WHAT ABLE DANGER DISCOVERED….The New York Times interviewed Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer about Able Danger today, and here’s his clearest statement yet about what the Able Danger team discovered regarding Mohamed Atta in 2000:

“We didn’t that Atta’s name was significant” at the time, he said, adding that “we just knew there were these linkages between him and these other individuals who were in this loose configuration” of people who appeared to be tied to an American-based cell of Al Qaeda.

That’s still not very clear. “Linkages” between a “loose configuration” that was “tied to” an al-Qaeda cell. Still, Shaffer is clearly claiming that they had Atta’s name and wanted to tell the FBI about it:

He said military lawyers forced members of the intelligence program to cancel three scheduled meetings with the F.B.I. at the last minute, which left the bureau without information that Colonel Shaffer said might have led to Mr. Atta and the other terrorists while the Sept. 11 plot was still being planned.

“I was at the point of near insubordination over the fact that this was something important, that this was something that should have been pursued,” Colonel Shaffer said of his efforts to get the evidence from the intelligence program to the F.B.I. in 2000 and early 2001.

If he’s telling the truth, then the Pentagon pretty clearly withheld relevant information from the 9/11 Commission.

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