Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Able Danger To Privacy

Colonel: 9/11 warning ignored / Military team IDd hijack leader, but info refused, he says
Washington -- A military intelligence team repeatedly contacted the FBI in 2000 to warn about the existence of a U.S.-based terrorist cell that included the ringleader of the Sept. 11 attacks, according to a veteran Army intelligence officer who said he has decided to risk his career by discussing the information publicly.

The officer, Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, said military lawyers later blocked the team from sharing any of its information with the FBI.

Shaffer said the small, highly classified intelligence program known as Able Danger had identified the terrorist ringleader, Mohammed Atta, as well three of the other future hijackers by name by mid-2000, and had tried to arrange a meeting that summer with agents of the FBI's Washington field office to share its information.

But he said military lawyers forced members of the intelligence program to cancel three scheduled meetings with the FBI at the last minute, which left the bureau without information that Shaffer said might have led to Atta and the other terrorists while the Sept. 11 plot was still being planned.

'I was at the point of near insubordination over the fact that this was something important, that this was something that should have been pursued,' Shaffer said of his efforts to get the evidence from the intelligence program to the FBI in 2000 and early 2001.

He said he learned later that lawyers associated with the Defense Department's Special Operations Command had canceled the FBI meetings because they feared controversy if Able Danger was portrayed as a military operation that had violated the privacy of civilians who were legally in the United States.

"Feared controversy if Able Danger was portrayed as a military operation that had violated the privacy of civilians who were legally in the United States."

To say nothing of the privacy of civilians who are not only legally in the United States, but U.S. citizens.

What was "Able Danger"? Were its activities legal? Are they ongoing? Are American citizens comfortable with the idea of the U.S. Army and Navy analyzing their phone records, bank records, emails, bookstore purchases, and the like?

What would have been the utility in "Able Danger" participants meeting with the FBI? Didn't the FBI report immediately after 9/11 that it had been following Atta and the other hijackers for months?

Friday, August 13, 2004

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Wednesday, August 11, 2004

It's All About the Meatloaf

CBS' Mike Wallace cited for disorderly conduct - Aug 11, 2004
  NEW YORK (CNN) -- CBS News veteran Mike Wallace, 86, was arrested Tuesday evening outside a New York City restaurant and issued a summons for disorderly conduct.
  Luigi Militello, owner of Luke's Bar and Grill, told CNN that Wallace is a regular customer at his restaurant and "anyone that knows him can tell you he doesn't behave wildly."
  Wallace called Militello after he was released from the precinct to let him know he was home "eating his meatloaf."

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

What shoe are you?

Bush Goes After Kerry on Iraq War Admission
  PENSACOLA, Fla. (Reuters) - President Bush charged Democrat John Kerry with shifting positions on the Iraq war on Tuesday as he opened a five-day campaign swing with a bus tour through Republican turf in Florida, the bitterly contested state from the 2000 election.
  The Bush campaign has been pressuring Kerry to say whether he would have still voted for the Iraq war given the fact that no weapons of mass destruction have been found. Kerry on Monday said he would have voted to give the president authorization to use force against Iraq "but I would have used that authority effectively."
  Bush and his aides delighted in the response and said it showed further evidence of Kerry flip-flopping from an anti-war stance he held during the Democratic primary last winter.

Had Bush actually read the legislation in question, he might understand that his failure to comply with its requirement that, before resorting to military action, the President exhaust all diplomatic resources at his disposal, and regularly report to Congress on the progress of that diplomatic effort, does not make John Kerry a "flip-flopper" -- it does, however, make George W Bush a "loafer".

Saturday, August 07, 2004

trying out the bloggerbot picture thing Posted by Hello

Bounce/No Bounce Part II

Associated Press-Ipsos poll conducted by Ipsos-Public Affairs. Aug. 3-5, 2004. N=798 registered voters nationwide. MoE ± 3.5.
AP/TIPP Poll graph

hmmmmm.... could be a bounce

Friday, August 06, 2004

Bounce/No Bounce

Political Figures: Senator John Kerry (D-Massachusetts)
FOX News/Opinion Dynamics Poll. Aug. 3-4, 2004. N=900 registered voters nationwide. MoE ± 3.
8/3-4/04 52% Favorable 34% Unfavorable
7/20-21/04 44% Favorable 39% Unfavorable

But there was "no bounce"?

Thursday, August 05, 2004

"Just Citizens"?

This Is No Dirty Trick: Bush Will Take High Road
I wouldn't be surprised if this ad does get denounced. I hope in a clever way, but I wouldn't look for these guys at the convention, because this isn't being run by the party. This is a 527 organization doing this, just citizens. Anybody can do this.

OK, when an anti-Bush 527 organization airs an ad, it's intimately connected with the Kerry campaign... but when an anti-Kerry 527 airs an ad, it's "just citizens"? Rush would never consider "flipflopping", right?

Define 'fitness'?

Bush Questions Edwards's Qualifications for Top Job (
MORRISVILLE, N.C., July 7 -- President Bush on Wednesday questioned the fitness of Sen. John Edwards to assume the presidency, lashing out at the North Carolinian on his home turf just 25 hours after he joined Sen. John F. Kerry's ticket.

And Bush was fitter to assume the Presidency than Edwards is the Vice-Presidency because.........?


Illinois GOP offers Senate nod to Alan Keyes

CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) -- After two days of deliberations capping an often-frustrating six-week search for a new candidate, the Illinois Republican Party on Wednesday night offered its U.S. Senate nomination to former GOP presidential candidate Alan Keyes, who does not live in the Land of Lincoln.
Under state law, Keyes would only have to move to Illinois prior to the election in order to be eligible.

Will Keyes be another "Hillary"? To those in Illinois who would resent a Senate bid by the "outsider", I can only say the same thing I said to New Yorkers when Clinton ran: if you don't like your state's residency requirement, get it changed.

Can they blame this on "flawed intelligence"?

$1.9 Billion of Iraq's Money Goes to U.S. Contractors
Yahoo! News - $1.9 Billion of Iraq's Money Goes to U.S. Contractors

Halliburton Co. and other U.S. contractors are being paid at least $1.9 billion from Iraqi funds under an arrangement set by the U.S.-led occupation authority, according to a review of documents and interviews with government agencies, companies and auditors.
Most of the money is for two controversial deals that originally had been financed with money approved by the U.S. Congress, but later shifted to Iraqi funds that were governed by fewer restrictions and less rigorous oversight.
For the first 14 months of the occupation, officials of the Coalition Provisional Authority provided little detailed information about the Iraqi money, from oil sales and other sources, that it spent on reconstruction contracts. They have said that it was used for the benefit of the Iraqi people and that most of the contracts paid from Iraqi money went to Iraqi companies. But the CPA never released information about specific contracts and the identities of companies that won them, citing security concerns, so it has been impossible to know whether these promises were kept.
The CPA has said it has awarded about 2,000 contracts with Iraqi money. Its inspector general compiled records for the major contracts, which it defined as those worth $5 million or more each. Analysis of those and other records shows that 19 of 37 major contracts funded by Iraqi money went to U.S. companies and at least 85 percent of the total $2.26 billion was obligated to U.S. companies.

Oops. I guess it all depends on what your definition of "most" is.