Mood: don't ask
Now Playing: "Tangerine" by Led Zeppelin
Via The Power Line, I came across this article by Josh Gerstein in today's New York Sun:
At some point in mid-2000, while the [Able Danger] was running data-mining experiments, the computer produced Mohammed Atta's name along with a suggestion he was linked to other suspected Al Qaeda operatives. "Those connections led back to a Brooklyn cell, and that Brooklyn cell contained four of the terrorists," Mr. [Curt] Weldon [Republican Congressman of Pennsylvania] said yesterday.Now would be a good time to compare and contrast two different intelligence items: the Presidential Daily Briefing (PDB) of 6 August 2001 and the information gathered by Able Danger on Mohammad Atta and the pack of vermin who followed him to their deaths.
While the "Able Danger" project was little discussed until recently, a broader Pentagon data-mining effort, known originally by the Orwellian name, "Total Information Awareness," was shuttered in 2003 after an outcry from privacy advocates. Some who were critics of that program say the recent developments suggest that the data-intensive technologies now deserve a second look.
Go ahead and read that PDB. Don't worry: it's barely more than a page...I can wait...
Done? Good. (After this is over, you can go back to doing your impression of Richard ben-Veniste's suppository.)
In the meantime, show me where in that now-infamous memo is there any inkling of what was to come on 11 September 2001. Any mention of any names or other relevant details? Oh, I know it talks about New York City and hijacking airplanes, but, unless you're intellectually dishonest (or just a Dhimmicrat), there's really no way you can say that that PDB was any sort of warning at all. Except, maybe, if you weren't already aware that al-Qaeda had a "thing" about murdering Americans.
Now consider that our Government knew that Atta belonged to a cell of terrorists in New York City more than a year before the atrocities of 11 September 2001. Knew him and his fellow murderers by name and location.
And the reason why this intelligence was not allowed to be transmitted to domestic law enforcement was because of a "wall" erected by the Clinton Department of Justice and, in particular, by Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick, between military intelligence and the FBI.
There isn't really any question of which side in this War against the Terrorists is the more culpable for what happened on that black day: it's liberals and Leftists who make excuses for Clinton's impotent response to Osama and who would never have tolerated for a moment any encroachment on civil liberties by the current White House ---the very kind that might have disrupted the machinations of these Islamofascist murderers we now fight in Iraq.
Nevertheless, I think Congressman Weldon makes an excellent point which I myself often lament in the broader view of this Administration's failures in communication:
Mr. Weldon said the Total Information Awareness program was hamstrung by several factors, including the association of its director, Admiral John Poindexter, with the Iran-Contra scandal. "We put the wrong person in and put the wrong spin on it," the congressman said. "Somehow, it became a massive, 'Big Brother' spying effort on the American people. That perception killed what was a necessary effort."True dat. President Bush is an admirably determined man, but he has often sucked at selling the American People on the necessities and rationales in this War. But, tin ear or not, it is his duty to make the case.
It is the imperative of History that the events leading to the atrocities of 11 September 2001 be more fully understood.
I believe we are about to get our education.