Thursday, December 23, 2010

For CIA drone warriors, the future is death By Pepe Escobar

Forget the iPad; the ultimate icon of fetishized commodity is the drone. Israelis do it - and sell them like hot cakes. Mexicans do it - to patrol their side of the border. Brazilians wanna do it - to patrol the Rio favelas. Saudis wanna do it. Uzbeks wanna do it. Everybody's singing: Let's do it. Let's fall in love (with the drone).

Furthermore, abandon all hope those who enter (the doors of misperception): Afghanistan is now officially just a lowly, troop-infested sideshow to the AfPak war. The real thing is an illegal drone war against Pakistan. Viva Richard Nixon. As much as Tricky Dick annexed Cambodia to the Vietnam War, the Barack Obama administration pulled a Nixon regarding Pakistan. And the great thing is that no one needs another WikiLeaks "dump" to know this. It's out there in the open.

Tricky Dick's tricks paved the way to Year Zero for the Khmer Rouge. Obama's throw of the dice may be paving the way to a Year Zero for the Pashtun brotherhood. The 16-agency US intelligence establishment says the Afghan adventure is doomed. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is somewhat gloomy. But the surge-addicted White House - in a stark reminder of those George W Bush-era reports about Iraq - says it's all swell (Taliban "momentum has been arrested in much of the country"). Pentagon supremo Robert Gates says Washington now controls more Afghan territory than a year ago; maybe in terms of Kabul shopping malls - and that's already a stretch.

Taliban momentum, anyway, is just an afterthought. What matters for the White House is to smash ("significant progress") al-Qaeda, allegedly holed up not in Afghanistan but in Pakistan's tribal areas. Take them Pakistani Talibs out from the air, with the CIA playing Ride of the Valkyries, just like in an orgiastic Facebook-friendly remix of Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now, with all those US Marine tanks rolling along in Helmand province offering a cute counterpart. I love the smell of a burning Talib in the morning. Makes me think of ... re-election.

But what about collateral damage? Tough guys of the "real men go to Tehran" type say this is for sissies (the New America Foundation says around a third of drone deaths are civilians, but that's hugely underestimated, according to Pakistani sources.) Blowback, anyway, is guaranteed to last until the 22nd century.

Faster CIA, kill, kill

So it's not the Pentagon but the CIA that is showering Death from Above over dirt-poor mud-hut villages in a country against which the US is not at war. Things may change - witness the frenzy to legally nail "terrorist" Julian Assange - but US law does not exactly condone mass assassination campaigns.

The CIA drone war is obviously secret and illegal. That can be fixed with the incoming chairman of the US House Armed Services Committee updating the congressional authorization for this extended war on al-Qaeda. As for Pashtuns collaborating with the CIA, they are technically Afghans, not Pakistanis, from different tribes; that will foster centuries of subsequent tribal trouble once the families of the dead ascertain who the snitches are.

Whatever the rhetoric emanating from Washington in 2011, the game will keep being duly played according to only one plot-advancing script; American Pentagonists visit Islamabad/Rawalpindi to warn the Pakistanis of Washington's perennial "strategic impatience" with what they're doing, while their military/intelligence establishment go live to spin they're doing all they can, but also need to be watchful of Pakistan's own interests.

In a nutshell: expect for 2011 an endless parade of Predators and Reapers firing barrages of missiles at the usual "suspected militants" in North Waziristan, Khyber or anywhere else in the tribal areas; and forget about Islamabad/Rawalpindi sending their army into North Waziristan to fight "al-Qaeda" or even the local tribes.

What this essentially means is that the nebula/myth conveniently branded "al-Qaeda" remains in the clear. There's no way its few dozen invisible jihadis can be crushed by the CIA's illegal air war, not to mention troops from Islamabad/Rawalpindi. And even supposing they were, the "franchises" would still be in business - as in AQAP, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula/Yemen.

Drone Eye for the Straight Guy
Who cares about Don't Ask, Don't Tell? The new hit in all things AfPak is Drone Eye for the Straight Guy. The next chief of the CIA's National Clandestine Service - that is, the CIA's new top spy - is John D Bennett, none other than the former head of a drone-infested CIA paramilitary wing. An Associated Press story even claimed that he directed the drones in Pakistan during the Bush era.

Even the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General "Hoss" Cartwright, has totally gone Drone Eye for the Straight Guy. As he sees it, COIN is now history; the hip thing to do is "counter-terrorism", as in drone-saturated air war. Consider the drone war as Washington's premier stimulus package to Central Asia.

Progress in over-stimulated Afghanistan, according to the Obama administration's year-end report, is "frail and reversible". This means in practice that for all the spin, missile-saturated Kandahar is not becoming Orange county anytime soon.

The Afghanistan plot won't thicken; it will dilute in the usual diarrhea. Afghans will keep saying over and over again they are not exactly Taliban fans - but they hate the corrupt Hamid Karzai gang and Washington even more, for allowing their occupied country to be controlled by gangsters and warlords.

Washington will keep tweaking its losing "strategy" of smashing the Taliban with extreme firepower. The Taliban for their part have already fine-tuned their own strategy of "flee the south-go north". All the roads in Afghanistan lead to Kabul; not by accident, all are intercepted or under Taliban attack. Karzai rule stops abruptly at the last rickety police station south of Kabul, on the road to Kandahar. It's as if Kabul was enveloped by an eerie Titanic feeling - that pampered, gated-condo isolated neo-colonial coterie of generals, diplomats, non-governmental organizations and security contractors partying hard as in before the fall of Saigon.

But soon anyway a "new" narrative will be taking over - the snail-pace North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) "drawdown" from 2011 to 2014. But does that mean the beginning of the endgame - no more war? Rather it's back to the beginning, as in "abandon all hope those who enter (the doors of misperception)". To (literally) thunderous applause by a coterie of neophyte neo-jihadi bombers, the Obama White House has explicitly emphasized "NATO's enduring commitment beyond 2014".

A key feature of this "enduring commitment" is that the Afghan army soldiers and cops NATO is training (supplemented by US private contractors of the Dyncorp/Blackwater mould) will need no less than US$6 billion a year, every year, till probably eternity, from the usually euphemistic "international donors", key among them US taxpayers.

It's a gas, gas, gas

And here's where The Year of the Drone merges with what the late, great deconstructionist Jacques Lacan would qualify as "the unsayable": the invisible, dangerous liaisons between the "war on terror" and the energy war, as in the topography of the war on terror matching all the key 21st-century sources of energy from the Middle East to Central Asia.

This implies a key Pipelineistan chapter - the never-ending saga of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline, which has been at the very core of the troubled Washington-Kabul marriage since the mid-1990s.

The TAPI inter-government agreement was finally signed in mid-December. Make no mistake; this is Washington in overdrive. The Washington-backed Asian Development Bank is to come up with the bulk of the $7.6 billion (and counting) financial package. The 2,000 kilometer-long TAPI - to be built by an international consortium - should snake through a very dodgy 735 kilometers of Afghanistan and 800 kilometers of Pakistan.

Hype apart, there's no hard evidence that TAPI will "stabilize" Afghanistan or contribute to India and Pakistan trading kisses instead of insults. AfPak in this case are both transit countries. Most of the Afghan stretch will be underground - much as the US-supported BTC from Baku in Azerbaijan to Ceyhan, Turkey. In theory, local villages will be paid to guard the pipeline. But that still does not guarantee security to a steel serpent crossing western Afghanistan and then going east through Kandahar.

Once again in theory, TAPI is indeed a steel Silk Road between Central and South Asia. If TAPI is ever built - and that's still a big "if" - certainly it will mark a monster crossover of Pipelineistan with the US Empire of Bases. Because none other than the Pentagon and NATO will provide the overall security. And that means the Atlanticist West forever embedded in AfPak. One can imagine what the Taliban on both sides - not to mention disgruntled Pashtuns in general - will make of that.

And even if TAPI is built, this still does not mean that its key competitor, the $7.3 billion Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) pipeline, also known as the "peace pipeline", has lost the battle - much to Washington's horror. The Indians have said that much - they are now chasing insurance giants of the Lloyds variety. And Pakistan definitely wants both TAPI and IPI.

TAPI theoretically should be finished by 2014. Surprise! That's exactly the deadline year (for now ...) for American troops to exit Afghanistan. No one will be exiting anything. Finally, the whole AfPak imbroglio will be revealed for what it is; a Pipelineistan gambit.

Meanwhile, enjoy the Year of the Drone. And while we're at it, here's some breaking news. The 2011 Pentagon/NATO strategy for AfPak is already established: wait for the Taliban spring/summer offensive to see where they're at. And then drone them to death. Call it Drone Eye for the Bad Guy.

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007) and Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge. His new book, just out, is Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).

He may be reached at 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Emperor waits in wings with waterboard By Pepe Escobar

Oh! spies are of no use nowadays. Their profession is over. The newspapers do their work instead.
- Oscar Wilde, An Ideal Husband, Act III

"He will not be going back to that cell once occupied by Oscar Wilde."

Eventually he didn't. But little did Mark Stephens, one of Julian Assange's lawyers, know that it would still take over three twisting-and-turning hours for his client to finally exit the Royal Courts of Justice in central London a free man.

It's as if WikiLeaks founder Assange, emerging from the silence of the shadows to the proverbially frantic media scrum, already knew that the real war starts now - and has nothing to do with jealous groupies, broken condoms and "sex by surprise".

This was the key passage of Assange's brief statement, read immediately after he was able to breathe the air of London again. He said, "During my time in solitary confinement in the bottom of a Victorian prison, I had time to reflect on the conditions of those people around the world also in solitary confinement, also on remand, in conditions that are more difficult than those faced by me. Those people also need your attention and support."

As in: pay excruciatingly close attention to what the US government is doing to Bradley Manning, the 22-year-old army private accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of cables to WikiLeaks. Manning has been held in solitary confinement at the US Marine Corps brig in Quantico, Virginia, for five months now. He has not been convicted of any crime. In a devastating Salon article, Glenn Greenwald has stressed that Manning is "under conditions that constitute cruel and inhumane treatment and, by the standards of many nations, even torture".

So that was Assange's terse way of saying to the world: Big Brother is watching you. And what they're doing to Manning they want to do to me, to you, and metaphorically to anyone who believes in freedom of information.

Make my day, leaker
Much to the horror of the emperor, WikiLeaks is still in business, from now on comfortably ensconced in a vast, remote Georgian country house, Ellingham Hall, to where Assange is bailed, on the borders of Norfolk and Suffolk.

Assange will be the guest of honor of former British army captain Vaughan Smith, also the founder of the Frontline media club in London, where Assange previously lived for a while. As WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson made it clear, broadband is good. And that's all the members of WikiLeaks, who "have never all been in the same place", need.

What a far cry from Assange almost turning into the most notorious political prisoner in the world.

Now everyone knows, thanks to legal blogger Carl Gardner, that it was actually UK crown prosecutors - and not Sweden - that were against the Westminster court's granting of bail to Assange this past Tuesday (technically in line with Article 12 of European Arrest Warrant legislation - the Swedish prosecution has at any rate also pointed out that the door remains open to an Assange extradition to other European Union countries).

This only served to fuel worldwide suspicion that the United Kingdom was using the broken condom/"sex by surprise" Swedish drama as an excuse to hold Assange in solitary confinement, without his computer, 23 hours and 30 minutes a day, under non-stop infrared surveillance, until the "special relationship" US master could come up with some brand-new charge and go for an extradition order.

This Thursday though, before granting Assange conditional bail, British judge Duncan Ouseley acknowledged a crucial point. He stressed that Assange had cooperated with the Swedes, and even if he was ultimately convicted in Sweden there was a strong probability he would not even go to jail.

Earlier in the day, Assange's lawyer Stephens had said: "We haven't addressed the question of American legal action or the potential for it." Well, they better do it, and fast. Even if a possible US government charge of "conspiracy" has no legal equivalence in the UK. Not to mention that the US does not have jurisdiction over where any of these US-only so-called "crimes" may have occurred.

Only the terminally naive could believe that the US Justice Department did not order the Swedish government to mobilize Interpol into producing a lightning-fast arrest warrant linked to the syrupy broken condom/"sex by surprise" saga.

All across the land of the free, the emperor has been pulling a Beijing (one may say emperors are all alike), deploying a variety of methods to actually censor the net - and TV - and dispatch the cables to digital oblivion. Some methods are worthy of the Three Stooges: the US Air Force blacking out from its computers anything linked to "cablegate"; the Pentagon banning anyone from even looking at newspapers.

Other methods are slightly more refined. Assange won the readers' poll as Time magazine's Person of the Year. But the editors could not possibly have the guts to respect public opinion and infuriate the emperor even more. So they gave the prize to an autistic geek who invented Facebook
because his girlfriend dumped him.

Barbara Walters, who in the US is worshipped as a sort of Hera of TV interviewers, regards Assange as "borderline criminal"; if she didn't, she wouldn't even get a "hi!" from Hillary Clinton. Bill Keller, the chief editor of The New York Times, had the gall to write: "We agree wholeheartedly that transparency is not an absolute good. Freedom of the press includes freedom not to publish, and that is a freedom we exercise with some regularity". Keller, a so-called journalist, in practice wishes he didn't have to publish "cablegate". He has made it plain that the New York Times sees the role of mass media as upholding government secrecy. In ancient Soviet times there was Pravda; now Pravda lives in New York and is written in English.

And to top it off we have Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama's administration pulling out all stops in its extra-judicial blitzkrieg on WikiLeaks. The fact that WikiLeaks broke no US law is of course irrelevant.

The emperor badly needs to set an example: see what happens when you defy my will. Yet the US Department of Justice's strategy doesn't exactly embody Kant's categorical imperative. They will try by all means necessary to force Manning to testify against Assange - and then charge Assange as a conspirator in "cablegate" and the Iraq and Afghan file leaks.

In a nutshell: the Obama administration is about to criminalize investigative journalism. And criminalize good journalism, period. Yale Law Professor Jack Balkin has stressed that "the conspiracy theory also threatens traditional journalists as well". And all this by applying tortuous logic worthy of the Bush era: "OK, let's make a deal with this American geek who leaked the bloody thing so we can nail that bloody foreigner who put it on the net."

The US government is out to waterboard Wiki. We're all about to get drowned.

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007) and Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge. His new book, just out, is Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).

He may be reached at

SPECIAL REPORT. Bush administration officials "in on" 9/11 planning.

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.