Friday, August 12, 2005

Able Danger

By nature I am not a conspiracy theory nut.

While I love watching shows about UFOs, I do not believe there are any aliens at Area 51. I'm not convinced Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, but doubt the CIA organized JFKs assasination.

However, the recent revelation that a secret military group code-named Able Danger new about four of the Sept. 11 attackers a year before the event strikes me as odd.

What is strange to me is the code-name. First, it sure sounds fake, to much like a bad movie or book title. I would think such a secret group would be given the most innocuous name possible. Like Peanut Butter, or Organization to Discover The Inner Workings of Groups From Other Nations Not Happy With the Current State of the World. If you want to be overlooked, never put the word dangerous in your name. Just ask Johnny Dangerous. Sorry, bad joke.

The next indicator is the word Able. Pretty blah right. To any civilian it means whatever the dictionary says. Capable, etc. However, Able was once a part of the US military phonetic alphabet. It stood for A. Just so you know a phonetic alphabet is used so there is no misunderstanding during a radio call. If you are calling in an artillery strike onto map coordinate DM549233 you do not want the D to be confused with B and the M with N. God knows where the artillery will land, perhaps on you. So the military requires that you say a word instead of a letter. In this case Delta Mike549233.

Until the mid 1950s the military used Able A, Baker B, Charlie C, Dog D and so on. Then it switched to the current model that has Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta and so on. To me it would seem that a modern military unit would use Alpha, not Able. A person using Able is one likely to have seen to many episodes of MASH or Combat and was not up on current phonetic usage.

To my non-conspiratory mind Able Danger sounds like a hoax. Maybe someone want to damage the governments credibility. In a day and age when CBS News could be fooled into believing a computer generated document was really from the 1960s then this could also be a hoax.

I do not know for sure, but it might be worth considering.


At 7:31 PM, Anonymous Heinrich Beck said...

I'm not sure how the Army picks code names, but in the Navy, I worked on a number of code named projects.

All the code names where the dullest dishwater words that some computer picked randomly and in no way reflected the work we were doing. Also, the code words tended to be verbs.

Example: Leave, Tolerate, Peruse.


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