Special Analysis Report:
Able Danger and the Secretary of State
One of the targets of the investigation was an individual with long-term ties to Right-wing and conservative interests, a person who was soon to become a Washington insider: her name was Condoleeza Rice, who was to become, subsequent to the Republican victory in the 2000 Presidential Election, the National Security Adviser to the new President, George W. Bush. Eventually, Dr. Rice would become the Secretary of State, a portfolio that she still holds. The Post article noted above concludes, "There was no suggestion that Rice or any of the others had done anything wrong."
The investigators who were targeting Dr. Rice and other Americans were fired, and the contract the private firm had with the Pentagon was canceled. James Smith, who was responsible for creating the "controversial" chart using a sophisticated data mining procedure to find correlations and connections among millions of pieces of disparate information, confirmed to the Post that he was, indeed, fired because of his work. He indicated that it was because of concerns by Pentagon lawyers about the "focus" on American citizens. It is possible that the termination of the Able Danger work was because of concerns within the Clinton Administration that, were the group's activities to become public, accusations would be made that Clinton was spying on his political enemies because a number of American names being generated by the model were Republican political personalities and their business supporters.
In other aspects of the work by Able Danger, it had been able to identify, months in advance of the attacks on the United States of September 11, 2001, several of the foreign nationals, including purported ringleader Mohammed Atta. That this intelligence existed but was never used or apparently communicated to the Bush Administration before the attacks has only recently come to light, and the facts surrounding Able Danger's accurate targeting was not made available to the independent commission (informally known as the "9/11 Commission") that was charged with preparing a definitive report on the attacks and the failures of intelligence that allowed them to happen.
According to Reuters, as reported by Intel Dump, a military official, Captain Phillott, affiliated with Able Danger has now stated that he did, indeed, tell the 9/11 Commission's controversial and allegedly partisan staff director, Phillip Zelikow, about intelligence generated by Able Danger regarding Mohammed Atta, but the actual Commission members assert that they were not told about the substantial importance of the successful, pre-attack investigative work that had been accomplished. This, however, must be viewed in the context of the Commission's final report, which described the captain's information as "not sufficiently reliable," indicating either that the Commission members dismissed a stunningly accurate assessment of men who were soon to be terrorists or that Dr. Zelikow provided the Commission the assessment that would entirely inform what would come to be its summary dismissal of the information.
In what might be taken as a mere side note, Dr. Zelikow and Commission member Jamie Gorelick, who worked for the Clinton Administration Justice Department, were the only individuals associated with the Commission that were ever permitted to fully review National Security Council documents pursuant to the Commission's investigations. More fundamentally, in a Statement of the Family Steering Committee for the 9/11 Independent Commission, organized family members of victims of the September 11, 2001, attacks called for the resignation of Dr. Zelikow from the 9/11 Commission because he, along with Condoleeza Rice, had attended a meeting in late 2000 in which outgoing Clinton Administration officials attempted to brief transition team members for the in-coming Bush Administration about on-going investigations of potential terrorist threats against the United States.
Dr. Zelikow is described by insiders as a long-time close friend of Condoleeza Rice, having co-authored with him a 1995 book on German reunification. She has recently appointed him as one of her senior advisers. According to her official online résumé provided by the United States government, before serving the current Bush Administration, Dr. Rice was the Provost of Stanford University, long reputed as a bastion of conservative and Right-wing intellectuals, and she had at various times served on the boards of directors of such multinational entitities as Transamerica Corporation, Hewlett Packard, the Carnegie Corporation, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, The Rand Corporation, and the National Council for Soviet and East European Studies. Dr. Rice and Dr. Zelikow had worked together for the Administration of President George H.W. Bush.
No copies of the original Able Danger chart have surfaced. To the extent that the mainstream media has covered this odd little story, assurances have been made consistently that Dr. Rice and other Americans were not legitimate targets of investigation. Although such concerns are well justified, the existence of the now-vanished chart indicates that, in the present case, an extensive forensic process proceeded from the leads offered by the results of the brute algorithm. Whether or not the construction was entirely fantastic will never be known unless the chart is rediscovered and its pathways fully and impartially pursued by law enforcement authorities.
So far, Able Danger is the only known project at the national level that, more than a year before the attacks of September 11, 2001, correctly identified not only terrorists who would be involved in those attacks, but accurately identified the one who was the ringleader of the outrage.
So far, no one has explained why, if the Pentagon was concerned about military spying on American citizens, the information was not passed to domestic federal law enforcement officials who could have legally continued what proved in retrospect to be the most fruitful of all known avenues of investigation that were on-going in the year leading up to the attacks.
And so far, no one has explained how information about what Able Danger had found and surmised managed to get to Condoleeza Rice's close friend and associate, Phillip Zelikow, yet the 9/11 Commission members still disclaim any detailed knowledge of the extent of Able Danger's findings, despite the Commission's final report dismissing the source of the information passed to Dr. Zelikow.
The Dark Wraith leaves it to the discretion of the readers, as they may choose, to assess this odd little side story and all of the seemingly disparate issues that arise from it.