Able Danger Blog


Click here to order Triple Cross in paperback now

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Public Able Danger hearings February 15th

SUMMARY: I'm reorganizing this post to clarify all the latest developments. There will be two separate hearings where Tony Shaffer testifies next week.

1-A February 14th hearing on whistleblowers in the House Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats, and International Relations chaired by Chris Shays.

2-A February 15th hearing on Able Danger itself in the Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, joint with the Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee.

So, February 14th, Shaffer will testify about the retaliation by the DIA against him and others. From the Government Reform website:

The hearing, "National Security Whistleblowers in the post-9/11 Era: Lost in a Labyrinth and Facing Subtle Retaliation," is scheduled for Tuesday, February 14, at 1:00 p.m., in room 2154 Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C.

PANEL ONE

SPC Samuel J. Provance, USA
Department of the Army

Lt. Colonel Anthony Shaffer, USAR
Springfield, Virginia

Mr. Michael German
Arlington, Virginia

Mr. Russell Tice
Linthicum Heights, Maryland

Mr. Richard Levernier
Goodyear, Arizona


Then on February 15th, the full Able Danger story will finally come out. After 150 days, the wait could finally be over next Wednesday.

From the Armed Services website:

Wednesday - February 15th, 2006

2:30pm - 2118 Rayburn - Open, will Close

The Strategic Forces Subcommittee, joint with the Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee will meet to receive testimony on the Able Danger program.

Witnesses:

TBA


Phillpott, Shaffer, Smith, and others are scheduled to testify in both an open and a closed session. This is a huge development.

Please submit public events that you think C-SPAN should cover - events@c-span.org

UPDATE: Rory O'Connor has more details:

The House Armed Services Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday, February 15 about the controversial Able Danger data-mining program, according to informed Congressional sources. The secret intelligence program, which used advanced computerized link and pattern analysis techniques, purportedly identified four 9/11 hijackers a year before the worst terror attacks on American soil.

After intense staff negotiations, it was finally decided that a portion of the Armed Services Committee hearing will be open, but that subsequent discussion of classified aspects of the Able Danger program will move into a closed session. Those expected to testify include military analysts who had been tasked to Able Danger, including Navy Captain Scott Phillpott, who headed the program, and US Army Reserve Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Shaffer. (Shaffer is also scheduled to testify in hearings before Representative Christopher Shay’s Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats, and International relations on February 14. The subject of that hearing is national security whistleblowers. After Shaffer began to speak out on Able Danger, his bosses at the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) retaliated by gagging him, smearing him, revoking his clearance, and trying to fire him.)

Civilian Able Danger personnel such as program manager JD Smith are also slated to appear before the Armed Service Committee on the 15th, and Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Stephen Cambone may also be asked to testify....

As the fifth anniversary of the attacks approaches, Smith says he’s increasingly worried that all the data he and others on the Able Danger team found was destroyed and may never be found again. “Let me just note that Mohamed Atta was a Tier Three guy - not THAT important in the scale of things,” he concluded. “Sure, we had his picture - but we know where he is now – dead and gone. But what about all the Tier Two and Tier One guys we identified? What about all the pictures of the other, more important people we identified? Where are THEY now? To me, that’s the real danger.”


Mac at Macsmind has friends at DIA, who offer a different view:

"Intense" is a real conservative way of putting things. Actually it's been a real tug of war between Spector's committee and the Pentagon. I've have it though on good ground there will still be somewhat limiting testimony from some of the witnesses, and that many of the questions will be "pre-submitted" to screen for secure purposes. I'm afraid that whatever the questions they won't come close to what Rory's asking for. But let's see what happens. In any case the story is coming back to the front and thats a positive.


Are more hearings in Judiciary on the way, too, or did Mac just get the name wrong?