Hogan's Alley

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Abel Danger, Freeh Calls For Public Hearings

Capt. Ed calls attention to a call by former FBI Director Louis Freeh for a thorough airing of the facts related to what the Abel Danger program did or did not find prior to 9/11 and why the FBI was kept out of the loop. Freeh is highly critical of the 9/11 Commission in general. Key quote:

It was interesting to hear from the 9/11 Commission again on Tuesday. This self-perpetuating and privately funded group of lobbyists and lawyers has recently opined on hurricanes, nuclear weapons, the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel and even the New York subway system. Now it offers yet another "report card" on the progress of the FBI and CIA in the war against terrorism, along with its "back-seat" take and some further unsolicited narrative about how things ought to be on the "front lines."

Yet this is also a good time for the country to make some assessments of the 9/11 Commission itself. Recent revelations from the military intelligence operation code-named "Able Danger" have cast light on a missed opportunity that could have potentially prevented 9/11. Specifically, Able Danger concluded in February 2000 that military experts had identified Mohamed Atta by name (and maybe photograph) as an al Qaeda agent operating in the U.S. Subsequently, military officers assigned to Able Danger were prevented from sharing this critical information with FBI agents, even though appointments had been made to do so. Why?