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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Curt Weldon on Lou Dobbs

I'll update this with the transcript when it's available, but the most important new detail today was that Weldon met with Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England again last week and England said he would personally meet with Rumsfeld to discuss the letter from Weldon. Congressman Weldon expects a response this week. I wouldn't count on it, but 246 members of Congress is a hard group to ignore.

UPDATE: Here is the transcript. Another interesting quote from Weldon:

What's the 9/11 commission trying to hide? Are they worried about their linkages, their consulting contract with the Defense Department and the intelligence agencies, or do they really want to get to the truth.


From CNN:

DOBBS: Congressman Weldon joins us from Wilmington, Delaware. First of all, you have to be at least gratified that Tim Roemer, a member of the commission, said we should get to the bottom of this?

REP. CURT WELDON, (R) HOMELAND SECURITY CMTE.: I appreciate Tim saying that. You know, it's amazing, Lou. We spent $15 million and they hired 80 staff people and yet the 9/11 Commission has been more involved with spin since the Able Danger story has broken than they have been at getting at the truth. American people want the truth. Now you have a 9/11 Commission where the 9/11 family members are saying we don't trust what you reported. We don't believe you. You have the FBI director Louis Freeh saying, if we had the Able Danger information, we might have been able to stop the hijackings.

What's the 9/11 commission trying to hide? Are they worried about their linkages, their consulting contract with the Defense Department and the intelligence agencies, or do they really want to get to the truth.

If they want to get to the truth, Lou, they'll stop talking about what they didn't do and start talking about getting to bottom of the whole story.

DOBBS: The whole story, according to several of the former commission members, is all about that chart. Is there any evidence that the chart did exist? And how do you respond to putting forward the chart as the basis to move forward?

WELDON: That's a red herring, it's not about a chart. The Able Danger team amassed 2.5 terror bytes of information about al Qaeda. That's equal to one fourth of all the printed material in the Library of Congress. This was a briefing that was given to the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, General Sheldon.

It's not about a chart. That's their red herring to try deflect criticism away from them. It's about information about al Qaeda that we had before 9/11, and they owe it to the American people to help us find out the status of that information and why we didn't act on it.

DOBBS: You have more than half of the members of the U.S. Congress signed on with you, with your letter, seeking the opportunity for public hearings to free up the former members of Able Danger to testify before Congress, and the secretary of defense has not responded to you, what do you do now?

WELDON: I had a good meeting with the deputy secretary of defense, Gordon England. Rumsfeld was out of country last week and England told me that he would meet privately with Rumsfeld. I assume he did that over thanksgiving.

Gordon England and Rumsfeld are honorable men. I expect an answer this week, and this story's not going to go away. One hundred and three Democrats and 143 Republicans are saying we demand a public hearing, not a private session where people can hide or distort what's being said, an open public hearing.

Both the number two Democrat in the house Steny Hoyer, and the number two Republican in the House, Roy Blunt, signed this letter. It's time for us to get truth to the American people.

DOBBS: Congressman Curt Weldon, trying very much, trying as hard as anyone could to put forward the truth. Thank you very much for being with us, congressman.

WELDON: My pleasure.

DOBBS: We'll have much more on the Able Danger controversy tomorrow evening. Former FBI Director Louis Freeh will join us, he's blasted the 9/11 Commission as well for what he calls its incomplete investigation. He'll be our guest tomorrow night. Please be with us.