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Friday, September 02, 2005

ABLE DANGER: This is Getting Very, Very Strange

Now the expanding Able Danger scandal has a bunch of missing documents and the distinct appearance of somebody trying to cut the legs out from under Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, the man who first came forward with news that an intelligence operation had identified 9/11 plotters and their Brooklyn cell a year before their devastating attacks killed more than 3,000 people at the Twin Towers in New York and the Pentagon in the nation's capitol.

Government Computer News has an exclusive interview with Shaffer up on its site that opens all kinds of new issues. Captain's Quarter's Ed Morrissey zeroes in on some of the most critical of those issues:

"After this, strange events start to transpire. Shaffer completes his tour of duty and takes his 30-day leave. By the time he calls Zelikow in January, Zelikow no longer wants to see him. During his initial briefing, he offered to give Zelikow all of his collected documentation for Able Danger, as he had become the repository of the information.
"The last time he recalls seeing the data was February 2004. By the time Zelikow says he got the information in March 2004, Zelikow reported that it comprised two briefcase-sized boxes of documents, far less than what Shaffer had archived.
"By the next month, the Pentagon had suspended his security clearance over $67 worth of disputed cell-phone charges which Shaffer offered to pay just to get rid of the nuisance. Eventually the Army cleared him, but in the meantime his collected information on Able Danger had apparently disappeared.
"Several questions come out of this interview, and the answers may make people from both administrations very incomfortable:
* Who had access to Shaffer's files, and what happened to them?

* Who initiated the clearance suspension for Shaffer?
* Shaffer identifies Pete Schoomaker as the man who specifically recruited him for Able Danger, and indeed as the leading light of the concept.
Schoomaker retired, but returned in 2003 to the Joint Chiefs by the request of Donald Rumsfeld. Why has Schoomaker kept silent?"

Curiouser and curiouser. Read Morrissey's full post here, then go through the GCN interview with Shaffer here. And then ask yourself - what is going on here?