Deborah Orin interviewed Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer yesterday, and has the latest on the Able Danger story. Her article is a good summary of what we know so far.
She makes clear a significant point that has been glossed over in some other interviews. Col. Shaffer acknowledges that immediately after Sept. 11, he did not recognize the name Mohammed Atta, or connect the hijackers with the Able Danger work he had been involved in. Rather, one of his colleagues, a woman with a Ph. D. who was in charge of data analysis, came to Shaffer with “the charts,” and said, “Look, we had this, we knew them, we knew this.” Now, however, Shaffer says the Pentagon is unable to locate the Able Danger files.
I think there is some ambiguity in Shaffer’s account of what his colleague told him; I’ve heard him interviewed a couple of times, and, while I have no reason to question his credibility, there is a certain vagueness or mushiness in his account that I find troubling. Shaffer seems to think that his colleague, the woman with the charts, may come forward to tell what she knows and remembers. Let’s hope she does.
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