SHAFFER AND ATTA….Last night I planned to write another post about discrepancies in Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer’s allegations about the Able Danger program, but I decided to give it a rest. Today, though, Andy McCarthy at The Corner writes the post for me, so go take a look.
Nickel version: Shaffer’s most explosive charge is that he tried to set up meetings with the FBI to tell them about Mohamed Atta a year before 9/11. Now, however, he says he didn’t even know Able Danger had identified Atta until other team members told him about it after 9/11. Needless to say, something doesn’t add up here. For the record, here are two different versions of his story. First, from GSN two weeks ago:
[Shaffer] recalled carrying documents to the offices of Able Danger, which was being run by the Special Operations Command, headquartered in Tampa, FL. The documents included a photo of Mohammed Atta supplied by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service and described Atta?s relationship with Osama bin Laden.
Shaffer said Atta’s name didn’t ring a bell when he learned the hijackers’ names after 9/11. But he got “a sinking feeling in my stomach” when the woman Ph.D. in charge of Able Danger’s data analysis told him Atta was one of those who had been identified as a likely al Qaeda terrorist by Able Danger.
“My friend the doctor [Ph.D.] who did all the charts and ran the technology showed me the chart and said, ‘Look, we had this, we knew them, we knew this.’ And it was a sinking feeling, it was like, ‘Oh my God, you know. We could have done something.'”
In the first version, Shaffer personally remembers handling documents with Atta’s name, picture, and position on the al-Qaeda org chart a year before 9/11. In the second version, he’s never even heard of Atta until after 9/11. It sounds like Shaffer might have a bad habit of reconstructing a personal role in events based on things other people told him long after the events themselves happened. For his sake, I hope he never does this under oath.
UPDATE: The Corner also has more on Curt Weldon. His story seems to be increasingly shaky too.