Suit airs Able Danger claims
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of Sacramento Bee (Leading newspaper of California's capital city)
Posted: November 11th, 2006
Two operatives at the center of the Able Danger controversy have sued the Defense Department for denying them contact with their lawyers during closed congressional hearings. Army Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer and J.D. Smith were among a dozen intelligence officers and contractors who worked on the clandestine program set up long before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to track al-Qaida. They are accusing the Pentagon...of violating their First Amendment rights by blocking their access to legal counsel during the closed sessions. "Able Danger identified the Sept. 11, 2001, attack leader Mohamed Atta, and three of the 9/11 plot's 19 hijackers, as possible members of an al-Qaida cell linked to the 1993 World Trade Center attack or its participants," the suit said. Shaffer, a Bronze Star recipient who fought undercover in Afghanistan, caused a stir in August when he stepped forward to say that he and other Able Danger operatives had identified Atta as long as 21 months before the Sept. 11 attacks. That claim - later supported by the Able Danger team's leader, Navy Capt. Scott Phillpott - contradicted a central finding of the commission Congress had set up to probe the Sept. 11 attacks, which concluded that none of the hijackers had been known to U.S. authorities before the assault.
Note: Though the major media once gave Able Danger good coverage, only the Sacramento Bee has mentioned that the team's leader is one of the individuals who stepped forward. For lots more on the vitally important Able Danger program, click here.