The blogosphere is buzzing with excellent commentary and analysis of the Operation Able Danger revelations and the 9/11 Commission’s CYA act.
Jim Geraghty has a comprehensive review of what we know and don’t know over at TKS.
Then head over to Captain’s Quarters, where Ed Morrissey has created a new category for his invaluable posts on the subject. Tom Maguire is posting aplenty, and provides a “Skeptic’s Corner” on the story.
The Corner has running commentary from John Podhoretz, Andy McCarthy, et al.
Dinocrat reviews the cover-ups and lies.
Former intelligence officer Captain V notes there are plenty of dots and blame to go around.
Commission staffers at first denied knowing about the elite military unit known as Able Danger, but later admitted they were briefed — twice — and Atta was specifically named. Still, it was conveniently left out of the 9/11 report.
It gets worse. Gorelick’s defenders might argue that hindsight is 20-20. But that excuse doesn’t work in this case, because she was warned way back then — when the see-no-evil wall was created.
That warning came right from the front line in the War on Terror — from Manhattan U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White, who headed up key terror probes like the prosecutions for the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993.
White — herself a Clinton appointee — wrote directly to Reno that the wall was a big mistake.
“It is hard to be totally comfortable with instructions to the FBI prohibiting contact with the United States Attorney’s Offices when such prohibitions are not legally required,” White wrote on June 13, 1995.
“The most effective way to combat terrorism is with as few labels and walls as possible so that wherever permissible, the right and left hands are communicating.”
That memo surfaced during the 9/11 hearings. But The Post has learned that White was so upset that she bitterly protested with another memo — a scathing one — after Reno and Gorelick refused to tear down the wall.
With eerie foresight, White warned that the Reno-Gorelick wall hindered law enforcement and could cost lives, according to sources familiar with the memo — which is still secret.
The 9/11 Commission got that White memo, The Post was told — but omitted any mention of it from its much-publicized report. Nor does the report include the transcript of its staff interview with White.
White yesterday declined comment via spokesman Marvin Smilon. The 9/11 Commission spokesman, Al Felzenberg, didn’t respond to repeated phone calls.
Streiff at Red State sheds light on Able Danger, Mohammed Atta, and Prague.
The 9/11 Commission staff is headed over to the National Archives to “retrieve their notes on a U.S. military unit’s information that four of the Sept. 11, 2001 hijackers were inside the United States a year before the attacks,” according to FOX News.
Like Jim Geraghty says, somebody make sure to check the staffers’ coats and socks before they leave.
On a serious note, this panel simply cannot be entrusted to investigate itself. Conflicts of interest are rife. Incompetence is high. Congress needs to step in pronto. The Sarasota Herald Tribune sums up the case.
Update: Andy McCarthy zeroes in…
It is reported that this Atta information may have been developed as early as 1999. If that turns out to be true, think about what that means. The Democrats on the Commission (especially Gorelick and BenVeniste), through well coached witnesses like Richard Clarke, told us again and again that in the run up to the Millennium bombing, President Clinton demanded that his entire administration hierarchy be at “battle stations” – poring over all the intelligence, demanding answers from the intelligence community about any and all information so that nothing was missed. That is the well-oiled counterterrorism machine they used the Commission investigation to project. (Transparently, the intimation by the Commission Dems was that the Bush hierarchy was comparatively asleep at the switch in the months before 9/11.)
Well, ok, what did those at battle stations do about the Atta information?
And did the Commission know about the Atta information when it allowed its melodramatic public hearings to be used in this fashion?
The Millennium bombing plot against LA Int’l Airport occurred in late 1999 and confirmed that militant Islam was bent on striking the American homeland. What was done at that time about the Atta information?
In October 2000, the U.S.S. Cole was bombed in Yemen, killing 17 U.S. sailors. This reaffirmed that al Qaeda was operating through cells and bent on killing Americans anywhere. What was done at that time about the Atta information?
Given this turn in 9/11 Commission events, it is again worth asking: Why has the public not been told at this point what was in the classified documents that Clinton National Security Adviser Sandy Berger illegally pilfered from the archives during preparation for his Commission testimony (as well as President Clinton’s) – some of which he destroyed (although there are said to be other copies)? The 9/11 inquiry was said to be so significant to the public’s understanding of intelligence failure that the Commissioners famously forced a Presidential Daily Briefing from the CIA (one of the most sensitive documents generated by government) to be declassified and unsealed so that Bush’s National Security Adviser, Condi Rice, could be asked about it publicly. Why haven’t we been able to see for ourselves what Berger took?
Update: Lots of great work at The Strata-Sphere.