Friday, August 12, 2005

"Inaccurate in a Significant Way"

"Al Felzenberg, who served as the commission's chief spokesman, said earlier this week that staff members who were briefed about Able Danger at a first meeting, in October 2003, did not remember hearing anything about Mr. Atta or an American terrorist cell. On Wednesday, however, Mr. Felzenberg said the uniformed officer who briefed two staff members in July 2004 had indeed mentioned Mr. Atta."

(snip) This article is dated August 11th. Wednesday was August 10th. Earlier this week is either Monday or Tuesday. Would it be, um, inaccurate to say "On Tuesday Mr. Felzenberg said thus and such, today he contradicts his earlier statement"?

Mr. Felzenberg said the commission's staff remained convinced that the information provided by the military officer in the July 2004 briefing was inaccurate in a significant way.
"He wasn't brushed off," Mr. Felzenberg said of the officer. "I'm not aware of anybody being brushed off. The information that he provided us did not mesh with other conclusions that we were drawing" from the commission's investigation.

(snip) Oh God. This is shameful. Translation: "We had already made up our minds. What he told us contradicted what we already knew, so we dismissed it out of hand. After all, it was our job to inquire into intelligence failures concerning Sept. 11th, and he was telling us things we didn't already know, so they had to be wrong."

Mr. Felzenberg said staff investigators had become wary of the officer because he argued that Able Danger had identified Mr. Atta, an Egyptian, as having been in the United States in late 1999 or early 2000. The investigators knew this was impossible, Mr. Felzenberg said, since travel records confirmed that he had not entered the United States until June 2000.

(snip) See above. Also, what, or whose travel record? Why didn't they ask themselves, "Hmm, I wonder if something is amiss here? We have contradictions." Francis Bacon, Galileo, Copernicus, Newton, Kepler and a few other made great successes of that question.

The Sept. 11 commission issued its final report on July 22, 2004. Mr. Felzenberg noted that the interview with the military officer had taken place in the final, hectic days before the commission sent the report to the printers, and said the meeting reflected a willingness by the commission to gather facts, even at the last possible minute.

"Lots of stuff was coming in over the transom," Mr. Felzenberg said. "Lots of stuff was flying around. At the end of the day, when you're writing the report, you have to take facts presented to you."

Translation: "If we listened to the Able Danger facts, they would have upset and invalidated everything we'd already concluded. The printer would have been pissed. Have you ever worked with the Congressional Printing office? The guy makes Hitler look like George Bush."

(snip, to the first paragraph of this story, to shoot at the torturous writing)

WASHINGTON, Aug. 10 - The Sept. 11 commission was warned by a uniformed military officer 10 days before issuing its final report that the account would be incomplete without reference to what he described as a secret military operation that by the summer of 2000 had identified as a potential threat the member of Al Qaeda who would lead the attacks more than a year later, commission officials said on Wednesday.

How is this to be read? Is "secret military report" all that belongs with "he described", and everything that follows the reporter's ramblings? Or is it meant to be read as bolded? MY previous post, Tony Blair Drops a Clampdown on the Veil is meant to parody this journalistic 'style'.

Thanks to RantingProfs for pointing Smoothing Plane to this story. I think as Rep. Weldon chases down this story, the 9-11 Commission and many others will wish he were someone with less zeal, like Inspector Jouvay (sic) from Les Miserable.

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