Friday, January 8, 2010

It's Starting to Look A Lot Like...Able Danger

You will probably have to dig that one out of the vault and dust it off. In short order the pieces will come together for you.
In 1999, the Pentagon established an intelligence unit called Able Danger, assigned to seek out and identify al-Qaeda cells and members for U.S. Special Operations Command. This group reportedly used data mining from open sources.

Approximately August or September 2000, Able Danger identified an al-Qaeda cell in Brooklyn. An intelligence official and Rep. Curt Weldon claim that the AD unit identified Mohammed Atta, Marwan al-Shehhi, Khalid al-Mihdar and Nawaf al-Hazmi, and included a photo of Atta.

Able Danger analysts recommended the information be passed on to the FBI so that the cell could be rounded up. Accounts various new sources at the time indicated that Pentagon lawyers decided that anyone holding a green card (as it was believed the cell members did) had to be granted essentially the same legal protections as any U.S. citizen. Thus, the information Able Danger had gathered could not be shared with the FBI, the lawyers concluded. This was keeping with “the wall” philosophy and policy established in 1995 by Assistant Attorney General Jamie Gorelick, in which intelligence and law enforcement were directed to go beyond what the law requires to keep intelligence-gathering and criminal law enforcement separated.

More than a decade of lackluster response to Islamic terrorist attacks on American interests. Bill Clinton, of the same mindset, treated those attacks as criminal activities, rather than terrorist actions. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? The result-September 11th.

Fast forward eight or so years to December 25th, 2009. I can not say for certain what walls were dismantled and have subsequently have been rebuilt by this change in administration from one who clearly understood the terror threat to a healthy degree to one that is completely clueless and clearly negligent. I can only make assumptions from what my lying eyes are telling me. We went from eight years of being attack-free and back to complacent to where we are now. Something has gone awry.

As a result, when I hear Obama state essentially that this was same breakdown in intelligence that caused 9/11 and that President Bush had eight years to fix it and didn’t, my sensibilities get just a little offended. Nearly a decade without another attack is quite an achievement. One that can not be belittled, stolen or rewritten.

One year into the Obama administration and it safe to predict national security will be it's demise. The only question that really remains are what form the final push will take and how many of us it takes down with them. Obama has and continues to embolden our enemies and continues down a very perilous path. He seems clueless as to what the logical results will be.

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