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Profile: Land Information Warfare Activity

 
  

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Land Information Warfare Activity actively participated in the following events:

 
  

Mid-1999-November 1999: LIWA Data Mining Study Causes Controversy After Connecting Prominent US Figures to Weapons Purchases for Chinese Military      Complete 911 Timeline

      
Hua Di.
A report commissioned in mid-1999 by Rep. Curt Weldon (R) looks into possible Chinese front companies in the US seeking technology for the Chinese military. Dr. Eileen Preisser and Michael Maloof are commissioned to make the report. Dr. Preisser, who runs the Information Dominance Center at the US Army's Land Information Warfare Activity (LIWA) and will later become closely tied to Able Danger, uses LIWA's data mining capabilities to search unclassified information. According to Maloof, their results show Chinese front companies in the US posing as US corporations that acquire technology from US defense contractors. When the study is completed in November 1999, the General Counsel's office in the Office of the Defense Secretary orders the study destroyed. Weldon complains about this to Army Chief of Staff Eric Shinseki, and apparently delays the destruction of the report. Weldon also writes a letter to FBI Director Louis Freeh requesting an espionage investigation into these Chinese links, but Freeh never responds to this. [Washington Times, 10/9/05] As part of this report, LIWA analysts had produced a chart of Chinese strategic and business connections in the US. But this data mining effort runs into controversy when the chart apparently shows connections between future National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, former Defense Secretary William Perry, and other prominent US figures, and business deals benefiting the Chinese military. [New York Post, 8/27/05; Washington Times, 9/22/05] The China chart was put together by private contractor James D. Smith, who will come forward in August 2005 to corroborate revelations about the Able Danger unit and its findings (see August 22-September 1, 2005). The New York Post later says there is “no suggestion that Rice or any of the others had done anything wrong.” [New York Post, 8/27/05] However, articles first appear one month later and through 2001 in the conservative publications WorldNetDaily and NewsMax, which connect Perry and Rice to Hua Di, a Chinese missile scientist and possible spy, and question the nature of their relationship with him. [WorldNetDaily, 4/5/00; WorldNetDaily, 12/21/99; NewsMax, 1/24/01] Di defected to the US in 1989 and worked most of the 1990s at Stanford University's Center for International Security and Arms Control, which was co-directed by Perry. Di later returned to China and is subsequently sentenced to ten years in prison for writing influential articles said to reveal vital Chinese state secrets. [Stanford Report, 2/7/01] However, other accounts claim that he was in fact passing on disinformation through these articles, successfully misleading the US military for a couple of years about the abilities of certain Chinese missile programs. [WorldNetDaily, 12/21/99] Additionally, Hua Di teamed in 1994 with Stanford professor Dr. John Lewis and William Perry to buy an advanced AT&T fiber-optic communications system for “civilian” use inside China that instead is used by the Chinese army. The General Accounting Office later criticized the sale. In 1997, Stanford University investigated Dr. Lewis for his role in it, but Condoleezza Rice, serving as a Stanford provost at the time, apparently stopped the investigation. [WorldNetDaily, 4/5/00; NewsMax, 1/24/01] Able Danger and LIWA's data mining efforts will be severely proscribed in April 2000 as part of the fallout from this China controversy (see April 2000), and the destruction of their collected data will follow shortly thereafter (see May-June 2000).
People and organizations involved: Hua Di, William Perry, China, F. Michael Maloof, Eileen Preisser, Land Information Warfare Activity, Curt Weldon, Louis J. Freeh, Condoleezza Rice, James D. Smith, Eric Shinseki
          

April 2000: LIWA Support For Able Danger Program Ends; It Later Restarts      Complete 911 Timeline

       Four analysts from the US Army's Land Information Warfare Activity (LIWA) unit are forced to stop their work supporting the Able Danger program. At the same time, private contractors working for Able Danger are fired. This occurs around the time that it becomes known by some inside the military that LIWA had identified future National Security Advisor and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former Defense Secretary William Perry, and other prominent Americans as potential security risks (see April 2000). It was apparently these LIWA analysts (such as Dr. Eileen Preisser) and contractors (such as James D. Smith) who conducted most of the data mining and analysis of al-Qaeda in the preceding months. One of the four LIWA analysts, Maj. Erik Kleinsmith, will later be ordered to destroy all the data collected (see May-June 2000). LIWA's support for Able Danger will resume a few months later (see Late September 2000). [Erik Kleinsmith Statement, 9/21/05; Washington Times, 9/22/05; New York Post, 8/27/05]
People and organizations involved: James D. Smith, William Perry, Able Danger, Eileen Preisser, Condoleezza Rice, Land Information Warfare Activity
          

May-June 2000: Army Officer Told to Destroy Able Danger Documents      Complete 911 Timeline

      
Erik Kleinsmith.
Maj. Eric Kleinsmith, chief of intelligence for the Land Information Warfare Activity (LIWA) unit, is ordered to destroy data and documents related to a military intelligence program set up to gather information about al-Qaeda. The program, called Able Danger, has identified Mohamed Atta and three other future hijackers as potential threats (see January-February 2000). According to Kleinsmith, by April 2000 it has collected “an immense amount of data for analysis that allowed us to map al-Qaeda as a worldwide threat with a surprisingly significant presence within the United States.”(see January-February 2000) [Fox News, 9/21/05; New York Times, 9/22/05] The data is being collected on behalf of Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Lambert, the J3 at US Special Operations Command, who is said to be extremely upset when he learns that the data had been destroyed without his knowledge or consent. [Curt Weldon Statement, 9/21/05] Around this time, a separate LIWA effort showing links between prominent US citizens and the Chinese military has been causing controversy, and apparently this data faces destruction as well (see April 2000). The data and documents have to be destroyed in accordance with Army regulations prohibiting the retention of data about US persons for longer than 90 days, unless it falls under one of several restrictive categories. However, during a Senate Judiciary Committee public hearing in September 2005, a Defense Department representative admits that Mohamed Atta was not considered a US person. The representative also acknowledges that regulations would have probably allowed the Able Danger information to be shared with law enforcement agencies before its destruction. Asked why this was not done, he responds, “I can't tell you.” [CNET News, 9/21/05] The order to destroy the data and documents is given to Kleinsmith by Army Intelligence and Security Command General Counsel Tony Gentry, who jokingly tells him, “Remember to delete the data—or you'll go to jail.” [Government Executive, 9/21/05] The quantity of information destroyed is later described as “2.5 terabytes,” about as much as one-fourth of all the printed materials in the Library of Congress. [Associated Press, 9/16/05] Other records associated with the unit are allegedly destroyed in March 2001 and spring 2004 (see Spring 2004). [Mark Zaid Statement, 9/21/05; Associated Press, 9/21/05; Fox News, 9/24/05]
People and organizations involved: Eric Kleinsmith, Land Information Warfare Activity, Able Danger, Tony Gentry, Geoffrey Lambert, al-Qaeda, Mohamed Atta
          

Late September 2000: LIWA Support for Able Danger Is Renewed      Complete 911 Timeline

       The US Army's Land Information Warfare Activity (LIWA) unit had been providing important support for Able Danger until about April 2000 (see April 2000). Near the end of September 2000, that support is renewed. In the wake of the loss of LIWA's help, Able Danger utilizes additional private contractors. This new composition of Able Danger in late 2000 is called Able Danger II by some. The first version of Able Danger utilized only unclassified information; this second version uses a significant amount of classified information as well. [Erik Kleinsmith Statement, 9/21/05; Mark Zaid Statement, 9/21/05]
People and organizations involved: Land Information Warfare Activity, Able Danger
          

Early 2004: Weldon Fails to Convince 9/11 Commission to Look into Data Mining Programs      Complete 911 Timeline

      
Rep. Curt Weldon.
Rep. Curt Weldon (R) is not yet familiar with Able Danger, though he will help bring information about the program to light in 2005. However, he is familiar with the closely related Land Information Warfare Activity (LIWA) program, having had dealings with it before 9/11. He says he is frustrated at the apparent lack of understanding about programs like LIWA based on the lines of questioning at public 9/11 Commission hearings in early 2004, so, “On at least four occasions, I personally tried to brief the 9/11 Commissioners on: NOAH [Weldon's pre-9/11 suggestion to have a National Operations and Analysis Hub]; integrative data collaboration capabilities; my frustration with intelligence stovepipes; and al-Qaeda analysis. However, I was never able to achieve more than a five-minute telephone conversation with Commissioner Thomas Kean. On March 24, 2004, I also had my Chief of Staff personally hand deliver a document about LIWA, along [with] questions for George Tenet to the Commission, but neither was ever used.” [Curt Weldon Statement, 9/21/05] He says, “The next week, they sent a staffer over to pick up some additional materials about the NIWA, about the concept, and about information I had briefed them on. They never followed up and invited me to come in and meet with them. So they can't say that I didn't try.” [Curt Weldon Press Conference, 9/17/05]
People and organizations involved: Thomas Kean, George Tenet, 9/11 Commission, Land Information Warfare Activity, Curt Weldon
          

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