Thursday, December 20, 2007

Information Dominance, Part 7

We continue from Part 6 reviewing testimony from a 2005 Congressional hearing entitled ABLE DANGER AND INTELLIGENCE INFORMATION SHARING.

Chairman Specter is questioning Congressman Weldon.

Chairman Specter. Congressman Weldon, had this information been called to the attention of the National Security Advisor?

Representative Weldon. Mr. Chairman, 2 weeks after 9/11, some of the folks at the Army's LIWA and involved in Able Danger came into my office and brought me a chart, a chart that had Al Qaeda linkages and pan-Islamic terrorist threats, I think was the way the chart was categorized. I took that chart immediately down to the White House and provided it to Steven Hadley and I took with me Dan Burton, Chairman of the Government Operations Oversight Committee.

Chairman Specter. And when was that?

Representative Weldon. That was 2 weeks after 9/11, so it would have been September 25. And I took it down immediately. As soon as I got it, I said, I have got to get this down to the White House. Steven Hadley's response to me was, "Where did you get this from, Congressman?" I said, I got it from the Army's Information Dominance Center. I said, this is the process that has been used, and I have been trying to convince the government for 3 years to put into place that the CIA has refused to accept, because up until the establishment of the TTIC, the Terrorism Threat Integration Center, the CIA was not using open source information, which to me was a disaster in itself for our National intelligence estimates.

And so I said to Mr. Hadley, I said, this is a process they use to obtain this information, and he said to me, and I remember this quote sticks out in my head, and I gave a speech at the Heritage Foundation a year later which is still online, you can get a copy of it and listen to my speech as it was given then, that--he said, "I have got to show this to the man." And I said, the man? He said, "Yes, the President of the United States." So I gave him the chart.

Now, some say, why didn't you keep a copy of the chart? Well, my goal there wasn't to keep a copy of a chart involving something that just happened to destroy the lives of 3,000 people. I gave it to our Deputy National Security Advisor. That information was information gleaned from the work of Able Danger and the work being done by the team that wanted to testify today.

The worst terrorist attack ever had just occurred, and Congressman Weldon came across a chart showing valuable information about the perpetrators, so he hurried over to White House, to make the chart available to America's Commander-in-Chief -- the man who, everyone knew, would be leading the defense and counterattack.

No problem there, right?

Chairman Specter. The FBI agent you referred to a few moments ago was Xanthie Mangum?

Representative Weldon. Yes.

Chairman Specter. Would you care to testify about those large charts you have up here?

Representative Weldon. Sure, if I could have my staff line them up on the side. The first chart is actually a reproduced version of what was provided to Steven Hadley. I wanted to reproduce this and asked if it could be reproduced, and this is what bothers me about the military saying the data was destroyed and why I suggested that perhaps the hard drives and the servers from the companies who did this work should be subpoenaed and brought in.

Supposedly this 2.5 terabytes of information had been destroyed, yet briefings continued to be given based on this information, and here, years later, a chart based on it is reproduced.

This is actually a chart of Al Qaeda and the various cells around the world. Much of this data--most of it was obtained prior to 9/11 by the work of Able Danger. This was the kind of work they did. The link analysis they did on this chart, as you see, there is actual photograph of Mohammed Atta--

Chairman Specter. What does that depict generally?

Representative Weldon. It depicts the organizational and activity associations of Al Qaeda operatives that were involved in 9/11 and related events. Much of this data was obtained before 9/11 from information that was gathered from the 1993 attack, the individuals involved in that attack, the attack on the U.S.S. Cole, the attack at the African embassies, and what they did, they identified five key cells of Al Qaeda worldwide, one of which was the Brooklyn cell, and so they were gathering this information and basically assembling it in the data mining process in 1999 and 2000. When I went to Hadley, the chart that I gave him was an assemblage of that information that they had, which was massive and which you will hear in a moment as equal to one-fourth of all the printed material in the Library of Congress.

In 1999 and 2000 they had Al Qaeda all mapped out!

And somebody ordered the information destroyed -- or so it seemed. Officially, it had been destroyed, but somewhere in secret, at least some of it lived on.

Why would unclassified information about one of our nation's deadliest enemies, an enemy already responsible for a laundry-list of terrorist attacks, be ordered destroyed?

Once it was ordered destroyed, why would it be kept?

None of this adds up.


Chairman Specter. And who prepared the chart?

Representative Weldon. The chart was prepared by a corporation, Orion Corporation, and my understanding from your staff is that they were not totally forthcoming to you. They told your staff initially they only produced two charts. When I pulled out 12 charts, because I have 12 charts that I kept on my own, your staff went back to the lawyer for Orion, which is now owned by another security firm. My understanding, and you can check with your staff, is that they have been delivered something like 20 charts.

But the initial response of Orion was they only produced two charts and they only produced charts on white backgrounds. Well, I have charts in my possession that they produced with their name on them, their insignia, their logo, that are in black, that are in green, that are in all kinds of colors. They were charts that dealt with Chinese proliferation, corruption in Russia, corruption in Serbia, charts that dealt with drug cartels and drug cells. All of this work was done by Orion. So Orion was the corporation.

Once they started looking at Al Qaeda using open-source information, and had a computer system collecting the information and making the connections, the can of worms was open for anyone to see!

Terrorists used to be funded -- and, to some extent, controlled -- by nation-states. Now, however, in the New World Disorder, terrorists understood that they needed to be more self-sufficient. Narcotraffickers were already generating money battling essentially the same enemy -- some government somewhere -- so a natural alliance was born. Obviously, Able Danger is going to connect Al Qaeda to drug cartels and drug cells, and Central Asia's heroin trade is going to come up.

But, it certainly isn't going to end there!

Drug cartels are going to be involved in other types of criminal activities, and terrorists will want to obtain more powerful weapons. The nuclear black market is a criminal activity that has blinding potential, so naturally connections were made to nuclear proliferation, and of course, once nuclear proliferation is the subject, China will show up on the radar.

If proliferation and China are connected to this, you know the Clinton Administration plays a role, as does China's ally Pakistan, which was a player with Islamic terrorists, and where Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan's nuclear weapons technology proliferation ring was based. What goes around comes around.

But wait, there's more!

Organized crime syndicates will also be involved in legal business ventures. To facilitate both legal and illegal activities, they will need influence with certain government officials. Enter the corruption in various nations -- Russia and Serbia were mentioned, but don't for a moment think those two nations are the only ones on the planet that have a problem with corruption.

Turkey and various groups in the Balkans were tied in both to the heroin trade and to government corruption, making the connection to Al Qaeda and the Taliban in one direction, and to the Turkish and US governments in the other.

Turkey and Israel are closer together than one may think by looking at a map, and Israel's intelligence activities in the US result in someone getting arrested for spying every few years (and many quietly being released, to avoid dissension in the ranks) -- if Turkey and the ATC were connected, surely Israel and AIPAC were mentioned somewhere, and where Turkey, Israel, ATC and AIPAC can be found, neocons are sure to be nearby.

Had not Able Danger, investigating Al Qaeda, somehow already come up with Stanford University, and a certain National Security Advisor and later Secretary of State who worked there for many, many years before leaving in December of 2000 to join the Bush Administration (see Part 4)? This was the very National Security Advisor to whose attention Congressman Weldon had brought this matter, as described in the opening passage of this post.

Some of these corrupt government officials in the United States were probably quite concerned when they found out who they were really connected with -- who was really paying their bribes.

Others already knew only too well who their real bosses were; their main nightmare was that someone somewhere might connect the dots, and here was Able Danger, a machine with no political ax to grind -- and it was making that nightmare happen!

Not only was Al Qaeda mapped out, even down to the Brooklyn cell -- complete with an actual photograph of Mohammed Atta no less! -- but very important people in the United States were having their dirty laundry exposed for all to see!

No, this had to be stopped. The information could be useful, in the right hands, but it was very, very dangerous in the wrong hands.

And, in fact, one of the witnesses was an executive, I believe the Vice President of Orion, is that correct? He was the Vice President of Orion. He was a senior officer at Orion Corporation, and he was one of the people scheduled to appear before you today.

The second chart, Mr. Chairman, is for me the most important. This is what we have to have. This is Al Qaeda today. Now, I have been told by the military liaisons of the NCTC that our NCTC cannot do this kind of massive data analysis and link chart analysis that has been done by our Information Dominance Centers, so what I have been working with is the Army and the Navy in generating a next-generation capability called Able Providence. In fact, the Navy has even supplied us the budget numbers and the line where they would want the money submitted so that we could create this kind of additional capability. This gives you a massive effort worldwide of what Al Qaeda is doing.

Mr. Chairman, to win the war on terrorism, it is not about classified information, and when I try to convey to the CIA against a road block of their mindset, which Senator Grassley referred to, they just didn't want to hear it. They didn't want to use open sources of information. And the bulk of the good information about terrorists, in fact, comes from open source information.

I will be glad to provide charts for the Committee so you have permanent records of each.

Chairman Specter. Thank you. My red light went on during your answer.

I don't know about you, but my red light went on a long time ago.

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