Able Danger Blog

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Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Still no coverage

I'm not finding anything about the press conference yet, but Rory O'Connor has this update posted before it began:

Representative Curt Weldon, Republican from Pennsylvania, has just fired another salvo in his ongoing battle against the Defense Department over the Able Danger “information warfare” program. According to at least five DOD employees, the controversial data-mining project, which ended in 2000, identified Mohamed Atta and other 9/11 hijackers a year before the worst terror attacks ever on US soil.

Weldon believes that the 9/11 Commission’s work investigating the attacks has proven “to be a disappointment and a failure, especially as it pertains to Able Danger.” Possible explanations for this failure, says Weldon, include “gross incompetence either on the part of the Commissioners or the Commission staff, or both,” or more alarmingly, “a deliberate cover-up that would make the Watergate scandal pale in comparison.”

...Weldon and others knowledgeable about the affair say that Able Danger principals such as Shaffer, who have thus far been effectively muzzled by DOD, must be allowed to be heard in order to finish the work the 9/11 Commission left undone, “either accidentally or intentionally.” Instead their testimony has been blocked by DOD at the highest levels, most notably by preventing them from speaking at recent Senate Judiciary Committee hearings. “It is outrageous that DOD gagged witnesses who were all prepared to testify in open session,” says Weldon, who as Vice Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee is accustomed to more respect and cooperation from the defense establishment. “Apparently the Department of Defense does not share my deep respect for the Committee and its authority to serve the American people through effective oversight.”

DIA spokesman Commander Terrence Sutherland denied that DIA had smeared or gagged LTC Shaffer. “Show me the gag order,” says Sutherland, who maintains that it is DOD, and not DIA, which is at the center of the Able Danger affair. And in response to my repeated queries, Commander Gregory Hicks, spokesman for DOD, could only tell me that, thus far, “I am not getting any responses yet. When I do, I’ll let you know.”

Show me the gag order? I believe Shaffer's attorney Mark Zaid has read from the document in several different interviews. I'll try to find a transcript.