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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Text of letter to Rumsfeld

Got it just now from John at Congressman Weldon's office:

The Honorable Donald Rumsfeld

Secretary

Department of Defense

Pentagon

Washington, DC 20301



Dear Secretary Rumsfeld:



We the undersigned are formally requesting that you allow former participants in the intelligence program known as ABLE DANGER to testify in an open hearing before the United States Congress. Until this point, congressional efforts to investigate ABLE DANGER have been obstructed by Department of Defense insistence that certain individuals with knowledge of ABLE DANGER be prevented from freely and frankly testifying in an open hearing. We realize that you do not question Congress's authority to maintain effective oversight of executive branch agencies, including your department. It is our understanding that your objection instead derives from concern that classified information could be improperly exposed in an open hearing. We of course would never support any activity that might compromise sensitive information involving national security. However, we firmly believe that testimony from the appropriate individuals in an open hearing on ABLE DANGER would not only fail to jeopardize national security, but would in fact enhance it over the long term. This is due to our abiding belief that America can only better prepare itself against future attacks if it understands the full scope of its past failures to do so.



On September 21, the Senate Committee on the Judiciary conducted a hearing on ABLE DANGER which Bill Dugan, Acting Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Oversight, certified did not reveal any classified information. Congressman Curt Weldon's testimony at that hearing was largely based on the information that has been given to him by ABLE DANGER participants barred from open testimony by DOD. Their testimony would therefore closely mirror that of Congressman Weldon, who did not reveal classified information. Therefore we are at a loss as to how the testimony of ABLE DANGER participants would jeopardize classified information. Much of what they would present has already been revealed. Further refusal to allow ABLE DANGER participants to testify in an open congressional hearing can only lead us to conclude that the Department of Defense is uncomfortable with the prospect of Members of Congress questioning these individuals about the circumstances surrounding ABLE DANGER. This would suggest not a concern for national security, but rather an attempt to prevent potentially embarrassing facts from coming to light. Such a consideration would of course be an unacceptable justification for the refusal of a congressional request.



Sincerely,