??¢â???¬?????I think the Department of Defense owes the American people an explanation of what went on here,??¢â???¬ Senate Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter (R.-Pa.) said this week after the Pentagon, arguing the program was classified, barred witnesses with knowledge of the military??¢â???¬â???¢s Able Danger data-mining-intelligence unit from publicly testifying at a September 21 committee hearing.
The questions: What did the Defense Department know about terrorist Mohammed Atta? When did it know it? And why didn??¢â???¬â???¢t it tell the FBI what it knew? ??¢â???¬?????The Pentagon has acknowledged that at least five members of Able Danger have said they recall a chart produced in 2000 that identified Mr. Atta ??¢â???¬ ¦,??¢â???¬ reported the New York Times. The Associated Press reported of the September 21 hearing: ??¢â???¬?????Erik Kleinsmith, a former Army major who worked on Able Danger, said he destroyed documents pertaining to Able Danger in 2000 because he was required to do so under Army regulations.??¢â???¬ ??¢â???¬?????Did we have information that identified Mohammed Atta???¢â???¬ William Dugan, an assistant to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld testified in the committee. ??¢â???¬?????I??¢â???¬â???¢ve heard the testimony presented, but I don??¢â???¬â???¢t know.??¢â???¬