Able Danger and Poor Logic

Posted by on August 19, 2005

While we wait for more details to come out about Able Danger and the information they developed we can read all about the various Red Herrings tossed about by folks who seem to want to shoot down this story before it really gets off the ground.

Forgive me for being just alittle skeptical about some of these folks and their ideas but when they are so patently incorrect I have to wonder if their haste to cast doubt has clouded their judgement.

Mr. Maguire at JustOneMinute “tosses out” the idea that perhaps Able Danger stumbled across the wrong Mohamed Atta. As Mr Heidt at Froggy Ruminations and London’s Telegraph points out they not only stumbled upon a Mohamed Atta but they also linked him with Marwan al Shehhi, Khalid al Midhar, and Nawaf al Hamzi…all of which were part of the attacks on 9/11.

We’ve already seen Lt. Col. Shaffer attacked in the media based on an accounting irregularity in the amount of something less than $70 dollars and him having his Security Clearance frozen until the accounting thing is settled. In one of the comments at JustOneMinute the charge is made that Lt. Col. Shaffer:

violated the terms of his nondisclosure agreement and, in turn, U.S. criminal laws, and took it upon himself to be the spokesperson for the President and the Secretary of Defense and the National Intelligence Director and the Director, Defense Intelligence Agency and the Army Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence … well, now everybody’s blogging about it.

The commenter goes on to make Lt. Col Shaffer out to be an egomaniac challenging his Chain of Command. I guess one could look at this situation and come away with that impression. Or, they could come away thinking that this guy has just ended his military career. Why would he do that? The answer is similiar to CS Lewis’s depiction of Christ…he’s either a Madman, a Liar, or ….well okay…Lt. Col. Shaffer IS NOT THE CHRIST but he might just believe what he’s presenting.

Lt. Col. Shaffer had already been chastised for pushing hard to get this information pushed up to Justice. At the time he followed orders and shutup. Perhaps now, after the 911 Commission refused to use the information, he has finally decided to put this before the GOVERNMENT(for those of you who are Constitutionally Challenged that would be the American Public)…ending his career in the process.

Last modified on August 19, 2005

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3 Responses to “Able Danger and Poor Logic”

  1. SingleMind Says:

    Any way you look at this, we have both a very positive thing and a very serious matter that needs to be resolved immediately.

    On the positive side, our intel was a hell of a lot better than the critics alleged: a very elite military intel group did exactly the job it was supposed to do. We have very capable people–such as Lt. Col Shaffer–in very important roles, and they are delivering.

    On the other hand, we are falling victim to policy wonks. The FUBAR of 9/11 had less to do with our intel gathering, but rather with the butt-brains who filter that information to the appropriate channels.

    At this point, I don’t fault either President Clinton or Bush on this one. There is no way in hell that Clinton could have known the micro-level of policymaking that was going on at DoJ and DoD.

    However, you had a fundamental cultural problem: the CIA, DoD and DoJ did not work together; in fact, they tended to have adversarial relationships. You had a 3-way pissing contest, and at the end of the day we all got screwed.

    If the Department for Homeland Security helps solve the cultural problem, then great. Otherwise, it too will be a bust.

    When we get good intel, we need to ensure that the people who CAN do something about the intel actually GET that intel in a timely manner.

  2. SingleMind Says:

    One more thing: I also agree that Shaffer is telling the truth. There is a logical reason he is blowing a whistle here.

    Isn’t it amazing how the left is selective when it comes to supporting whistle blowers? When FBI agent Colleen Rowley–now a Democrat candidate for Congress and a big-time Bush critic–blew the whistle, the media elevated her to “walking on water” status.

    On the other hand, Lt Col Shaffer provides an even more ominous smoking gun than anything Rowley had–his group had specifically identified ringleaders of the 9/11 attacks–and the media are ready to shoot the messenger. All because this destroys the credibility of key people in the CLINTON administration.


    Two Attas

    JustOneMinute proposes an interesting theory on the Able Danger controversy–the contradiction of having Mohammed Atta in two places at one time is explained by the fact that there are two terrorists with the name Mohammed Atta. The al Qaeda Mohammed…

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