Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Able Danger: There's Something Happening Here

But what it is ain't exactly clear.

I don't know the details of Able Danger. If I did, I certainly would not say so. I don't talk, write, whisper or blog about intelligence operations.

I signed a nondisclosure agreement.

So did LTC Tony Shaffer, the military intelligence officer who is now talking.

A lot of people jumping on this story don't know jackshit about intelligence operations; the people who do know a thing or two about intelligence operations aren't talking -- not in a public way -- except for LTC Shaffer.

I watched the video of his appearance on Fox News. It didn't sit right with me... I don't know if it was the guy's demeanor or just the fact that he's way out on a limb .. I could almost hear it cracking.

He went public? On Fox News? National television? A military intelligence officer talking about a Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information program? Outside the chain-of-command? Or are we to understand that he is speaking for the U.S. Intelligence Community and the Secretary of Defense and the President of the United States? I don't think so.

I'm not necessarily questioning what he said, but rather how he went about it. He broke the law for one. Hell yeah, he did. You just don't go on national television and blab about intelligence operations.

There are procedures for disclosing intelligence information. Going on Fox News is not one of them.

Power Line had called for the source of the Able Danger story to be identified saying that the source's credibility could not be established otherwise. Maybe the Power Line lawyers will now represent LTC Shaffer. If so, I recommend that they familiarize themselves with sections 641, 793, 794, 798, 952, and 1924, Title 18, United States Code, and the provisions of Section 783(b), Title 50, United States Code.

This whole thing has the feel of keystone cops. Not the Able Danger unit, but the unauthorized disclosures about the unit.

Again, I'm not commenting on the substance of his remarks. I'm very familiar with the politics involved, the "Gorelick Wall", etc, etc. I'm just saying that something about the way the information is being disclosed is not computing.

I agree with Austin Bay. It's time for President Bush to speak up.

No comments: