Thursday, August 11, 2005

9/11 Commission Ignored Key Facts

A classified data mining operation called “Able Danger” identified Mohammed Atta as a threat and called for his deportation long before September 11, 2001, but the Clinton administration's restrictions on intelligenge sharing ensured that the information was never forwarded to the FBI: Commission Urges Investigation Into 9/11 Claim.

Of course the 9/11 Commission, who was supposed to figure out what our intelligence failures stemmed from decided to sit on the report. So, you ask, why in the world would the Commission not bring up the fact that there were reports actually identifying the terrorist ring-leader? Because it didn't fit their preconceived notions. According to the New York Times, the 9/11 Commission officials said that Able Danger had not been included in their report because some of the information sounded inconsistent with what they thought they knew about Atta.

Captain Ed writes:

What does that mean for the Commission's findings? It meant that the cornerstone of their conclusions no longer fit the facts. Able Danger showed that the US had enough intelligence to take action -- if the government had allowed law enforcement and intelligence operations to cooperate with each other. It also showed that data mining could effectively identify terrorist agents.
So what did the Commission do? It ignored those facts which did not fit within its predetermined conclusions. It never bothered to mention Able Danger even one time in its final report, even though that absolutely refuted the notion that the government had no awareness that Atta constituted a terrorist threat. It endorsed the idea of data mining (which would die in Congress as the Total Information Awareness program) without ever explaining why. And while the Clinton policy of enforcing a quarantine between law enforcement and intelligence operations came under general criticism, their report never included the fact that the "wall" for which Commission member Jamie S. Gorelick had so much responsibility specifically contributed to Atta's ability to come and go as he pleased, building the teams that would kill almost 3,000 Americans.

Jamie S. Gorelick was a deputy Attorney General under Clinton, who in the wake of the WTC bombings in 1993, ensured that there would be virtually no intelligence sharing between federal and local police agencies. For more on the "Wall" in the intelligence community click here. Despite a gross and obvious conflict of interest, Gorelick was appointed by democrats to sit on the 9/11 Commission panel. More Gorelick conflicts can be read about here, here, and here.


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