Able Danger Blog


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Monday, December 12, 2005

Able Danger principles to testify in an open hearing

UPDATE: John from Weldon's office writes "Able Danger principles to testify in an open hearing before congress."

This confirms what Weldon suggested earlier on Lou Dobbs. Here is the transcript from CNN:

DOBBS: Congressman Curt Weldon has secured the signatures of more than half of the members of the House of Representatives, and have sought from the Pentagon for over three weeks now, an opportunity to hold an Able Danger hearing on Capitol Hill.

Congressman Weldon joins me tonight and has new developments in his efforts to bring attention to the Able Danger controversy.

Congressman, good to have you here.

REP. CURT WELDON (R-PA) VICE CHMN., ARMED SERVICES CMTE.: Great to be back with you, Lou.

DOBBS: You, just about three weeks ago, sent a letter to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld asking to free up the members of Able Danger to testify on Capitol Hill, to Congress. Still no response?

WELDON: Well, no, Lou, I can happily announce tonight that we anticipate getting a response this week. I've been given preliminary indication that the secretary, with the help of deputy secretary Gordon England, have reached an agreement to allow hearings to be held on the hill, open hearings, open testimony. We'll obviously protect any issues of confidentiality or those involving national security.

But this will be a full hearing, and finally the American people will get to hear what the 9/11 commission didn't pursue, and that is information about what happened before the attacks on September 11.

DOBBS: Well, as you know, Congressman, representatives, former members of the 9/11 Commission says that they knew nothing about this, that there's nothing to it. That it's historically irrelevant. You have basically said outright they're liars.

WELDON: Well, you know, they've been spinning this left and right since their commission ended. Most recently Hamilton has said they fully investigated it. Yet, I can tell you I have talked to every Able Danger principal none of them interviewed except for two, who went in on their own, Tony Shaffer and Scott Philpot, and each of them were rebuked by the commission.

Tony Shaffer was told they didn't want to hear from him. They didn't want to meet with him. And when Scott Philpot met, they said what do you want us to do now? It's too late. So they didn't pursue anything. They didn't get into the details of Able Danger and all the information.

This is not about a chart as they try to spin it. It's about what did we know and why didn't act. Why didn't we transfer information to the FBI? Louis Freeh said if he had that information, the FBI might have been able to stop 9/11.

And just last week, General Hugh Shelton, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, came out and publicly announced that he's the one who set up and established Able Danger, and the 9/11 Commission had the audacity to call Able Danger historically insignificant when it's advising and briefing the chairman of the joint chiefs? I don't think so.

DOBBS: And General Shelton made it pretty clear that he had talked with General Schoomaker at that time in charge of special operations to move this forward, so it goes back to about 1997.

So there are some interesting issues here that are being raised. It's critically important. You've apparently received, then as I understand it, assurances from England is that correct?

WELDON: Yes.

DOBBS: Go ahead Congressman.

WELDON: We've received assurances that the hearings will go forward.

But the other thing that we have to look at, Lou, and you have had another guest on your show recently, why did the 9/11 Commission pick 1996 and not go back beyond that? There is some very interesting material that needs to be tied in. The '93 attack on the Trade Center. The blind Sheiks trial. None of that was looked at by the 9/11 Commission, and the American people need to ask the question why.

We will be asking that question during the Able Danger hearings.

DOBBS: Well, congratulations to you in receiving the assurances that the Pentagon will give you an affirmative response and the opportunity to hold those hearings, you and the more than half of the members of the U.S. Congress who signed on with you to request that hearing.

Congressman, thank you very much.

WELDON: Thank you, Lou.

DOBBS: Congressman Curt Weldon.