Captain's Quarters Blog

« 'Al-Qaeda Brought The Matches' | Main | Air America: Brian Maloney On NARN »

August 20, 2005
Able Danger Fox Trot II: What Was Said In October 2003?

Col. Tony Shaffer's appearance on Hannity and Colmes last night on Fox has people on all sides of the Able Danger thread scratching their heads. Initial news reports about this interview claim that Shaffer denied naming Atta to the Commission staffers in October 2003. However, it appears that Shaffer said he didn't discuss the names of any other hijackers except Atta, as that was the only name he could recall at the time. The transcript from the show has already been posted, and Shaffer tries to make this point clear (emphases mine):

COLMES: Lieutenant Colonel, explain to me, how is it they deny it? They also staff members, like executive director Phil Zelikow, say, despite your statements, they were not told the names of these hijackers, as you claim?

SHAFFER: Well, I don't know how they can overlook that, because the fact is this: They were told not once but twice by a fellow officer, a Navy captain, later on in 2004.

In my October discussion with him, I did not discuss the names of the terrorists. I'm not saying that. I never said that. I did talk about the fact that we found three cells through the use of some advanced technology, two to three cells which conducted 9/11 attacks, to include Atta.

Now, that was the only name I remembered. You have to understand, I was in Afghanistan deployed. I didn't have my documents with me. I didn't have the background. So during this discussion, it was using some notes that I put together myself, based on my memory as talking points, and I discussed the fact that Able Danger was able to use data mining techniques, that were at the time cutting-edge, to merge out of this information data.

To say that Shaffer failed in his bid for clarity seems an understatement, but this does appear to say that he gave them Atta's name in October 2003. In a later exchange with Sean Hannity, Shaffer pointed out the inconsistencies from the Commission on the nature of their meetings:

HANNITY: So there's two big questions here. Question number one is, who stopped the investigation and this important information from getting to the proper authorities to investigate these guys, one?

And number two, the 9/11 Commission had known about this. And in the last week, they've given at least five or six different accounts that I can tell about what you had told them. Explain that.

SHAFFER: Well, on the account thing, I don't understand it, because I've reread, and read, and reread their 12 August account. Their paragraph describing my meeting with them is not even in the ballpark with what happened.

Again, I have talking points that I prepared before the meeting. I used those talking points to talk of. I talked about another human operation, as well as outlining and, in a time line fashion, the whole Able Danger story. And none of those points are even addressed in their statement.

So I don't understand how they could be, like, so far, you know, off what I told them, based on the fact that I do have my talking points from that meeting.

I think that the original Fox News press release on this interview mischaracterized the content, to Shaffer's detriment. Shaffer never said that he gave them all of the names, only Atta's. As I recall, that matches with what Weldon originally said as well. We need to wait on analyzing these interviews until the actual transcripts hit the web.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at August 20, 2005 9:42 AM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry is

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Able Danger Fox Trot II: What Was Said In October 2003?:

» JUST ONE MINUTE...wrong and proud of it. from The Pink Flamingo Bar Grill
All along Just One Minute has been trying to put the kibosh on the Able Danger story and when you wish for something hard enough you sometimes [Read More]

Tracked on August 20, 2005 1:28 PM

» Hearings will be Nice - but I'm not holding my bre from Macmind - Conservative Commentary and Common Sense
You know....AT this point, I'm jumping off the ABLE DANGER bandwagon....for now. Something stinks and I didn't have beans last night. In fact, something has always stunk about this story....something just isn't right. [Read More]

Tracked on August 21, 2005 7:33 AM

» Able Danger: Do we need a new commission? from Independent Sources
Do we need a commission to examine the 9/11 Commission?  Moonage thinks so and argues in detail that since the 9/11 Commision’s justifications for their conclusions were based on flawed evidence, their recommendations for the securit... [Read More]

Tracked on August 21, 2005 12:22 PM

» More Able Danger Twistiness from The Sundries Shack
Okay - returning to the Able Danger revelations, and get out your roadmaps, folks, because this one is going to get twisty. Lt. Col. Shaffer said last week that he identified Mohammed Atta to 9/11 Commission staffers. This weekend, his statement is n... [Read More]

Tracked on August 22, 2005 7:50 PM

Design & Skinning by:
m2 web studios

blog advertising


Proud Ex-Pat Member of the Bear Flag League!