Friday, February 17, 2006

Able Danger and The Manchurian Candidate

Whenever someone begins a statement with "I'm not a big believer in conspiracy theories, but..." you know it's time to pull out your tin-foil hat. (I've got mine pulled down tight.)

Having said that, recent news on Able Danger is finally putting a reasonable story together. (Not saying it's the truth, necessarily, but it is reasonable.)

I've been watching the Able Danger story for awhile. From what I've seen, there seems to be a whole lot of evidence that:

1. Able Danger identified at least some of the 9-11hijackers many months ahead of time and
2. Able Danger was intentionally dismantled and its results buried before they could be used

On the other hand, this set of facts doesn't make any sense, unless you're part of the John Conyers/Cindy Sheehan tin foil brigade that believes that 9-11 was orchestrated by the White House/ the CIA/zionists/etc. If Able Danger was dismantled by high-ranking bureaucrats to make sure that the 9-11 hijackers weren't busted by an FBI field office before carrying out their attacks, that means that the Clinton administration orchestrated the 9-11 attacks months before Bush was elected and dsmantled the Able Danger program to protect its "agents." I don't believe any of that happened. Maybe I'm woefully naive.

At any rate, since my name isn't "Michael Moore," I've had a lot of trouble believing that the Clinton or Bush administration would intentionally bury the Able Danger program to intentionally block its intended anti-terrorism result, primarily because there didn't seem to be any reasonable motive. Why in the world would either administration dismantle an anti-terrorism program that had already identified foreign nationals having very suspicious connections to known foreign terrorist elements? After all, at least one of the planes on 9-11 was supposed to hit the White House. If nothing else, wouldn't the basic human interest in self-preservation dictate that the most visible human target of hatred in the world (the Commander-in-Chief) would really want to know, using any tools available, what might be coming down Pennsylvania Avenue?

So the idea that the Administration would intentionally dismantle an effective terrorist-identification program makes no sense unless they had a very good reason. Now, the China angle brings in a perfectly understandable motive, at least on the part of the Clinton administration. The Chinese were to the Clintons what the Saudis are to the Bushes, namely: very bad, very powerful people with far too much access and influence to the White House. I believe the Clinton administration still has a lot of dirty laundry out there re: China, and most of it will probably never come to light. To this day, I believe Clinton deserved to be removed from office, but not for giving a blowjob. Clinton deserved to be removed from office because he was bought and paid for by the Chinese government, and as payback he turned a blind eye to the transfer of sensitive U.S. military technology to the Chinese military. We know that the Clinton-Gore campaign was illegally paid by the Chinese government. We know that transfers of valuable military technology happened. Those are facts. We also know that the Clinton administration knew at least of a very high risk of technology transfer to China and we know that the Clinton adminstration took almost no steps to prevent them. Now, I don't know of any shipments of high-tech military equipment personally packed by Bill Clinton and addressed directly to Beijing, but we have a lot of damning evidence that is, in my opinion, not that far short of it. Of course, the GOP couldn't really make an issue of that without being hypocrites, because a lot of them were feasting at the same trough.

Given all this background, it's not hard for me to believe that Able Danger was starting to identify some very uncomfortable connections between high-ranking politicians in Washington and some very unsavory power brokers in China. It's likely that these connections involved enough Republicans that the GOP couldn't afford to use it as a political issue. Even if the GOP power brokers weren't caught in this net, the GOP may have realized how dangerous a tool like that could be to the status quo and were happy to see this "weapon of political mass destruction" quietly disposed of. If that's true, there's every reason to believe that the White House pulled the plug on the program and buried it, hoping no one would really notice that it had ever existed.

If 9-11 had never happened, it's likely no one ever would have ever noticed the existence and untimely demise of Able Danger. Then came the revelations that Able Danger had identified at least Mohammed Atta as a potential terrorist threat before it was shut down. Unfortunately, the regular American news media has shown almost no interest in the story to date. Kudos to Rep. Weldon for staying on this. It's not unlikely that Jamie Gorelick was put on the 9-11 Commission to make sure any "loose ends" would get tied up quietly and not make it into the Commission's official report. If that was the goal, she succeeded in that limited task, but this issue hasn't gone away, and I sincerely hope it doesn't.


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