The Pentagon has admitted buying up and destroying 10,000 copies of Operation Dark Heart, the new book by Bronze Star recipient and former Defense Intelligence Agency officer Lt. Col Anthony Shaffer.
The only reasoning for this move that I can think of is to promote and bring attention to the “insiders let it happen on purpose” (LIHOP) theory of the 9/11 attacks. (To see a nice logical summary of the ten main theories, click here: WHAT IS YOUR “HOP” LEVEL?.)
Before going down the rabbit hole, I’m going to make one big assumption: the folks at the Pentagon aren’t dummies.
Assuming that, one can make the following deductions:
1. The Pentagon knows how much attention any story involving “book burning” will generate after the recent media firestorm surrounding Florida pastor Terry Jones’ plan to burn copies of the Qur’an on the ninth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
2. The Pentagon knows burning copies of a book during the digital age doesn’t erase the book (anyone can prove this: just download a thousand copies of the Qur’an or The Bible, print them out, and burn them. See? Didn’t stop anybody from reading them, did it?) And besides, the Pentagon did not destroy dozens of copies sent to editors before the book was published; Wikileaks, anyone?
3. The Pentagon must be well aware of the Streisand Effect:
The Streisand effect is a primarily online phenomenon in which an attempt to censor or remove a piece of information has the unintended consequence of causing the information to be publicized widely and to a greater extent than would have occurred if no censorship had been attempted. It is named after American entertainer Barbra Streisand, following a 2003 incident in which her attempts to suppress photographs of her residence inadvertently generated further publicity.
Shoving 9/11 in our face
What’s more, the Pentagon wants us to be sure why they’re drawing attention to Operation Dark Heart: given that Lt. Col Anthony Shaffer’s book is more generally about the Afghan War, the Pentagon points to information about 9/11 foreknowledge being the cause of censorship:
Specifically, the DIA wanted references to a meeting between Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer, the book’s author, and the executive director of the 9/11 Commission, Philip Zelikow, removed. In that meeting, which took place in Afghanistan, Shaffer alleges the commission was told about “Able Danger” and the identification of Atta before the attacks. No mention of this was made in the final 9/11 report.
Lt. Col Shaffer and Able Danger
Just to refresh your memory, remember that during the original investigation of the September 11, 2001 attacks, Lt. Col Shaffer asserted that a classified intelligence program codenamed Able Danger had uncovered two of the three 9/11 terrorist cells a year before the attacks, and had identified four of the hijackers. Shaffer alerted the FBI in September of 2000, but the meetings he tried to set up with bureau officials were repeatedly blocked by military lawyers. Four credible witnesses came forward to verify Shaffer’s claims.
Investigation with no witnesses
Not surprisingly, if the LIHOP theory is to be believed, Lt. Col Shaffer and the other four members of Able Danger who could back him up were ordered not to testify by the Depart of Defense when Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter held a hearing on September 21, 2005, to look into the facts.
In addition, Former Army Major Erik Kleinsmith, former head of the Pentagon’s Land Warfare Analysis Department, testified at the hearing that he had been instructed to destroy data and documents related to Able Danger in May and June 2000. When asked whether the information could have prevented the attack on September 11 of 2001, he answered that he would not speculate to that, but that the information might have been useful.
Subsequently, the entire matter was whitewashed in the report of a September 2006 investigation by the Defense Department Inspector General’s office, filled with irregularities, which concluded that “the evidence did not support assertions that Able Danger identified the September 11, 2001, terrorists nearly a year before the attack, that Able Danger team members were prohibited from sharing information with law enforcement authorities, or that DoD officials reprised against LTC Shaffer for his disclosures regarding Able Danger.”
So, why does the Pentagon want to draw attention to 9/11 foreknowledge? Why now?
If my original assumption is correct, not only are these guys smart, but they’re a lot smarter than me. The question may not be why are they drawing attention to Able Danger, but what are they using this episode to distract us from? Happy nightmares, folks ;-)