Ex-top general disputes claim that 9/11 boss Atta was identified in 2000


The Pentagon's top military commander at the time confirmed this week that he authorized a secret computer data-mining project to find Osama bin Laden and operatives in his Al-Qaida network four years before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

In his first public comments on the project, which some former intelligence officers said was code-named Able Danger, retired Army Gen. Hugh Shelton also confirmed Monday that he received two briefings on the clandestine mission well before the attacks.

"Right after I left SOCOM [the Special Operations Command in 1997], I asked my successor to put together a small team, if he could, to try to use the Internet and start trying to see if there was any way that we could track down Osama bin Laden or where he was getting his money from or anything of that nature," Shelton said in an interview.

His assertion is significant because it raises new questions about the government's knowledge of the Al-Qaida network before Sept. 11 and about the subsequent findings of a commission that Congress established to investigate the attacks.

Shelton said he doesn't recall hearing or seeing Atta's name in those briefings or at any time before the Sept. 11 attacks.

Lee Hamilton, a former Democratic congressman from Indiana who was vice chairman of the Sept. 11 commission that went out of business this week, said its staff interviewed the intelligence officers at the center of the Able Danger saga.

"They claim to have information about Mohammed Atta, and they clam to have this chart, but they cannot produce it," he said. "If these folks have documentary evidence, let's bring it forward."

The headline is a bit

The headline is a bit misleading? General Shelton said that he was not told of Atta's name. That does not necessarily mean that he denies Atta was identified?

Remember, the key here is

Remember, the key here is not that Able Danger existed, but what it found. It found what you and I didn't:

'Able Danger' found the Atta connection to a CIA network in Brooklyn

New Village Voice article

New Village Voice article with 10 unanswered questions:


Sorry this is off topic, but

Sorry this is off topic, but any article in a major paper seems worth discussing. I just read the Village Voice piece and their 10 unanswered questions. There are a lot more questions, better ones indeed, that should have been covered (like the failure of NORAD and the war games) but this is still very noteworthy because it helps build the case for a new investigation.