Did 9/11 Commission Staffers Screw Up?

In a follow-up to yesterdays revelation that the 9/11 Commission Report failed to report on information showing that a secret military intelligence unit dubbed Able Danger had identified four of the 19 9/11 hijackers as members of Al Qaeda a year prior to the attack, The New York Times today provides further proof of the validity of this report.

The Sept. 11 commission was warned by a uniformed military officer 10 days before issuing its final report that the account would be incomplete without reference to what he described as a secret military operation that by the summer of 2000 had identified as a potential threat the member of Al Qaeda who would lead the attacks more than a year later, commission officials said on Wednesday.

The officials said that the information had not been included in the report because aspects of the officer’s account had sounded inconsistent with what the commission knew about that Qaeda member, Mohammed Atta, the plot’s leader.

The briefing by the military officer is the second known instance in which people on the commission’s staff were told by members of the military team about the secret program (emphasis mine), called Able Danger.

Now I am not here to second guess the work of this commission, they obviously had a mountain of data to work with and had to make their best judgments in reporting what they saw as the facts. Unfortunately it would appear at least on the surface that some staffers made a judgment call to omit information that would have shown clearly that we had information about these bastards and no one did a thing about it. I personally believe that this omission was a grave mistake by staffers tasked to work on the commission, who, for whatever reason, decided that there was not enough evidence to support including this information.

The man who is spearheading the investigation into this incident is PA Republican Congressman Curt Weldon who gave the following speech on the floor of the House June 27, 2005. Mr. Weldon’s interpretation of the facts points out two things; an intelligence apparatus reeling from the Waco incident and afraid to act, and an incoming administration that chose not to take seriously anything the previous one believed. I will reserve my judgment as to who was ultimately at fault here until more details are released but one thing is for certain, Presidential Medals of Freedom sure seem to be handed out willy nilly now-a-days.

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