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Monday, October 16, 2006

FBI raids home of Weldon's daughter

When we had a blogger conference call with Weldon in March, he joked he had pissed off every major intelligence agency now. So if he was found at the bottom of a pool some day we would have to start a blog site to his legacy. I guess he was not far off. Three weeks before election day, it's payback time. Mary Jo White, Jack Cloonan, and Jamie Gorelick, must still have some pull over at the bureau after all.

Obviously this guy still has pull there, too. From the Sestak campaign site:

“I will not make a single stop in this campaign season that means more to me than this one — not one,” Clinton told a crowd of nearly 900 at a rally for Joseph Sestak at Valley Forge Military Academy.

FBI raids home of Rep. Weldon's daughter

By MARYCLAIRE DALE, Associated Press Writer
33 minutes ago

MEDIA, Pa. - The FBI raided the homes of Rep. Curt Weldon (news, bio, voting record)'s daughter and a close friend Monday as it investigates whether the congressman improperly helped the pair win lobbying and consulting contracts.

Agents searched four locations in the Philadelphia area and two in Jacksonville, Fla., said Debbie Weierman, an FBI spokeswoman in Washington. The congressman's home and his offices were not among the locations searched, she said.

Earlier Monday, Weldon called the investigation politically motivated and called the timing suspect. A Republican locked in a tight re-election bid, he denied wrongdoing and said he gave his daughter no special help.

"What I find ironic, if there is an investigation, is that no one would tell me until three weeks before the election," Weldon said at an appearance in Media. "This incident was 2 1/2 years ago."

Weierman confirmed that the six raids included Karen Weldon's home in Philadelphia; the Springfield home of Charles Sexton, her business partner and the congressman's close friend; and the office of their company, Solutions North America, in Media.

This article sums it up pretty well:

Go along to get along? Not this congressman

Soros $$$$ + Clinton machine = rough battle

Wes Vernon
October 16, 2006

The late Speaker Sam Rayburn used to tell newly arrived congressmen that "around here, you've got to go along to get along."

It's not certain whether Congressman Curt Weldon, a Republican from Pennsylvania, was ever given that advice when he arrived here 20 years ago. But since then, he has not been following that script.

This writer has been in Washington for nearly 39 years. In that time — and long before — people have come here who don't "fall into line." They will demand answers to embarrassing questions of officials in high or responsible positions. Often they finally get the message and "behave themselves."

And then there are some who don't — lawmakers who think that what was wrong when they were going through their "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" phase is still wrong after they've been in office for awhile. By and large, those who persist in upsetting apple carts ultimately meet an ignominious political end. Someone digs up some dirt on them or manufactures dirt, uses the smear bucket one way or another, and before long the well-known Washington wolf pack is on the case of the congressman or senator who refuses to cave to "the system." (You know the "Washington wolf pack." President Reagan used to call it the "Iron Triangle," consisting of the entrenched bureaucracy, "team-playing" liberal politicians, and the media.)

For twenty years, Curt Weldon has been calling the shots right on target on a number of matters, mostly security-related.

He has been tireless in his pursuit of incompetence and insubordination (arguably outright insurrection) in our intelligence services. (See this column Fire the whole top level CIA bureaucracy, Jan. 22, 2006; also How to handle an inconvenient whistle-blower, April 3, 2006.)

America got a wake-up call the other day when North Korea detonated an underground explosion. Whether it was a nuke or a lesser scare tactic, the lesson is the same. The crazed dictator Kim Jong Il is out to develop nuclear weapons. He clearly hopes to be in a position to threaten the world — especially the United States-with nuclear blackmail. If he is warning us — as he did this past week — to stop "pestering" him about building nukes, imagine the kind of threats he'll issue when he gets a functional nuclear arsenal.

As far back as May 7, 1997 — as Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Research and Development — Congressman Weldon took on an intelligence community that had downplayed the North Korean threat. The lawmaker cited a credible study warning that "prior to 2010" North Korea "will almost certainly" acquire ICBMs that can reach the United States.

It was Weldon who spotlighted the discovery of Soviet radar at Kransnoyarsk in the 1980s. He had exposed a Soviet violation of the 1972 ABM treaty, a document venerated by the left in this country even though it was repeatedly violated by the Soviets and was working against America's interests, risking millions of American lives. The congressman was vindicated on that score by a 1998 report that missile threats could come from outlaw cut-throats without any notice.

That meant, in plain English, we were defenseless, potentially subject to nuclear blackmail. Common sense tells us that is unacceptable, to say the least. And yet, getting policy-makers to do the rational thing and build a defense against such a nightmare scenario was like pulling teeth.

The biggest lesson from North Korea's nuclear program (assuming one more lesson on this is needed) is that a missile defense is a necessity. If there is anything that for so long typified the political class's frequent penchant for ignoring what Middle America would regard as rational old-fashioned horse sense, this is it. Even as I write this, a UPI dispatch out of Pyongyang quotes experts as saying North Korea's likely next step after developing a nuclear weapon is to create a means of missile transport for the warheads. Liberals here at home, meanwhile, have derisively tagged our own missile efforts as "Star Wars."

In 1999, Weldon helped write the law mandating a highly reluctant Clinton Administration to go forth with the full Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI). This was contrary to the consensus in a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) at the time — the same kind of NIE "consensus" that is supposed to shock us today when we are breathlessly told that the Iraq war has increased the number of terrorists around the world determined to take us down. (Flash! — When we went to war to defend our country's honor against Germany and Japan, they promptly beefed up their war machines and "increased the number of" their troops determined to take us down. But psssst! Don't tell anybody. This is just between us rocket scientists.)

During the 1999 congressional battle against the efforts on missile defense led by Weldon and others, President Clinton dispatched Vice President Al Gore to Capitol Hill to tell the lawmakers not to vote it through because "it would embarrass the president." Nonetheless, horse sense won out, and the measure passed the House by a veto-proof majority — 317-105. Even a majority of Democrats voted for it — 103-102.

Weldon charged the NIE report was written to please the Clinton White House, whose policy coincided with the left's adamant resistance to bolstering missile defense. The Pennsylvania lawmaker added that the NIE was "the most outrageous politicization of an intelligence document" that he had seen up to that time. His critique was a factor in leading then-CIA Director John Deutch to have NIE's findings reviewed by a team of outside experts headed by former DCI James Woolsey. That panel found the NIE was "politically naïve and not as useful as it might have been," and that its "methodology was deeply flawed."

A separate report by the Congressional Accountability Office (GAO) found that the NIE's conclusions playing down any need for stepped up missile defense "implies a 100-percent certainty that predicted outcome will hold true during the next 15 years. However, caveats and intelligence gaps noted in NIE 95-19 do not support this level of certainty." The GAO noted other of the NIE's "shortcomings."

Largely as a result of prodding by Weldon and security-conscious colleagues, Center for Security Policy President Frank Gaffney was able to say in Human Events on October 9, 2006, "Thanks to deployment, the United States no longer is in a position of utter vulnerability to missile attack that Ronald Reagan recognized was unacceptable during the Cold War and would be intolerable in the post-Soviet era."

There is much more to be done to advance missile defense, and Weldon, as Vice-Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, hopes to play a role in seeing that through.

Weldon also ruffled more than a few feathers when he sided with whistle-blowers in the Able Danger team at the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). Able Danger's warnings of information on several of the 9/11 hijackers a year before the towers went down were ignored.

Recently, a Pentagon Inspector General's Report sided with those higher-ups who had tried to keep the team quiet under threat of disciplinary action. Weldon would have none of it. Said he: "Acting in a sickening manner, the DOD IG cherry-picked testimony from witnesses in an effort to minimize the historical importance of the Able Danger effort."

The above are just samples of some of the activities of a congressman who has refused to be "house broken" or to "go along to get along" even after 20 years.

Weldon is no blind partisan. Some Bush administration people are as unhappy with him as the Clintons are on the Able Danger scandal — which reflects unfavorably on officials from both parties. He has forged an alliance with organized labor in his district — far more so than most Republicans, and he broke ranks with his party in supporting the Family Leave bill. But he favors such social conservative measures as parental notification of a minor child's abortion. He voted against NAFTA because he believed it would drain jobs from America, including his district. And he has fought against the outsourcing of jobs to overseas locations.

One could say he is "a street-corner conservative," with an appeal to blue-collar voters. He is definitely not on the "A-list" of the grand dames of the Georgetown dinner party circuit.

Now when you have a congressman who for twenty years has been pointing out that "the emperor has no clothes [even when not fooling around with a White House intern]," he is going to make some enemies. And those enemies are out there whispering old discredited smears to the liberal media, based on "anonymous sources," of course. Middle America may like him precisely for the enemies he has made, but official Washington would likely have another view.

So Clinton has tapped Joe Sestak — his White House defense policy adviser on the National Security Council — to run against Weldon. Yes, that NSC — the same one that encouraged President Clinton to resist any effort for a meaningful missile defense.

Though born and raised in the district, Sestak has been away from it for many years, and his campaign shows it. He called local residents "bubbas [slang for "big dumb redneck"]." That gave Weldon's campaign an opening to say that the Democrat candidate — in his years away from his roots — "seems to have developed a superiority complex." Fellow crew members who served with Sestak in the navy have described him in the media as "arrogant" and "egotistical." Weldon — formerly a firefighter, school teacher, and mayor — fits the district like a glove.

Among the contributors to the Sestak campaign are Mary McCarthy, the fired CIA officer believed to have leaked the story about so-called "secret CIA prisons," a news report that has yet to be substantiated — though the mainstream media would have you believe otherwise; Clinton National Security Adviser Sandy Berger, who pleaded guilty to stealing and destroying classified documents; and Clinton CIA Director John Deutch, who (see above) commissioned a panel to investigate the faulty intel estimate on missile defense in a vain attempt to head off the GAO probe. So thanks to Weldon, Deutch ended up with not one, but two investigations.

Berger also hosted a fundraiser for Sestak in the offices of Harold Ickes, a close associate of Hillary Clinton and billionaire George Soros. (See this column Will George Soros rule America?, October 2, 2006.) Speaking of which — Soros-funded websites are piling on Weldon and urging his defeat.

Hillary Clinton came to the district and campaigned for Sestak, although Sestak has called for withdrawal from Iraq by a date certain, whereas Senator Clinton has said telegraphing an exit date to the enemy is not "smart."

At last check, Weldon and Sestak were in a statistical dead heat. Any public official targeted by Soros money has a first-class fight on his hands. But Weldon is in fact a fighter. That is when he is at his best. Patriotic Americans are lending Curt Weldon their support. It is not everyday we get someone on Capitol Hill with his persistence for noble causes.

(Weldon Victory Committee — 1001 Baltimore Pike — Springfield, Pa. 19084)