of covert operations and counterinsurgency tactics that have become decisive in this age of asymmetric warfare....

"I actually briefed him at least three times," recalled U.S. Army Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, a former Army intelligence officer who served two tours in Afghanistan and now is attached as a reservist to the Center for Advanced Defense Studies in Washington.

Shaffer recalled working directly with McChrystal in support of Joint Task Force 121, an elite special-ops unit that excels in the capturing and killing of high-value enemy targets.

In that specialized realm, both men boast extraordinary experience: Units under McChrystal's command were credited with capturing Saddam Hussein and with killing Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the head of Al Qaeda in Iraq. And the records supporting Shaffer's Bronze Star, awarded to the Ohio native in 2004, state that "his actions contributed to [the] killing or capturing of more than 100 Taliban fighters."

"The press talks about [McChrystal] being adaptive, being able to adjust and make decisions which are practical," Shaffer said."And I saw that firsthand, where he was able to make an adjustment which he didn't want to make. But we were able to go in with the facts and lay out to him the issues, and he begrudgingly made the change. And by making the change, he allowed us to be successful. So I think he's a very pragmatic commander, from my experience."

Saturday, May 09, 2009

More details on Weldon wiretaps revealed

Well, there was no need for them to wiretap our blogger conference call with Weldon in February 2006. You can hear more of the audio that we posted right here online.

From the Philadelphia Daily News:

Federal investigators were running wiretaps for months at a time in 2006 on then-U.S. Rep. Curt Weldon's chief of staff and other members of his inner circle, the U.S. Justice Department has revealed.

The wiretaps were disclosed in letters that the department recently sent to individuals - including this reporter, then employed at another newspaper - whose phone conversations with the targeted parties were intercepted....

The feds also were eavesdropping on Weldon's chief of staff, Russ Caso, from March to July 2006. Caso later pleaded guilty to failing to list a conflict of interest in his 2005 congressional disclosure forms, and agreed to cooperate against Weldon. He is scheduled to be sentenced later this month....

Jules Epstein, an associate professor at Widener University School of Law, said that the disclosure of the wiretaps and sentencing of cooperating witnesses appears to indicate that the probe is winding down, possibly without additional indictments.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Al-Qaida used Hotmail, simple codes in planning

From the AP:

In the days following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, alleged al-Qaida operations mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed intended to use his free Hotmail account to direct a U.S.-based operative to carry out an attack, according to a guilty plea agreement filed by Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri in federal court....

In a 10-code, eight becomes a two, for example. Other al-Qaida members used the same code, according to the plea agreement.

Al-Marri sent e-mails to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's hotmail account — HOR70@hotmail.com — addressed to "Muk" and signed "Abdo." The details of that code were included in an address book found in an al-Qaida safehouse in Pakistan....

Al-Marri initially tried to use a Yahoo e-mail account to contact Mohammed, but it failed to go through. So he switched to Hotmail as well. When al-Marri arrived in the United States, he created five new e-mail accounts to communicate with Mohammed, using the 10-code to send him his cell phone number in Peoria.