JANUARY 2003 Article on Able Danger at Computerworld

Weldon says Clinton was warned in January 2001 and did nothing. What is wrong with this picture ? Hint: Exactly when was GW inaugurated for his first term (2001-2004) ? -- law

Bush seeks terror warning integration center
by Dan Verton

- President Bush last night called for the formation of an independent terrorist-threat integration center to enhance the ability of intelligence and law enforcement agencies and the private sector to share data and respond to the threat of imminent terrorist attacks...

This isn’t the first time that such a proposal has been put forward.

Rep. Curt Weldon, (R-Pa.), the vice chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, called for the creation of just such a center in 1999 at the height of the U.S.-led NATO air war in Kosovo. Likewise, an advisory panel on the national response to weapons of mass destruction, led by former Virginia Gov. James S. Gilmore III, also recommended the creation of such an agency.

Weldon renewed his call for the center again on Sept. 11, saying the terrorist attacks might have been prevented had the government moved on his proposal to inject commercial data mining tools into the intelligence community and integrate the dozens of classified information-sharing systems.

Weldon’s idea would have modeled the new agency on the Army’s Information Dominance Center, which is part of the Land Information Warfare Activity (LIWA), at Fort Belvoir, Va. It was there that the Army took advantage of the skills of a former CIA profiler who used commercial data mining tools to produce an eight-page biography of a close associate of former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic. That was seven and a half more pages than the CIA was able to produce for Weldon, who led a congressional delegation to Vienna to negotiate an end to the war in Kosovo.

The U.S. Special Operations Command in Tampa, Fla., also tapped into LIWA’s data mining capabilities and with that agency’s help built a small version of the LIWA system. It then produced an entire profile of Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda terrorist organization. Through that profile, the Special Operations Command made detailed recommendations to the Clinton administration in January 2001 about which individual cells to direct action against to cripple the organization. Those recommendations were never acted upon.

“All of that activity could have prevented or helped to prevent 9/11 from ever occurring,” said Weldon, speaking in May in the House of Representatives.

"I briefed our Homeland Security director, Tom Ridge. He agreed with us, but he has not yet been able to achieve this new interagency collaborative center,” Weldon said in May. “And that is an indictment of our government that the American people deserve to be outraged over."

At a news conference announcing the release of the advisory panel’s fourth annual report last mon

Bush seeks terror warning integration center - Computerworld


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