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Old 02-15-2006, 07:20 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Accross the Board Incompetence

Quote:
Weldon: 'Able Danger' ID'd Atta 13 Times
By KIMBERLY HEFLING

WASHINGTON Feb 14, 2006 (AP) Pre-Sept. 11 intelligence conducted by a secret military unit identified terrorist ringleader Mohamed Atta 13 different times, a congressman said Tuesday.

During a Capitol Hill news conference, Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa., said the unit code-named "Able Danger" also identified "a problem" in Yemen two weeks before the attack on the USS Cole. It knew the problem was tied into the port of Aden and involved a U.S. platform, but the ship commander was not made aware of it, Weldon said.

The suicide bombing of the Cole killed 17 sailors on Oct. 12, 2000.

If anyone had told the Cole's commander that there was any indication of a problem in Aden, "he would not have gone there," Weldon told reporters. "He had no clue."

Weldon would not say who provided evidence of such intelligence to him.

Since August, Weldon, vice chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, has pushed Congress and the Pentagon to investigate the workings of Able Danger, which used data mining to identify links that might indicate the workings of terrorists. If he is correct, it would change the timeline for when government officials first became aware of Atta's links to al-Qaida.

Former members of the Sept. 11 commission have dismissed Weldon's findings.

Cmdr. Greg Hicks, a Pentagon spokesman, released a statement saying that Pentagon officials welcome the opportunity to address these issues during a hearing scheduled Wednesday before a subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee.
If this is true, it would mean incompetence in both Clinton and Bush administrations. Clinton because the Cole happened under him, and the 9/11 Terrorists came to America under his administration. Bush because they trained and carried out the plan under him.

I dont see how any side can cry partisanship with this. There should be an outcry to investigate if "Able Danger" actually knew what was going on, or if they simply knew something was going on (as was found post-Pearl Harbor investigation).
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Old 02-15-2006, 07:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I suspect it is a problem in the system in general. The little fiefdoms in the Beltway Bureaucracy. Dataminers are very low on the totem pole and if they are percieved to be overstepping their bounds, they get slapped down by their higher ups.

I tend to give credence to these sorts of reports but I don't think the blame can fall on either Clinton or Bush rather it should fall on middle management and their immediate superiors not wishing to rock the boat.

From some of the things I have been reading it appears that intelligence community in DC is a nasty multi-headed hydra and none of the heads like to be told what to by any of the other heads and all of the heads are constantly looking to be the head head... if you follow me.

I don't find it all that surprising that things like this fell through the cracks pre-9/11.
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Old 02-15-2006, 07:38 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaver
If this is true, it would mean incompetence in both Clinton and Bush administrations. Clinton because the Cole happened under him, and the 9/11 Terrorists came to America under his administration. Bush because they trained and carried out the plan under him.

I dont see how any side can cry partisanship with this. There should be an outcry to investigate if "Able Danger" actually knew what was going on, or if they simply knew something was going on (as was found post-Pearl Harbor investigation).
I think before 9/11 we had the intel, we knew something was going on but noone (on either party) ever took it seriously. I don't think anyone ever thought it possible that such destruction could happen.

Yeah the Cole was attacked, but so were Marine barracks in Lebanon under Reagan. All were tragedies but none were truly the President's fault.

Bush is doing the best he can, my problem with Bush (as far as this topic only) is that he does to much "covert" shit and is willing to take away rights, bypass laws and feels he can get away with anything he wants.
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Old 02-15-2006, 07:46 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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there are structural problems with the way in which u.s. intelligence is split amongst different institutions--exacerbated by inter-agency rivalries that are, more often than not, political in nature. i am trying to remember the author and/or title of the book published in the mid 1980s by thye former head os savak under the shah of iran that outlines the fundamental role played by interagency rivalries in creating and exacerbating the "hostage crisis" of the late 1970s---i'll post it if i can find the information (no time at the moment)--but yes: from what i remember, the claim was that th cia was far to the right of carter and so filtered information in ways that resulted in damage to him--but there were other agencies that were, in the main, not so inclined and so filtered information using other criteria--the result was, apparently, mutually exclusive readings of the same situation. this basic scenario did not change once regan came into power--the polarity of rivalires simply switched. and the account of the incompetence of the reagan people in this crisis situation is quite something.

it seems that the bushpeople recognized something of this when they created the heimat security department (a repulsive name), but it seems to have been as ineptly designed as almost every other action they have undertaken.

on the other hand, this particular article--sourcing a far right congressman's press conference--appears to have other ambitions: to relativize the particular incompetence of the bush administration by resorting to the old conservative canard--well, clinton did x too, so.... at some point, the right has to admit that the ineptness of the bushpeople is special--for example, while there may have been fuck ups around the cole thing, clinton did not react to them by getting the united states involved in a war under false pretenses--so obviously there are distinctions to be made. it is not surprising that miltiants on the extreme right would prefer that these distinctions be talked away--but it is a bit surprising that anyone takes the expressions rooted in this preference seriously.
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Last edited by roachboy; 02-15-2006 at 07:49 AM..
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Old 02-15-2006, 08:23 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pan6467
Bush is doing the best he can, my problem with Bush (as far as this topic only) is that he does to much "covert" shit and is willing to take away rights, bypass laws and feels he can get away with anything he wants.
Fair enough.

Look...hindsight is always 20/20. It's quite easy, now, to look back, see the warnings, and point fingers. Truth is, millions of bits and pieces of information come accross those desks, daily. I, for one, wouldn't want to try to sort it all out, and determine which bits are credible, much less viable. Yes, things do fall through the cracks, as Charlatan mentioned. He also mentioned the bureaucracy. In such an environment, no one wants to be the one to sound the alarm that the wolves are approaching the henhouse, and have it turn out to be a bag blowing in the breeze. It's not exactly carreer enhancing, y'know? I don't know what the answer is, but I know what it isn't. As far as I'm concerned, far too much time is spent pointing fingers, and afixing blame. I see nothing coming of that but more divisiveness. How can that be good for anyone, but the self-serving?
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Old 02-15-2006, 09:19 AM   #6 (permalink)
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And we have this very probable hypothetical:

Another issue, say Clinton did know that there were going to be terrorists hijacking planes. So in order to curb the event from happening, he came out told everyone and strengthen security.

The political reality of the world then, the GOP would have lambasted Clinton, said he was trying to deflect his problems and prevented any action, saying he was violating rights.

So Clinton would have tried, the GOP Congress would have prevented it, the names people call Bush they would have called Clinton and 9/11 (or a similar event) would probably have happened and then what?

It's impossible to relive the past, we can learn from it, and disect it and work on making to try to make sure it won't happen again.... but it is impossible to truly see where all the mistakes and blame can be put, because you have to take in all the various variables: where were the priorities, what was the atmosphere like, at that time what could have possibly been done, was it believable before it happened..... etc.
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I just love people who use the excuse "I use/do this because I LOVE the feeling/joy/happiness it brings me" and expect you to be ok with that as you watch them destroy their life blindly following. My response is, "I like to put forks in an eletrical socket, just LOVE that feeling, can't ever get enough of it, so will you let me put this copper fork in that electric socket?"

Last edited by pan6467; 02-15-2006 at 09:23 AM..
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Old 02-15-2006, 12:37 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I agree with BOR, the problem is probably too much information. Out of the millions of tips,etc.. only a few are probably viable and someone has to decide which ones to focus on. I am not surprised that after something major happens that there are many who say they saw it coming and point to some report they wrote. The problem is weeding through all the reports.

Of course if the people who claim they knew ahead of time were really convinced I doubt they would just file a report and forget about it and just let the planes hit the skyscrappers. Their speculations were probably just added to all the others because they were just that, speculations.
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Old 02-15-2006, 01:20 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Ok I'm sorry if what I was trying to say was not what came out, or possibly just misinterpretted.

What I meant was the Bush/Clinton Administration was to blame. The people below the presidents who control what he hears/is told.

Aside from that, what I want to know is if it was knowledge of the events that was uncovered, or if it was mearly knowledge of something was amiss. If it was the latter (which I personally suspect), it's hard to point the finger, as flstf points out... they probably get hundreds of those a day.
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Old 02-15-2006, 11:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pan6467
Yeah the Cole was attacked, but so were Marine barracks in Lebanon under Reagan. All were tragedies but none were truly the President's fault.
While I dislike faulting Reagan, he was personally told by the head of the Sixth Fleet that "our Marines in Lebanon aren't safe." It happened a month or two before the truck bombing.
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