DAMMIT, WHERE DID I PUT THAT SMOKING GUN?
...because he was not intimately familiar with the names and photographs of suspected terrorists, he did not realize that hijackers were listed until it was alleged to him after the attacks, [Lieutenant Colonel Anthony] Shaffer said. All of the charts that could support his claims have disappeared, he said.
--Washington Post, 8/19/05
In a particularly dramatic scene in Weldon’s book, Countdown to Terror, the Pennsylvania Republican described personally handing to then-Deputy National Security Adviser Steve Hadley, just after Sept. 11, an Able Danger chart produced in 1999 identifying Atta. But [Congressman Curt] Weldon told TIME he's no longer certain Atta's name was on that original document. The congressman says he handed Hadley his only copy.
The officer being interviewed said he saw this material only briefly, that the relevant material dated from February through April 2000, and that it showed Mohamed Atta to be a member of an al Qaeda cell located in Brooklyn. The officer complained that this information and information about other alleged members of a Brooklyn cell had been soon afterward deleted from the document....
--statement from the 9/11 Public Discourse Project (successor to the 9/11 Commission), 8/12/05
Susie at Suburban Guerrilla has the best gloss on all this:
This is starting to sound like those stories about the anchorman with the gerbil up his ass – you know, the one everyone swears is true, because his neighbor’s cousin’s best friend is a nurse who works in the emergency room where they brought him in?
Meanwhile, I'm pleased that Media Matters has pointed out that the "Gorelick memo" couldn't be the reason that any of this information, if it ever existed, wasn't shared with the FBI. But Judd at Think Progress is wrong when he says that such charges are "rooted in ignorance." Sorry, these people know exactly what they're doing. They don't care if the story pans out, or is even coherent. They just want to be sure that, at backyard barbecues all over the country, right-wingers will tell their swing-voter friends and relations that, yes, Democrats are still evil.
The sudden resurfacing of "Able Danger" in recent weeks isn't an isolated event -- do you think it's a coincidence that a 1996 State Department warning about bin Laden also surfaced this week, as well as a claim that the Clinton administration ignored warnings about terror from U.S. attorney Mary Jo White?
This is the administration's response to escalating violence in Iraq and skyrocketing gas prices; this is the response to Cindy Sheehan: Clinton caused 9/11.
In Freeperland, they're linking Jamie Gorelick to Hillary Clinton and saying that Able Danger was being covered up by Sandy Berger.
They throw Berger in despite the fact that, as AP noted in April, he took no original documents and his theft was at the National Archives, whereas Shaffer says he left the now-missing Able Danger files "at a Defense Intelligence Agency facility in northern Virginia," according to yesterday's New York Post. Of course, none of that matters when all you're trying to do is create a vague impression of unspeakable Dem/lib evil.