Monday, August 22, 2005

You'll need a very big sheet to cover that boo'tay

Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer confirmed last week that the military intelligence unit, Able Danger, did in fact discover a full year before 9/11 that Mohammed Atta was an Al Qaeda operative working in the U.S.

Can Shaffer produce the documentary evidence to support his claim?

Of course not! His security clearance was taken away in 2004 for what his lawyer described as "petty and frivolous" reasons, like making personal calls on a work cell phone.

Conveniently, the Pentagon too is having difficulty substantiating Shaffer's Able Danger allegation, The NY Times reported today.

Thus far, said Pentagon spokesman Larry Di Rita, "mostly general references to terrorist cells" have been found - no specifics.

I wonder if he's talking about "general references" in the same way that Condaleeza Rice said before the 9/11 commission hearings that the August 6 Presidential Daily Briefing was just "historic" in nature. Just for the sake of comparison, and to keep alive the memory, indulge me in repeating one of the most ignominious lies in U.S. history stated in this now historic little exchange between Richard Ben Veniste of the 9/11 commission, and Condaleeza Rice. As you do, recall that even mentioning the title of the PDB was forbidden by the Bush administration until Condaleeza Rice revealed it (my emphasis):

BEN-VENISTE: Isn't it a fact, Dr. Rice, that the August 6th PDB warned against possible attacks in this country? And I ask you whether you recall the title of that PDB?

RICE: I believe the title was, "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States."

Now, the...

BEN-VENISTE: Thank you.

RICE: No, Mr. Ben-Veniste...

BEN-VENISTE: I will get into the...

RICE: I would like to finish my point here.

BEN-VENISTE: I didn't know there was a point.

RICE: Given that -- you asked me whether or not it warned of attacks.

BEN-VENISTE: I asked you what the title was.

RICE: You said, did it not warn of attacks. It did not warn of attacks inside the United States. It was historical information based on old reporting. There was no new threat information. And it did not, in fact, warn of any coming attacks inside the United States.

The Pentagons' reluctance to be more forthcoming about Able Danger reinforces Shaffer's notion (repeated in realitique) that the Pentagon is just covering its ass for not saying anything about Mohammed Atta before 9/11, then as now, to cover its ass.


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