Panel rejects assertion US knew of Atta before Sept. 11
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of Boston Globe/Associated Press
Posted: November 11th, 2006
Former members of the Sept. 11 commission on Wednesday dismissed assertions that a Pentagon intelligence unit identified lead hijacker Mohamed Atta as an member of al-Qaida long before the 2001 attacks. Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa., had accused the commission of ignoring intelligence about Atta while it investigated the attacks. The commission's former chairman, Thomas Kean, said there was no evidence anyone in the government knew about Atta before Sept. 11, 2001. Two military officers, Army Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer and Navy Capt. Scott Phillpott, claimed a classified military intelligence unit, known as 'Able Danger,' identified Atta before the attacks. Shaffer has said three other hijackers were identified, too. Kean said the recollections of the intelligence officers cannot be verified by any document. 'Bluntly, it just didn't happen and that's the conclusion of all 10 of us,' said a former commissioner, ex-Sen. Slade Gorton, R-Wash. Weldon's spokesman, John Tomaszewski, said no commissioners have met with anyone from Able Danger 'yet they choose to speak with some form of certainty without firsthand knowledge.'
Note: If you read the New York Times article from Aug. 11th, commission officials clearly stated that they were warned by a uniformed military officer 10 days before issuing the commission's final report that the account would be incomplete without reference Able Danger and Atta, as confirmed by the commission's own chief spokesperson. Is this more recent article a rewriting of the facts?