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Operation Able Danger
August 17, 2005 2:36 PM   Subscribe

A military intelligence operation - codenamed Able Danger -- repeatedly contacted the FBI in 2000 to warn about the existence of an American-based terrorist cell that included Mohamed Atta, the ringleader of the Sept. 11 attacks, according to a veteran Army intelligence officer who said he had now decided to risk his career by discussing the information publicly.

Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer came out publicly yesterday saying that military lawyers blocked the team from sharing any of its information with the FBI. Shaffer told CNN today that information he tried to provide to the commission investigating the September 11, 2001, attacks never made it to the panel's members. Folks along the entire political spectrum - from right to left - want to know what's going on.
posted by ericb (76 comments total)

 
Conservative blogger Ed Morrissey at Captain's Quarters:
"Clearly this leaves very little wiggle room now. We have two sources, one public and one anonymous, that both say they told Commission on two occasions about identifying Mohammed Atta as a potential AQ terrorist in the US long before 9/11. Either they lied then, are lying now, or the Commission and their staff have lied. Shaffer's determination to go public and essentially end his career in intelligence ops to tell this story at least strongly indicates a high degree of credibility on his part. The Commission's constantly changing story over the last seven days after the revelation of Able Danger demonstrates the opposite about their credibility...[and]...John Podhoretz' sources vouch for Shaffer's credibility."
posted by ericb at 2:46 PM on August 17, 2005


KEAN: I've got a question now I'd like to ask you. It was given to me by a number of members of the families.

Did you ever see or hear from the FBI, from the CIA, from any other intelligence agency, any memos or discussions or anything else between the time you got into office and 9/11 that talked about using planes as bombs?

RICE: Let me address this question because it has been on the table.

I think that concern about what I might have known or we might have known was provoked by some statements that I made in a press conference. I was in a press conference to try and describe the August 6 memo, which I've talked about here in my opening remarks and which I talked about with you in the private session.

And I said, at one point, that this was a historical memo, that it was -- it was not based on new threat information.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 2:48 PM on August 17, 2005


The Chicago Tribune article (above) requires free registration. Sorry. This registration-free link to a New York Times article covers much the same ground.
posted by ericb at 2:56 PM on August 17, 2005


Thanks, Comrade Eb! As GenSec I commend you!
posted by davy at 3:08 PM on August 17, 2005


I was just about to do a FPP about this...I think this is going to be a very interesting story to watch.

It's curious that the DoD has not been more forthcoming about this, because a) the information and its blockage occurred under the Clinton administration, and b) had knowledge of this program come out sooner, it would have been a major talking point for those pushing new means of domestic surveillance (TIPS, TIA, etc). Were the project's methods that fishy? Or is this just a case of the DoD shooting itself in the foot?

Also, yeah, everyone knows that the spooks and the cops didn't share much information before 9/11. And I think we've made a lot of progress on that point--so why is this guy coming out with this story now? What does he want to see fixed in terms of information sharing that hasn't already been fixed? Is there a similar data mining project being secretly kicked around, and this guy's trying to win people over? /tinfoilhat

Here's a link to his interview with Michael Savage, which didn't do much to answer these questions.

posted by Brian James at 3:08 PM on August 17, 2005


You have just got to love a bureaucracy.
posted by caddis at 3:09 PM on August 17, 2005


Curt Weldon pushed the Able Danger story back in June and everyone turned up their nose at it. Makes this post from last week pretty ironic.

Weldon's a pompous douchenozzle who doesn't even take the time to depate his opponents in elections. He spends more time overseas on international politics than he does domestically. His "source" has zero credibility, and shame on any "journalist" who pimps his points without disclosing that...(I didn't RTA).

Just how much of a sucker is Curt Weldon?

Weldon's district seems to be within the Senate district that brings us Rick Santorum. Bang up job in choosing your representatives, people.
posted by dhoyt at 3:10 PM on August 17, 2005


So now we know they knew and did nothing. What's it going to change? Nothing. ShrubCo will continue to lie, cheat, steal and then pretend they did nothing wrong.

They wanted something big to happen so they could launch their pre-planned oil war. And that's exactly what happened.

Its why Saddam's in a cell and Osama's running free, they don't care about Osama even though he's the one responsible for the attacks (just in case there are some people still unaware that Saddam Hussein had NOTHING to do with 9/11).

By the way, the Post has pulled its sponsorship of the Freedom March. The first of many sponsorships to be pulled, I'm sure.
posted by fenriq at 3:16 PM on August 17, 2005


One big question is how many false positives the data mining produced. Reports range from 70 to the thousands.
posted by srboisvert at 3:22 PM on August 17, 2005


If only I could get this sort of news elsewhere. Then the intarweb would be perfect.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 3:25 PM on August 17, 2005


Weldon's district seems to be within the Senate district that brings us Rick Santorum.

I know you're quoting a prior comment, dhoyt, but...Senate district?
posted by LionIndex at 3:29 PM on August 17, 2005


What, if anything, Able Danger told us about Atta is nowhere near as concrete as this FPP implies. Further, the stuff I have read from the Lt. Col. said he was prevented from telling the FBI repeatedly, not that he told the FBI repeatedly.

Rather giant difference.

Further, the reason for why the DoD didn't tell the FBI has changed as this story has aged, too. From, we didn't think we could, to the lawyers told us not to, to we were afraid that if we were wrong it would blow up in my face.

There is very little that is definitive here. And the Lt. Col. is pretty frickin' vague about what, exactly, they knew about Atta.

And Weldon is an idiot.
posted by teece at 3:34 PM on August 17, 2005


What this country needs is a better, stronger, more tightly-coordinated and more powerful intelligence apparatus to protect our freedom from the Trotskyist-Zinovievist- Bukharinist conspiracy to turn our Soviet Union over to Hitler. Oh, and lots of large camps where dupes of foreign powers, saboteurs, terrorist-helpers and feeedom-haters of all stripes may go for voluntary re-education, help with their slugglushly-progressing psychosis, and retraining in such growing fields as cruise-missile assembly, interrogation practice assistance and mass-grave digging.
posted by davy at 3:45 PM on August 17, 2005


Further, the stuff I have read from the Lt. Col. said he was prevented from telling the FBI repeatedly, not that he told the FBI repeatedly.

What I've read is:
"A military intelligence team repeatedly contacted the F.B.I. in 2000 to warn about the existence of an American-based terrorist cell that included the ringleader of the Sept. 11 attacks..." [New York Times]
posted by ericb at 3:51 PM on August 17, 2005


So now we know they knew and did nothing.

Just so we're clear, the "they" here is two presidential administrations, since this goes back to 1999 and 2000. So if we're going to (rightfully) bash Bush & Co. for this, let's not leave out Clinton & Co. Specifically, I suspect we're going to hear more about Clintonite Jamie Gorelick's involvement in this in the near future...
posted by Asparagirl at 4:06 PM on August 17, 2005


impeach Clinton!
posted by matteo at 4:10 PM on August 17, 2005


I'm having a hard time following this.

Should I be mad at the Clinton administration who wasn't provided with infromation by the military and FBI or should I be mad at the Bush administration who wasn't provided with information by the military and FBI?

Hey, I know. If I'm a Republican I can blame Clinton and if I'm a Democrat I can blame Bush. If I go with one of those options I will never have to address the facts and acknowledge that this is a systemic failure that likely would have happened regardless of who was sitting in the White House.

But hell, why let reality interfere with a perfectly good chance to slag Bush/Clinton?
posted by cedar at 4:17 PM on August 17, 2005


I find it of particular interest that the Able Danger stuff never got to the proper authorities, when the alledged -- and since found false -- rumor about Atta meeting up with Iraqi officials in Prague was known within days (or was it hours) since his identity as one of the 19 hijackers was established.

It's almost as if someone was just waiting for that particular name to be raised so they could point at the false Iraq link.
posted by clevershark at 4:17 PM on August 17, 2005


This will indeed be spun to the right towards Clinton. Curious how the MSM will report this.
posted by monkeyboy_socal at 4:18 PM on August 17, 2005


Further, the stuff I have read from the Lt. Col.

I am genuinely curious as to what you've read from U.S. Army Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer. I understand he publicly identified himself for the first time today. Are there documents he authored anonymously which are available? Anything to shed more light on what is going on here?
posted by ericb at 4:22 PM on August 17, 2005


So now we know they knew and did nothing. What's it going to change? Nothing. ShrubCo will continue to lie, cheat, steal and then pretend they did nothing wrong.

They wanted something big to happen so they could launch their pre-planned oil war. And that's exactly what happened.


Jesus, t's like you didn't even read the link. So ready to spit out talking points you seem to ignore that there's blame all around.

Axe grinding...check. Correct thread...nope.
posted by justgary at 4:24 PM on August 17, 2005


Right, ericb, and the NYT piece seems to directly contradict itself right after that, stating that the Lt. Col's request for meetings were blocked. You can't report something from the FBI if you are blocked from doing so.

Wasn't saying that you have it wrong, but rather that the story here, whatever it is, is very murky.

I suspect what really happened here is that Able Danger fingered 75% of all Islamic Middle Easterners in the US as possible terrorists, and 20/20 hindsight says "Oh look, Atta was among them! Damn." But at the time they wouldn't have know which of all the flags to investigate. (That's part of the problem: we have no idea what Able Danger even is, let alone what information it gave. And I find the Lt. Col.'s story a bit too vague for my liking).

I find the story very, very suspect. If it pans out as idiots like Weldon have hyped it up, the Pentagon has some explaining to do. But it is not at all clear that what we have here isn't just crap combined with 20/20 hindsight. The 9/11 commission found no reason to follow up on this, so there is going to need to be a wee bit more corroboration before I assume that we had a rock solid ID of Atta as terrorist in the US in 2000.

[As an aside, if this is real, it's quite possible that what the Pentagon was doing was illegal, and damn well should have been illegal. Unless Able Danger was only following visa holders, it had no business doing what it was doing. American citizens are not to be spied upon by the military. That's a fundamental American belief, and we shouldn't throw that away because of 9/11. I would like some assurance that any "spying" on US citizens be done by the FBI].
posted by teece at 4:34 PM on August 17, 2005


justgary, do you think your personal axe grinding of all of my comments is going to make me change my mind or stop posting? It won't. It just reminds me again what a colossal douchebag you are.

How is this the wrong thread for a comment about 9/11? How is this the wrong thread to point a finger at the administration for ignoring clear evidence of the danger? How is this the wrong thread?

You want to blame Clinton for 9/11? I'm sure you would but, read this slowly, he wasn't the president on 9/11/2001, your boy was and he should have known about Atta and Al-Qaeda but didn't because he ignored the briefing memos. And, let's get this perfectly clear, Clinton isn't the one who sent us into this war, he's not the one who's buried 1800 US soldiers and untold thousands of Iraqis, he's not the guy who refuses to speak with a war widow, he's not the guy who takes 5 week vacations in the middle of a friggin' war.

Are you disputing the fact that Bush's administration had information about Al-Qaeda and did nothing with it?

Are you disputing the fact that Bush has told lie after lie after lie in order to propel his war?

Are you disputing the fact that Bush had and has no exit strategy for Iraq?

Are you disputing that Bush used 9/11 to launch a war against Iraq and has tried ever since to tie the two together even though there is nothing that connects the two?

Are you disputing the fact that the fundamental basis for the war was a lie?

Yes? Then dispute them with real facts and counterpoints, not bullshit.
No? Then STFU and quit trolling after me.
posted by fenriq at 4:52 PM on August 17, 2005


Regardless, there's been a lot of obfuscation going on over the past several decades as far as providing the whole truth and nothing but the truth to the american public.
At this point I feel that americans are just mushrooms kept in the dark and fed nothing but poo.
Reading about other nations who's news media and institutions were corrupted the people eventually refused to believe anything it's media said and at some point, after seeing the futility and powerlessness of their situation revolted.
I can't say when such a revolt will happen in the U.S., but the actions of this administration bring that inevitability much, much closer.
posted by mk1gti at 5:10 PM on August 17, 2005


I think many people are curious, but there are atleast a few on the right who really don't want to know the truthh about Shaffer. It's pretty clear that he was systematically excluded. I wonder how many others were as well?

Good post, eb.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 5:13 PM on August 17, 2005


ericb, missed the other post. I meant from what I have read of the Lt. Col.'s interview (which I did not watch), as opposed to the crap that Weldon has been spewing on this, which is much more sensationalist (including a poster of Atta and other bad guys, that he gave away, and then recreated from memory, three years after the fact. Oh, and he forgot to mention this fact when he first showed his poster. Oh, and he's sat on this info. for years, right up until the time that he has a book out. Weldon's stupidity has probably made me more incredulous of this story than I should be).

Asparagirl: actually, I'd say that unless it was known that this stuff went to the very top, that neither the Bush nor the Clinton administration deserves blame for this. If any of this is true, I have seen no indication that it would have made it out of the Pentagon and onto the desks of any elected officials, yet.
posted by teece at 5:18 PM on August 17, 2005


I still say this story is bunk. Nobody has come up with documentation. Nobody has said just how many false positives were on the list, and in data mining you get a whole bunch of false positives. If there were a lot of false positives and it named Atta the list would only be useful in retrospect.
posted by raaka at 5:22 PM on August 17, 2005


So somebody kill the president. Please

Oh lovely, so we can have Cheney? No thanks.

Damn..I was going to go to bed early but between fenriq's smackdown and this psycho, I think I may wait.
posted by spicynuts at 5:24 PM on August 17, 2005


It's an american tradition... all I'm saying is... It's time for a revival!!!

Testify brothers and sisters Testify!!
posted by JGreyNemo at 5:26 PM on August 17, 2005


Nobody has come up with documentation.

Is this why Sandy Berger was shoving top secret memo's from the National Archives does his pants and "losing" them at home?
posted by Mick at 5:28 PM on August 17, 2005


neither the Bush nor the Clinton administration deserves blame for this

I just watched a CNN interview with Shaffer. From listening to him (and others) it seems to me that he is interested in bringing to light the inefficiencies (past and present) of a colossal bureaucracy -- and is not seeking to "blame" the leaders at the top.

He, and the others interviewed for the segment, made the point that communication between government entities has improved since implementation of the Patriot Act (albeit with understandable issues relating to privacy and other freedoms), but he (Shaffer) has come forward to "shake things up" in that he strongly believes that more progress is necessary, so that bottlenecks in information flow can be avoided, thus insuring that information is properly vetted and reaches the highest level decision makers in a timely and effective manner.
posted by ericb at 5:36 PM on August 17, 2005


JGreyNemo: you may have just earned yourself a visit from the Secret Service. eeek!
posted by teece at 5:37 PM on August 17, 2005


Bush's daughters are hawt.
posted by caporal at 5:51 PM on August 17, 2005


It is quite possible that lower/mid-level bureaucrats - for a number of reasons - bungled in analyzing the intelligence they had and/or failed to communicate it in an effective manner "up-the-chain." (What comes to mind is Edward Tufte's analysis of the poor and ineffective communication -- by way of PowerPoint -- by Boeing engineers regarding tile damage to the Space Shuttle which if presented in a more effective manner might have alerted decision makers to the risks posed by falling debris at Shuttle take-offs).

I'll reserve judgement regarding any potential intentional obfuscation (in either administration) until I, personally, learn and understand more about this entire affair.
posted by ericb at 5:53 PM on August 17, 2005


So somebody kill the president. Please.

Yeah, that's the ticket. Make the fucker a martyr, leave Cheney in charge and make damn sure we don't see a Democrat in that office until your grandchildren are picking out IRA's. Way to plan ahead.

BTW, I know you think this is hyperbole, but people have spent uncomfortable afternoons in rooms with guys wearing earpieces, sidearms and office-casual attire for much less. It's really embarassing when they decide the easiest place to grab you up is work.
posted by cedar at 5:58 PM on August 17, 2005


Things the Bush administration is not responsible for: 9/11, intelligence failures(i.e. this), Islamic extremism and the Pentagon supply chain

Things they are absolutely responsible for : The Iraq war , The Patriot act , The failure to integtrate DoD into the intelligence network, Planning for the aftermath of the Iraq war and hiding this information from the 9/11 commission(They might not have known before but I can guarantee someone briefed them after) and my groing inability to be suprised when some thing like this comes up.
posted by Rubbstone at 6:01 PM on August 17, 2005


As for Able Danger ... I'm sure their analysis was solid, but they were/are frustrated to now learn that the information -- for a variety of reasons -- never made it to the appropriate folks.
posted by ericb at 6:02 PM on August 17, 2005


"Is this why Sandy Berger was shoving top secret memo's from the National Archives does his pants and "losing" them at home?"

It probably has more to do with Bush reading a memo titled "Bin Ladin Determined to Strike US" then promptly forgetting about it.
posted by raaka at 6:06 PM on August 17, 2005


JGreyNemo: Nicely trolled! Was it worth your fiver? I'd think a pint at a congenial bar would be more rewarding -- but that's me.

Prophylactically, to forestall any unwarranted triumphalism from the usual suspects -- JGN is either a troll or a nutter; his/her homocidal blitherings are childish, dim-witted, and uninteresting; said blitherings can't fairly be associated with Democrats, leftists, liberals, or any other group of remotely functional adults who oppose the policies of the current administration.

On topic: Let's see how this unfolds. Personally, I suspect it started with a certain amount of post-9/11 self-aggrandizing, run through the usual social amplifier. Ever play "telephone" in elementary school? That's what I mean.
posted by vetiver at 6:09 PM on August 17, 2005


Anything to shed more light on what is going on here?

I honestly believe there was only one man who had all the puzzle pieces and was close to putting them together - John O'Neill - and he died on 9/11.
posted by tizzie at 6:16 PM on August 17, 2005


JGN is either a troll or a nutter

there's always the rogue roommate possibility
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 6:26 PM on August 17, 2005


JGreyNemo: "So somebody kill the president. Please."

spicynuts: "Oh lovely, so we can have Cheney? No thanks."

Cheney has a heart condition and won't last long. We'd soon wind up with the current Speaker of the House, a guy I've never heard of named Hastert , as Head Figurehead. I'm not sure of that's a good idea or not. Has Hastert owned any sports teams?

I heard somebody recently hypothetically forecast a military coup -- not by generals but by "progressive" colonels a la Nasser and Qaddafi. Maybe it might lead to Universal Health Care and anti-trust laws with teeth. I'm not sure that's such a good idea either: I foresee an unforeseen trade-off or twenty. (But at least it might lead to ParisParamus in a re-education camp.)[1]

I know, I know: why don't we all hold hands and sing "Kumbaya"?[2]

---
[1] Yes ParisPee, I'm trolling YOU. Kiss me!

[2] If Paris can carry a tune I say we shorten his sentence.

posted by davy at 6:37 PM on August 17, 2005


there's always the rogue roommate possibility

Yes, I'm the guy in his boxers sucking down cheeze whiz and looking over your shoulder into a sea of blue going: "Is that a porno forum?"

Ann Coulter makes comments about rounding up Arabs and Fratboy's gladly type about the wholesale slaughter of whole countries via espousings of "wouldn't it be easier to glass carpark x country or y country?" - nobody bats an eyelid.

You target the president and you've got secret service and other agencies hounding for your terrorist affiliations.

Newsflash folks, minus the symbol he's just a dude. And on the greater scale of things, he doesn't matter.

And I never said I wanted to kill him.

See? I too can run the same blame game that all the mighty righties play with distancing themselves from horrific acts that they approve of, but wouldn't do themselves.

I'm saying I wish some nutter off his anti-depressants buys takes his grand-daddy's WW2 Garand rifle and excercises his NRA licence and 2nd amendment rights for something more constructive than gophering.

So enough of the moderate small talk.

Jem you can shoot anything you want, starlings, robins, finches, presidents of the United States of America, but it's a sin to kill a mockingbird.
posted by JGreyNemo at 6:50 PM on August 17, 2005


The Lt Col talked to Savage? Willingly?
posted by wrapper at 7:00 PM on August 17, 2005


I gotta go with nutter.
posted by cedar at 7:07 PM on August 17, 2005


If any of you are interested in this Atta guy,point your browser over to madcowprod.com and get an update from investigator Daniel Hopsicker, he does
some good homework.
posted by hortense at 7:14 PM on August 17, 2005


Is it a full moon?

hortense, please tell me your not serious, the site you link to starts off with... "Mohamed Atta was protected from official scrutiny as part of an officially-protected criminal narcotics trafficking enterprise with ties to top Republican officials including Jeb Bush and Katherine Harris"

WTF?
posted by cedar at 7:24 PM on August 17, 2005


i'm glad to see that someone's sticking up for curt weldon. such an honorable, intelligent man.

once again, it's left to brave dhoyt to carry the water of the brightest and boldest and most insightful among us. won't someone help him with his load?
posted by Hat Maui at 7:43 PM on August 17, 2005


justgary, do you think your personal axe grinding of all of my comments is going to make me change my mind or stop posting? It won't. It just reminds me again what a colossal douchebag you are.

Then STFU and quit trolling after me.


I'm not going to sink to your childish level of discourse. You have problems, that's quite clear. But I've been here a long time, so I can deal with the personal insults.

Take your first comment in this thread and you could put it in any bush thread. It's so generic and rhetorical as to be useless. It's almost as if you cut and paste into any bush thread, regardless if maybe it doesn't quite fit.

For what it's worth, if you want to believe I look for your name, you're delusional. Your name just happens to fall at the end of some of the most ignorant drivel I've ever read on the internet.

It's easier to play the victim. Sorry. I fully believe everything I wrote. By definition, that's not trolling. But you've never let a little something like reality get in the way of clear thinking.
posted by justgary at 7:44 PM on August 17, 2005


hortense: I assume that by saying "he does some good homework" you mean "he does some hallucinogenic shit" -- otherwise, I'd have a problem trusting your recommendations. Please clarify.

cedar: yep, definitely a nutter. Too bad its nutterism is so pedestrian. Most nutters I've known occupy a far more interesting alternative reality.
posted by vetiver at 7:46 PM on August 17, 2005


a guy I've never heard of named Hastert

Turkish officials boasted of giving “tens of thousands of dollars in surreptious payments” to House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Illinois) in exchange for political favors.
posted by amberglow at 7:56 PM on August 17, 2005


Thank you, JGreyNemo.

It needs to be considered, but I'm rather busy this week, and with the price of gas these days, I can't afford the commute.

I could lend a weapon for this. Just enough culpability to earn myself a death penalty, but not quite enough to make the history books.

Welcome to the American centrist position.
posted by Balisong at 8:02 PM on August 17, 2005


fenriq: bubble bursting- W was inaugurated in 2001 - the data was offered in mid 2000 to billy c. and co.
posted by garficher at 8:23 PM on August 17, 2005


This is just disclosure of how the Clinton Administration via Gorelick(sp?) fiddled for 8 years.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:30 PM on August 17, 2005


good one, paris.

you mean the same fiddlin' clinton administration that was accused of wagging the dog because they actually tried to take out bin laden?
posted by Hat Maui at 8:35 PM on August 17, 2005


Paris speak, but all I hear are the sounds of wanking.
posted by clevershark at 8:40 PM on August 17, 2005


the wall that kept info out of the right hands was a Clinton Admin innovation.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:44 PM on August 17, 2005


After all the heat the military and it's leaders have been taking over the past several years, both from democrats and republicans I don't think that a military coup is a totally unrealistic possibility.
Yes, I realize this is about the same as saying Goofy for prez to some out there, but when you think about all the heat the military has taken and how much it's people have had to sacrifice and take the blame for civilian's screw-ups, well I guess we'll have to wait and see. And no, I'm not holding my breath waiting for this, just tossing it out there as one of many possibilities.
One possibility I don't see is a republican 'thousand year reich'. I think those pinheads dig themselves in deeper every day and when this has played itself out they will be exposed as the most incompetent, arrogant naive fools the planet's ever seen. Those types will be lucky if they can get jobs in the executive washroom as toilet scrubbers.
Kisses, P.P.
posted by mk1gti at 8:51 PM on August 17, 2005


the wall that kept info out of the right hands was a Clinton Admin innovation.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:44 PM PST on August 17 [!]


But not one iota of concern that Bush followed Clinton's lead.
posted by Balisong at 8:55 PM on August 17, 2005


And mk1gti, I could see scenarios ranging from normal elections with a majority replacing the current leader, to suspention of elections "until we get this whole terror thing sorted out, We can't let some commie come in and wreck our plan", to military coup, to military rebelion, to civil war between Liberal-centerists and fundie-replicano-neo-armageddonists.

Either way, I'll be the guy with sparklers and bottle rockets.
posted by Balisong at 9:04 PM on August 17, 2005


Yeah, P.P. I blame both, the least you could do is follow my lead. C'mon, *both* sides are guilty. At least admit that, or are you too blind and deluded to even see that?
posted by mk1gti at 9:05 PM on August 17, 2005


replicano = Federalist
posted by Balisong at 9:11 PM on August 17, 2005


Of course both guys are guilty - you guys honestly believe there is any difference between a Democrat and a Republican? That's like me trying to spot the difference between "New Labour" and Tory.

America is, effectively, a single party state. It's like Bill Hicks said many years ago - "You have a puppet on one hand and a puppet on another, it's the guy in the middle that's in control", or something like that.

It's time the Americans, and their little buddies the Brits, realised that they have been duped. Democracy is effectively dead on both sides of the Atlantic.
posted by twistedonion at 2:57 AM on August 18, 2005


Able Danger is my third level magic user.




She's also a gnome with mad feats.
posted by bardic at 3:00 AM on August 18, 2005


right there with you twistedonion, republicans and their *enablers*, the democrats. What a gyp . . .
posted by mk1gti at 5:19 AM on August 18, 2005


It seems to me a huge (bipartisan) problem is that lawyers and politicans and politician-lawyers have too much control over our domestic and foreign national security process.

If there's one thing that Bill Clinton's and George Bush's senior civilian appointees in Defense and Justice/Homeland Security have in common it is a lack of the institutional insight / foresight / creativity which professional military and police leadership does a good job of fostering.

Whether it's Jamie Gorelick erecting barriers between military intel and FBI domestic intel or Bush's never-got-closer-to-combat-than-Cub-Scout-target-practice planning for post-war Iraq, it's pretty clear we need something better...
posted by MattD at 6:33 AM on August 18, 2005


great commentary MattD, I think you've illustrated the problem very nicely.
posted by mk1gti at 6:55 AM on August 18, 2005


I think this is going to be a very interesting story to watch.

This is SO going to be ignored.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:18 AM on August 18, 2005


justgary, no, you won't sink but you'll keep coming back and being a snippy ass again and again and again. You know I can't stand Bush and I've listed reason after reason after reason. Why are you such an apologist for him? Where's your reason?

What makes you continue to support the man? I'm genuinely curious.

What I write is drivel and yet, your continual apologies and defense of an outrageously corrupt administration are the height of wit and razor sharp repartee? Dude, you're so delusional you think you're right. You're not, you're just another moron sniffing the backside of this administration and, since they told you its roses, you believe its roses when its really methane and vaporized fecal matter.

Quite attacking, let's see you actually defend YOUR position instead of attacking others. Can you do it? I'm highly doubtful.
posted by fenriq at 7:44 AM on August 18, 2005


Woops, quit attacking.
posted by fenriq at 8:04 AM on August 18, 2005


(document contains no data)Yes! the moon is/was glorious tonight,
About Daniel Hopsicker,he's done a few interviews with anti fascist researcher Dave Emory about Attas activities in Florida, and finds overlap with Iran Contra figures, assorted thugs, florida politics, Bush family ties,many loose ends and more connections than a switchboard. I think that most news stories are designed with a limited shelf life.Daniel has been doing this investigation for years, and I linked to his site because of the amount of weird background information he provides, see his video Venice Flying Circus
The homework I meant :Daniel tracked down Atta's cabbie and has some beers with him gets information about companions and activities.So am I serious? no, but entertained? yes.
posted by hortense at 8:49 AM on August 18, 2005


I think there's a world of difference between "both Democrats and Republicans fucked up" and "there's NO DIFFERENCE between Democrats and Republicans". Do people REALLY think that a Gore administration would have responded to 9/11 as the Bush administration did?
posted by fingers_of_fire at 9:18 AM on August 18, 2005


The original post dealt with intelligence, inter-agency communication, the 9-11 Commission, and whether or not we knew about Atta before the attacks.

All good so far.

The discussion has involved the same name calling we've been hearing for years, the endlessly painful ClintonvsBushvs Gore blame game, and the Iraq war. All legitimate topics, but none related to the post.

This conversation isn't moving forward. It's same fuckin' conversation I've been hearing for at least three years.
posted by kanewai at 4:00 PM on August 18, 2005


Is this why Sandy Berger was shoving top secret memo's from the National Archives does his pants and "losing" them at home?

No, it wasn't.
posted by mrgrimm at 5:42 PM on August 18, 2005


There were 2 Atta's.
posted by dash_slot- at 7:11 AM on August 20, 2005


"There were 2 Atta's."

Atta's which? (That's an "an apostrophe means possessive not plural" flamelette.)

Assuming you mean there were two two people named Atta, was one Boy and the other Girl? (That's a lame pun: "Get it, 'Atta Boy' and 'Atta Girl', har har har!")

Goodnight. (This has been a "running on fumes bleat.")
posted by davy at 8:36 PM on August 21, 2005


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