In April 2000, a year-and-a half before the 9/11 attack, General Eric Shinseki, the Army Chief of Staff who is currently President Obama's Secretary of Veterans Affairs, ordered armed agents into the offices of the joint Defense Department open-source intelligence gathering and data mining operation code-named Able Danger. An affiliated data mining program was code-named Dorhawk Galley. There were a number of other data mining programs, assigned various code names like Sensor Harvest, Retract Barley, IMPACTS, and Topsail, that helped provide pieces to the planned 9/11 plot.
Able Danger's data at the U.S. Army's Land Information Warfare Activity (LIWA) at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, was confiscated on the orders of Shinseki. It included information, including the travel and financial details for the so-called "Al Qaeda" cell headed by accused 9/11 lead hijacker Mohammed Atta, as well as financial funding sources for those who would later be accused of carrying out the hijackings of four passenger aircraft on 9/11. The financial data linked the embryonic 9/11 plot to financiers in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Able Danger involved the Army, Defense Intelligence Agency, Navy, and some elements of the CIA.
Sources who were with Able Danger have confirmed to WMR that the program was successful in pinpointing a number of connections between the "Al Qaeda" hijackers and major western banks that were transferring the funds for the "Al Qaeda" cell members. Connections between the cell and known operatives for Israeli intelligence were also pinpointed with a collateral intelligence windfall: that Israeli military intelligence personnel, including an Israeli army lieutenant colonel, were involved in aiding and abetting the theft of classified information from the NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, on U.S. Navy submarine design data for a highly-classified program to reduce ocean surface wave displacement caused by U.S. submarines that can be detected by ocean surveillance satellites. The intelligence operations of the Israelis were coordinated with Chinese intelligence agents with the goal of using the stolen information to aid the stealth submarine programs of both nations' navies.
Although Able Danger was originally ramped up to primarily investigate Chinese intelligence operations against the United States, the activities of Atta and his colleagues soon appeared on the program's radar screens.
When Representative Curt Weldon (R-PA), the vice chair of the House Armed Services and Homeland Security Committees, championed the Able Danger program and insisted the operation had identified Atta and his cell in 2000 and took no action, Weldon became the target of a Justice Department corruption probe. WMR was told by a source close to Weldon that the FBI concocted charges against Weldon that attempted to link him and his daughter Karen to Russian firms as well as to former Yugoslav leader Slobodon Milosevic. The investigation, according to the source, was in retaliation for Weldon's insistence that the Clinton and Bush administrations had advance knowledge of the plans of Atta prior to 9/11. Weldon's other daughter, Kimberley, and his son Andrew, were also targeted in the Justice Department's corruption probe, which was assisted by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a non-profit organization partly funded by George Soros. CREW's long-serving executive director Melanie Sloan has since left the organization to join the lobbying firm of Lanny Davis, the White House Counsel under President Clinton. Davis represented Pakistan for Patton Boggs at the time of the 9/11 attack and the junta that overthrew Honduran president Manuel Zelaya in 2009. Davis is also the spokesman for the Israel Project, a pro-Israeli lobbyist group in Washington.
Weldon was defeated for re-election in 2006 by retired Navy Admiral Joe Sestak. Just weeks prior to the 2006 election, on October 16, 2006, the home of Karen Weldon and the offices of five of Weldon's associates in Pennsylvania and Florida were raided by FBI agents on the orders of FBI director Robert Mueller who wanted to send a clear message to Weldon as well as ensure that his re-election chances were scuttled.
Weldon continues to have a politically-motivated Justice Department investigation hanging over his head as a way to ensure his silence about anything concerning Able Danger and prior knowledge of the 9/11 attack plans possessed by senior members of the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations.
Nothing about Able Danger's and its pre-9/11 attack data was mentioned in the 9/11 Commission Report. Able Danger officer, Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Shaffer saw 10,000 first-run copies of his memoir, "Operation Dark Heart," bought up by the Department of Defense earlier this year and destroyed. Shaffer, like Weldon and his family, was also subject to a bogus investigation. One trumped up charge against Shaffer was that he stole pens and other office supplies twenty years prior to 2005. Shaffer also had his security clearance suspended by the Pentagon.
On February 16, 2006, WMR reported: "Testifying before the House Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations chaired by Connecticut Republican Rep. Chris Shays, five national security whistleblowers testified yesterday about malfeasance involving senior Bush administration officials.
The most stunning testimony came from Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, a Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) officer who was involved in a Top Secret data mining operation called Able Danger. Prior to 911, Able Danger identified Mohammed Atta and other members of his hijacking team but were prevented from informing the FBI and other agencies. Pennsylvania Republican Curt Weldon, who is not a member of Shays's subcommittee but was invited to participate in the hearings, said that Shaffer had been the victim of extreme retaliation by DIA and the Pentagon.
Two incidents Shaffer testified about point to malfeasance involving 911 Commission Executive Director Phil Zelikow, a colleague and friend of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and CNN's Wolf Blitzer.
While Shaffer was stationed under cover and using an assumed name in Bagram, Afghanistan in October 2003, he was interviewed by Zelikow about Able Danger. After returning to the United States, Shaffer attempted to talk to Zelikow again. There were no further meetings and Zelikow stated he never met with Shaffer in the past. However, in testimony before Weldon and the House Armed Services Committee today, Shaffer said he is prepared to produce a business card given him by Zelikow in Afghanistan.
After Shaffer and Able Danger became public, Wolf Blitzer blindsided Shaffer during his appearance on Blitzer's 'Situation Room.' [on CNN]. Blitzer told Shaffer that he had "information" that Shaffer was having an affair with a member of Weldon's congressional staff. In a direct answer to Weldon's question and under oath, Shaffer said he had no such relationship with a member of Weldon's staff, female or male.
Shaffer also testified about the planting of classified documents in a package sent by DIA to Shaffer's home. Shaffer said the package contained five classified documents that he was not authorized to receive. In addition to the five documents, the package contained a bag of 20 U.S. government 'Skilcraft' pens. The DIA also said that Shaffer was untrustworthy because of an accusation that he took home government pens from the U.S. embassy where his father worked. Shaffer was 13 years old at the time of the alleged 'pen theft.'
On August 23, 2005, WMR reported: "The recent revelations that the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, David Satterfield, is the USGO-2 named in the [Larry] Franklin-[Steven] Rosen- [Keith] Weismann indictment and the coming forward of the Defense Intelligence Agency's (DIA) Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer and his evidence that the elite Able Danger force had Mohammed Atta and three other hijackers under surveillance in 2000 and was prevented from taking action are related stories. Shaffer was the liaison between DIA and the U.S. Special Operations Able Danger team that was tracking Atta and his cell in the United States and abroad. The Pentagon inaction is being blamed on lawyers for the U.S. Special Operations Command who prevented the FBI from being informed of the Atta team's activities. What is being overlooked is that there was a significant neo-con element within the Clinton administration. It included then-Secretary of Defense William Cohen (a Republican) and the career Pentagon officials like Office of Net Assessment chief Andy Marshall, the indicted Larry Franklin, and Harold Rhode, who all increased their power in the Bush administration. This network was close to Clinton State Department officials Martin Indyk, who lost his security clearance while ambassador to Israel, and Dennis Ross, now of the pro-Likud Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), the think tank that provided a number of personnel for Douglas Feith's Office of Special Plans, including David Schenker and Michael Makovsky (brother of WINEP Senior Fellow David Makovsky). WINEP's advisory board includes such neocon figures as Richard Perle, James Woolsey, James Roche (of Boeing-Air Force tanker contract fraud infamy), Jeane Kirkpatrick, and Max Kampelman. The pre-911 restrictions on Able Danger are evidence that the neo-cons were as damaging to the security interests of the United States under Clinton as they have been under Bush.
The two shill chairmen of the 911 Commission, Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, have now said they did not consider the information about pre-911 U.S. military surveillance of Atta and his confederates to be "historically significant." 911 Commission Executive Director Phillip Zelikow swept Lt. Col. Shaffer's testimony under the rug. Zelikow is a close associate of Condoleezza Rice.
And in what represents yet another whistleblower situation from within the US Intelligence Community, Shaffer had his security clearance at DIA suspended in March 2004 and was put on paid administrative leave. It has been recently revealed that Shaffer's Navy colleague, who had also identified the Atta team prior to 911, Captain Scott Phillpott, has been reassigned from DIA to a staff project code named 'Deep Blue.' On August 23, the New York Times reported Phillpott confirmed that Able Danger had Atta and his team under surveillance in the United States in 2000. Shaffer's story has been treated shabbily by the Washington Post, not because it lacks merit, but because the story is getting closer to the neo-con cell operating within the Pentagon from the days of the Clinton administration.
On August 20, 2010, WMR reported: "The Able Danger team used data mined by sophisticated DIA (for example, the four Trans World Information Warfare Support --- TWI --- groups, like the super-classified TWI-1, the Special Activities TWI group), NSA, and military service information warfare elements that used 'deep drilling' web and non-web connected search tools to identify information linked to targeted terrorist cells. The threat and warning indication intelligence came from systems operated by the Army's Land Information Warfare Activity (LIWA) at Fort Belvoir, Virginia (now known as the Army's First Operations Command [Land]), the Naval Information Warfare Activity (NIWA) at Fort Meade, Maryland, and the Air Force Information Warfare Center (AFIWC) at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. Some cover names for projects associated with the data mining and reporting are Sensor Harvest (Air Force 'Country Build' database system targeted on such threat nations as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen), Oilstock (NSA geographic information system), the IW Mission, Planning, Analysis, and Command and Control Targeting System (IMPACTS) (Navy, offensive information warfare), Retract Barley (Navy), Constant Web (Air Force signals intelligence fusion), Rigel (Navy, counter-narcotics/narco-terrorist intelligence fusion system -- which may have alerted DIA and other intelligence agencies to Atta's reported heroin smuggling activities from Afghanistan and Pakistan in the 1990s), THREADS (Threat Humint Reporting, Evaluation, Analysis and Display System) (Air Force/NRO), and Topsail (CIA-NSA-DIA)."
WMR's Able Danger sources have concluded that the 9/11 attack was allowed to happen "on purpose" by senior members of the Clinton and G.W. Bush administrations. As far as who in the Bush administration was primarily involved in helping to accommodate the attack, the answer pointed to one man: Vice President Dick Cheney.