There is some thing strange about the case of Lieutenant Colonel Shaffer (USAR) and "Able Danger."
His story, accepted thus far by the media, is that he was working in some Army or joint job as a reservist on active duty in 2000. While there (wherever there was) he says he was instrumental in causing a small Army intelligence project named "Able Danger" to be placed at the temporary disposal of the joint headquarters for Special Operations (USSOCOM)in Florida for a training exercise. Before 9/11 USSOCOM was a headquarters acting as a center for advocacy for the development of concepts, equipment and forces for the Special Operations (SOF) community. It did not direct combat operations. USSOCOM had been created by Congress as an advocate for the SOF forces.
In LTC Shaffer’s story the "Able Danger" project was a capability under development by Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) for the purpose of using computers, the internet and open data bases to "mine" information using software that had as its purpose a search for "links" or relationships between people and groups in all that data.
According to Shaffer, the project, in the course of searching for related persons connected to Al-Qa’ida, connected the dots among the four 9/11 hijackers and somehow related them to Brooklyn, NY. Why that connection to Brooklyn existed is not clear.
As the story goes on, the AD group, and possibly Shaffer, appealed to USSOCOM to release their results about the four to the FBI a year before the attacks in the US. Shaffer says that the Staff Judge Advocate (General Counsel) at USSOCOM and maybe DoD nixed that on the basis that these four characters were legal residents of the US whose right to privacy had to be respected and that this was the end of it until this year when the Navy asked for a revival of the project and he, Shaffer, looked at it again and felt upset about so little having been done with the results in 2000 and for that reason he, Shaffer, who now works at least part time at the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), is making the rounds of the media to "expose" the situation.
LTC Shaffer also says that the 9/11 commission was told of the results of AD while holding hearings and did nothing with the material, in effect, burying it. The 9/11 commission denies this.
Shaffer also states that he has been in touch with "DoD leadership" in the last couple of days and implies that they have encouraged him in what he is doing.
He specifically mentions Steven Cambone, the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence.
This is all quite strange.
It is possible that a small scale research project of the INSCOM could have been loaned to USSOCOM and could have produced such a result, but people with access to the history of government activity at that time concerning AQ say that they know nothing of this project and have never heard of it.
It is possible that the lawyers at USSOCOM could have taken such a position based on lawyerly caution and exagerated concern for the welfare of their client, CINC USSOCOM. Lawyers seem to generally know the cost of everything and the value of nothing. Nevertheless, it is also true that if the CINC at USSOCOM had wanted to give the data to the FBI, he would simply have done so. What the lawyers would have been talking about would have been their collective opinions rather than a specific and clear statute and he could have simply ignored them. I know this from personal experience.
Lastly, what is a still acive US Army Reserve field grade officer doing running around giving briefings on TV and acting as a source for the "outing" of this or any other government program?
"Is a "puzzlement."" Anyone who can fill in any blanks or supply any dots, please do so.