Shaffer Forms Spy Firm with Blackwater and Able Danger Vets
An article at Wired lets us know about “Jellyfish,” a new “corporate-information” company:
Veterans from the most infamous private security firm on Earth and one of the military’s most controversial data mining operations are teaming up to provide the Fortune 500 with their own private spies.
Take one part Blackwater, and another part Able Danger, the military data-mining op that claimed to have identified members of al-Qaida living in the United States before 9/11. Put ‘em together, and you’ve got a new company called Jellyfish.
Jellyfish is about corporate-information dominance. It swears it’s leaving all the spy-world baggage behind. No guns, no governments digging through private records of its citizens.
Jellyfish’s chief technology officer is J.D. Smith, who was part of Able Danger until lawyers for the U.S. Special Operations Command shut the program down in 2000. Also from Able Danger is Tony Shaffer, Jellyfish’s “military operations adviser” and the ex-Defense Intelligence Agency operative who became the public face of the program in dramatic 2005 congressional testimony.
Anthony Shaffer is known to many readers of this blog for his role in Able Danger. Anthony claims that before 9/11, he identified and uncovered 2 of the 3 alleged terrorist cells including Mohamed Atta and other alleged 9/11 hijackers. Shaffer’s testimony and allegations were ignored by Phillip Zelikow and the 9/11 Commission completely.
Anthony has been honest and upfront about not being a “truther.” He further says, “not to say that I don’t believe there are issues that need to be investigated: I do. My focus has been, and will continue to be, on the conspiracies I know for a fact exist.” “Some of you don’t believe in Al Qaeda, I do. Some of you think the Government could’ve done this (9/11), I don’t,” Anthony says. He also asks, “where is our tax-payer money going?” (More here)
In a blog at antiwar.com, the author Kelley B. Vlahos describes Anthony in this way:
Shaffer is hardly a rogue, and certainly not antiwar in the classic sense. But he says he is finding a lot of common ground with people who have long been, or just coming around to, questioning the war. He says his personal story, his struggle to do his job effectively and to “make sure that what was broken in the system got fixed,” revealed to him that the government in many ways was working against itself.
Vlahos was reporting the fact that the Pentagon had ordered each and every one of Anthony’s book, “Operation Dark Heart” and subsequently destroyed all 10,000 copies of the first print.
The book was released in a second print, but with “redactions in over 250 of the 320 pages.” Anthony has filed a lawsuit for infringment on his freedom of speech. From the same Antiwar.com blog:
Arguing his First Amendment right to free speech, Shaffer is suing the Department of Defense, the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency to get the original Dark Heart reprinted, sans the big black lines.
And this is from Anthony Shaffer’s blog section at CommandPosts, “a site for the authors of St. Martin’s Press to comment on military news, history, and relevant fiction”:
No matter what one’s rank is, from Private, E-1 through General Officer, it is important—critical—to speak truth to power—whether retired or active duty.
In 2005, at the request of then-Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert and other senior Congressional leaders, I was asked to assist in a Congressional investigation of an operation known as ABLE DANGER and started speaking out about it to the American people. February 15, 2006, I testified in front of the House Armed Services Committee, and shared information about the team’s finding Mohammed Atta’s cell in advance of 9/11. Though the 9/11 Commission failed to include Operation ABLE DANGER in its report, following an IG investigation, the Commission acknowledged ABLE DANGER. However, it was said that there was no evidence to confirm early discovery of Atta.
My testimony details my knowledge of ABLE DANGER, my role in the operations, and the attempts to arrange the transfer of the data (to include that concerning Atta) to the FBI the year before the 9/11 attacks.
Though my testimony is available online, for public access, for reasons that are still unclear to me, DIA attempted to redact specific facts regarding ABLE DANGER, within Operation Dark Heart. After stating that I would have the testimony included in the book as an addendum, DIA backed off some. The chapter still includes redactions—for reasons unknown— but most of the critical information regarding my meeting with Dr. Phillip Zelikow in October 2003 remains intact.
I wrote Operation Dark Heart in a balanced way: I acknowledged and respected security, insured that information that could assist the enemy was not disclosed, and at the same time provided the public a look into a complex world of military and intelligence operations.
Written from my perspective, Operation Dark Heart defines and states the mistakes made, the lessons we need to learn, and suggestions for success in the future. I’d like to see the military and our government learn from past mistakes, rather than repeat them. It may be a long shot, but one can always hope
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