8/20/2005

NRO: ARRRRGH. DARN YOU, CONGRESSMAN WELDON

ARRRRGH. DARN YOU, CONGRESSMAN WELDON

Just heard from a guy I trust that the Pentagon will be releasing information regarding Able Danger in the not too distant future. The short version: Don't expect any bombshells.

Thank you, Congressman Weldon, for getting just enough of this story right (the existence of Able Danger and its mission) to get folks like myself and lot of others to take you seriously. Those others weren't just bloggers, by the way - I'm talking about the New York Times, the AP, the Bergen Record...

And thanks a [really bad word] heap for getting more than enough wrong that we look like idiots for trusting you.

You know, like that rather key element that Able Danger had picked out four of the 9/11 hijackers and recommended they be picked up by the FBI. I can see how you could mix up that pesky little detail.

Thank you for making all of these stunning allegations without any supporting evidence. Thank you for not having any documents, memos, or anything beyond allegations from an anonymous former defense intelligence guy who is unwilling to come forward and speak on the record.

Thanks for using us to goose your book sales this month.

Thank you for making the 9/11 Commission, a group that seemed to have done a sloppy, incomplete job, look absolutely on the ball and well-organized and coherent in comparison. (In retrospect, should the Commission have mentioned Able Danger? Sure. They were a small part of U.S. counterterrorism efforts before 9/11. But if they never found anything that tied into the attacks, then the Commission is right, they weren't all that signficant in the big picture. They warranted a paragraph or two.)

If Weldon generates some actual evidence, or if any of the 11 guys in Able Danger come forward and make a persuasive case that "yes, we did spot four hijackers in 2000", then I'll backtrack on all of this. But right now, I doubt that we will ever hear from any of them.

The only silver lining to this mess? I can gloat to Mary Mapes about how to burn a source that leads you astray.

UPDATE: I'm told that Tony Snow recently announced that one of the Able Danger team members will be doing an interview with Catherine Herridge today, and that he (Tony) has a radio interview with the gentleman scheduled for tomorrow. AJ Strata points to a article indicating that Weldon told ABC Radio host Sean Hannity, "I can guarantee you that you will be able to have one on your show. You might want to go with your TV show with this, because it will be a major story. And you can interview him directly."

We will see. As TKS reader Ted put it:

On something as huge as this, I found it hard it hard to believe that the Able Danger guys would have stayed quiet for four years. It just seems to me that the psychological and emotional pressure on them would have driven someone public a long time ago - "We knew we had those SOB's nailed, the dumb lawyers shut us down, and then we watched 9/11 on TV just like everyone else. Do you have any idea what it's like to think you might have that on your conscience? Now it's being swept under the rug by a bunch of butt-covering bureaucrats. This is a whitewash!" If eleven people supposedly were in the loop, odds are one of them would've surfaced a long time ago. But then, you could look at Colleen Rowley, the FBI agent in Minneapolis, and agree "Yeah, see what happens to whistleblowers." So who knows.

TKS on National Review Online

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