Able Danger Blog


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Saturday, December 03, 2005

Retaliation

Just in case anyone from the Inspector General's office is listening.

October 21, 2003 - After receiving permission from his commanding officer, Tony Shaffer briefs 9/11 Commission staff members on Able Danger and other classified projects, which he believed were relevant, at Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan. He does not specifically seek permission from the DIA as well, before telling the Commission staff that Able Danger had identified two of the three cells that executed the 9/11 attacks.

January 2004 - Shaffer tries to contact the Commission staff again, as requested, but is told that his information is not needed. "Someone answers the phone and says, 'Yes, we remember you. I will talk to Dr. Zelikow and find out when he wants you to come in.' A week goes by, no phone call back. I called them a week later and said, 'Hey, what gives?' 'Yeah, we know who you are. Ummmmm. Dr. Zelikow tells me that he does not see the need for you to come in. We have all the information on Able Danger.'"

February 2004 - Two briefcases with limited information on Able Danger are delivered to the 9/11 Commission staff. According to Shaffer, "I'm told confidently by the person who moved the material over, that the Sept. 11 commission received two briefcase-sized containers of documents. I can tell you for a fact that would not be one-twentieth of the information that Able Danger consisted of during the time we spent..." Also in February 2004, Shaffer sees the detailed documents regarding all the details of Able Danger for the last time. "The last time I saw the data I’m referring to is also the February 2004 timeframe. Since then, the data regarding the Able Danger set of documents has not been located."

March 2004 - Shaffer's security clearance is suspended, preventing him from accessing the documents. "Then, in March of 2004, there are some allegations drummed up against me regarding $67 in phone charges, which were accumulated 25 cents at a time over 18 months. Even though when they told me about this issue, I offered to pay it back, they chose instead to spend in our estimation $400,000 to investigate all these issues simply to drum up this information."

October 1, 2004 - Shaffer is promoted to lieutenant colonel by the Army. Lt. Col. Shaffer is now a member of the Army Reserves, and has been on paid administrative leave since his security clearance was suspended in March. As Attorney Mark Zaid explains, "This is the key to the whole story and was lost in the shuffle. If any of the DIA allegations had merit, LTC Shaffer would still be Major Shaffer. So why is DIA taking the action it has?"

June 2005 - Congressman Curt Weldon talks about Able Danger in an interview with the Norristown Times Herald and a subsequent speech on the floor of the House. He also mentions it briefly in his new book, "Countdown to Terror".

August 2005 - Government Security News publishes an article on Able Danger, which is noticed by reporters from the New York Times and Fox News. Both feature prominent stories on the subject over the next few weeks, and several members of the Able Danger team come forward to defend their story publicly after both DoD officials and members of the 9/11 Commission claim to know nothing about it.

September 1, 2005 - The Department of Defense holds a press conference to discuss Able Danger in public. According to Congressman Curt Weldon, "I was told by Fox News that the press guy over at the Pentagon actually went in the room and told Fox News and the New York Times, 'When you going to let this story go?'"

September 17, 2005 - Congressman Weldon makes the following comment in response to statements by members of the 9/11 Commission the previous day, "And so I felt, after seeing what I thought was a ridiculous press conference yesterday and knowing what's going to come up on Wednesday at the Senate hearing -- unless somebody is gagged between now and Wednesday, because I have talked to all the witnesses -- there are some serious questions that need to be answered."

September 20, 2005 - The members of the Able Danger team are gagged and Tony Shaffer's security clearance is permanently revoked, despite the fact that written testimony from the members of the Able Danger team has already been submitted to the committee. Normally, such testimony is published by the committee once the hearing is actually held.

September 21, 2005 - Congressman Curt Weldon and Attorney Mark Zaid testify instead of the Able Danger team members who were scheduled to do so, prior to being gagged.

November 3, 2005 - Shaffer loses an appeal to have his security clearance reinstated. His Attorney Mark Zaid explains "Unfortunately DIA has seen fit to completely disregard our submissions, and Cong Weldon and Hunters' formal requests to refrain from acting against Tony. This was the final stage of the process. There are no more administrative appeals left with respect to the clearance. A response to the indefinite suspension will be filed tomorrow. I expect that Tony will receive a notice of termination also in record breaking speed. That will take effect no sooner than thirty days from when received."

November 9, 2005 - The Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Defense opens an investigation into retaliation against Tony Shaffer for speaking out about what he knew regarding Able Danger before 9/11.

November 14, 2005 - Pay and benefits to Tony Shaffer are apparently scheduled to end, or he receives notice of this, as DIA attempts to terminate his employment. However, any such action is delayed until the Inspector General investigation has runs its course.

November 18, 2005 - Congressman Curt Weldon sends a letter to Don Rumsfeld, with signatures from 246 member of Congress, asking for public hearings on Able Danger without any fear of retaliation against the witnesses.

December 2, 2005 - As of this date, Congressman Weldon is yet to receive a reponse.