Thursday, May 25, 2017

Applying ABLE DANGER to Dealey Plaza


posted by Supporter @ 6:00 PM  |
2000 Analyst Notebook Link Chart

UPDATE: These charts were produced with Orion Magic, not Analysts Notebook, although both tools are compatible.

If you look at this chart from February 2000, you will notice some similarities and some differences between it and the unclassified chart from Peter Lance shown below.

UPDATE: Dana at Common Sense Political Thought has more details on the Philadelphia Inquirer's latest attempt to use Able Danger to discredit Weldon:

At times, he acts less like a congressman and more like a shadow secretary of state or head of the CIA.

Among Weldon's notable forays into the world of spies is the Able Danger speech he made on the House floor last year.

In that speech, Weldon asserted that a secret intelligence program called Able Danger had fingered three of the 9/11 hijackers before the deed, but that the government failed to act on the information - thus losing a chance to prevent the attacks.

As my colleagues Chris Mondics and Steve Goldstein reported in these pages last week, no credible evidence has been found to verify Weldon's Able Danger theory.

So Tony Shaffer, JD Smith, Scott Phillpott, and Eileen Preisser have no credibility?

A theory is merely speculation. Facts are details of real events. Facts can either be proven or disproven. None of these four individuals are speculating or proposing theories. They have all testified to the facts as they know them from personal, first hand experience. If someone can show they are all either lying or delusional, then they can all start calling Weldon "wacky". Until then, they have no damn right.


Stratus Ivy holdings of Able Danger documents
This unclassified supplement to the testimony at the open hearing in the House Armed Services Committee was submitted for the record, but not posted on their web site. Of particular interest is the fact that there were between 8 and 12 large charts, plus 4 to 6 targeting binders, still in existence as of March 2004:

ABLE DANGER was a planning effort, tasked to SOCOM by JCS. The task was to identify and target Al Qaeda on a global basis and, using advanced technology (data mining; massive parallel processing; complex algorithmic refining tools, etc) and enhanced visualization tools, present options for leaders (national command authority) to manipulate, degrade or destroy Al Qaeda.

STRATUS IVY became SOCOM ABLE DANGER Teams Forward Support center. As ABLE DANGER was based in Tampa and, at one point, Garland, TX, to minimize the amount of classified and large charts they had to transport back and forth to conduct meetings at the Pentagon, a full set of documents was left with STRATUS IVY. There are e-mail strings on the TS/SCI DIA LAN on this too.

Last Known Location of Full Copy of Material: 3rd Floor of DIA Facility Clarendon VA in the DHO-3 (Pacific Division) area – on east side wall cubicle.

Last Known Time Material Was There: 1st Week of March 2004.

Alternate location: Defense Intelligence Agency Inspector General Office, Bolling AFB, DC – should be part of investigative files. Operational, Authority, Approval and Coordination documents only – not the entire set.

Document list for ABLE DANGER

Stored in a brown leather strap briefcase was the following:

- Chairman JCS Planning Order to CINC SOCOM to plan to conduct offensive operations against Al Qaeda under the nickname Operation ABLE DANGER.
- Operational Authority Documents for SOCOM and DIA to conduct planning and intelligence collection to support ABLE DANGER.
- Cover Plans and related background documents for ABLE DANGER to conduct intelligence collection and protect operational activities.
- All related official message traffic between SOCOM and Army on the LIWA support issue.

Stored outside but near the brown briefcase:

- Between 8 and 12 large “charts” – most if not all unclassified that showed the Al Qaeda targeting results (graphic representation/summary of all the 2.5 Terabytes of data that was used by the ABLE DANGER targeteers.
- 4 to 6 White plastic binders of Data Base array plans and methods and related charts.

MONDAY, MARCH 20, 2006

An update from Mark Zaid

On Friday, I had a conversation with Tony's attorney Mark Zaid about both the latest and the next developments in the case. Among other things we discussed his rare comic books business, He appreciated our donations, but so far they amount to less than five percent of Tony's legal bills to date. If you have not made a donation, please consider it.

Friday morning, Mark was in court again on the recent suit they filed to attempt to win legal representation for Tony and JD in any future closed hearings before Congress. In summary, he said the government is "throwing the kitchen sink at us" and will file a motion to dismiss on multiple grounds by April 7th. Among other things, the DoD attorneys are claiming the court has no jurisdiction or standing to take the case and has raised "service of process" issues, as well. This after they blocked Mark from representing Tony in closed session the morning of the Armed Services hearing.

Anyway, Mark will have up to a month to respond to the motion to dismiss, at which point the government will have two weeks to reply to his response. The earliest it could even go to trial is June, but it will probably be much later. In the meantime, he will be back in court March 21st filing document production requests and interrogatories. None of these documents involve the critical Able Danger documents, but rather documents involved in the DoD effort to deny legal counsel to Tony. Again, the government will have thirty days to respond. The main problem from Mark's point of view, is not that they are making this prohibitively expensive for him to pursue, but rather that Congressional hearings are pending and this needs to be resolved right away. If the judge rules that Tony and JD have a right to counsel after all the hearings are over, it will not make much of a difference.

As he had discussed on our conference call in February, Mark said the four things bloggers could help with the most were the following. First, provide as much data and analysis as we can, since the media is not covering it so there is no where else people can go to learn the facts. Second, encourage as many people as possible to contact their Congressional representatives and ask them to take an active role in getting to the bottom of this. Third, contact their local newspapers, radio stations, and talk shows. Ask them to start covering Able Danger. Fourth, as I mentioned above, the more financial support we can give to the legal battle he is waging against an army of DoD lawyers, the more likely it is that he can succeed.

Unfortunately, this is not just an academic argument. As Tony makes clear in his written testimony, the capability that Able Danger had does not exist today. When he was deployed in Afghanistan, based out of Bagram Airbase, pursuing High Value Targets along the border with Pakistan, he did not have the kind of actionable intelligence that Able Danger had provided years before 9/11. That is why the Able Danger team is so adamant this needs to be pursued. The fact that some officials are still more interested - five years later - in covering up their mistakes than in preventing the next attack, makes you understand why Curt Weldon chose the title for his book that he chose - "Countdown to Terror". Clearly, the clock is still ticking.

Unfortunately, a lot of high level bureaucrats are betting they can wait it out.
2004 Raytheon Genesis Link Chart
Just got these. I believe it is one of the posters Weldon used in his June 2005 speech. Based on who created it, J. L. Boesen, I'm fairly sure it was created using Raytheon Genesis. I always wanted to have someone send me a close up, so we could see what is says, and here it is. The main thing it shows is an approximation of what an Able Danger chart might have looked like, although this was made in 2004.

I've got more photos of more charts where these came from, but these are the only ones that I've cleaned up to post so far.

Goldstein Strikes Back
In our conference call with Congressman Weldon, he told us that he had embarassed Steve Goldstein of the Philadelphia Inquirer in a speech at a national press event, by explaining that he had offered Steve the Able Danger story, but Steve turned him down. Then when it showed up on the front page of the New York Times three days in a row, the Philadelphia Inquirer had to run the New York Times byline, instead. Well, Steve hasn't bothered to look into the story much since then either, but that hasn't stopped him from declaring that the Able Danger story is now "unraveling".

From today's issue of the Philadephia Inquirer:

But Weldon's story, which unleashed a wave of national media attention as well as probes and congressional hearings, is unraveling.

He now says that he's not sure the chart had a picture of Atta, as he has sometimes maintained, and that he has been relying on the memory of an intelligence analyst who helped produce it.

Weldon has always explained that he is telling the stories of the intelligence analysts who produced the charts. He did not produce the chart himself. Two of them have now testified before Congress, under oath, that they saw the name and photo of Mohamed Atta on that chart. That would seem to add to the credibility of the story - not unravel it - but hey, I guess I'm not the professional journalist.

From Tony Shaffer's sworn testimony:

Late September 2001. Eileen Preisser calls me for coffee and tells me she has something she needs to show me. At coffee she shows me a chart she had brought with her – a large desk top size chart. On it she has me look at the ‘Brooklyn Cell’ – I was confused at first – but she kept telling me to look – and in the “cluster” I eventually found the picture of Atta. She pointed out (and I recognized) that this was one of the charts I LIWA had produced in Jan 2000, and had a sinking feeling at the pit of my stomach – I felt that we had been on the right track – and that because of the bureaucracy we had been stopped – and that we might well have been able to have done something to stop the 9/11 attack. I ask Eileen what she plans to do with the information/chart – she tells me that she does not know but she plans to do something.

Last week of September 2001. I am on my normal afternoon run from the Pentagon to the Lincoln Memorial – and I receive a call from Dr. Preisser. She tells me “you’ll never guess where I am” – she tells me about sitting in the outer office of Scooter Libby and the fact that she, Congressman Curt Weldon, Congressman Chris Shays and Congressman Dan Burton are going in to brief Steven Hadley on the Atta chart. I am both amazed and satisfied that the Atta information and our work on ABLE DANGER had been provided to proper government leadership and fully expected that the ABLE DANGER team might even be reconstituted. It was not.

MONDAY, MARCH 13, 2006
This is funny

And if the President is censured but continues to pursue warrantless surveillance programs like the NSA’s, Able Danger, and others than some officials and whistleblowers have hinted at, the Republicans will have little choice but to accede to impeachment proceedings.

Impeached for pursuing Able Danger? Since when has Bush even pursued Able Danger? Weldon has compared the coverup of Able Danger to Watergate, but if people want to impeach Clinton again after the fact for pursuing the program, I guess they can try.

UPDATE: Thersites writes, "I thought AbleDanger was another surveillance program, when apparently it's not. I appreciate the info, and will edit my post accordingly." Now, if only Bill Arkin would listen to reason too, we might be making some progress here.
posted by Supporter @ 1:46 PM  |
Able Danger Hearing Transcript
Curt at Flopping Aces has the completed transcript. You can also download it as a PDF file he created here.

Here is one of many interesting exchanges:

WELDON: I thank the gentlelady for yielding.

Dr. Cambone, do you agree in your assessment — or your team here — that the Able Danger team identified five hotspots, what they called hotspots, which would include Malaysia, Mauritania, Hamburg, Germany, New York and Aden, Yemen?

CAMBONE: Yes, there’s said to be that sort of designation of places, to include the Brooklyn cell issue.

WELDON: Now, I realize you can’t speak on behalf of the 9/11 Commission, obviously, and I’m not asking you to. But let me ask you this.

After having identified those five hotspots, and then having an attack on the USS Cole in the Port of Aden, Yemen, how could anyone in their right mind classify Able Danger as historically insignificant?

Seventeen sailors were killed in one of the five hotspots that the Able Danger team, you’ve just acknowledged identified?

How in the world could any commissioner on any — well, I’m asking you — could you think of how anyone could classify that work, after we had a warship, 17 sailors killed at one of those hotspots, and to call that work historically insignificant?

CAMBONE: Sir, I didn’t do the work for the 9/11 Commission, and I was not involved in that kind of effort.

WELDON: How about your own opinion?

CAMBONE: I don’t know how they would answer.

WELDON: I think that there’s a lot of information that was generated over that period of time. And I don’t know that the crew in the Able Danger exercise was the only one to have identified troubles in Yemen and Aden at the time.

And that, as a consequence of the investigations that were done, what we discovered is, information that might have been available through a variety of channels, hadn’t been made available. That’s a matter of record, sir.

And so, you know, there you are. I didn’t do the look at Brooklyn cell and the other cells. I mean, that was the 9/11 Commission’s function.

WELDON: But you know that they identified five cells. And one of those five cells was, in fact, a location of where 17 of our sailors were murdered.

The Department of Defense has conducted a search specifically for Able Danger products. Has any search of DOD databases been conducted, to determine if any Able Danger data was incorporated into other second and third order intelligence products? And if not, why not?

CAMBONE: Intelligence products as such, I don’t know that. I do know that — I know — what I’ve been told is, and I’ve mentioned this already, as the planning process moved forward in the 2001 timeframe, in the Joint Staff, information generated in the Able Danger project was taken into other planning efforts and documents. Substantially.

But in terms of an intelligence product, I don’t know the answer to that. 
Network Theory and Able Danger

After Sept. 11, Valdis Krebs, a Cleveland consultant who produces social network "maps" for corporate and nonprofit clients, decided to map the hijackers. He started with two of the plotters, Khalid al-Midhar and Nawaf Alhazmi, and, using press accounts, produced a chart of the interconnections — shared addresses, telephone numbers, even frequent-flier numbers — within the group. All of the 19 hijackers were tied to one another by just a few links, and a disproportionate number of links converged on the leader, Mohamed Atta. Shortly after posting his map online, Krebs was invited to Washington to brief intelligence contractors.

Announced in 2002, Adm. John Poindexter's controversial Total Information Awareness program was an early effort to mine large volumes of data for hidden connections. But even before 9/11, an Army project called Able Danger sought to map Al Qaeda by "identifying linkages and patterns in large volumes of data," and may have succeeded in identifying Atta as a suspect. As if to underline the project's social-network principles, Able Danger analysts called it "the Kevin Bacon game."

Of course, the author goes on to dismiss Able Danger's importance without even looking at the program in any depth, but I guess at least they mentioned it:

Able Danger analysts produced link charts identifying suspected Qaeda figures, but some charts were 20 feet long and covered in small print. If Atta's name was on one of those network maps, it could just as easily illustrate their ineffectiveness as it could their value, because nobody pursued him at the time.

One way to make sense of these volumes of information is to look for network hubs. When Barabasi mapped the Internet, he found that sites like Google and Yahoo operate as hubs — much like an airline hub at Newark or O'Hare — maintaining exponentially more links than the average. The question is how to identify the hubs in an endless flow of records and intercepted communications. Scientists are using algorithms that can determine the "role structure" within a network: what are the logistical and hierarchical relationships, who are the hubs? 

Identifying these hubs is exactly what Able Danger did. They identified five hubs, or cells. One in Brooklyn, one in Hamburg, one in Malaysia, one in Yemen, and one in either Kenya or Mauritania depending who you ask. In addition to using computer models, they also used experienced analysts to make sense of the data and weed out the irrelevant links. In other words, the problems the author is trying to solve, are the ones Able Danger was able to work around. The chart Atta was on listed forty to eighty terrorist organized into five cells. You can't get much more specific than that, even if people want to keep dismissing it as insignificant.

Here is his decription of Zelikow's testimony:

When Phil Zelikow came in, and he wouldn’t testify in open session – even though he gave us no classified information in closed session – I asked him, “Did you interview the Able Danger principals?” And he said, “No, Congressman.”

I said, “Why would you not do that? These were CIA-trained case officers and career military professionals. Why wouldn’t you want to get the facts?”

He replied, “Because we think we’ve gotten all the information we need.”

I asked, “And why would you not include that in the 9/11 Report?” He answered, “Because we thought it was historically irrelevant.”
Is the CIA hiding something about 9/11?

I know who the intelligence officials were at the U.S. embassy at the time of Murad's arrest and interrogation. These are the same officials who discounted the threat information I received about Rana. Do these people have something to hide? You bet they do!

There is a lot of information in there, so you need to read the whole thing. He also has more details about Dieter Snell and the 9/11 Commission:

Another prominent figure suspected of quashing the truth is Dietrich L. Snell, the Senior Counsel and Team Leader of the Official 9-11 Commission. Peter Lance writes extensively in his books Cover Up and 1000 Years for Revenge about Snell's shenanigans in cherry-picking evidence and excluding credible witness testimony, including information collected by the Defense Department's Able Danger Unit concerning pre-9/11 sightings of Mohammed Atta, one of the nineteen suspected hijackers. These allegations are now resurfacing in the news. The Associated Press (AP) reported on February 15, 2005 that U.S. Representative Curt Weldon, the vice Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee advised the public that the Able Danger Unit had identified Atta more than a dozen times before the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Weldon also reportedly said the secret team found "a problem" in Yemen two weeks before the deadly Al Qaeda attack on the USS Cole in 2000, of which the ship commander was not told. Former (unidentified) members of the 9/11 Commission reportedly dismissed Weldon's findings.

My experience in the Philippines also appears to overlap Snell's involvement in the Murad case that Snell prosecuted. The Cooperative Research 9-11 Timeline ( contains a very peculiar account entitled: Early 1998:Prosecutors Turn Down Deal That Could Reveal Bojinka Third Plot.

The entry said: "Abdul Hakim Murad, a conspirator in the 1995 Bojinka plot with Ramzi Yousef, Khalid Shaik Mohammed, and others, was convicted in 1996 of his role in the Bojinka plot. He is about to be sentenced for that crime. He offers to cooperate with federal prosecutors in return for a reduction in his sentence, but prosecutors turn down his offer. Dietrich Snell, the prosecutor who convicted Murad, says after 9-11 that he doesn't remember any such offer. But court papers and others familiar with the case later confirmed that Murad does offer to cooperate at this time. Snell claimed he only remembers hearing that Murad had described an intention to hijack a plan and fly it into the CIA headquarters. However, in 1995 Murad had confessed to Philippine investigators that this would have been only one part of a larger plot to crash a number of airplanes into prominent U.S. buildings, including the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, a plot that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed later adjusts and turns in the 9-11 plot. While Philippine investigators claim this information was passed on to U.S. intelligence, it's not clear just which U.S. officials may have learned this information and what they did with it, if anything. [New York Daily News, 9/25/01] Murad is sentenced in May 1998 and given life in prison plus 60 years. [Albany Times Union, 9/22/02] After 9-11, Snell goes on to become Senior Counsel and a team leader for the 9-11 Commission. Author Peter Lance later calls Snell "one of the fixers, hired early on to sanitize the Commission's final report." Lance says Snell ignored evidence presented to the Commission that shows direct ties between the Bojinka plot and 9-11, and in so doing covers up Snell's own role in the failure to make use of evidence learned from Murad and other Bojinka plotters. [FrontPage Magazine, 1/27/05].
Able Danger's Two Data Purges
Just to clarify, Keith Phucus at the Norristown Times Herald has written about 15 stories on Able Danger-here is his latest piece. He reports that there have been two Able Danger data purges:
Actually, data was purged in the spring of 2000 at the Land Information Warfare Activity, in Ft. Belvoir, Va., and then in 2004 at Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer's Defense Intelligence Agency office at another Virginia location.

Follow the shredders
In some scandals, the key is to follow the money. In others, especially where criminal negligence is concerned, the rule should be to follow the coverup. AJ Strata points out similarities shared by Able Danger and another recent scandal. I'm hoping this is the type of thing Arlen Specter will look into when he holds hearings on Able Danger in the next few months. How can these people get away with destroying information to save themselves from blame, and not even get fired, much less charged with obstruction of justice or even destruction of government property?

My problem with Able Danger is it appears a high level, poitical appointee was able to use his power to destroy information that was personally uncomfortable, but critical to national security and which could have detected and avoided 9-11. 3,000 people died on 9-11, and it is plausible to assume if the partisan purge of Able Danger’s analysis in early 2000, when Atta and his team were moving out and coming here, had not happened they might be alive today.

So when I see similar acts of coverup I am keenly aware we cannot afford to look the other way when people in power destroy information ‘we the people’ generated through the Federal government. Senators and Congressman and other pols should not be allowed to hide our information - we paid for it!

So how is it we let this happen?

...These CYA actions should be illegal - because they only serve to hide criminal acts (why else hide the information). And sometimes those criminal acts include criminal negligence that can lead to massive US death tolls. Hat Tip Jack Kelley.
MONDAY, MARCH 06, 2006
From the Norristown Times Herald

In 2000 and 2004, the Pentagon ordered all "Able Danger" data purged from computer databases. In a Sept. 21, 2005, hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee, attorney Mark Zaid said the Pentagon "too zealously applied" enforcement of legal rules governing intelligence.

In prior interviews with The Times Herald, Shaffer said information obtained from the Internet is public information, and therefore, should not be subject to government restrictions.

"I fundamentally disagree with the (Pentagon) policy," he said. "If it's on the Internet, there should be no expectation of privacy."

During the clamp-down on "Able Danger" in 2000, Shaffer vigorously protested the data retention restrictions with Pentagon attorneys.

"I didn't agree with them then, and I don't agree with them now," he said....

The Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., and House International Relations Committee are expected to hold future hearings on "Able Danger," according to the legal complaint. 
Will Moussaoui call Able Danger witnesses?

A man accused of conspiring with the September 11, 2001 hijackers, Zacarias Moussaoui, will be able to present evidence about the Pentagon's "Able Danger" despite objections from prosecutors, a federal judge ruled yesterday. "What knowledge the government possessed before September 11 regarding members of Al Qaeda, and specifically links between Al Qaeda and the eventual hijackers, is a key issue in dispute in this death penalty trial," Judge Leonie Brinkema wrote. She said Moussaoui may call three witnesses about the Defense Department data mining program, which allegedly uncovered links between conspirators in the September 11, 2001 attacks months before those attacks took place. Judge Brinkema denied a defense request to subpoena a lawmaker who has publicized the "Able Danger" project, Rep. Curt Weldon, a Republican of Pennsylvania. Moussaoui pleaded guilty in the case last year. A jury in Alexandria, Va., is scheduled to begin hearing evidence Monday on whether he should be sentenced to death.

Interestingly, Moussaoui himself could care less about the proceedings. He curses his lawyers at every opportunity. Will they call Able Danger team members, though? Weldon was protected by the "speech and debate" clause for Representatives. Of course, the fact that Able Danger itself never located any of the hijackers as present in the US contradicts the claim that they knew more than Moussaoui did. If anything, their testimony would probably hurt his chances, not help them. It shows that if Moussaoui had talked in August the Able Danger data might have been acted on.
Mark S. Zaid, Esq.DC Bar #440532 Krieger & Zaid, PLLC1920 N St., N.W.Suite 300Washington, D.C. 20006
Mystery Woman Identified

Sources close to the ongoing Department of Defense investigation into the controversial Able Danger data mining intelligence program, which purportedly identified Mohammed Atta and three other 9/11 hijackers a year before the worst terror attacks in US history, say the mystery person who actually obtained a much-disputed photograph of Atta for the Able Danger team has now been identified.

Ever since the Pentagon-ordered destruction in 2000 of 2.5 terabytes of data unearthed by Able Danger – allegedly including a chart featuring Atta’s photograph that revealed terrorist links and patterns when clicked on – skeptics have long raised doubt about the very existence of the chart and the photograph in question.

It has now been confirmed that a female contract employee of defense contractor Orion Scientific, which provided personnel and proprietary software to the original Able Danger operation, has been identified as a result of investigation by the Pentagon’s own Inspector General.

Identification of the mystery woman lends more credence to claims by Able Danger members, such as team leader Captain Mark Phillpott, Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Shaffer, and Orion analyst J.D. Smith, among others, that the Able Danger program did in fact identify four 9/11 hijackers well before the attacks.
posted by Supporter @ 2:40 PM  |
More Audio of Able Danger Conference Call with Rep. Curt Weldon
The first 20 minutes or so of the Able Danger conference call was previously posted here. The next three audio clips are herehere and here.

Attending this conference call with Congressman Weldon were: AJ Strata from The Strata-Sphere, Dana from Common Sense Political Thought, Curt from Flopping Aces, Mike of Able Danger BlogQT MonsterRory O’Connor, Pierre from Pink Flamingo Bar & Grill, Bluto from Jawa Report and The Dread Pundit Bluto.

posted by vadkins @ 2:18 AM

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