Able Danger Blog

Click here to order Triple Cross in paperback now

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Comparing treatment of Plame and Shaffer stories

Columnist Jack Kelly in Toledo writes:

"Scandal with real victim ignored"

"The Able Danger intelligence, if confirmed, is undoubtedly the most relevant fact of the entire post-9/11 inquiry," wrote former FBI Director Louis Freeh in The Wall Street Journal.

A half-dozen former members of the Able Danger team are ready to back up Colonel Shaffer's story, according to U.S. Rep. Curt Weldon (R., Pa.), who first made Able Danger public.

But the Defense Department has prevented Colonel Shaffer and other Able Danger team members from testifying before Congress. And the Defense Intelligence Agency is trying to fire Colonel Shaffer on a variety of trumped-up charges, the most "serious" of which is that as a teenager, Mr. Shaffer stole note pads and pens from a U.S. embassy to use in his high school classwork.

Mr. Weldon has gathered the signatures from 201 colleagues for public hearings on Able Danger, but attracted next to no media attention.

Gallons of ink and hours of airtime have been devoted to faux victims Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson in a case that has much to do with politics and nothing to do with national security. Shouldn't journalists devote some attention to Tony Shaffer, a real victim and a scandal that really does involve national security?

UPDATE: I disagree that the Plame case has "nothing to do with national security" - we don't really know because the CIA never released a report. It seems to me like the issue with sources recruited by Brewster Jennings employees is real. However, we know exactly what happened and might have been prevented except for the problems Able Danger encountered. 9/11. You'd think someone could spare an investigative reporter or two to look into the Able Danger story, instead of leaving it up to Weldon to drive the story and coverage on his own.