Able Danger Gets Weirder

ABLE DANGER GETS WEIRDER….The Able Danger story is getting weirder. Via TKS, Bergen Record columnist Mike Kelly adds some additional details today about Able Danger’s tracking of Mohamed Atta:

In those horrific weeks after the [9/11] attacks, the official story line was that U.S. counterterror officials had no idea who Atta was before that murderous plot unfolded ? or where he was before 9/11. Only after the attacks could authorities track Atta’s movements.

Now that story seems to be false.

Federal officials confirmed last week that a year before the attacks, a top-secret military intelligence team was following Atta and three suspected terrorists who turned out to be hijackers.

….The connect-the-dots tracking by the team was so good that it even knew Atta conducted meetings with the three future hijackers….Atta and al-Shehhi took a room at the Wayne Inn. They rented a Wayne mail drop, too, and even went to Willowbrook Mall. Al-Mihdar and al-Hazmi took rooms at a motel on Route 46 in South Hackensack.

I’m genuinely confused by all this. As near as I can tell, it seems clear that Curt Weldon has been embellishing his account of Able Danger, and it seems equally clear that the 9/11 Commission staff acted responsibly in not following it up. But that still leaves open the possibility that the Able Danger project really did uncover some interesting data about Mohamed Atta a year before 9/11, but that the military has withheld this information from both Weldon and the 9/11 Commission.

Given the level of detail in Kelly’s column, the only other alternative is that the anonymous defense intelligence official who’s driving this story is just making shit up. That’s possible, I suppose, but hardly seems likely since his story can can be pretty easily checked by the Pentagon. What’s more, there seems to be more than one person blowing the whistle on this. Are they all making stuff up? Or are they taking information that’s been in the public record for years (as most of this stuff has) and simply pretending that Able Danger had it before 9/11?

Stay tuned. The Pentagon really ought to produce General Holland sometime soon and either confirm or decisively reject this whole account. There doesn’t seem much excuse on their part for leaving it hanging.