8/19/2005

neocons retreating in the Able Danger scandal. By Mickey Kaus

Strange New Retreat: Right-wing bloggers (John Podhoretz, Jim Geraghty) now appear to be in semi-full retreat on Able Danger (i.e., on whether a secret data-mining program had in fact fingered Mohammed Atta prior to 9/11.) Podhoretz, who only last week wrote "This is clearly becoming the biggest story of the summer" now says:

none of this passes the smell test. And an apology is due the 9/11 Commission staff at the very least ...

And here we all thought Andrew Sullivan was excitable! ... I claim to have been skeptical of Doug Jehl's initial NYT front-page report making the charge--but I'm also skeptical of the sudden right-wing pullback. Maybe Atta's name was on a huge list of false positives. Maybe not. Don't we want to find out--and shouldn't the 9/11 commission have wanted to find out, and at least dropped a footnote mentioning the program (and the sensational charge made to the Commission by at least one officer that Atta had in fact been identified)? Rep. Curt Weldon doesn't seem to be Mr. Credibility on this issue, but the Department of Defense--the apparent source for Geraghty's "guy I trust"--may have its own reasons for wanting to snuff out inquiries into Able Danger--for example, covering up its own mistakes. ... Andy McCarthy, who's skeptical but hasn't heard the GOP dog-whistle sounding retreat, appears to have the better of the argument for now. ... Update: At least one of the previously unnamed "intelligence officials" who've been sources for the Able Danger story now appears to have come forward. ... And he's been commenting at Phil Carter's Intel Dump! (That post now seems highly significant, what with its aspersions cast at the Pentagon's overly protective lawyering.).... P.S.: McCarthy notes that according to the Wash Times Pentagon officials attempting to tamp down the story say there may be (in the Times' paraphrase) "a few intelligence analyses that mention [Atta's] name[.] …" Yikes. 12:40 P.M. link

The "Two Atta" Theory - It might explain the Able Danger scandal. By Mickey Kaus

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