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Get Ready For FOX News To Blame Clinton For 9/11

Reported by Ellen - August 19, 2005

In a mercifully Holloway-free show last night (8/18/05), Hannity & Colmes took a few minutes to cover the Able Danger story. As Judy reported yesterday, FOX has already begun licking its chops over the prospect of "revelations" that the Clinton Administration may have missed information that could have prevented 9/11 and then kept it out of the 9/11 Commission's report. While I have yet to see a guest on FOX News discuss the 9/11 warnings that the Bush Administration overlooked, FOX News has already twice hosted Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, who claims he was the one thwarted by Clinton's Pentagon and then overlooked by the 9/11 Commssion.

Shaffer, who worked in 2000 as an army intelligence officer with a secret unit called Able Danger, claimed that his unit used data-mining techniques to identify four of the 9/11 hijackers a year before the 9/11 attacks, i.e. during the Clinton Administration. Shaffer said that he tried to warn the FBI but was stopped by Pentagon lawyers. He reportedly told the 9/11 Commission about that only to find that the information he provided was omitted from the 9/11 report.

mediamatters.org has a lengthy analysis raising a number of questions about these allegations, including the 9/11 Commission's explanation as to why they did not find the information provided to them specific enough or sufficiently well substantiated to include in its report.

As he later explained on his radio show, Colmes only had two minutes to discuss the issue on Hannity & Colmes. Rather than go into the intricacies of who said what, when, he focused on five other, more important warnings that the Bush administration missed, as detailed in Chapter 8 of the 9/11 Commission Report. Those included Richard Clarke's June 25, 2001 warning to Condoleezza Rice and Stephen Hadley that six separate intelligence reports showed Al Qaeda personnel warning of a pending attack and the August 6, 2001 presidential daily briefing entitled "Bin Laden Determined To Strike in U.S." Colmes said he thought those overlooked warnings were far more significant; Shaffer didn't disagree.

Surprisingly, Sean Hannity was missing his usual indignance and never even mentioned Bill Clinton while questioning Shaffer. I can only think that Hannity's head was in the clouds after three days of swanning around with the border patrol and the Minute Men on the Texas/New Mexico/Mexico border for a special report. However, Hannity said the two big questions are: First, who stopped the report from reaching the FBI? Answer: the rule of law, as per an email we received yesterday written by former Republican Senator Slate Gorton.

The other question was why has the 9/11 Commission changed their story on what they learned from Able Danger? Shaffer, of course, didn't know but he got in the undoubtedly welcome-to-Hannity allegation that the Commission's Report of his meeting with them was completely wrong. Comment: Senator Gorton makes a pretty convincing argument in the email about why the 9/11 Commission did not include Shaffer's evidence in its report. That letter was printed in yesterday's Washington Times. Yet Hannity conveniently ignored the substance of Gorton's explanation and relied on the vague smear that the Commission changed its story a number of times.

Comment: It's a safe bet that we will hear more about this story which must look like a possible dream-come-true for FOX News execs. The only thing better would be allegations that Hillary had a menage a trois with Mohammed Atta and Cindy Sheehan. Who knows? That could be next.

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