We and many others have covered the curious story of Able Danger, the military data-mining project that allegedly turned up information about Mohammed Atta prior to September 11. If you search our site, you will find a number of links to stories about the project and about at least two of its former members, Naval Capt. Scott Philpott and Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, who say that their efforts to get Able Danger information into the hands of the FBI, pre-September 11, were rebuffed.
The Los Angeles Times reported yesterday on a leaked summary of an investigation of Able Danger by the Senate Intelligence Committee that, according to the Times, rejects the claims that have been made in connection with that program:
A]fter a 16-month investigation, the Intelligence Committee has concluded that those assertions are unfounded.
“Able Danger did not identify Mohammed Atta or any other 9/11 hijacker at any time prior to Sept. 11, 2001,” the committee determined, according to an eight-page letter sent last week to panel members by the top Republican and Democrat on the committee.
According to the Senate committee, claims by Phipott, Shaffer and others are the result of confusion between Arabic names, and between versions of charts identifying al Qaeda members that were produced before and after September 11.
This may well turn out to be true. But there was more to the Able Danger story than the alleged identification of Mohammed Atta, and so far, to my knowledge, no one has reported the reactions of Philpott and Shaffer to the Intelligence Committee’s report. It will be well to reserve judgment until more information about the invesigation is released, and the Able Danger protagonists have had an opportunity to be heard once more.
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