August 14, 2005

ABLE WAS I ERE I SAW BEN VENISTE:

Atta way to blow 9/11 panel's credibility (Mark Steyn, August 14, 2005, Chicago Sun-Times)

If you want to know everything wrong with the 9/11 Commission in a single sound bite, consider this from Al Felzenberg, its official spokesman, speaking Wednesday:

''There was no way that Atta could have been in the United States at that time, which is why the staff didn't give this tremendous weight when they were writing the report. This information was not meshing with the other information that we had.''

In fairness to Felzenberg, he was having a bad week, and a hard time staying on top of the commission's ever-shifting version of events. It emerged that the U.S. military had fingered Mohammed Atta -- the guy who plowed Flight 11 into the first World Trade Center tower -- well over a year before before 9/11. Or as the Associated Press puts it:

"A classified military intelligence unit called 'Able Danger' identified Atta and three other hijackers in 1999 as potential members of a terrorist cell in New York City."

At first, the commission denied that it knew anything about "Able Danger": "The Sept. 11 Commission did not learn of any U.S. government knowledge prior to 9/11 of surveillance of Mohammed Atta or of his cell," insisted Lee Hamilton, the Democratic co-chair. "Had we learned of it, obviously, it would've been a major focus of our investigation."

But within 48 hours this version was non-operative.


Commissions without Richard Feynman always conclude what they were supposed to.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 14, 2005 6:36 AM
Comments

Interestingly, it is the lack of any INS record of Atta leaving the US at the relevent time that has led the MSM to dismiss the Czech claims that Atta met with Iraqi intelligence in Prague in April 2001.

Posted by: David Cohen at August 14, 2005 11:14 AM

The Able Danger allegations seem to be falling apart. The Corner and TKS are both doing a good job of following this story.

Posted by: David Cohen at August 14, 2005 3:41 PM

What's TKS?

Posted by: oj at August 14, 2005 3:47 PM

Sorry. TKS is the NRO blog that started life at The Kerry Spot.

Posted by: David Cohen at August 14, 2005 4:49 PM
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