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Sunday, November 13, 2005

Weldon storms out of hearing with Lee Hamilton

UPDATE: It turns out Weldon not only stormed out of the hearing with Lee Hamilton on Tuesday, but went directly to the floor of the House to make a statement:


The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. FORTENBERRY). Under a previous order of the House, the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. WELDON) is recognized for 5 minutes.

Mr. WELDON of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, first of all, let me thank my friend and colleague for allowing me to take this 5-minute special order before his 1 hour. I will be brief, but I rise for an issue of severe concern to me, Mr. Speaker.

As someone who has spent 19 years working on defense and security issues in this Congress and currently serves as the vice chairman of the Armed Services and Homeland Security Committees, I have to report to my colleagues continuing efforts to try to find out what happened before 9/11 and, unfortunately, have to report that we are being stonewalled. In fact, Mr. Speaker, I cannot use any other term but the appearance of a cover-up.

Just a few moments ago, I questioned one of the cochairs of the 9/11 Commission, Lee Hamilton, why the Commission has not yet responded to a letter that I sent to them on August 10 of this year, which I will enter into the RECORD at this point.

This happened Tuesday, but was not reported anywhere I can find except for this, in an article the next day.


The Bush administration and Congress must provide more resources to a new office charged with making it easier for federal officials to share intelligence information with state and local officials, the House Homeland Security Intelligence Subcommittee was told Tuesday.

...During the hearing, Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa., erupted with accusations that Hamilton and other commissioners ignored information that the government knew about possible al-Qaida members before the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Weldon, citing a secret military intelligence program called Able Danger that he said identified some of the future hijackers by the fall of 2000, reiterated recent criticism that the commission failed to address this intelligence in its final report last year.

The Pentagon, however, has not confirmed that 9/11 terrorists such as Mohammed Atta had been identified as potential threats.

Weldon stormed out of the hearing after becoming upset with Hamilton's answers and accusing the former commission vice chairman of lying and being part of a cover-up by the Bush administration.

"I'm going to get to the bottom of this," Weldon warned as he headed out the door.