Able Danger Blog

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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Profile of Weldon

The Washington Post has a new piece on Weldon's re-election campaign:

"For 36 years, I've lived and breathed this district," said Weldon. "Yeah, you can have national moods, but these people know I'll be there for them."

But Weldon, the vice chairman of the Armed Services Committee, is best known for his faraway interests. A fluent Russian speaker who majored in Russian studies, he has made more than two dozen trips to the former Soviet Union and initiated a Duma-Congress Study Group.

He is fearless in challenging conventions, alleging for instance that a secret government program known as Able Danger had identified lead hijacker Mohamed Atta more than a year before Sept. 11, 2001. That assertion was disputed by the Pentagon and members of the commission that investigated the terrorist attacks and the government's response.

Weldon riveted the Kiwanis Club audience with tales of his run-ins with the Bush administration, including a 2003 fight with then-national security adviser Condoleezza Rice over a congressional delegation to North Korea. Rice opposed the idea, but Weldon complained to Bush and took his trip.

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