Able Danger Blog


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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Able Danger: Breaking News

Keith Phucus at the Norristown Times Herald continues to do great news breaking work on the Able Danger story. Today he's published a story, Legal debate hobbled Able Danger, that uncovers new facts:

According to testimony from data analysts who worked on the program, Pentagon lawyers threw up red flags after learning that the data mining team was downloading information from Internet Web sites run by Islamic groups.Their Internet access was sharply curtailed after attorneys raised concerns about the group's practice of collecting personal information on "U.S. persons," said Erik Kleinsmith, who as the Army's chief of intelligence at the Land Information Warfare Center (LIWA), in Ft. Belvoir, Va., supervised the computer analysis. As a result, the "Able Danger" effort was effectively shut down for six months. For Kleinsmith, those months would be the longest of his professional life.

Though the "Able Danger" team never claimed it located any of the Sept. 11 terrorists in the U.S., the group would learn after the attacks that its cutting-edge techniques had identified key al-Qaida members and their U.S. affiliates - including future hijackers Mohamed Atta, Marwan al Shehhi, Nawaf al Hazmi and Khalid al Mihdhar, who were associated with a "Brooklyn Cell," according to Congressman Curt Weldon...

During the work stoppage, the group lost valuable time in its search for al-Qaida, according testimony from "Able Danger" teammates Kleinsmith and James D. Smith's at a Feb. 15 congressional hearing, while computer analysts argued with military lawyers over legal questions governing intelligence gathering and retention.Shaffer and Smith testified they saw LIWA chart with Atta's picture more than a year before the Sept. 11 attacks...

According to Shaffer's Feb. 15 testimony, LIWA linked Atta to the El Farouq mosque in Brooklyn, New York, by February 2000. The mosque, a hotbed of anti-American sentiment, was frequented by "Blind Sheik" Omar Ahmed Abdul Rahman at that time. He was convicted in 1995 of plotting to bomb New York City landmarks.Kleinsmith does not recall seeing Atta's picture on any chart, but what he does remember is more unsettling...

From April until September 2000, his team tried to restart work, but found it next to impossible. All the analysts could do was watch-troubling hints of terrorist activities online."We were getting restriction after restriction," he said. "We were watching the next threat, but we couldn't take the battlefield."...

Next, federal marshals showed up at LIWA with subpoenas issued from Congressman Dan Burton's office, Kleinsmith said. Government officials wanted copies of the data mining results.According to the Center for Cooperative Research, the data included former Secretary of Defense William Perry and then Stanford University provost, Condoleezza Rice, among others. Other reports identified then Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen and former Democratic National Committee chairman, Steve Grossman...

Some traditional intelligence officials, however, seemed either skeptical or jealous of LIWA's capability. At one conference, "Able Danger" analysts identified four major al-Qaida hubs - the Middle East, East Africa, Balkans and the Far East - in about 90 minutes."Because we weren't an intelligence organization, we got a lot of bad press," he said. "Folks thought we were running fast and loose with the data."By April, the "Able Danger" team was told to end its support of SOCOM. During the month's long work stoppage, SOCOM's patience ran out, and the military command transferred the work to a Raytheon facility in Garland, Texas, and continued the effort.One of the million-dollar questions in Washington is who ordered the shut down."Nobody will admit sending down the order to do it," he said. "It came from somewhere up in the Pentagon."Many speculated that Richard Shiffrin, the Pentagon's deputy general counsel at the time, was to blame for the decision. Shaffer's testimony claims Army lawyer Tom Taylor cut off Army support for the project.

Read the whole thing.

Cross posted at QT Monster's Place.

Able Danger: Why Wasn't the FBI Told About Mohammad Atta Before the 9-11 Attacks?

I have posted sound bites from the Able Danger hearing in the US House of Representatives here. Here's the preface to my post:
Preface: I am on a mission of liberation. Yes, I am determined to free all of the eye popping information that is now locked up in 1 1/2 hours of audio (give or take a minute or five) that I captured of the Able Danger hearing so more folks realize that we, the people of America, still do not know the truth of 9-11 no matter what the 9-11 Commission is currently claiming (they do change their story you know).

Voice of the Taciturn returns

In case you missed it, the previous post was not from me, but from our friend Vox O. T. T. who resurfaced to express his dismay at how well Able Danger has been swept under the rug. Apparently, he is not alone in these concerns. The Editorial Board at Investor's Business Daily weighs in today, and voices a similar concern:

Not many Americans know who Rep. Curt Weldon is, but Zacarias Moussaoui does. Moussaoui pleaded guilty 10 months ago to conspiring with al-Qaida to turn passenger jets into manned cruise missiles and fly them into buildings.

He has denied involvement in the 9-11 attack, admitting only to being trained and involved in plans for future similar attacks. A week ago, Moussaoui's defense team said it planned to subpoena Weldon as a defense witness in Moussaoui's sentencing hearing.

It believes Weldon has evidence that the U.S. government had more knowledge of al-Qaida's plans and personnel than did Moussaoui himself.

Weldon wants no part in the matter and will try to quash any subpoena. But he's probably mystified, as are we, that his work in exposing the pre-9-11 military intelligence program known as Able Danger has attracted the attention of a convicted al-Qaida operative but not that of news organizations supposedly interested in exposing American secrets and a government supposedly working on preventing another 9-11.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Dancing on 3,000 Graves

That is essentially what the IC, Congress and any number of other functionaries of the status quo have done now that they have almost completely swept Able Danger under the carpet of history.

If you’ve been in this business longer than a day you knew in the back of your mind that Able Danger was never going to make it, but in your heart you were rooting for the bastards.(1) Able Danger pointed out that not only was the 9/11 Commission not-all-that but that with a little loose change, a lot of ingenuity, and some technical horsepower an unencumbered dozen can do what tens of thousands should have. It was everything the IC is not: creative, nimble, open-minded, and un-bound by stovepipes, mindless tradition and parochialism. This ensured that no matter what they found they would never be taken seriously. Unclassified intelligence efforts get short shrift even though the financial centers of the world make and lose billions of dollars based on the collection and analysis of data that doesn’t have “Top Secret” stamped on it. Good enough for Wall Street but not for the IC.

The IC has advocates and lobbyists. They don’t work on K Street, but the function is the same. One need only look at the current make-up of the one big “reform” the IC has seen since 9/11 – the Office of the Directorof National Intelligence – to prove my point: A deputy-director who ran the nation’s SIGINT capability, scores of assistant-deputy directors drawn from the senior ranks of SIGINT and HUMINT agencies, etc. Capable? Sure. The right people to fix a broken system? Hardly.

Congress isn’t any better. Of the 22 members of the subcommittee that could have heard potentially the most damning testimony about AbleDanger, three could bother to show up. Three who thought deeper insight into what we knew prior to 9/11 (or 10/00) was more important than meetings on how to bring home more bacon.

The press? Too busy trying to poo-poo other intelligence-related stories or pretending they know that “over-under” means something other than a position in the Kama Sutra.

In fact, the only lobby for doing the right thing is a raving Congressman, a few curious Bloggers, and the families of the dead.

The end result from the fall-out from Able Danger is that fewer people in the IC will be willing to go out on a limb for a theory or a unique solution to a problem because the message is clear: success means unemployment. They might work it on the side; they just won’t tell anyone about it. A self-imposed SAP. Inevitably this will lead to the loss of more lives, but with any luck they won’t be constituents of most of the members of the HASC terrorism subcommittee or work for the MSM.

(1) I drafted 80% of this over four months ago. This is either a testament to my predictive abilities or my cynicism or maybe both.

First clip from Weldon conference call

Here is the first segment of our conference call with Curt Weldon. It lasts about twenty minutes and contains most of the Congressman's opening remarks. If you turn the volume up too high you will hear some interference during the first ten minutes, but it clears up afterward.

Sorry that we don't have more to post yet. Most of what Curt talked with us about on Thursday was for the record, but some was on background. We are making sure we confirm with John on his staff which parts are on the record and which are not before we post all the audio. We hope to get final confirmation on more of this by Monday afternoon if possible. However, as you can hear on this first clip, Curt went into detail on several subjects that have only been mentioned briefly elsewhere.

One new item is the fact that he met with both Tim Roemer and John Lehman of the 9/11 Commission in June 2005 when he first came forward with the Able Danger story. Both told him they had never been briefed by the 9/11 Commission staff on the topic of Able Danger. The decision not to include anything about it in the report was a staff decision, not one made by the commissioners themselves. We already knew most of that but we did not know it was John Lehman who told Weldon to go public with this and pursue the story. Lehman said that if he didn't, it would never come out.

We got some more details about what happened in the closed session, although obviously not anything on classified details. Weldon said that Zelikow never said anything remotely classified or related to intelligence or national security, and that based on his answers he assumed he had only wanted to testify in closed session to avoid having to answer questions publicly about his work for the 9/11 Commission. Weldon said that Steve Cambone had shown up for the closed session, but Weldon told him he had heard enough spin and didn't have anymore questions for him.

As you can hear in the clip, Weldon also discussed his work on the Cox Commission back in the 1990s and how his own efforts at the time had uncovered direct links between campaign contributions made to the Clinton-Gore reelection campaign, and what he saw as the illegal sharing of military technology with China in return. Mr. Schwartz of the Loral Corporation contributed a million dollars, and his company got almost free reign to transfer technology to China. Curt also discussed some front companies used by the Chinese specifically to acquire American military technology.

One key theme in his opening remarks that came up several times during the call, was how senior administration officials in both the Clinton and now apparently the Bush administration were prepared to put their own personal interests about the interests of the nation. In some cases that took the form of killing critical projects for bureaucratic reasons, not sharing information with other agencies. It also meant covering up their mistakes - not following up and investigating them to prevent us from missing the next lead in the hunt for Al Qaeda or the War on Terror in general.

Both AJ and Pierre picked up on this as well. Here's what AJ had to say:

If people wanted this story to go away they would fix all the problems - none of which involve classified material or details. All the problems surrounding Able Danger are related to people misusing their positions to hide personally embarrassing information. In the Clinton years it was apparently studies regarding technology leaks to China. In the Bush administration it appears to be bad decisions, turf wars and protecting empires. But in all cases, national security is second to the DC CYA.


Pierre Legrand makes a similar point:

As if spitting on the graves of those who died that horrible day bureaucrats spend their time finding ways of making retirement instead of critically analyzing why we failed. Worse, they threaten those who do try to improve our reactions and methods with defamation, libelous slander, even physical threat to prevent the sort of reforms that might actually make a difference. Why you might ask would they spend such effort on trying to prevent improvement? Because in a Bureaucrats eyes change is threat and threat is bad. Blame is worse and worse is to be avoided at all costs. Ruining people’s lives and causing our nations security to suffer are all immediately and gladly laid at the altar of any particular bureaucrats continued successful career.


The Dread Pundit Bluto makes a similar point, contrasting his own view with that of Bill Arkin:

I have a different perspective from Arkin. When I was a Federal employee, I had occasion to blow the whistle myself. Shaffer's testimony rings true. Every word. This is how bureaucrats cover their asses.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Bloggers talk with Congressman Weldon

Although he had only planned on staying for an hour, Congressman Weldon stayed well past that to talk with our group of bloggers tonight. We have all been following the Able Danger story, and owe what media coverage Able Danger has gotten to Weldon, so we had plenty to ask him about. On the phone were myself, Curt of Flopping Aces, Vi Adkins, AJ Strata, Rory O'Connor, Dreadpundit Bluto, Pierre Legrand, and Dana of Common Sense Political Thought. We hope to have some audio clips available for you by tomorrow, but in the mean time I can tell you we got a lot of new details about the China study, and several new scoops on the Able Danger story in general. AJ covers a lot of it here, but there was a lot more, too. Check all the other sites for more details, as well. I've got some other work to do, so I won't be posting in more detail until tomorrow. I have to say though, the call went even better than I had hoped.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Stay tuned

Several of us Able Danger Bloggers will be reconvening on Dirk Thompson's radio show, 610 AM WTVN in Columbus, Ohio on Wednesday night. The station has free streaming audio, too. The show runs from 6pm to 9pm and our segment is planned for the 8pm to 9pm hour. Interestingly, 610 AM can probably be heard in Dayton, where Tony finished high school, attended college and first joined the National Guard in the 80s. Here are the details, in Dirk's own words:

The show is from 6pm - 9pm. Tonight during the entire 8 o'clock hour I'll be hosting a "Radio Roundtable" with a select group of bloggers on the topic of Able Danger. Invited to participate and share their insight and knowledge on the Able Danger coverup are:

Mike from AbleDangerBlog
Rory from Media is a Plural
Capt Ed from CaptainsQuartersBlog
AJ from AJSTRATA

Should be a great discussion!


Thanks again Dirk, for putting this together.

UPDATE: Dirk provided the audio from the show, broken into five MP3 files to match the five segments of the program. Here they are: First Segment | Second Segment | Third Segment | Fourth Segment | Fifth Segment

The show went great. Dirk definitely knew his stuff about Able Danger. I wasn't as nervous on live radio as I thought. Still not sure I want to hear what I sounded like. Yet the audio clips are there now, so you can let me know what you think.

One thing I need to correct. On the program, I referred to JD Smith as a "retired Indian police officer" which I read on Page 15 of Tony Shaffer's written testimony, but it turns out that was a typo Tony made. It should read "Indiana" not "Indian".

Blogger conference call with Weldon Thursday

Congressman Weldon will be joining a conference call with bloggers Thursday night. The group from our Monday call is invited, but if you have been following the Able Danger story and would like to participate in the call, please email CONTACT at ABLEDANGERBLOG.COM with a link to your blog. Understand I have to keep this to a small group, but will try to consider all who ask.

Hearing? Which hearing?

This is depressing. Fifty newspapers picked up the wire story about Weldon being asked to testify about Able Danger at the sentencing hearing for Zacarias Moussaoui, but only ten or twenty carried the wire story on the three hour public Congressional hearing on Able Danger itself. I guess if there were a judge and jury involved, it might have gotten some more attention. If you've read Shaffer's written testimony, you might start asking if there should be charges filed, too, for criminal negligence and worse on the part of top DIA bureaucrats.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Young Republican's perspective

Brad Turner of Smyrna, Tennessee sees a direct connection between the Clintons and 9/11:

On February 15th, Representative Curt Weldon from Pennsylvania was successfully able to hold congressional hearings into an undercover operation that was known as Able Danger. The tragedy of the hearings is that they were only able to last one day, and was not given the proper coverage it was due by any of the major news media outlets. Apparently it is bigger news to the media that a shooting accident has occurred involving the Vice-President then a plan to prevent 9/11 being cut short and closed down. The biggest colossal failure of national intelligence, and it didn't even get a glimpse by the media. Rather, an extremely large pass was given in order to protect the 42nd President, and to a lesser extent congressional Republicans with their hand in the cookie jar.

As it has been well documented, the Clinton administration had a fond relationship with the Chinese government through the better part of his administration, reaching its high point right before the 1996 election. Rep. Weldon had asked the Land Information Warfare Activity (LIWA)/Information Dominance Center (IDC) to provide graph information that detailed Chinese front companies operating within the United States. Rep. Weldon wanted to know if any of the information provided by this organization played a role in the shutting down of Able Danger. The answer he received before a congressional committee was a resounding yes....

The Clinton Administration and those connected with the money trail at the DNC clearly had the most to lose if the China connection ever got into the public knowledge. The easiest way to prevent that was to wipe out all data mining operations, and minimize the risk. Thankfully, the 9/11 Commission brought Able Danger to the forefront of public awareness, and concerned citizens, led by Congressman Curt Weldon, began to ask questions of why we were kept in the dark. The campaign to smear Curt Weldon has begun, from allegations of Weldon accepting campaign from defense contractors engaged in the transfer of sensitive technologies, which he has already addressed, to the clearing out of potential Democrat primary challengers to Weldon's opponent, Vice Admiral Joseph Sestak, a Clinton National Security Council member during the time in question. The enemies of truth will stop at nothing to make sure the American public will not know the events that transpired behind the scenes to rob us of Able Danger.

Finally, I urge each and every one of you to contact your representatives in the House (202-224-3121) and demand a more lengthy and in-depth investigation into the Able Danger mission. The individuals responsible for this outrage MUST be held accountable for their actions, and answer to the country they have sworn to protect. Party labels must be shed and personal agendas must be removed, in favor of unity and the search for truth. We should not expect anything less than full disclosure of any cover-ups or improprieties that took place to prevent this information from becoming public knowledge. Government officials have conspired to destroy evidence that would have protected America, and possibly prevented the truth from being told. This is unacceptable and cannot be allowed to stand. We must demand action and, if necessary, punishment to the fullest extent of the law. They played politics with our safety, and this cannot go overlooked.


Reprehensor at DailyKos offers a Democratic perspective:

On Wednesday, February 15th, 2006, LTC Anthony Shaffer submitted an amazing written statement detailing his involvement with ABLE DANGER to Congress. You can download a PDF of the statement here, and I have made an HTML version here. For those people who are new to the ABLE DANGER (AD), story, I can't think of a better starting point....

This goes way beyond partisan politics. This about a defense establishment that will not come clean about what happened on 9/11, from the history of the "Afghan Arabs" to overlapping Intelligence operations that shared different agendas.

It's time to accept the fact that the 9/11 Commission crafted a political document in the "Final Report". It is clearly not a reference volume for serious research regarding the events of 9/11.

The omission of AD from the Final Report is but one in a long list of items that didn't fit the narrative the Commission sought to cobble together....


I replaced the main link to the PDF on our site with a link to his HTML version.

Moussaoui defense protests Weldon's decision

From the AP:

Defense lawyers for al-Qaida conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui said Tuesday they want to compel a reluctant Pennsylvania congressman to testify at Moussaoui's death-penalty trial.

Moussaoui's lawyers had subpoenaed Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa., to testify for Moussaoui's defense, but Weldon asked the court to quash the subpoena. Declaring he didn't want to be used by a "thug" like Moussaoui, Weldon claimed congressional immunity from the subpoena....

In court Tuesday, defense lawyer Edward MacMahon said he will oppose Weldon's efforts to quash the subpoena.


Actually, Weldon was advised he did not have to testify by the counsel for the House of Representatives, citing the "speech and debate" clause, which I believe prevents Congressmembers from being held legally liable for everything that they say - in order to encourage more open speech and debate in Congress. Clearly, Moussaoui himself did not see the wisdom of calling someone who thinks he is a "thug" to testify on his behalf:

Three times when leaving for recesses, he muttered his usual comment: "God curse Zerkin and MacMahon, and God curse America." The third time, he added: "And France." He has not cooperated with MacMahon and Gerald Zerkin, his court-appointed lawyers.

Down but not out

Judi McLeod interviewed Congressman Weldon on Thursday. Here are some excerpts:

In his Washington D.C. office last Thursday, a slightly tired Rep. Curt Weldon (R-Pa) was lamenting to Canada Free Press the ongoing suppression of Able Danger....

"Neither my own party nor the Democrats want to hear the truth about Able Danger," Weldon ruefully told CFP....

Meanwhile the feisty one-man force behind Able Danger and its red flag on 9/11, may be down but he’s not out.

"I’ll never give up. I just can’t," were the last words he said to CFP.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Bloggers talk with Mark Zaid

If you have not already heard, from AJ Strata, Mark Coffey, Bluto, Captain Ed, or Vi, we had a conference call with Tony Shaffer's attorney Mark Zaid tonight. I did not post a general notice inviting anyone interested to participate because I wanted everyone to get a chance to ask a question - which we all got. Actually, Mark stayed on the line a full hour and sounded like he would have stayed longer. If you can afford to do so, please consider sending him a check for his and Roy Krieger's pro bono work on behalf of the Able Danger witnesses using the mailing address on the right.

If you are interested in participating in the next blogger conference call, please email me at CONTACT at ABLEDANGERBLOG.COM with your name and a link to your blog. Congressman Weldon is also interested in holding a conference call with bloggers, and I would like to hear from bloggers who are interested in participating.

Now, as for tonight's call. I think we all learned some new things and got some new ideas. Mark Zaid pointed out two things in particular bloggers can help do. One was the financial support to help he and Roy Krieger keep up their pro bono work. The other is to help keep the pressure on and demand answers to unanswered questions. Who was the federal contractor that supplied the photo of Atta? Why can't they be located? Who sent the "armed federal agents" who seized all of the LIWA materials in Spring 2000? How could there not be a record of that? Why won't Philip Zelikow or Dieter Snell talk about their decision not to mention Able Danger?

Instead of going through the call question by question, I'll just do the "meta" blogging thing, and blog about other people blogging about the call.

I'm not sure who posted first, but I'll start with AJ. He points out that Mark said the DIA tried to stop Tony from testifying in uniform. Unbelievable. That might explain why he was referred to as "Mr. Shaffer" instead of "Lt. Col. Shaffer" on the official schedule for the hearing - which Weldon strongly objected to at the hearing. AJ also mentions how Captain Ed brought up the NSA story, but Mark Zaid had not heard of any connections being made with Able Danger. I think we should start making those exact connections, because the same undue deference to people with any link to the US is responsible for both the NSA scandal and the failure of Able Danger. The last major point AJ makes is one that I agree with completely - although I think we had several of these revelations last week, but the media wasn't paying attention.

What this story needs is some revelations that solidify the possibility Able Danger, if left alone, had a very good chance of stopping 9-11. The story that will bring in the press and the Congress is the scandal of a CYA effort by skittish political appointees that ended up deleting national security data that could have stopped 9-11.


Mark Coffey offers the following, which I also agree with:

Zaid found the open session ‘quite disappointing’, particularly the poor turnout. Zaid also stated that the complexity of the case seems to have left most of the attendees behind, and he decried the superficial level of knowledge (only three attendees were in the closed session, as well, according to Zaid’s undisclosed sources).


Interestingly, as with the September hearing, the hearing room itself was packed. It was just the members of Congress who were in poor attendance. Apparently, only Weldon, McKinney, and Saxton even bothered to stay for the closed session Wednesday.

Zaid said the feeling was that the hearing was a farce that appeared to be intended to placate Weldon. Zaid also said he was puzzled by the behavior of the FBI, who were formerly cooperative about acknowledging and following up on meetings that were attempted with several principals and seem to have gone through a sudden chill....

I want to conclude, however, with my own question, and an explanation of why the answer helped to quiet some of my skepticism. I asked, roughly, what the ideal outcome for Zaid would be, aside from obviously serving the interests of his clients.

Zaid responded that, of course, one desired outcome is to get Shaffer’s security clearance back and clear his name on the personnel matter, but the other outcome is that Able Danger be reconstituted. I find that very illuminating. These are not whistleblowers in the conventional sense, who have discovered wrongdoing and seek to stop it. Rather, these are people who are convinced that they were involved in something very worthwhile, something that may have, conceivably, prevented 9/11 in a perfect world, but more importantly, something that could prevent future attacks of a similar nature, that they feel was wrongly shut down by the higher-ups.


He also mentions "there was an alleged discovery related to China and a high government official (supposedly Rice) that caused the plug to be pulled on data-mining operations of this sort." However, some other names have been mentioned. According to Shane Harris of National Journal:

“I heard they turned up Hillary Clinton,” the official said. The experiment was not continued.


Bluto agreed on several points, and added the following:

Mr. Zaid was quite forthcoming, but unfortunately, more questions were raised than answered, and I got the impression that the hearings are a pro forma exercise that will probably shed little light on the Able Danger program. He described the conduct of the hearings as "very disconcerting" and said that the Representatives involved displayed "very superficial knowledge" of the Able Danger saga....

The biggest question I have is this: why isn't the mainstream media all over this story? It stinks to high heaven of coverup. NBC can provide nightly coverage of the Katrina aftermath for five months, but a story that has profound implications for national security doesn't rate thirty seconds?

Mr. Zaid was very diplomatic when I asked him about the lack of media attention, praising Fox News, the New York Times and Chris Matthews of MSNBC, but the fact is that a story isn't real to most of America until they hear it on the network news.

I'll have more on this later. In the meantime, you could do worse than write your Representatives to demand a real investigation, and maybe stop by the Able Danger Blog to make a donation to Colonel Shaffer's legal fund.


Captain Ed makes several key points here:

As Zaid points out, the lack of press almost certainly results from the committee members themselves; the only thing that Republicans and Democrats have in common these days is a desire to push Able Danger out of sight. The FBI also appears to have gotten the same disease as the two parties. The FBI, which once acknowledged that several attempts occurred to have meetings between its agents and the Able Danger team now denies that any such contacts occurred.

I have not performed much better, to be fair. Other issues have pushed Able Danger off of my radar screen, and even Zaid noted that no explosive developments have arisen from the story in weeks. Nonetheless, the above bloggers have done an excellent job in maintaining some interest in the story. The conference call gave me an opprortunity to pick the thread back up and start pressing Congress for more hearings. Zaid thinks that three or four more committees may conduct hearings on the matter, and the DoD Inspector General is expected to issue a report on AD sometime in May. Zaid believes that an unclassified summary will be part of that, but if it isn't, he will take action to get a declassified summary released.


I agree with Ed about the only thing that Democrats and Republicans seem to have in common these days. Neither Democratic or Republican leadership seems interested in going back into what happened before 9-11, because they don't think it serves their interests. Never mind that the Able Danger team can demonstrate it's in America's insterests. If it's not clear how you can score political points, it's not worth it. That's our job, as bloggers: To make it in their interests to get interested in Able Danger and start looking into how we can prevent the next attack on America.

UPDATE: On that note, Pierre Legrand, offers the best introduction to Shaffer's written testimony that I have seen:

First of all if you have not been following the Able Danger saga please go right now and read Lt Col Tony Shaffer's testimony to the House Armed Services Committee. In that document you will find a clear and concise explanation of just exactly how screwed up our Government is when confronted by its own errors. You will find a story about how we had the 9/11 Hijackers dead to rights, long before 9/11. You will know that this cuts right across partisan lines and truly is a story that both sides can find both comfort and alarm to think about late at night. This is a story of how the Government truly works away from the harsh glare of the Mainstream Media's childish simplification of the battles inside of the Government. Inside the document Lt Col Shaffer names names and lets us know who the hero's are and who are the villains. Not politely but with the passion of a person who feels bewildered by the idiocy raging around him. This is not the work of a disgruntled Government employee that is seeking to embarrass a politician or party but the work of a Patriot trying to protect his country.


Curt from Flopping Aces had to pull a double shift, but wishes he could have been there. I don't think he's the only one looking forward to our next chance to talk.

Able Danger on 610 AM in Ohio

Dirk Thompson is scheduled to have journalists on his radio show in Columbus, OH tonight to discuss Able Danger around 7-8 pm ET. Tune in if you're in the area, or you can listen live on the 610 WTVN website.

UPDATE: Here is an audio clip from the show, recorded by Vi Adkins.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Audio of Able Danger Hearing

I have posted the entire audio of today's Able Danger hearing (for streaming or download) here.

UPDATE by TopDog08: The files are mirrored here and here. You can also listen to it on the House website.

If anyone can send a transcript to CONTACT at ABLEDANGERBLOG.COM we'd be grateful. The transcript is here if you can access it.

Meanwhile, take action. Demand news coverage of Able Danger.

Able Danger Timeline in Shaffer's words

This is not his entire written timeline, but it is the portion starting from the LIWA data destruction through September 11th:

(U) Apr-May 2000. Army LIWA/IDC gets cold feet due to "oversight" and U.S. Person issues. Despite a "personal for" message from GEN Schoomaker, Commander SOCOM to GEN Shinseki, Chief of Staff of the Army, to allow LIWA/IDC to continue to support the ABLE DANGER effort, the message is never answered and Army lawyers (in particular, Tom Taylor from the information I was provided at the time by Army staff officers) effectively shuts down all army support. Gen Schoomaker directs the establishment of a replica of the LIWA/IDC technology - at a classified location.

(U) Jun 2000. At the request of SOCOM ([ ], DIA's Rep to SOCOM), with the permission of the DIA/DO leadership, I approach MG Noonan, Commander of Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) to request that Dr. Eileen Preisser be attached to my unit, STRATUS IVY so that she could continue to support ABLE DANGER. This request is denied - I am told later, privately, that MG Noonan felt that by trying to take Dr. Preisser that I was trying to "steal his capability"!!!

(U) Aug 2000. DIA's Directorate of Intelligence (DI) refuses at first to provide SOCOM 100% of all DIA information. Eventually, the DI gives in, but forces the DO to "pick up and sign for" the DIA information. The DIA/DI provides the information in an "unusable" format - but due to an experienced Raytheon programmer being assigned, she is able to create an algorithm that corrects the problem; it is believed that DIA provided the data in an unusable form intentionally.

(U) Late Spring / Early Summer 2000. [ ] Based on my unit's enhanced relationship with the FBI, I set up three separate meetings between SOCOM (COL Worthington, the then ABLE DANGER chief) and FBI Counterterrorism Special Agents in Washington, DC.

(U) SOCOM cancels all three meetings - reason: SOCOM lawyers would not permit the sharing of the U.S. person information regarding terrorists located domestically due to "fear of potential blowback" should the FBI do something with the information and something go wrong. The lawyers were worried about another "Waco" situation. The critical counterterrorism information is never passed form SOCOM to the FBI before 9-11; this information did include the original data regarding Atta and the terrorist cells in New York and the DC area.

(U) Sep-Oct 2000. The ABLE DANGER effort is established and up and running. GEN Schoomaker retires in Oct 2000, to be replaced by Air Force GEN Holland. GEN Holland, in my judgment, did not understand the concept, and orders the effort (Dec 2000) to terminate its activities in Garland, TX and for the personnel to return to Tampa - there he directs the ABLE DANGER effort become a J2/intelligence effort and the Special Operations Joint Intelligence Center (SOJIC) is created in its place.

(U) January-March 2001. DIA is requested to provide udpated info for the effort to be re-established in Tampa. DIA begins to drag its feet across the board with the departure of LTG Hughes, MG Harding and COL York. STRATUS IVY is prohibited by DIA/DO's new leadership, MG Isler, from participating in the NSA and DIA data transfer.


At this point he discusses a larger project, details of which were redacted:

(U) January-March 2001 - [ ]

  • (U) DCI George Tenet - During this briefing, the DCI approved our conduct of this special project - I did specifically mention the ABLE DANGER effort to him regarding the use of its methodology to separate out U.S. Person issues.


  • (U) Chairman of the JCS, GEN Hugh Shelton - During this briefing, GEN Shelton approved the project [ ] His comment was "The people of this country think we are doing things like this. We should be doing things like this".


  • (U) Director of the Joint Staff, LTG Peter Pace - he was briefed, seemed impressed, and supported the project. He did not seem to be aware of ABLE DANGER when I mentioned the name of the project as part of the briefing.


  • (U) [ ]


  • (U) The National Security Counsel (twice) - Shortly after the briefing to Dr. Cambone, Mark Garlasco and I were directed to brief the National Security Counsel (NSC) on the operation on two separate occasions. I cannot recall the specific dates of, or individuals present at, the briefing.




At this point he returns to discussing the ABLE DANGER project:

(U) 2001 spring. The Special Operations Joint Integration Center (SOJIC) is created - watered down by Mitre contractors - the teeth and operational focus were removed and the capability to do the complex data mining and mission planning support (leadership support) is eliminated.

(U) May 2001. Scott Phillpott calls me in desperation in the May 2001 timeframe on my mobile phone. He asked if he can bring "the ABLE DANGER options" that ABLE DANGER had come up with to DC and to use one of my STRATUS IVY facilities to do the work. I tell him with all candor that I would love nothing better than to loan him my facility and work the options with him (to exploit them for both Intel potential and for actual offensive operations) but tell him that my DIA chain of command has directed my to stop all suppport to him and the project. In good faith, I ask my boss, COL Mary Moffitt if I can help Scott and exploit the options - and that there would be a DIA quid pro quo of obtaining new "lead" information from the project. She takes offensive at me even mentioning ABLE DANGER in this conversation, tells me that I am being insubordinate, and begins the process of removing my from my position as chief of STRATUS IVY. As a direct result of this conversation, she directs that I be "moved" to a desk officer position to oversee Defense HUMINT operations in Latin America.

(U) 11 Sep 2001. We are attacked.

(U) Late September 2001. Eileen Preisser calls me for coffee and tells me she has something she needs to show me. At coffee she shows me a chart she had brought with her - a large desk top size chart. On it she has me look at the 'Brooklyn Cell' - I was confused at first - but she kept telling me to look - and in the "cluster" I eventually found the picture of Atta. She pointed out (and I recognized) that this was one of the charts I LIWA had produced in Jan 2000, and that I had taken down to Tampa. I was shocked - and had a sinking feeling at the pit of my stomach - I felt that we had been on the right track - and that because of the bureaucracy we had been stopped - and that we might well have been able to have done something to stop the 9/11 attack. I ask Eileen what she plans to do with the information/chart - she tells me that she does not know but she plans to do something.

(U) Last week of September 2001. I am on my normal afternoon run from the Pentagon to the Lincoln Memorial - and I receive a call from Dr. Preisser. She tells me "you'll never guess where I am" - she tells me about sitting in the outer office of Scooter Libby and the fact that she, Congressman Curt Weldon, Congressman Chris Shays and Congressman Dan Burton are going in to brief Steven Hadley on the Atta chart. I am both amazed and satisfied that the Atta information and our work on ABLE DANGER had been provided to proper government leadership and fully expected that the ABLE DANGER team might even be reconstituted. It was not.

(U) Nov 2001-July 2003 - I accept recall to active duty as a Major in the Army and command a Defense HUMINT unit named Field Operating Base (FOB) Alpha. During this period I attempted to work with ASD/SOLIC to resurrect ABLE DANGER as part of FOB Alpha's mission. When some sensitive information relating SOLIC was leaked to the press the effort to bring back ABLE DANGER was also terminated. Dr. Priesser was involved in this attempt to resurrect the project.

Reporter defends Able Danger blackout

Sylvia Smith was one of the reporters on Washington Journal, who was questioned about the lack of Able Danger coverage - in addition to complaints about the decision by C-SPAN not to cover the hearing at all. Here is her own response:

This anatomy of deciding what’s news is prompted by the dozen or so calls to C-SPAN on Friday when I was one of two journalists whom host Brian Lamb invited on his call-in show to discuss news and the news business.

If the callers are a fair representation of Americans, then a lot of people are convinced that journalists are deliberately ignoring Able Danger/Cisneros/foreign management of U.S. ports. (But how, do you wonder, did they even know about these topics if they were not reported in the media?)

Some of those callers were a wee bit testy about it. I don’t mind that in the least. But I wish I had been able to show them that a newspaper (or TV newscast, for that matter) has finite space. My day doesn’t have 30 hours in it just because I’m a journalist.

I didn’t choose to cover the Souder/Walters hearing so I could not cover something else, such as Able Danger. Covering Souder is my job, as is reporting on the other members of the Indiana congressional delegation. If I were a sportswriter assigned to cover ice skating, would it make sense to suggest there’s a conspiracy afoot because I don’t write about band contests?


Well, that might explain her own decision but what about reporters and newscasts who normally focus on issues of national security?

Able Danger on Power Line

Brief mention by Scott Johnson:

Unable to see danger

Jack Kelly's weekly Pittsburgh Post Gazette column reviews the evidence Able Danger and brings the story up to date. Kelly concludes: "It's unclear why the Bush administration is covering up [Able Danger], since the suppression of Able Danger occurred on President Clinton's watch. But it is clear there is a cover-up. One would think a Washington press corps obsessing about a hunting accident in Texas would be more curious about it."

I think that's an observation that broadly applies to events of the past week....

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Able Danger Hearing Summary by AJ Strata

If you read nothing else about Able Danger, be sure to read The Strata-Sphere's top drawer Able Danger Hearing summary:

China Study Rocks The Hill and Unleashes The Purge: While Cambone tried to link the data purge to this 90-day rule, Weldon and the other witnesses (with first hand knowledge) pointed to the LIWA China Study that was being done in parallel to the Able Danger study. I have stated all along this was the lynchpin, the source of all later cover ups and mistakes and lost opportunities.

We all know the story so I will not repeat it here, but what we learned from the hearings is how far up this went. Weldon let slip that the initial China study report made it well outside of LIWA and Orion, up past the Army chain of command, beyond the Pentagon and hopped the Potomac to reach Capitol Hill (Item 54). Trust me when I tell you how stunned I was to hear that the China study report was seen by many in Congress - including Congressman Weldon himself. He briefed others on it. And it was this report containing nationally known names that caused the data purge.

There is no doubt of that now. Kleinsmith testified to the fact the order came from above his chain of command (Item 38). The fact the SOCOM folks were in an uproar means the order was above LIWA and SOCOM, putting it in the Pentagon or higher. Who was involved in this?Well one person does come to mind: Jamie Gorelick. Another Weldon bomb shell was that no only did Gorelick contact him last summer to claim she “did nothing wrong”, apparently she called Sen Specter twice to convey the same message...

Able Danger Transcript: Curt Weldon Interview on the Tony Snow Radio Show, 2/17/2006

My transcription of Tony Snow's interview of Rep. Curt Weldon on his radio show is here.

Is it just me, or does Rep. Weldon sound somewhat defeated:

It's unfortunate that the way we're going right now, we're not going to get the truth because too many people in two administrations will be embarrassed over this. I'm going to continue to push for improvements in data mining to give us the capability to understand these transnational terrorist threats...

Able Danger and the USS Cole

Jane Novak has a new article on the Cole:

A former CIA agent, Robert Baer, was given information by a Saudi military contact that a Saudi merchant family had funded the USS Cole bombing and that the Yemeni government was covering up information related to that bombing. A leading Yemeni editor said in 2001, "It was clear from the start that the accessories to the attack would be tried, convicted and executed, but that the people inside Yemen who financed it, and used their power to facilitate it, would never be brought to book."

The regime has had difficulty keeping the attackers in jail. In 2003, eight of the Cole conspirators escaped from jail and two later went on to commit suicide operations in Iraq. Among the 2003 escapees was Jamal Al-Badawi, mastermind of the bombing. Al-Badawi was recaptured and returned to the prison only to escape again along with 22 other inmates.

After the Cole attack, President Saleh denied publicly that he was notified by the US that the Cole was en route to Aden. According to General Zinni, former CENTCOM commander in his 2000 Congressional Testimony, standard U.S. procedure was to notify Yemeni officials about two weeks prior to a ship's arrival at port. It was just about two weeks before the attack on the Cole that the Pentagon's secret intelligence unit, Able Danger, began to pick up massive terrorist activity in Aden.

At the time of the bombings, a Yemeni regime official advanced the theory that the U.S. had blown up the boat itself, as pretense for an invasion. This fear mongering has continued. "There was a plan to occupy Aden," Saleh said in a 2005 speech, claiming the existence of eight U.S. warships at the mouth of the port of Aden, ready to invade in the days after the bombing. Only through his leadership abilities, he claimed, was invasion averted.

Able Danger Analysis - Part IV from AJ Strata

AJ Strata has finished his analysis of last Wednesday's entire Able Danger hearing. The newest and final piece of his analysis is here. AJ promises a summary analysis later today or tonight.

Links to all parts of his analysis are: Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV.

Take Action: Demand Coverage of Able Danger

From a Media for Democracy newsletter:

Up until this point CNN's Lou Dobbs is one of the few in the mainstream media to cover this issue!

Click below to send a message to the major news networks demanding that they cover "What could be the biggest scandal of our lifetime."

Send the network news companies a message demanding that they cover Able Danger!

Monitoring the Able Danger Hearings Coverage

From MediaChannel.org:

MediaChannel.org used the powerful new MediaVision tool to monitor television news coverage of the Able Danger Congressional hearings. To our astonishment CNN's "Lou Dobbs Tonight" was the only news show to give Able Danger any significant coverage.

We were so shocked by the lack of coverage that we created an online campaign to try to pressure TV news networks to cover, as Lou Dobbs put it, "what could be the biggest scandal of our lifetime." Click here to send networks an email demanding coverage!

So, sadly, here it is. All the TV coverage we could find thus far:


One clip they found is this segment with Colonel David Hunt coming to the defense of Tony Shaffer on Fox and Friends at 6:23 AM Friday morning.

The suppression of Able Danger

From Jack Kelly:

When Colonel Shaffer was interviewing to become an intelligence officer, he admitted that at age 13, he had taken a box of pens from the embassy where his father worked. After he went public, the Defense Intelligence Agency tried to use that, $180 in disputed travel expenses, and $67 in disputed telephone charges, as grounds for firing him.

Mr. Smith testified he'd lost two jobs since coming forward. Because of what's happened to Colonel Shaffer and Mr. Smith, other witnesses insisted on testifying behind closed doors, so they would be protected from retaliation from superiors whose negligence kept Able Danger's findings from the FBI and the captain of the Cole.

It's unclear why the Bush Administration is covering up, since the suppression of Able Danger occurred on President Clinton's watch. But it is clear there is a cover-up. One would think a Washington press corps obsessing about a hunting accident in Texas would be more curious about it.

Weldon on Fox News now

Talking to Tony Snow.

UPDATE: Segment ended at 12:38, but I'm hoping Intelligence Summit will have a copy tomorrow. They have not been capturing recent Lou Dobbs videos though, so maybe not.

Able Danger Hearing Transcript

Curt at Flopping Aces is working on trascribing the Able Danger hearing on 2/15/2006. The post is here.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Absolutely Required Reading Assignment

AJ Strata's (the best Able Danger analyst in the blogosphere, alternative media or natch, MSM) lastest Able Danger hearing analysis (Part III) is up:
Holy Cow! Weldon has a signed affidavit from a witness that talked to one of Cambone’s staff recently and who said Cambone’s group was going to ‘kill this story’ and Shaffer had no credibility. The name is Butch Willard This is right after Cambone claimed no one was not trying to ‘bring the information forward’. If Weldon is right, Cambone just perjured himself and is in hot water now. The witness is an ex intelligence officer (woman). They moved all this to the closed session!
Don't fail to miss it, it's required after all.

Audio of Rep. Weldon on Tony Snow's Radio Program This Morning

The audio is here. (HT: Free Republic)

UPDATE by TopDog08: Via AJ, Tony Snow is guest-hosting the O’Reilly Factor on Fox, and has an interview (tonight, Friday 2/17) with Weldon.

CORRECTION by TopDog08: Just watched a repeat of the Factor. Weldon was not on. Snow only interviewed Weldon once, on his radio show. The commenter at AJ's probably confused the radio interview with the TV show.

Peter Lance on Lou Dobbs tonight

From last night's show:

We'll be continuing our coverage of the Able Danger controversy throughout. Joined us here tomorrow by Pulitzer prize winner investigative journalist Peter Lance.


UPDATE: Here is the transcript from CNN:

DOBBS: Congressman Curt Weldon succeeded in holding congressional hearings on Able Danger this week. But the Able Danger controversy certainly will continue. Emmy Award winning investigative journalist Peter Lance joins me now on the Able Danger situation, controversy, case.

Peter, are you encouraged by the hearings that you watched?

PETER LANCE, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: I'm encouraged by Congressman Weldon's tenacity, but frankly, I...

DOBBS: Absolutely

LANCE: I think he was he was betrayed by his own committee, frankly. The fact so much of the hearing was held in closed session, why should Philip Zelikow, the chairman of the 9/11 Commission have testified in closed session? Why did they diminish Lt. Colonel Anthony Schaffer, a decorated member of the Able Danger, calling him Mister Schafer on the witness list.

DOBBS: That is, after all, the Armed Services Committee reaching out there. And the fact is that the testimony that was opened up, about the Colonel Schaffer, as you say, a distinguished veteran.

LANCE: Right.

DOBBS: What the military has done to try to destroy this man's career trying to come forward with what the Able Danger project was able to learn, including information about the USS Cole, that could have saved the USS Cole and those 17 lives; that could, had it been acted on, that interest and concern as Yemen in the days leading up to that attack is remarkable. This much is on the record

LANCE: It is. And that's important. I think another thing that isn't on the record, though, is the testimony of Dietrich Snell, this is where the committee let Congressman Weldon down. They never formally requested that Dietrich Snell show up at the hearing. He was able today to issue a statement saying, well I talked to the committee people. I'd be happy to testify if they ask me, but they really didn't ask me to come, formally.

DOBBS: Actually, well, Dietrich -- or Dieter Snell, his nickname, gave us a statement. Do we have that statement available to put up very quickly? Because we asked Dieter Snell for a statement, and this is -- I'm told we have it.

There it is. And this is his statement. Saying he had talked with and given answers to the staff of the Armed Services Committee about Able Danger. Declined our invitation to be here to discuss Able Danger and his role in the investigation. You have quite a different view of what he has done here?

LANCE Yes. Dietrich Snell is a linchpin to help us explain why the Able Danger information was suppressed both by the FBI and also the 9/11 commission, and yet Dietrich Snell has never been subject to any kind of adversarial questioning. He testified, he was a staff counsel before the 9/11 commission. He presented staff statement 16, a few softball questions from the commissioners.

But Dietrich Snell, in my opinion, is connected with at least four affirmative cover-ups on the road to 9/11 in the Clinton Justice Department and those cover-ups carried over and linked with the Able Danger operation. So if he was here tonight, if you'd let me ask a couple of question, I'd be happy to put these questions forward as to what Mr. Snell should answer. He's a public servant, he has no executive privilege, working for Eliot Spitzer, attorney general of the state of New York. He should come forward in an open forum and answer these questions.

DOBBS: He does not want to do that obviously, or he would. The question is, why do you think he's been involved in? As you put it, a cover-up? He's been a prosecutor, investigator in the war on terrorism?

LANCE: Right. A distinguished prosecutor, in fact, in my first book, "A 1,000 Years for Revenge", I was very praiseworthy of him. But, look, Dietrich Snell, in 1995, the southern district of New York was a party to a suppression's information from the Philippines that the plot, the 9/11 plot had begun as early as 1994. That was suppressed.

In 1996, he participates in a secret indictment of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, no one ever heard of Khalid Shaikh until 1998, at a time, by then he's already got the plot well underway in Hamburg. Dietrich Snell -- when I testified before the Commission it was a closed-door hearing, no stenographer present. He takes my information and basically flushes it. When the Able Danger people, Scott Philpot, presented his information about a direct tie between Al Qaeda and the Brooklyn cell and Yousef and blind Sheikh Rahman, Dietrich Snell flushes that from the 9/11 report. Why? DOBBS: And go on to draw the connection between a plot that -- and you make a convincing case that could have affected even TWA flight 800.

LANCE: 800, absolutely.

DOBBS: And the fact that we do not know the resolution to these instances. It suggests either extraordinarily, terrible, terrible investigatory efforts, and results on the part of a number of our agencies including the FBI, the CIA, the Defense intelligence, as well, State Department intelligence and security.

But at the end of the day, we've got to get to these -- if we're going to understand 9/11, we've got get to the answers. Do you believe that Congressman Weldon and this Congress will pursue this through the Department of Defense?

LANCE: I totally believe Congressman Weldon wants to and if Senator Specter -- I think we have to put this back in the Senate now. Arlen Specter is a courageous lawmaker and I think his committee is now the one that needs to take this up and Dietrich Snell has to answer the largest unsolved mass murder in American history, New York homicides, Lou. And he's in New York state. Why not come forward and tell the truth?

DOBBS: Putting the focus clearly on the principle investigative elements, that is, the New York office of the FBI, and the Southern District of New York U.S. attorneys' office.

Peter Lance, thanks for being here.

LANCE: Thank you.

Two articles on Able Danger

First from the paper that started it all in June, the Norristown Times Herald in Pennsylvania:

When all the facts about "Able Danger" are revealed, the history of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks will be rewritten, according to Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, who accused the Pentagon at a Congressional hearing Wednesday of trying to hide the former data mining effort that claims it identified hijacker Mohamed Atta more than a year before the terrorist attacks.

I think this one originally appeared before the hearing, from Barbara Anderson:

Perhaps the intelligence apparatus high up in the federal government could have allowed this story to die. Perhaps if they had not set about to destroy a valuable member of their own intelligence gathering apparatus, Representative Weldon would not have pursued what he knew had a stink to it. However, Weldon reacted as few in Washington do. He came out swinging in defense of one man, in particular, and Able Danger, in general.

The 9/11 panel finished its work and issued its report. There was no mention of the allegations made by members of Able Danger. There was no blame assessed and nobody was removed from the sensitive agencies upon whom we all depend for our safety. Revisiting Able Danger will give this group a chance to testify, which it has not been allowed to do, and American citizens can assess for themselves what happened to our watchdog agencies that allowed 9/11 to happen.

It is well to remember what Weldon, an insider, said: “There’s something very sinister going on here that really troubles me.”

And taking names

From Anti Media:

While the press has been obsessing about Dick Cheney's hunting accident (grow up already why don't ya?), Tony Shaffer was naming names (pdf) and blowing the lid off the Able Danger story.

Here's just one example.


(U) As one of the reports in the press commented last year regarding this story, there are "bad guys" who were not held accountable for their failures. There were those who were fearful of what we were doing who played politics and shortchanged the nation in both their duty and loyalty to the country, and in the end they put their career ahead of doing the right thing.

(U) Mr. William Huntington, who was just promoted to serve as the Deputy Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, who after becoming the Deputy Director of HUMINT in the early 2001 timeframe passed the buck. When I attempted to brief him on the DORHAWK GALLEY project, to include information on the ABLE DANGER project that was to use specific portions of the ABLE DANGER methodology to sort through and separate U.S. Person information from Foreign Intelligence information, refused to hear the briefing, announcing that "I can't be here, I can't see this" as he left his office and refused to return to hear the information. By doing this, he could later fain ignorance of the project should it have been compromised to the public. It is my believe that he is an example of the cultural problem — senior bureaucrats who are more focused on their own career and having "plausible deniability" to never allow anything "controversial or risky" to "touch them". It is of greave concern that Mr. Huntington is the one who is behind the troubling coincidence regarding my security clearance being suspended in March of 2004, just after reporting to my DIA chain of command (to include Mr. Huntington) of my contact with the 9-11 commission, and my offer to share the ABLE DANGER information to the 9-11 commission. I would question the judgment of DIA's leadership to offer Mr. Huntington up as its "expert" on ABLE DANGER based on his earlier refusal to deal with this issue in 2001. Further, I have direct knowledge of two officers — one a senior DoD civilian, the other a senior active duty military officer — both former members of Defense HUMINT — that Mr. Huntington directed them to lie to congress to conceal the true scope and nature of problems with Defense HUMINT. Both refused his directive to lie and are no longer members of Defense HUMINT. Mr. Huntington's conduct speaks for itself.

You don't get any more direct than that. Shaffer obviously feels he has nothing to lose at this point, so he's willing to name names and expose high level leadership that, in his view, was derelict in their duties.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Able Danger in the New York Times

After several months missing in action, Able Danger has suddenly reappeared in the pages of the Times. I couldn't crop out all the spin. What is the exact difference between "numerous" and "some" anyway? All the same, here's the article:

"It's absolutely essential that we have a system that allows people to speak out about abuses, especially in the national security realm," Mr. Shays said in an interview.

He said his conviction that current protections were inadequate was strengthened by testimony on Tuesday at a hearing of his House subcommittee on national security by five self-described whistle-blowers who described retaliation for their disclosures. Mr. Shays's concerns are shared by numerous Democrats and some other Republicans, including Representative Curt Weldon of Pennsylvania, who has denounced what he calls the mistreatment of a military intelligence officer, Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, who disclosed the Pentagon's Able Danger data-mining program. Mr. Weldon says he believes that the program identified Mohammed Atta before he became the lead hijacker in the 2001 terrorist attacks, though a Pentagon review found no evidence to support that conclusion.

Among the military officers who have spoken to him about Able Danger, Mr. Weldon said at a news conference this week, are some "whose lives were ruined, who were threatened and intimidated because they simply wanted to tell the truth."


Granted it's not much more than the short AP recap, but it's a start.

Arkin vs Kelly

Bill Arkin and Jack Kelly clarify the difference between the kind of thinking that let 9/11 happen, and the kind of thinking that could prevent the next major attack.

First we have Bill Arkin. In a post titled "Able Danger and 9/11 Heartstrings" the liberal national security reporter demonstrates how a lack of interest in determining all the facts in case it might disrupt your preconceived notions - combined with a healthy mix of Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt - will lead you to asinine conclusions every time:

What is most interesting is his elliptical and almost unintentional discussion of a host of compartmented projects in the pre-9/11 period that were fighting the war on terrorism, conducting special operations, engaged in some Top Secret activity that Shaffer still believes was of some great value.

Shaffer suggests that. What's missing from his testimony and Cambone's is any substantiation that all of this secret, compartmented activity achieved anything useful, nor that it necessarily achieves anything useful today.

Cambone is not to be completely believed because he is the mouthpiece for a damaged administration and a Pentagon that is not above lying when it suits it. Shaffer can not be relied upon because he is a nut.

Yet Cambone and Shaffer share the same agenda. For these secret warriors, it is the lawyers and the bureaucrats and the strait-laced military officers and the human rights activists and the media who are the real problem: They should all just get out of the way and let the patriots do their job. Cambone, Shaffer, Weldon all tug on the heartstrings of those who want to believe that the government could have done something to prevent the attack. It is their ticket.


In other words, without even examining the evidence, we all know that nothing could possibly have prevented 9/11 - and nothing could possibly prevent the next major attack - so why don't we stop all the patriotic huffing and puffing already. Clearly, this is contradicted by the testimony of Smith, Shaffer, and Kleinsmith. Which is no doubt why he ignored that part of their testimony.

In contrast, conservative national security columnist Jack Kelly of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, went out of his way to attend the hearing so he could get all the facts and hear first hand what the witnesses had to say:

1. Curt Weldon is a national hero. He badgered the Armed Services Committee into holding this hearing. I describe in my column how he humiliated Stephen Cambone, the undersecretary of defense for intelligence, who seems to be orchestrating the coverup. Friends in the military have described Cambone to me in terms unfit for printing in a family newspapers. After seeing him in action, I understand why.

2. Tony Shaffer makes a most credible witness. He has a thorough grasp of the facts, and doesn't speculate about matters beyond his personal knowledge.

3. News coverage was horrible. CSPAN didn't cover the hearing. The AP wrote a small dispatch. CNS had a longer dispatch, which is here. The best of the handful of accounts was by James Rosen of the Raleigh News & Observer, whose story is here. Most newspapers, including the one I work for, didn't run anything on the hearing.

4. There definitely is a campaign to intimidate witnesses. Only three testified in open session, for fear of retaliation. They have good reason to be afraid. After Tony Shaffer "outed" himself as one of Weldon's sources, the DIA tried to fire him. The grounds? When Shaffer was being interviewed prior to becoming an intelligence officer years ago, he admitted that at age 13, he'd stolen a box of pens from the embassy where his father worked. That, $67 in disputed telephone charges and $180 in disputed travel charges were the reasons why DIA said he should be canned.

5. The key figure is Dr. Eileen Preisser, the scientist (Shaffer calls her a genius) who devised the data mining program that dredged up Mohammad Atta's name and his connection with the Brooklyn cell....

Conspiracy theorists add 2 and 2 and get 22. I'm not prepared to do that here. But there seems to be a bipartisan interest in keeping the truth about ABLE DANGER from the American people.


Let's see: Critical thinking, an attempt at objectivity, and avoiding rushes to judgment? Openness to the possibility of other points of view and new evidence as it arises? This Jack Kelly must be a sentimentalist who's been tugging at 9/11 heartstrings for too long.

UPDATE: This comment from someone named Tex at Arkin's blog, was too good to pass up:

Arkin - guess you forgot to mention the specifics of Shaffer's testimony, backing up the unclassified facts in the open testimony, could only be provided in closed session - note that his testimony is marked UNCLASSIFIED, which one would asume there is a CLASSIFIED verson as well that probably contained the rest of the story that we don't get to see.

Funny how you conveniently failed to mention this fact in you rant. The closed session followed the open session yesterday - it was in the news and on the HASC schedule, or do you not pay attention to the news?

Then again, even if you did know, you never seem to let the facts stand in the way of your "alternate universe" view of the world.


A commenter here clarifies one point from the Kelly post:

Just to clarify one thing that I believe that Congressman Weldon stated first and is now repeated in this article, Lt. Col. Shaffer's father did NOT work at the embassy, he was an officer of the United States Air Force, assigned to the MAAG. Believe me the military is barely acknowledged by the State Dept, when overseas.


MAAG is an abbreviation for Military Assistance Advisory Group.

Weldon and Roemer on Lou Dobbs tonight

From CNN:

New information now shows the top-secret military intelligence
unit Able Danger identified Mohammed Atta, the leader of the
Sept. 11 hijackers, 13 times before the 2001 attacks. Former
9/11 Commissioner Tim Roemer and Congressman Curt Weldon join
Lou for reaction to the Able Danger congressional hearings.


UPDATE: Lou devotes almost the entire second half of the show to Able Danger. Yet, he still feels the need to retell the story every single night, so not a lot of new ground gets covered. Weldon mentioned that Zelikow did not discuss anything classified in the closed session. Why was he allowed to testify off the record in closed session then? Lou also talked to General David Grange briefly about Able Danger. Here is that exchange, in which Grange stressed that it is the duty of our military officers to tell the truth:

DOBBS: As we explore what is happening with Able Danger and the controversy and the hearings that were held yesterday, an extraordinary effort led by Army intelligence, to see that kind of bureaucratic nonsense taking place -- and tragedy, frankly, within the Department of Defense, scuttling lives and careers in point in fact.

Is there anything that can be done to bring a level of leadership that will demand that that kind of attitude be removed from our Department of Defense and our U.S. military?

GRANGE: Well, actually, I mean it's against code not to tell the truth. And when a military person comes forward with the truth, I mean it has to be honored. In court, or honored in testimony of some sort and should be reported. It's the duty of the soldier to do such thing.

DOBBS: And the duty certainly of the men and women who lead the U.S. military from the Pentagon. Are you -- are you hopeful that we're going to see a better response in terms of -- and I will limit this to Defense Department intelligence?

GRANGE: I believe so. I think there's a lot of effort there. It's the long poll in the tent for any operation today against terrorists. And I think so, Lou. I think there is a lot of work being done.

DOBBS: Thank you Dave Grange. We appreciate it.


Anyway, here is the rest of the Able Danger discussion:

DOBBS: Ed Henry, thank you very much.

Able Danger Army intelligence officers have finally told their story in a major hearing on Capitol Hill. Able Danger officials yesterday testified how they identified Mohamed Atta and other 9/11 radical Islamic terrorists more than a year before 9/11, using data mining technology. And they explain how they were not allowed to share the information they had gathered with the FBI.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LT. COL ANTHONY SHAFFER, U.S. ARM RESERVE: We tried to arrange three separate times meetings between the FBI. I called down to Captain Philpot, as I recall, and said, Why? What's going on? Why aren't you guys showing up for these meetings? And that's when I was informed that they were told that they -- special operations command were told by their legal advice, their legal attorneys, they were not supposed to show up for these meetings.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DOBBS: Able Danger officials say that if the meetings had been allowed to go forward, intelligence officials might, might have been able to prevent 9/11. It has taken years for Congress to finally hold these hearings on Able Danger and what happened to that project. The Able Danger unit began its operations in the fall of 1999. In early 2000, Able Danger uncovered its first information about the 9/11 radical Islamist terrorists.

The unit and its officers say they also uncovered information that might have prevented the terrorist attack against the U.S.S. Cole in October of 2000. The chairman of the joint chiefs of staff was finally briefed about Able Danger findings in January of 2001. But that spring, just months before September 11th, the Able Danger project was shut down.

Congressman Curt Weldon who fought for months to bring these Able Danger hearings to Capitol Hill was openly frustrated yesterday but what he calls Washington's failure to take Able Danger claims seriously.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. CURT WELDON, VICE CHAIR., HOUSE ARMED SVRC. CMT: Like Jay Stewart, who had his career ruin at DOE back in the '90s. I mention Doctor Gordon Ehlers, a CIA nonproliferation director at the CIA, who was forced out. Partly as a result of Iran's development of their missile technology in Shahab (ph) three.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DOBBS: Tim Roemer, a former member of the 9/11 commission, joins me now from Chicago tonight.

You heard Congressman Weldon's charges. You've seen much of what has -- what transpired in the open part the hearings yesterday. What's your reaction?

TIM ROEMER, FMR. 9/11 COMMISSION MEMBER: Well, Lou, first of all my reaction is I'm glad that the oversight function of Congress, which the 9/11 commission criticized, as almost dysfunctional itself -- is working. That they're trying to get to the bottom of this.

Was there in fact a chart, a picture of Atta before 9/11? Was there some evidence of this? So far, the Defense Department is saying, no. Steve Cambone testified they'd been unable to find it. The 9/11 Commission did not see factual evidence of it.

(CROSS TALK)

DOBBS: In fairness the staff of your commission did not -- point in fact, spend anytime at all seeking it out. I mean isn't that correct, Tim?

ROEMER: I don't think that's entirely factually correct, Lou. What chief of staff, I believe said, he said this to us before. I don't know what he said yesterday in closed testimony.

DOBBS: Right. Nor do any of us.

ROEMER: Right. Nor could we talk about it, Lou. But what he has said to us before was that when Colonel Shaffer talked to the 9/11 Commission in Bagram, Afghanistan, he talked about Able Danger, but he did not talk about Atta or identifying Atta ahead of time. And that's confirmed by a White House person.

DOBBS: In his unclassified testimony yesterday in point of fact, Colonel Shaffer did say, point blank, that they the information about Mohamed Atta just about a year before 9/11.

And then moved into a spirited examination of the reasons that his unit, the Able Danger project, was frustrated. Do you find it remarkable that Dieter Snell, the man pivotal in all of this because working on your commission, at staff level, obviously, and now working for a New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, was not present for these hearings? The request of Eliot Spitzer, the New York attorney general?

ROEMER: Well, I think the 9/11 Commission should be as cooperative as they possibly can with Congress trying to get to the bottom of this. I absolutely embrace Congress doing its oversight and getting to the bottom of it, Lou. They're bringing up the right people, the Department of Defense people, undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Steve Cambone said not able it find any factual evidence of this.

Let's keep digging, Lou. Let's keep looking for this. Because what it does is it verifies what the 9/11 Commission said that maybe in this instance too, government agencies failed to communicate with one another. We propose 41 different recommendations for Congress to fix.

They've only passed half of them, Lou. We still half of them to go to make this country safer and they -- Congress in addition to doing their oversight, they need to act on the 9/11 Commission recommendation, make the country safer, protect us from Al Qaeda and more effectively gauge this war against Jihadists. DOBBS: And Colonel Shaffer, in his public testimony, saying precisely the same thing. That the bureaucratic infighting and all of the sordid impulses of a Defense Department Intelligence Department and political CYA, as he put it, organization, led to failures to reform and to the failures a year before 9/11. And he said the same and just as you're suggest, those failure are still with us.

ROEMER: You know, Lou, --

DOBBS: Tim, are going to have to break. Tim, I appreciate it.

ROEMER: I hope we can talk about more of too much bureaucracy in Department Homeland Security and in Defense. I think we could see changes, Lou.

DOBBS: I'm with you, although, I as soon not talk about, it I would rather somebody get in there and do something about it.

(CROSS TALK)

ROEMER: I agree with that.

DOBBS: I have a belly full of talk about it.

ROEMER: I agree with that. Let's go get 'em. I'm with you.

DOBBS: And now if we could just do something, you and I.

ROEMER: Well, we can, thanks, Lou.

DOBBS: Appreciate it.

Coming up next, here, Congressman Curt Weldon will join me with his response to what was a frustrating day, after he succeeded in getting at least partial public hearings on the Able Danger controversy.

And tonight, red storm. New satellite pictures revealing how China is aggressively, and to this point, secretly building up its military including nuclear weapons. That special report is coming right up. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DOBBS: We just heard former 9/11 Commissioner Tim Roemer suggest that he wants to see a full investigation of the Able Danger controversy. And now it's time for Congressman Curt Weldon to join us. Congressman Weldon the driving force behind yesterday's Able Danger hearings in Congress and joining me tonight from Wilmington, Delaware.

Congressman, good to have you with us. You spent of what was obviously a frustrating, considerable time yesterday afternoon in the open hearings. Do you believe that enough got out on this issue to be helpful to you, to congress, to the public?

REP. CURT WELDON, (R) PENNSYLVANIA: If the public could have access, unfortunately C-Span didn't cover it. You're only network doing a decent job on it, but information's there, Lou.

In the opening hearing, in the closed hearing, we had five people testify that they agree with Louis Freeh. That the information they had could have prevented 9/11 from ever happening. And they testified under oath. The Defense Department said they didn't have any information.

Lou, I gave them information in the hearing that I have a source within the intelligence community today, who did a run for me one month ago, and in that run came up with the name Atta 800 times. The Mohamed Atta with an O five times. And Mohamed Atta with a U three times. That's pre-9/11 data he used, not post-9/11. So the data's there, Lou. It's question of getting it out.

DOBBS: Colonel Shaffer's testimony at least the part that was unclassified and was public, is fascinating. He's stated straightforwardly, that his project, Able Danger, knew of Mohamed Atta, about a year before September 11th. When he talks about those people who were supportive of Able Danger, and who were important to the success to that point of able danger, and then he talks about the bad guys. What are you going to do about the bad guys?

WELDON: You know, I wish I knew that answer right now. You know, Zelicow (ph) should have testified in open session, because nothing he said was classified. I don't think he wants to be in open session to let the American people see us question him. We should have had Dieter Snell there. He's the guy that debriefed Scott Philpot.

DOBBS: Why did you allow the attorney general in New York to keep him away?

WELDON: I didn't, Lou. The committee hearing was not run by me. I wish it had been; they did not force the issue.

DOBBS: Congressman, apologize for interrupting, but this is beginning to look like it would serve the interest of neither Democrats nor Republicans, the latter Clinton administration, nor the Bush administration for the truth to come out here. Is that what you're really fighting here as well as a Defense Department DIA entrenched bureaucracy.

WELDON: Yes. And I don't think it's either President Clinton, nor President Bush, it's the underlings. It's the bureaucrats who fear embarrassment. They're in this CYA mode. They don't want anything to come out and they will ruin the career and life of anyone who dares to put forth information that's truthful, that could contradict that.

You hit the nail on the head. I said it yesterday. I'm very frustrated because I don't think either bureaucracy, either administration, wants the full truth to be told to the American people. I voted for the 9/11 Commission. I supported almost all their recommendations and continue to do that. But we've never yet had the true story and I don't think the commissioners were ever briefed. That decision to not briefed them was stopped by staff.

DOBBS: And that being the case, the straightforward evidence and even the agreement, that there was at least a level of intelligence that could have, if they had follow the instincts of Able Danger analysts, have perhaps had that been in the hands of the captain of the USS Cole have prevented the loss of 17 sailor's lives. I mean that is extraordinary. I mean there is no equivocation about that.

WELDON: Lou. That's right. The captain of the Cole, Kirk Lippold was in his audience in a civil uniform. And he sat there and listened. I talked to him before the hearing. I talked to him at length privately. He said congressman, I had three options that day. I could have refueled at sea, or refuel at another port. If I had any indications there was any potential problem at port of Yemen, I wouldn't have gone in.

We heard testimony yesterday that we had that information. We had those warnings. Why it didn't get to the right command officer is something we have to look at. This is about protecting American in the future. It's not about pointing fingers in the past. It's about understanding what we can do to prevent the next attack.

DOBBS: Help us understand why you went into closed hearings, because the whole point was to be in the public eye with this information.

WELDON: Well, Zelicow (ph) would not come in a open hearing. He said matter of fact. Be honest with you, two witness -- two very dedicated employees, military employee, and another are fearful for their careers.

In fact, they fear our government more than they do Al Qaeda actions and that's really a tragedy. When our own government employees are fearful their career's will be ruined because they're simply telling the truth. That's not America. We lost 3,000 people here. You know Richard Nixon had to resign for covering up a third rate burglary.

DOBBS: Colonel Shaffer also made it very clear he's more than a little angry that, in his estimation, that the Defense Department has spent $2 million trying to ruin his career, trying to stifle him. And over what are trumped up charges of something less than $300 in bureaucratic nonsense.

WELDON: Absolutely, Lou. We have his file from his career. He has letters of commendation from every DIA director. George Tenet had him personally brief him. This guy had a stellar career, a bronze star recipient.

Within two days the bureaucrats, of taking the health care benefits for his two kids and his salary. And stood on the floor of the House and I said if you do that I'll resign, rather than be a part of this outrage. In sends a signal to every uniform person in our military.

DOBBS: Are we going to be able to have the privilege of watching you and your colleagues on Capitol Hill breakthrough this morass and this veil of disinformation and secrecy, that exists within our own government? WELDON: We have no choice, Lou. This is not about the facts here. It's about dedicated military personnel, who take duty, honor, country seriously. If we let this drop, then none of them will have any respect for the institution of the Congress, for the American government. And they'll all believe that to tell the truth puts them at risk and that's not what America's all about.

DOBBS: Thank you very much, Congressman Curt Weldon. We'll be continuing our coverage of the Able Danger controversy throughout. Joined us here tomorrow by Pulitzer prize winner investigative journalist Peter Lance.

And coming up at top of this hour, "The Situation Room" and Wolf Blitzer -- Wolf?

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR, THE SITUATION ROOM: Thank you very much, Lou. Good interview.

President Bush speaks out for the first time and the vice president shooting accident. He's standing by his man. The president tonight, his own words.

Plus, the vice president's police report released a few hours ago. No charges will be filed, but are there still some questions that are unanswered.

Also, get this, Al Qaeda job benefits. Seized documents by the U.S. military shows how much they're paid, and how much vacation time terrorist get. You have to see it to believe it.

From someone who knows Shaffer

An interesting perspective from Michael Tanji at Group Intel:

Knowing Tony Shaffer as I do (albeit in a limited fashion) I have tried to keep my distance from the Able Danger controversy. Generally speaking in the spooky business one likes to keep a stiff-arm out for those in the spotlight, though there is a lot of quiet cheering (or jeering) in private.

Giving his testimony the once over I am struck by a couple of things, not the least of which is his willingness to name the names of the good, bad and ugly associated with this case. Some will attribute this to motives of revenge, which may be true, but more likely it is rooted in the fact that without a sufficiently strong dose of sunlight we cannot hope for any real progress in fixing the problems that brought us to the point where hearings were necessary. These things didn’t happen in a vacuum, so to me naming names is appropriate (let a more thorough investigation indict or exonerate them).

It also struck me that no matter how much of a bad light is cast on those who may have been involved in thwarting the full success that Able Danger could have had, none of them really have anything to fear. Despite the various post-mortem findings spawned from 9/11, no one was held accountable even when it was fairly clear that blame could have been laid. There was a time when being the MFIC meant not only did you get all the bennies and the glory, but all the responsibility too. The last great surprise on US soil saw the end of the careers of those in charge; though with the passage of time it seems that the definition of what “responsibility” means has changed. How skewed is it that crashing a ship with nominal effect brings with it more retribution than allowing the failures that led to the death of thousands?


Go read the whole thing. FYI, MFIC is Mother Figure in Charge (military; polite form).

Spitzer covers for Snell

While he refused to appear in public and speak on the record, at least Zelikow showed up. Snell asked his boss, Eliot Spitzer, to get him out of it - and he did:

State GOP chairman Stephen Minarik yesterday blasted Attorney General Eliot Spitzer for preventing one of his top aides from testifying at a congressional hearing on pre-Sept. 11 intelligence failures, calling him a "horrible hypocrite" on national-security issues....

"Mr. Spitzer must have a feeble memory or is just a horrible hypocrite," Minarik said. "How else can anyone explain Mr. Spitzer shielding a top aide, who formerly served as an investigator with the 9/11 commission, from assisting our nation's efforts to improve our security at home and abroad."

A spokesman for Spitzer said Minarik was "misinformed and way off base as usual."

Spitzer's office claimed Snell had already provided information to congressional staffers about his involvement with the Able Danger probe.

Quotes from the hearing Wednesday

From James Rosen's new piece:

"It shocked us how entrenched of a presence al-Qaeda had in the United States," former Army Maj. Erik Kleinsmith told two subcommittees of the House Armed Services Committee.

J.D. Smith, a defense contractor who also worked on the Able Danger team, said he used Arab intermediaries in the Los Angeles area to buy a photograph of Atta. Smith said Atta's photo was among about 40 photos of al-Qaeda members on a large chart that he personally delivered to Pentagon officials in 2000, more than a year before the Sept. 11 attacks.

Asked by Rep. Curt Weldon, a Republican from Pennsylvania, how certain he was that the chart contained Atta's photograph, Smith responded that he kept a copy of the chart on the office wall.

"I'm absolutely certain," Smith said. "I looked at it every day."

The dramatic hearing came five months after the Pentagon had prevented the former Able Danger operatives from testifying in public at a Senate Armed Services Committee session. It was a victory for Weldon, who persuaded 247 fellow lawmakers to sign a letter to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, demanding open hearings on Able Danger.

Lt. Col. Shaffer's written testimony

UNCLASSIFIED DRAFT PREPARED STATEMENT OF
ANTHONY A. SHAFFER, LT COL, US ARMY
RESERVE, SENIOR INTELLIGENCE OFFICER

BEFORE THE HOUSE ARMED SERVICE
COMMITTEE (HASC),
CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2006

“ABLE DANGER and the 9/11 Attacks”

(U) Mr. Chairman, distinguished members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you and provide you background and related issues surrounding the ABLE DANGER project. I applaud the Committee’s interest in investigating this complex topic.

(U) ABLE DANGER was a good news story: the Department of Defense’s effort to target Al Qaeda’s global structure [ ] – to identify their global centers of gravity, and by the full range of military options [ ] decisively engage and defeat them.

(U) In the world of today, this is not a new concept, as we have been at war with this organization since 11 September 2001 – what is unique to ABLE DANGER is that this effort was commenced in September 1999 – fully two years before that clear and unforgettable September morning that will forever remain transfixed in our collective memory.

(U) ABLE DANGER was the right mission, at the right time, with the right people against the right enemy – an out of the box concept that at its heart was an effort to bring back a modern version of the Office of Strategic Studies (OSS); an organization that served at the forefront of this country’s secret battles of World War II.

(U) Using the then 1999 era cutting edge technology of “data mining” as pioneered by the U.S. Army’s Land Information Warfare Activity (LIWA), the ABLE DANGER team was able to establish a ‘starting point’ for the ABLE DANGER effort.

(U) GEN Shelton publicly confirmed the existence and mission of ABLE DANGER this past November – it was his concept, refined by GEN Pete Schoomaker, the then (1999/2000) commander of SOCOM that we, the ABLE DANGER team brought to life.

(U) The idea was to take the ‘best and brightest’ military operators, intelligence officers, technicians and planners from the Special Operations Command (SOCOM), the U.S. Army and the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), in an entrepreneurial endeavor, much like bringing the best minds and capabilities from Ford Motor Company, General Motors and Daimler-Chrysler to focus on a single challenge. In the case of ABLE DANGER, the challenge was to discover the global ‘body’ of Al Qaeda – then, with this knowledge, prepare military and intelligence “options” that would be supported by the “actionable information” that was being produced by the project.

(U) The objective of ABLE DANGER, as is in the 27 Jun 2005 congressional record, was simple: to go after Al Qaeda.

(U) This was no “experiment” or simply “a planning exercise” as has been portrayed by some in the media and at the Pentagon. And my role was not simply a ‘courtier’ of information as has been inaccurately portrayed by a Pentagon spokesman in the summer of last year.

(U) The story I will present to you today is how, despite all the project had going for it, the operation failed. This bold and audacious operation, with this critical focus was recently opined by the 9-11 commission to be “not historically relevant”… We hope to show you the truth of how relevant and important this effort was – and how it will rewrite the history of 9-11.

(U) In the initial data runs conducted by LIWA on behalf of SOCOM in early 2000 the ABLE DANGER team discovered intelligence information of interest to us. I had used LIWA and its data mining capabilities in support of DoD activities engaged in offensive operations planning.

(U) This unclassified data mining was the heart of the intelligence foundation – what we found to be a critical method that detected not only Atta, but also the Al Qaeda threat in the port of Adan, Yemen, just days before the attack on the USS Cole. The idea was to then refine the data and use classified data from DIA and NSA to confirm and enhance the terrorist linkages established via the unclassified data.

(U) In the end, the ABLE DANGER team was not able to provide this key, and what was believed to be “actionable” information to anyone due to the breakdown in the ability to pass information between communities of the U.S. Government.

(U) According to multiple public comments by former FBI director Louis Freeh made this past November, had he and the FBI received the information we had within the ABLE DANGER project – information that SOCOM asked me to broker a meeting with the FBI to discuss transfer of same – they, the FBI, may well have been able to complete their picture of the gathering Al Qaeda threat and potentially disrupted or disabled the 9/11 attack. And, more importantly, the ABLE DANGER team had put together, using the amalgam of both open source and classified databases specific operational “options” to offensively target and disrupt the larger, global Al Qaeda structure; offensive options that were prepared and briefed to GEN Shelton in January of 2001.

(U) You might ask how I can be so confident in my statement regarding ABLE DANGER’s likelihood of preventing the 9/11 attacks – here is why:

-[ ]

-[ ]

-(U) When this occurred in the late 2000/early 2001 timeframe, one of the U.S. governments best potential shots to not only detect the Al Qaeda 9/11 planning effort, but to obtain actionable information regarding Al Qaeda leadership was lost.

-[ ]

-[ ]

(U) It is my judgment that the ABLE DANGER effort should have been then, and should be today, governed by U.S. Title 10 – for reasons which the Department of Defense have declared to be secret and I cannot discuss in open session.

(U) When I made this judgment known to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) they took issue – they felt that ABLE DANGER should have been a Title 50 intelligence operation all along – and in by closed door session with them, they took strong issue with me. Gentlemen, knowing what I know about the bureaucracy of both DoD and CIA, ABLE DANGER type operations must be responsive and focused – and none political – therefore should reside under the control of the Pentagon. 3000 people were lost to the country mostly, in my assessment, due to bureaucratic game playing by both DIA and CIA officials – and I will further illustrate my point below.

(U) While there are necessary legal separations regarding Title 10 (DoD) and Title 18 (Department of Justice) organizations, the primary breakdown occurred due to artificial and what I believe were purposeful misinterpretations of Title 50 (intelligence) restrictions – misinterpretations that continue today – and have become DoD’s excuse for the destruction of the data in 2000. There have been subsequent document and data destruction of the ABLE DANGER data and background documents that I and others did retain and preserve until at least 2004. The fact that there was then, and has been within the recent past ABLE DANGER information destruction is not at issue; DoD and DIA leadership have admitted this – what is at issue is why they as senior leadership displayed questionable judgment regarding this data.

(U) At the heart of the failure of ABLE DANGER is information sharing – and this is the real reason I am before you today – to help identify, with the hope of fixing, problems and shortcomings of the pre 9-11 US Government – shortcomings that my former ABLE DANGER colleagues and I judge, based on our experience over the past five years, to even now continue to hamper our ability to conduct effective military, intelligence and law enforcement operations in the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT).

(U) My veteran ABLE DANGER colleagues and I share the common fear that the seeds of the next 9-11 attack have already been sewn – and that much of the critical data that was harvested for the ABLE DANGER project, that could be used again now in the search for sleeper cells and others that matched the “Atta” profile is now gone – destroyed at the direction of DoD officials in the 2000 timeframe. You have heard from Eric Kleinsmith of his work on ABLE DANGER, and his receiving direction to “destroy the data and background documents or go to jail” – which he did. However, it must be noted that despite citing AR 380-10 as the “authority” for this action, the DoD lawyer is wrong and, worse, deceptive. There are two exceptions that allow the retention of U.S. person information – both of those were met by then MAJ Kleinsmith – yet lawyers directed that he destroy the data anyway. Those exceptions are:

2. Publicly available information. Information may be collected about a United States person if it is publicly available.

3( c ) Persons or organizations reasonably believed to be engaged or about to engage, in international terrorist or international narcotics

(U) Therefore, there was no “legal” reason for the directive that the ABLE DANGER information and charts be destroyed then. So then, what was the real reason? What is the real justification for these documents – this critical data – to have been destroyed? Embarrassment and political CYA to protect themselves from accountability for their bad, and in this case, fatal decisions, made in 2001 regarding ABLE DANGER.

(U) Further, I will provide details as to the troubling “coincidences” that relate to the suspension/revocation of my security clearance, and confiscation of my ABLE DANGER documents that occurred just after I spoke to the 9-11 staff director, Dr Phillip Zelikow, in October of 2003.

(U) If we are to win this war on terrorism, and hope to preclude the next 9-11 type attack – an attack that many experts fear will be one that utilizes a weapon of mass destruction such as chemical, biological or nuclear – it is my judgment that we must examine and make sure that the bureaucratic and policy problems that hobbled ABLE DANGER effort have been fixed.

(U) From my experience, to date, the problems have not been fixed as the officers and culture that existed before 9-11, and permitted the ABLE DANGER project to fail, are still in place today.

(U) There is no incentive for the bureaucrats to change – and instead of embracing change, and being accountable to their actions, they obfuscate and inveigle and hide their own failures. In my specific instance, DIA has been allowed by DoD to make an “example” of me to try and intimidate the others from coming forward by spending what we now estimate $2 million in an effort to discredit and malign me by creating false allegations, and using these false allegations to justify revocation of my Top Secret security clearance. How can it be that we, as a country at war, have such officers in the government who are more concerned about suppressing the truth than winning the war? How many sets of body armor, or enhanced protection for military vehicles in Iraq or Afghanistan would $2 million buy?

(U) Each of us, whether we serve in the executive branch or legislative branch, take an oath of office to defend the Constitution, and our country against enemies both foreign and domestic – I take this oath seriously and am certain that each of you on this committee share my passion on this point. I believe that our oath overrides one’s loyalty to any branch, department or culture of the U.S. Government should such loyalty become inimical with the preservation of this nation’s security. I had to make a choice between loyalty to a DoD culture or the safety of our country – and my choice is clear.

(U) We face two enemies at this point – the first, Al Qaeda – insidious and adaptive – but vulnerable and flawed – tied to a 10th century philosophy of life and of warfare – a philosophy that we can use against it to defeat it. The second, a more vexing and implacable enemy that is our own “bureaucracy” – where career bureaucrats, who are more concerned about self aggrandizement and advancement, who gamble with the security of future generations through neglecting to recognize the need to change and adapt more rapidly than our adversary. Through these bureaucrats collective actions, both in the initial ABLE DANGER failure and their current cover-up and obfuscation of ABLE DANGER, they continue to wager our children’s future and country’s wellbeing.

(U) It is our collective responsibility to see that both of these enemies are resoundingly defeated – and this may require painful change of culture and best practices – but necessary change – to ensure the ABLE DANGER failures do not again occur.

(U) I evoke the names of three Army officers, and their historic examples that parallel and help to illustrate the ABLE DANGER story – those of Brigadier General John Buford’s cavalry seizing the high ground at the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863; of Brigadier General Billy Mitchell and his heralding of the revolution of modern warfare that the introduction of the airplane brought in the 1920s; and of Major General Clair Chenault who, in 1940, created and successfully lead the Army’s first covert action of World War II – the American Volunteer Group (AVG) – also known as the “Flying Tigers”.

(U) These Army officers and their roles in history are linked by one common thread. Though the scope was different in each case, the thread was their ability to anticipate, preemptively, the events each of their names are forever linked to in our history.

(U) In BG Buford’s case, anticipating the enemy’s movement and seizing the high ground; in BG Mitchell’s case, the identification of a concept that would move the world to a new dimension of warfare; in MG Chenault’s case, he was the creator and steward of the first effective, and secret, counterblow to the growing pre-World War II Japanese menace – the common thread here is this: each example was a “decisive point” in military history.

(U) Many historians believe that BG Buford’s actions in seizing the heights over the city of Gettysburg on the 2nd of July, 1863, allowed for the Union Army to “set the conditions” of the Battle, and, ultimately, win – not only at Gettysburg, but use the momentum to carry it through to Lee’s surrender at Appomattox. This decisive point affected directly the outcome of a war.

(U) BG Mitchell fought the Army and Navy general staff’s in the 1920’s, with his vision of airplanes being used in combat as a strategic weapon of war. He lost. But he was right; proven so by the great aerial engagements over London in the Battle of Britain; in the use of the Army Air Forces to break the back of German industry, and, ultimately, deliver against the heart of the Japanese island the atomic bomb that ended World War II. This decisive point – the strategy of using aviation – affected everything that we are as a nation.

(U) MG Clair Chenault, was seen as a radical and nearly a traitor by his action to “recruit and take away” the best and the brightest of the nascent Army and Navy air forces. However, in truth, with President Roosevelt’s secret authorization, he set about creating an American combat force to engage the Japanese a full year before the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. This force was effective in inflicting the most astonishing combat kill ratio of more than 300 Japanese aircraft lost, to less than six of their own. This decisive point helped the U.S. buy time to prepare for the coming war by inflicting damage to the Japanese military, and to help stop Japanese expansion before the U.S. was fully ready to engage them overtly.

(U) In military terms, where these officers were successful was in identifying their key issue – centers of gravity – as did we who worked the ABLE DANGER project.

(U) We collectively recognize the ‘decisive point’ and ‘centers of gravity’ that ABLE DANGER had identified. ABLE DANGER had the ability to target this adversary preemptively, and it is my judgment, if fully implemented, we could have negated, disrupted, detected and potentially have prevented the 9-11 attacks. In the case of ABLE DANGER, we were defeated not by Al Qaeda, but by our own bureaucracy.

(U) As in the case of BG Mitchell’s groundbreaking ideas on aviation, many in DoD feared the creation of the LIWA intelligence capability, and the overall “high risk” nature of the ABLE DANGER planning effort – it is important to note that we were using both cutting edge technology in a very provocative manner, to target a global terrorism threat many in DoD viewed as “no big deal”. Therefore, what was to all of us on the ABLE DANGER team was the “dream mission”, became a nightmare when we faced both internally in DoD and externally from CIA, what at best was a malaise, at worst was obstructionism.

(U) To this end, ABLE DANGER is a story of good guys and bad guys.

(U) The good guys were men and women of leadership and courage and include:

(U) Congressman Curt Weldon – he was a visionary regarding the development of cutting edge data technology, who funded the LIWA technology set and used it to support his own official activities in the U.S. Congress. Further, he conceived of the National Operations Analysis Hub (NOAH), a concept years ahead of its time, which would have served as the country’s operational “brain stem” at which all defense, intelligence and law enforcement information would have been fused. The NOAH was never realized, but served as the foundation concept for the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC).

(U) GEN Hugh Shelton, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the 1999 through 2001 period, who laid the groundwork for SOCOM to become a major force through the issuance of the ABLE DANGER planning order – this order which made, for the first time in its history, SOCOM the “supported” or lead combatant command.

(U) GEN Pete Schoomaker, then commander of SOCOM, and currently the Chief of Staff of the Army, whose vision regarding the developing Al Qaeda threat was second to none. ABLE DANGER was his concept – his idea – to take an out of the box group of military planners, intelligence officers and operators, give them a clear mission, and set them loose to “do good things”. His innovative approach to the problem set was critical to the fact that cutting edge technology was used with traditional Human Intelligence (HUMINT) operations, and to link both directly into military planning for highly precise, surgical operations designed to neutralize the Al Qaeda threat. In short, it was his vision to create a true OSS capability that would pursue enemies “over there” to keep “here” safe.

(U) LTG Pat Hughes, the Director of DIA during the 1999-2000 period, who allowed my unit, STRATUS IVY, the charge to take on ‘out of the box’ ideas, and develop them into real intelligence operations. It was his constant encouragement that allowed for entrepreneurial concepts to develop in this pre-9-11 era. He personally approved STRATUS IVY’s mission and signed us up to support cutting edge black programs that became the mainstay of my unit’s efforts.

(U) MG Robert Harding, the DIA Deputy Director for Operations during the 1999-2000 period, who protected and fostered the STRATUS IVY support to ABLE DANGER, and other highly compartmented DoD programs. His simple guidance to me upon my promotion to GS-14 said it all “Keep me out of trouble and get STRATUS IVY going as far and as fast as you can” – which I did – that is until his replacement, MG Rod Isler single-handedly shut down shut down virtually every cutting edge effort STRATUS IVY was conducting.

(U) [ ] DIA Representative to SOCOM during the 1999-2001 timeframe, was able to build the “coalition” that came to support the ABLE DANGER effort. He put his entire career on the line to push this issue to the DIA leadership level, just to become harassed and isolated by DIA leadership.

(U) [ ] the Defense HUMINT Representative to SOCOM, who was effective in getting Defense HUMINT support integrated into SOCOM planning and operations. While Defense HUMINT is commonly integrated into SOCOM operations, this was not the case in the 1999-2000 timeframe; her thinking was years ahead of its time.

(U) [ ]

(U) Mr. JD Smith, the retired Indian police officer, who used basic law enforcement investigative techniques, with 21st Century data mining and analytical tools, who’s hard work resulted in the establishment of a new form of intelligence collection – and the identification of Mohammed Atta and several other of the 9-11 terrorists as having links to Al Qaeda leadership a full year in advance of the attacks.

(U) Captain Scott Phillpott, who humbly calls himself “just a ship driver”, is a U.S. Naval Academy graduate, and one of the most brilliant minds ever produced by the Navy. It was through his intellectual force, by his sheer power of will that the ABLE DANGER project took cohesive form and became real.

(U) Last but by no means least, Dr. Eileen Preisser, the brilliant double PhD who’s understanding of both cutting edge technology and human factors/neural networking served as the intellectual “glue” that put together the suite of technology and analysts that perform the astounding feat of identifying Atta and other pre-9-11 terrorist events.

(U) As one of the reports in the press commented last year regarding the story, there are “bad guys” who were not held accountable for their failures. There were those who were fearful of what we were doing who played politics and shortchanged the nation in both their duty and loyalty to the country, and in the end they put their career ahead of doing the right thing.

(U) Mr. William Huntington, who was just promoted to serve as the Deputy Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, who after becoming the Deputy Director of HUMINT in the early 2001 timeframe passed the buck. When I attempted to brief him on the DORHAWK GALLEY project, to include information on the ABLE DANGER project that was specific portions of the ABLE DANGER methodology to sort through and separate U.S. Person information from Foreign Intelligence information, refused to hear the briefing, announcing that “I can’t be here, I can’t see this” as he left his office and refused to hear the information. By doing this, he could later feign ignorance of the project should it have been compromised to the public. It is my belief that he is an example of the cultural problem – senior bureaucrats who are more focused on their own career and having “plausible deniability” to never allow anything “controversial or risky” to “touch them”. It is of grave concern that Mr. Huntington is the one who is behind the troubling coincidence regarding my security clearance being suspended in March of 2004, just after reporting to my DIA chain of command (to include Mr. Huntington) of my contact with the 9-11 commission, and my offer to share the ABLE DANGER information to the 9-11 commission. I would question the judgment of DIA’s leadership to offer Mr. Huntington up as its “expert” on ABLE DANGER based on his earlier refusal to deal with this issue in 2001. Further, I have direct knowledge of two officers – one a senior DoD civilian, the other a senior active duty military officer – both former members of Defense HUMINT – that Mr. Huntington directed them to lie to congress to conceal the true scope and nature of problems within Defense HUMINT. Both refused his directive to lie and are no longer members of Defense HUMINT. Mr. Huntington’s conduct speaks for itself.

(U) LTG Bob Noonan, the Commander of the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) in 1999 and 2000, who became the Army’s G2/Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence (DCSINT) in 2001. Though initially in favor of LIWA participating in sensitive operations such as ABLE DANGER, chose in 2000 to protect his promotion to lieutenant general rather than protect both the LIWA support to, and data created for, SOCOM and the ABLE DANGER project.

(U) MG Rod Isler, MG Bob Harding’s replacement as Deputy Director for Operations overseeing Defense HUMINT in the spring of 2001, who opposed every sensitive operation that my unit, STRATUS IVY, was conducting for DoD and other U.S. Government agencies. In a spring 2001 confrontation over several controversial, cutting edge operations, to include one directed by the then Vice Admiral Tom Wilson to seek out information on a specific classified target, a process that paralleled the ABLE DANGER methodology, MG Isler ordered STRATUS IVY and me to “cease all support” to ABLE DANGER in the February 2001 timeframe. At the point of near insubordination, I fought the decision – this action cost me my job as chief of STRATUS IVY.

(U) COL Mary Moffitt, the spring 2001 replacement of COL Gerry York who dismantled the Defense HUMINT support to ABLE DANGER just months before the 9-11 attacks. COL Moffitt became focused on shutting down our support to ABLE DANGER under the guise of “reorganization” and in the end, disestablished STRATUS IVY and its cutting edge focus.

(U) A senior DoD officer, Mr. Robert Giesler, who was in charge of a classified DoD element, that I cannot discuss in open testimony, whose behind the scenes opposition to the project resulted in widespread difficulties with senior DoD leadership on this and related initiatives. In essence, this Mr. Giesler’s official attitude was the “not invented here” syndrome – if he or his folks did not think of it or control it, it was not worthwhile. At one point, when STRATUS IVY had to reduce direct support for his unit in favor of supporting the ABLE DANGER effort, Mr. Giesler accused me of being “Like Kelly” – the Clint Eastwood character in the movie “Kelly’s Heroes” – and that I had “hijacked” DoD capabilities for my own personal effort as he felt we had no business to be targeting Al Qaeda as “they will never attack us here”. As background, in “Kelly’s Heroes” a band of deserting U.S. Army soldiers go after millions of dollars in Nazi gold with the interest of getting rich… I found the comparison to be insulting at the time, and, on retrospect, shows the attitude of the era that was common to all DoD senior leaders on the topic of Al Qaeda.

(U) The 9-11 Commission Staff, et al. After contact by two separate members of the ABLE DANGER team, Captain Scott Phillpott and me, separated by both time and distance (Oct 03 in Afghanistan in my case, Jul 04 in Washington DC in Captain Phillpott’s case) the 9-11 staff refused to perform any in-depth review or investigation of the issues that were identified to them. Instead they note in their accounts of Captain Phillpott and I that we “complained” about issues, and “had no evidence” to back up our claims. It was their job to do a thorough investigation of these claims – to not simply dismiss them based on what many now believe was a “preconceived” conclusion to the 9-11 story they wished to tell. Further, through their failure to conduct basic investigative rigor, they did not speak to other members of the ABLE DANGER team to further define and confirm our experience. I consider this a failure of the 9-11 staff – a failure that the 9-11 Commissioners themselves were victimized by – and continue to have perpetrated on them by the staff as is evidenced by their recent, groundless conclusions that ABLE DANGER’s findings were “urban legend”.

(U) I will now layout a timeline of ABLE DANGER for the committee – please note that my testimony will be provided directly from memory as DIA has refused to allow me any and all access to my e-mail, background documents and briefings. They have done this under the guise of “security” by using three false allegations that the Army long ago resolved in my favor – I come before you as a lieutenant colonel – promoted de facto on 1 October 2004, after the Army examined and resolved the allegations.

(U) As many of you are aware, an officer in the military cannot be promoted if there is pending adverse action, or judicial punishment. Despite this fact, DIA continues to “pretend” that the allegations have not been resolved, and revoked my security clearance as of 21 September 2005. I have not been allowed review of critical background information on ABLE DANGER that was contained in my files and e-mail, and do not even have their permission to prepare this formal testimony. Therefore, I cannot be 100% sure of dates, times or locations. I suggest that the committee subpoena these documents at some point so I may prepare a more precise record of events regarding both my personal involvement and the overall project history of ABLE DANGER.

(U) The Pentagon’s Mr. James Dugan testified on 25 September 2005 in front of Senator Specter’s Judiciary Committee that it was his opinion that the ABLE DANGER data and background documents were destroyed because of the Pentagon being “overly careful” with U.S. Person information and how it was collected. He is wrong. The fact is this: there was no legal reason to destroy the 2.5 terabyte database that was being used to support the ABLE DANGER in 2000 – it was openly obtained via the internet or public sources – there was no expectation of privacy that had to be assigned to the data – plus, it was clear that the data had produced information that identified individuals who had credible links to Al Qaeda leadership. Further, all the classified systems and data bases that were used to confirm the ABLE DANGER information have also been destroyed. Why?

(U) STRATUS IVY, my special mission task force that I was running in the 2000 timeframe, did provide direct support to the ABLE DANGER effort by providing both concierge support and operational support that I cannot discuss at the unclassified level.

(U) DIA has admitted to House Armed Services Committee (HASC) on 8 September 2005 that my ABLE DANGER documents had been destroyed in 2004; there was no U.S. person information in these documents, and they relate to what we have now identified as a major, relevant operation regarding 9-11. Why were these documents destroyed? Why is it that these documents, many that were Top Secret collateral information, not properly accounted for when they were destroyed? I am hopeful that the current DoD IG investigation of DIA’s use of frivolous issues to attempt to discredit me and terminate my access to classified information at the cost to the U.S. taxpayer upwards of $2 million will be held accountable – and their purposeful destruction of my set of ABLE DANGER documents will result in their criminal prosecution for illegal destruction of documents.

(U) Let me now run through my recollection of the timeline of the life and death of the ABLE DANGER project:

(U) I became involved with the project in September 1999. DoD has classified my entire timeline and therefore, I cannot discuss this information in open session. My deputy, COL Teresa McSwain later in the 2000 timeframe created a full library of operational documents at STRATUS IVY that included all critical authority documents.

(U) During a briefing to GEN Schoomaker in September 1999, he specifically assigned me and STRATUS IVY to “help out on a special project”. [ ] the DIA Representative went about making sure that DIA was specifically requested in the JCS planning order to assign STRATUS IVY to support this special project, which he did. The next day I was briefed by Captain, then Lieutenant Commander, Scott Phillpott on ABLE DANGER. When Scott briefed me, I felt that this was the “E” ticket mission – the ultimate assignment.

(U) Based on my knowledge of US Army’s Land Information Warfare Activity (LIWA) and its Information Dominance Center (IDC), I recommended to SOCOM leadership that they look at IDC’s capabilities for potential use on ABLE DANGER. Capt Phillpott visited LIWA in the late November 1999 timeframe and accepted my recommendation – SOCOM chose to partner with LIWA/IDC for ABLE DANGER.

(U) In the January/February 2000 timeframe, Captain Phillpott briefed GEN Schoomaker and GEN Shelton on the LIWA capability, using the chart that I had brought down to him from LIWA, focusing on the methodology, and suggested that SOCOM partner with LIWA to establish the intelligence baseline of ABLE DANGER. This request was approved and LIWA became the full intelligence/analytical partner in the effort.

(U) In the late January early February 2000 timeframe, when SOCOM lawyers review the LIWA data, all information relating to Atta, and the other terrorists that are identified as working and living in the U.S. or have connections to U.S. Persons become “off limits” due to their “U.S. Person” status. The ABLE DANGER team members, according to Captain Phillpott, are restricted from review, use or exploitation of the information because of their (SOCOM Lawyers) policy that we could not use “U.S. Person” information in the planning effort. I witness this effect directly through my repeated reserve tours with ABLE DANGER and did see one of the original runs of LIWA information charts that had a quadrant of “yellow stickies” that covered the faces of the individuals whom the SOCOM lawyers had determined were “off limits” to the ABLE DANGER effort.

(U) Feb/Mar 2000. I am invited to attend a briefing of MG Lambert, SOCOM J3 and COL Riley, the first chief of the ABLE DANGER effort to Mr. Jerry Clark, SES, Deputy Director of DIA. During the briefing, I am frequently asked by MG Lambert to “fill in details” that COL Riley was not able to provide – at the end of the briefing, Jerry Clark, comments afterward that I “seemed to know a great deal about ABLE DANGER” – I confirmed to him that I had been working directly with SOCOM in Tampa as a reservist on the project. At the conclusion of the briefing, and when the SOCOM officers leave the room, Mr. Clark gave guidance to the DIA officers present, especially the DIA Senior Executive in charge of Information Technology, to drag their feet and slow down the process of providing both infrastructure (data pipes) and data to the SOCOM effort as he did not see the need to “share” DIA’s best resources. It was clear that DIA, my own organization, did not want to provide all the support necessary to preclude SOCOM getting ahead of DIA’s analytical effort on the Al Qaeda target.

(U) April 2000. After the ABLE DANGER project picked up momentum and looked to become a success, Mr. Art Zuelike, SIS, Chief of the Transnational Warfare Directorate of DIA’s Directorate of Intel, calls me in and “demands” that my unit, STRATUS IVY, give up primacy on the DIA role under his Transnational Counterterrorism (TWC) Division [ ] – both of whom I had “read-in” to the ABLE DANGER effort in an earlier briefing. With permission of the Directorate of Operations (MG Harding), I refuse his request. Mr. Zuelike then begins to withdraw his support for the effort, choosing instead to “create his own” – secretly. We (SOCOM and I) find out later that he sends [ ], one of his analysts, to spy on SOCOM at the Garland, Texas site to learn the methodology so that they could re-create their own effort in the DC area.

(U) Apr-May 2000. Army LIWA/IDC gets cold feet due to “oversight” and U.S. Person issues. Despite a “personal for” message from GEN Schoomaker, Commander SOCOM to GEN Shinseki, Chief of Staff of the Army, to allow LIWA/IDC to continue to support the ABLE DANGER effort, the message is never answered and Army lawyers (in particular, Tom Taylor from the information I was provided at the time by Army staff officers) effectively shuts down all army support. GEN Schoomaker directs the establishment of a replica of the LIWA/IDC technology – at a classified location.

(U) Jun 2000. At the request of SOCOM ([ ], DIA’s Rep to SOCOM), with the permission of the DIA/DO leadership, I approach MG Noonan, Commander of Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) to request that Dr. Eileen Preisser be attached to my unit, STRATUS IVY so that she could continue to support ABLE DANGER. This request is denied – I am told later, privately, that MG Noonan felt that by trying to take Dr. Preisser that I was trying to “steal his capability”!!!

(U) Aug 2000. DIA’s Directorate of Intelligence (DI) refuses at first to provide SOCOM 100% of all DIA information. Eventually, the DI gives in, but forces the DO to “pick up and sign for” the DIA information. The DIA/DI provides the information in a “unusable” format – but due to an experienced Raytheon programmer being assigned, she is able to create an algorithim that corrects the problem; it is believed that DIA provided the data in an unusable form intentionally.

(U) Late Spring/Early Summer 2000. [ ] based on my unit’s enhanced relationship with the FBI, I set up three separate meetings between SOCOM (COL Worthington, the then ABLE DANGER chief) and FBI Counterterrorism Special Agents in Washington DC.

(U) SOCOM cancels all three meetings – reason: SOCOM lawyers would not permit the sharing of the U.S. person information regarding terrorists located domestically due to “fear of potential blowback” should the FBI do something with the information and something should go wrong. The lawyers were worried about another “Waco” situation. The critical counterterrorism information is never passed from SOCOM to the FBI before 9-11; this information did include the original data regarding Atta and the terrorist cells in New York and the DC area.

(U) Sep-Oct 2000. The ABLE DANGER effort is established and up and running. GEN Schoomaker retires in Oct 2000, to be replaced by Air Force GEN Holland. GEN Holland, in my judgment, did not understand the concept, and orders the effort (Dec 2000) to terminate its activities in Garland, TX and for the personnel to return to Tampa – there he directs the ABLE DANGER effort become a J2/intelligence effort and the Special Operations Joint Intelligence Center (SOJIC) is created in its place.

(U) January-March 2001. DIA is requested to provide updated info for the effort to be re-established in Tampa. DIA begins to drag its feet across the board with the departure of LTG Hughes, MG Harding and COL York. STRATUS IVY is prohibited by DIA/DO’s new leadership, MG Isler, from participating in the NSA and DIA data transfer.

(U) January-March 2001 – [ ]

(U) DCI George Tenet – During this briefing, the DCI approved our conduct of this special project – I did specifically mention the ABLE DANGER effort to him regarding the use of its methodology to separate out U.S. Person issues.

(U) Chairman of the JCS, GEN Hugh Shelton – During this briefing, GEN Shelton approved the project [ ] His comment was “The people of this country think we are doing things like this. We should be doing things like this”.

(U) Director of the Joint Staff, LTG Peter Pace, he was briefed, seemed impressed, and supported the project. He did not seem to be aware of ABLE DANGER when I mentioned the name of the project as part of the briefing.

(U) [ ]

(U) The National Security Counsel (twice) – Shortly after the briefing to Dr. Cambone, Mark Garlasco and I were directed to brief the National Security Counsel (NSC) on the operation on two separate occasions. I cannot recall the specific dates of, or individuals present at, the briefing.

(U) Spring 2001. The Special Operations Joint Integration Center (SOJIC) is created – watered down by Mitre contractors – the teeth and operational focus were removed and the capability to do the complex data mining and mission planning support (leadership support) is eliminated.

(U) May 2001. Scott Phillpott calls me in desperation in the May 2001 timeframe on my mobile phone. He asked if he can bring “the ABLE DANGER options” that ABLE DANGER had come up with to DC and to use one of my STRATUS IVY facilities to do the work. I tell him with all candor that I would love nothing better than to loan him my facility and work the options with him (to exploit them for both Intel potential and for actual offensive operations) but tell him that my DIA chain of command has directed me to stop all support to him and the project. In good faith, I ask my boss, COL Mary Moffitt if I can help Scott and exploit the options – and that there would be a DIA quid pro quo of obtaining new “lead” information from the project. She takes offense at me even mentioning ABLE DANGER in this conversation, tells me that I am being insubordinate, and begins the process of removing me from my position as chief of STRATUS IVY. As a direct result of this conversation, she directs that I be “moved” to a desk officer position to oversee Defense HUMINT operations in Latin America.

(U) 11 Sep 2001. We are attacked.

(U) Late September 2001. Eileen Preisser calls me for coffee and tells me she has something she needs to show me. At coffee she shows me a chart she had brought with her – a large desk top size chart. On it she has me look at the ‘Brooklyn Cell’ – I was confused at first – but she kept telling me to look – and in the “cluster” I eventually found the picture of Atta. She pointed out (and I recognized) that this was one of the charts I LIWA had produced in Jan 2000, and had a sinking feeling at the pit of my stomach – I felt that we had been on the right track – and that because of the bureaucracy we had been stopped – and that we might well have been able to have done something to stop the 9/11 attack. I ask Eileen what she plans to do with the information/chart – she tells me that she does not know but she plans to do something.

(U) Last week of September 2001. I am on my normal afternoon run from the Pentagon to the Lincoln Memorial – and I receive a call from Dr. Preisser. She tells me “you’ll never guess where I am” – she tells me about sitting in the outer office of Scooter Libby and the fact that she, Congressman Curt Weldon, Congressman Chris Shays and Congressman Dan Burton are going in to brief Steven Hadley on the Atta chart. I am both amazed and satisfied that the Atta information and our work on ABLE DANGER had been provided to proper government leadership and fully expected that the ABLE DANGER team might even be reconstituted. It was not.

(U) Nov 2001-July 2003 – I accept recall to active duty as a Major in the Army and command a Defense HUMINT unit named Field Operating Base (FOB) Alpha. During this period I attempted to work with ASD/SOLIC to resurrect ABLE DANGER as part of FOB Alpha’s mission. When some sensitive information relating SOLIC was leaked to the press the effort to bring back ABLE DANGER was also terminated. Dr. Preisser was involved in this attempt to resurrect the project.

(U) I will now provide my recollection of my meeting with the 9-11 commission staff at Bagram, Afghanistan on 23 October 2003, and the subsequent DoD retaliation that has now been perpetrated on me based on my coming forward to the 9-11 commission.

(U) I have provided a copy of my testimony to Congressman Chris Shay’s sub-committee on National Security (14 Feb 2006) as background to detail how DIA abused the DoD personal security system in an effort to discredit, silence and see me fired from my position as a senior intelligence officer. DoD and DIA officials are now subjects of an on-going investigation on this issue.

(U) While I was assigned to Bagram, AFG, I was given permission by my on the ground, Army chain of command to brief Mr. Zelikow and his investigators, at the SECRET level on ABLE DANGER. I prepared a page and ¼ of bullet points (that I’ve provided to the HASC) for use in briefing the staffers. There were probably about 10 people in the room when I conducted my briefing – four staffers and six DoD folks.

(U) I conducted a briefing of about 1 hour and a quarter to Dr. Zelikow and the staffers – covering the high points that I’ve noted in my testimony in the closed session. Dr. Phillip Zelikow, staff director of the 9/11 commission approached me at the conclusion of the meeting and gave me his card and said “What you have said here today is very important. Please contact me upon your return to the United States so we can continue this dialogue”. By the 9/11 commission’s own public statements made in September 2005 regarding ABLE DANGER, I was the first officer to tell them about the existence of the project.

(U) Upon my return from Afghanistan, I took about 30 days of leave – and then, assigned to work as the Deputy Chief and Operations Officer of the Afghanistan Operations Task Force, I returned to duty the first week of January 2004 [ ] It was this first week of January 2004 that I called the number given to me on Dr. Zelikow’s card. I was told by the person who answered the phone that “yes – we remember you – let me talk to Dr. Zelikow to find out when he wants you to come in.” I also notify my DIA chain of command, both verbally and in writing, that I had been contacted by the 9/11 commission in Afghanistan and had re-contacted them, via phone the first week of January – and told my DIA chain to expect to be contacted with a request for me to meet with the 9/11 commission on ABLE DANGER. As I recall, I notified my immediate boss Navy Captain Mike Andersen – and the e-mail I believe went even higher up the chain.

(U) I do not hear anything back from the 9/11 commission so I call them again about a week to 10 days after my initial call (second/third week of June 2004). I speak to the same person again, but his tone is different – he tells me that “they have found all the information they need on ABLE DANGER so there would be no need for me to come in to speak to them”. I was shocked in a way – since they had never asked me to provide lead information (i.e. asked the question as to “who else knows this information, too?) – but figured they may have found Capt Phillpott or Dr. Preisser since they had similar knowledge of the project. I had moved my set of ABLE DANGER documents to the third floor of DIA’s Clrendon facility in anticipation that the 9/11 commission would want to see them so I kept them with me in my new office space.

(U) However, life did not go back to normal. Immediately after I notified the chain of command on my contact with the 9/11 commission, my life became strange. I was scrutinized and harassed on virtually every issue I had to deal with – I volunteered to return to serve with the Rangers in Afghanistan (based on a written request from their G2, LTC Mo Morrison) – and was given a written negative counseling by Mike Andersen telling me that I could not volunteer to return to a combat zone!!! I was now being constantly harassed, and my request to return to Afghanistan to continue the fight was initially denied [ ] I was threatened with disciplinary action if I did not show up everyday in military uniform. In other words I was treated like a brand new recruit rather than a seasoned two decade professional who was preparing a team and himself for a deployment into a combat zone.

(U) My senior rater, Captain [ ], the chief of the Pacific Division of Defense HUMINT (who’s oversight included Afghanistan) told me behind closed doors that “they (leadership) are really upset with you this time – they are really out to do something to you” – I asked him to identify who “they” were by name, and what the issue was – he would not answer the questions. He did say that he wanted me to lead the ADVON to show them my abilities and importance to the war – which he did – he pushed me to lead the team and return to Afghanistan in the end. But it was clear that he was getting constant questions and directives regarding me from his leadership. His immediate boss was COL [ ], and above him was Mr. Bill Huntington.

(U) [ ]

(U) While deployed in Afghanistan on this second tour, I was offered a new job by [ ] (GS-15) – the chief of the Iraq Combat Support Task Force. The Afghanistan and Iraq Combat Support Task Forces were to be merged and he asked if I’d serve as the operations officer of the new combined task force. It would mean an extension of active duty for one to two years. After thinking about it for a day, I sent him an e-mail saying he’d let Defense HUMINT leadership know of his decision to select me. Just days before I was due to return to DC (probably the last week of February 2004) Bill sent me a note telling me that he could not offer me the position – that something was going on that he could not talk about and said that I would not be extended on active duty. I requested him to clarify this change of heart and he would not – he would only say that “leadership” would not allow him to put me into the position.

(U) At the conclusion of this fully successful ADVON mission (by all accounts from leadership at both standing task forces in Afghanistan, and from [ ] at DHS HQs), and my return to Washington the first week of March 2004 without warning or reason, my Top Secret/SCI clearance was suspended. Upon my return to DIA, I was called in to Army COL [ ] office, told that the DIA IG had “substantive allegations” against me that required that my clearance be suspended and that I was being transferred to the Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC) Ft. Meyer, VA for the duration of my active duty. My DIA badge was confiscated and I was sent to Ft. Meyer to report to report in to the HHC Company Commander.

(U) Upon reporting in, though the HHC commander Captain Vic Harris could not tell me the content, he did say that he had read the DIA IG report and the allegations against me – and his assessment was simple – they were nothing major – I had pissed someone off. He felt that there was nothing to the allegations, but could not tell me what they were. He allowed me casual duty for the remainder of my active duty period (until 1 Jun 2004).

(U) I then dealt with the Army Trial Defense Service (TDS) for the next 90 days – and they were equally confused by the issue as the Amy Judge Advocate General (JAG) who had been given the DIA IG report would not share with them any information – and in the end, no charges of any sort were made against me by the Army. I received an honorable discharge and a favorable DD-214 in June 2004, and returned to my civilian GS-14 status to DIA, Defense HUMINT. DIA continued to refuse to return my access to classified information and placed me on “administrative leave” (which I remain on today).

(U) Instead of trying to resolve the issue DIA chose to go through my entire personal security jacket and drag up every issue they could regarding derogatory allegations and revived them as if they were new – purposely leaving out all positive, exculpatory information regarding the favorable outcome of independent investigations that resolved the allegations in my favor.

(U) I finally learned about what the three allegations were after I had come off of Active Duty in a meeting with USMC Brig Gen Mike Ennis, director of Defense HUMINT in mid June 2004.

(U) For the record, the three DIA IG Investigation issues, from their investigation concluded on me in March of 2004, were the following:

1) (U) Undue award of the Defense Meritorious Service Medal (DMSM). DIA claimed that I received a major decoration unlawfully – despite the fact that the award was for, among service in other reserve leadership positions, my work on ABLE DANGER. Though I provided classified performance evaluation and other background documents that showed the justification for the award, the information was ignored by DIA Security. There was no evidence in the DIA IG report that I did anything wrong, and the Army, after reviewing the data, has allowed me to keep the award.

2) (U) Misuse of a government telephone adding up to $67.00. While in charge of a DIA operating base in which I was responsible for millions of dollars of equipment and the activities of more than a dozen people the government phones were issued to my unit. During an 18 month period, I would periodically program the government phone to forward phone calls to my personal mobile phone – for a .25 cent charge for every call forwarded. This added up to $67.00. As many of you know, while in command of any activity, many things can go wrong – out of my 18 months of command this was the only issue they could get me on – and in the end, I did have the authority to approve the expenditure since I was the unit’s commanding officer.

3) (U) Filing a False Voucher for $180.00. I attented Army training at Ft Dix, New Jersey that was required for my promotion to lieutenant colonel. Despite this being a wholly legal claim – one processed through the DIA financial system – and one that had it been rejected I could have claimed as a professional deduction from my taxes – DIA’s IG falsely stated that it was an illegal claim because I was authorized to attend the Command and General Staff School at “no expense to the government”.

4) (U) Summary of allegations – the total alleged loss was less than *$300.00 – that is right $300.00.* The DIA IG inspector, Mike Kingsley did falsely and without evidence, make conclusions on his investigation which the evidence did not support. There was factual evidence in the report that I followed the guidance given by my leadership in submission of the DMSM; despite an in-depth analysis of phone records, the only expense he could come up with was the call forwarding charge; and the false voucher is not false since I was due reimbursement for attendance of the school, either by direct renumeration or through filing for reimbursement through my income tax return.

(U) In the June 2004 meeting with Brig Gen Ennis, he made it clear that he intended to try and influence MG Jackman, the commander of Army Military District of Washington (MDW) – who I had technically belonged to (administrative control) while on active duty – to take adverse action against me based on the DIA IG report. He told me in addition to the three DIA IG allegations that I had a “record” of bad behavior, to wit, he read a list of allegations he had been given by DIA’s General Counsel. I told him that every one of those allegations had been investigated as part of DSS investigations and resolved in my favor – and that he was not being given the whole story. He clearly did not want to hear “the rest of the story” and that ended the meeting.

(U) I was given “due process” regarding the clearance issue – a process that has no oversight within which DIA had no obligation to follow DoD regulations and guidelines, and patently ignored exculpatory data every step of the way. I have provided separate open testimony to the Government Reform Committee on this issue.

(U) BrigGen Ennis was true to this word – 30 days after I came of active duty (30 Jun 2004) the MDW JAG drafted for and got MG Jackman to sign a General Officer Letter of Reprimand (GOMOR). Because I had come off active duty on 1 Jun 2005, I was advised by my TDS attorney to not accept it unless recalled to active duty so that I could officially respond to the allegations or to allow MDW to forward it to my gaining command, Human Resource Command (HRC) St Louis, MO for their action. I refused “service” of the GOMOR – it was forwarded to HRC who sent it back telling MDW that it was not an appropriate legal action. I was promoted to lieutenant colonel on 1 Oct 2004. The GOMOR was and is an administrative document that is not punitive. DIA continued to put pressure on the MDW JAG to put the action into my official file – which they were finally successful in doing – it was placed into my official permanent file in November of last year, despite the fact that I was never given the opportunity to present the exculpatory information or letters from my former leadership that would have cleared me. All of this effort over less than $300.00 of issues; by our estimate, the U.S. Government has spent $2 million on the attempt to undermine me and suppress the ABLE DANGER information – $2 million buys a whole lot of boy armor – and could have paid for much of the technology needed to resurrect an ABLE DANGER type capability today.

(U) It was during this period (June/July 2004) my ostensible “supervisor” called me in to visit him at Clarendon on some administrative issues and notified me that my office documents and holdings had been moved and that all my classified documents had “been destroyed” – this was curious to me at the time since my clearance had only been suspended – and since there was a due process requirement in place, that, if fairly done, would see my access restored, and my right to have and view those documents restored, it was troubling to me that they had destroyed years of background information that I had kept regarding my [ ] activities. Plus – there were pertinent operational oversight documents that I had kept, such as ABLE DANGER, which were of legal significance.

(U) Based on the frivolous nature of the DIA IG allegations and the rapid destruction of my classified documents, there is no doubt that there was something more at work here.

(U) The fact that through my attorney, Mark Zaid, I provided to DIA exculpatory information to counter the DIA allegations not once but on three occasions – April 2005, June 2005 and in the last appeal in November 2005 – also were of no avail.

(U) The exculpatory letters of support from the Defense Security Agent who verified her positive/exculpatory investigations (for me) that were favorably adjudicated by Army’s Central Clearance Facility in the 1995 and before timeframe, and letters of support from my leadership, COL Gerry York and MG Bob Harding that confirmed that I was indeed due the award for my work for them and provided statements that cleared me of the other allegations of wrongdoing that were alleged from 1997 through 2000. These were all ignored.

(U) In addition, it is a curious fact that DIA Security had purposely left issues “hanging” in my personal security records – issues that I had identified to an Office of Personnel Management (OPM) investigator who conducted my five year bring-up investigation – issues that he noted in his official report that I told him of but that he ‘could find no evidence that the events ever occurred’ – this information is all available to the committee to verify. In other words, DIA had stuck away adverse issues to use against me at the moment of their choosing which illustrates something even more sinister about the DIA security system; it is not focused on catching penetrations of the agency – it is focused on maintaining an Orwellian control on its personnel.

(U) It was clear that DIA leadership chose to take this course of action in retaliation for something – that something I and others now believe was because of my protected disclosures to the 9/11 Commission and to Congress. The DoD IG is currently investigating these issues based on a request from HASC Chairman Duncan Hunter.

(U) My first protected disclosure to Congress on the ABLE DANGER issue came in May of 2005.

(U) My meetings with congress occurred because the navy sent me to Capitol Hill. Army had cleared and promoted me, and Navy (Scott Phillpott) was provided details of the allegations, and the exculpatory information and knew there was nothing to them; I was allowed to start doing reserve activities. Army leadership (Deputy G2 Mr. Terry Ford) provided verbal concurrence and approval for me to be attached to the Navy’s DEEP BLUE (U) think tank (under the Navy N3/N5) to assist Capt Phillpott re-create an ABLE DANGER like capability, nicknamed KIMBERLITE MAGIC/MAZE (U) – this all unclassified and above board due to my lack of clearance. I pulled my reserve drill days with the Navy during the week and during my two-week annual training (attached to the Navy) in May of 2005, I was asked to visit with Congressman Weldon in his office on Capitol Hill to assist the Navy in asking for funds to establish their KIMBERLITE MAZE (U) project.

(U) During my first meeting with Congressman Weldon I was asked some questions about what became of the overall ABLE DANGER effort – he had heard some details from Capt Phillpott in their first meeting (that preceded my meeting with the Congressman by several days) – he asked me to provide my details – which I did. I gave him the same basic SECRET level briefing I had given the 9/11 Commission on Oct of 2003 at Bagram, AFG. During the briefing, Congressman Weldon asked Russ Caso, his chief of staff, to call the 9/11 commission and find out if they (the 9/11 commission) had ever heard of ABLE DANGER. Mr. Caso left the room and called Chris Cojm at the 9/11 Discourse Project and asked him if they had ever “heard of something called ABLE DANGER”. Chris quickly checked and told Russ “Yes – we had heard of it” – Russ then asked him why they had not put it in their final report – Cojm’s answer was this “it did not fit with the story we wanted to tell”. Russ came back in and told Congressman Weldon and me of the comment. Both Congressman Weldon and I could not hide our astonished looks at hearing the news. This was the beginning of the investigation as to why ABLE DANGER information was not examined or included in the 9/11 report that has brought us to where we are today.

(U) I soon called the Army Deputy G2, Mr. Ford and asked him for guidance as to what I should do about Congressman Weldon and his staff asking hard questions about ABLE DANGER and what had happened – his answer was simple and direct: “Tell them the truth and answer their questions”. To whit, I did.

(U) Over the next few weeks, I provided Congressman Weldon and his chief of Staff, Russ Caso, information regarding the timeline of activity and the overall ABLE DANGER effort up to the SECRET level. I then provided similar briefings to other members of congress with oversight responsibilities of DoD, Law Enforcement and Intelligence issues. These briefings and meetings included Congressman Pete Hoeskstra, Chairman HPSCI; Congressman Frank Wolf; Congressman Jim Davis, Chairman, House Governmental Reform Committee; and Congressman Denny Hastert, Speaker of the House of Representatives. Information was also provided to the Senate Judiciary and Senate Intelligence Committees. In each instance I was encouraged to try and help congress get to the bottom of the ABLE DANGER issue to help insure that all the pre-9/11 issues were fixed – and things like ABLE DANGER needed to be reviewed as part of the process.

(U) It was during this time that the link between DIA’s retaliation using my security clearance and effort to fire me became clear. It was my attorneys who first made the connection during their work with the Senate Judiciary Committee and the apparent effort to discredit me by DIA behind the scenes.

(U) Late in the summer, long after Congressman Weldon’s 27 Jun 2005 “special order” on ABLE DANGER I was asked to go public. I did so, in August 2005 knowing that I could never go back to the intelligence world I had served in for the past 23 years – it was not an easy decision or one taken lightly – and one that troubled me greatly up to the point that it was clear that the need for public knowledge was greater than my own personal desires.

(U) As you can see from the testimony above, I have tried to make sure that all of the critical aspects and capabilities that were part of the ABLE DANGER planning effort have remained classified – undisclosed to the public – for obvious reasons. There is no one in this room that would question the need to protect real capabilities that will give us a leg up on our terrorist adversaries. However, this must not be an excuse to avoid or bypass accountability regarding failures and wrongdoing of DoD personnel.

(U) The classified methods and technology are not the key to the ABLE DANGER story – the key is the lack of individual and organizational accountability and their failure to have effectively utilized the intelligence and operational capabilities prior to 9/11; Perhaps to have even used these capabilities to have disrupted, minimized or prevented the 9/11 attacks.

(U) Since coming out publicly in support of Congress and the effort to get the truth, I have been personally attacked, demonized by DIA security. Despite the fact that DIA security and DIA leadership have been given the exculpatory information that counter’s their allegations – and despite the fact that there has been verification from other individuals the existence and effort that was being made within ABLE DANGER I remain on the sideline without a clearance – even preparing this testimony without formal approval. The system is broken – if they can do this to me – slander and malign me and ignore exculpatory evidence – only look at bad issues and consider none of the successes and good work I’ve done over the past 23 years, they can (and would) do this to anyone who stands up to try and set the record straight.

(U) In conclusion I will offer several points.

(U) In November 2004, Army Sgt Pat Tillman, a National Football League star turned Army Ranger was killed in Afghanistan. At first, it was reported that he was killed by Taliban fighters – and this fraudulent statement was perpetrated on the American people for nearly a year before someone came forward and blew the whistle – and revealed the fact that SOCOM and the Army lied – that Sgt Tillman was killed by friendly fire. I was personally attached to the [ ] Rangers [ ] in Nov of 2003 and went on a similar nighttime air assault looking for Al Qaeda leadership in the same exact region of Afghanistan in which Sgt Tillman was killed – and I know first hand the chaos that is present on a “hot LZ” when you are being shot at from multiple directions and it is hard to make out the good guys from the bad – and how easy mistakes can be made. However, to lie about, and cover up, the grim reality of his death is an insult to his memory and the memory of the other soldiers who have fought and died in this war. I feel the same about ABLE DANGER. There has been a wholesale effort to cashier me over allegations of less than $300.00 – while DoD has spent nearly $2 million to damage my reputation and remove me.

(U) If there can be a cover-up on a cut and dry issue like the truth about Sgt Tillman’s death, to what length do you think governmental bureaucrats, who were never held accountable for their failures to detect and prevent the 9/11 attack would do to suppress direct evidence that we had an offensive capability that could well have been used to pre-emptively target and destroy Al Qaeda a full year before we were attacked?

(U) It appears as if ABLE DANGER were in the middle of an Orwellian 1984 rewrite of history when Congressman Weldon found and got the story out. How is it that this information has been “disappearing” over the past five years? How could lawyers misinterpret the law and regulations so clearly as to “delete” the equivalent ¼ of the Library of Congress? How is it that just after I approach the 9-11 commission that I am suspended over three administrative issues that did not then, and do not now hold water, and that my entire issue of ABLE DANGER documents not only go missing, but are later revealed by DIA leadership to have been “destroyed” by DIA without explanation. These are questions that beg to be answered.

(U) I was on the track of being ‘written out’ of history, just like a character in George Orwell’s book 1984 – it was initially a complete mystery as to why DIA was pushing so hard to revoke my clearance, with the clear intent to fire me to revoke my clearance, with the clear intent to fire me to preclude my ever being able to say anything about ABLE DANGER and the issues at hand.

(U) During my tenure as chief of STRATUS IVY, I’ve conducted operations and ran projects that I cannot discuss in open session, but were disclosed in closed session to illustrate what we were doing – and the ‘out of the box’ nature of the efforts.

(U) My final three points are:

(U) First – we nee to have out of the box thinkers who go against conventional conservative thinking – who oppose the bureaucracy’s lethargy and tendency to play it safe and protect itself. My only wrongdoing here is that I opposed the bureaucracy – and thought “out of the box” – and was given by proper military authority the opportunity, resources, and authority to achieve something. I am proud to say that we did achieve something – great things – which my folks and I did on multiple occasions – our greatest successes of which I cannot even discuss at the Top Secret SCI level. The terrorists are elusive, adaptive and persistent. We need folks who can literally outthink them – to anticipate where they are going and get there ahead of time. We need to encourage, not discourage, this thinking, otherwise another, much broader and more destructive 9/11 attack is inevitable.

(U) Second – capabilities that will identify global “centers of gravity” of our adversaries. That is all I can say in open testimony.

(U)Third – We need an out of the box element such as we had in STRATUS IVY; to be adaptive and creative in its approaches to detect emerging threats – and detect existing threat’s change or adaption of methodology and then engage the threats in new and creative ways to neutralize them.

(U) I hope the HASC hearings will pursue answers to the ABLE DANGER questions that I have identified in my testimony.

(U) Further, and more importantly, I hope the HASC will create legislation that will:

1)(U) Recreate an ABLE DANGER capability and insure that such a capability is able to withstand bureaucratic and political forces that oppose its existence.

2)(U) Recreate a STRATUS IVY type task force/unit [ ] using advanced and developing technology to conduct operations support both Title 50 intelligence collection and Title 10 military operations.

3)(U) Establish better lines for protected communications of crucial oversight issues that protect whistleblowers.

(U) Thank you for this opportunity to have briefed you on the issues and aspects of my role in ABLE DANGER and the importance, scope and demise of the project.

Anthony Shaffer
LTC, NI, USAR

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

"It did not fit with the story we wanted to tell"

From page 41 of Shaffer's written testimony:

During the briefing, Congressman Weldon asked Russ Caso, his chief of staff, to call the 9/11 commission and find out if they (the 9/11 commission) had ever heard of ABLE DANGER. Mr. Caso left the room and called Chris Cojm at the 9/11 Discourse Project and asked him if they had ever "heard of something called ABLE DANGER". Chris quickly checked and told Russ "Yes - we heard of it" - Russ then asked him why they did not put it in their final report - Cojm's answer was this "It did not fit with the story we wanted to tell". Russ came back in and told Congressman Weldon and me of the comment. Both Congressman Weldon and I could not hide our astonished looks at hearing the news. This was the beginning of the investigation as to why ABLE DANGER information was not examined or included in the 9/11 report that has brought us to where we are today.

DIA admits destroying Able Danger info in 2004

From page 21 of Shaffer's written testimony:

DIA has admitted to House Armed Services Committee (HASC) on 8 September 2005 that my ABLE DANGER documents had been destroyed in 2004; there was no U.S. person information in these documents, and they relate to what we now have identified as a major, relevant operation regarding 9-11. Why were these documents destroyed? Why is it that these documents, many that were Top Secret collateral information, not properly accounted for when they were destroyed? I am hopeful that the current DoD IG investigation of DIA's use of frivolous issues to attempt to discredit me and terminate my access to classified information at the cost to the U.S. taxpayer upwards of $2 million will be held accountable - and their purposeful destruction of my set of ABLE DANGER documents will result in their criminal prosecution for illegal destruction of documents.

Shaffer's written testimony is must read material

I strongly recommend everyone reads it, if you have not started already. Here is one brief excerpt:

If we are to win this war on terrorism, and hope to preclude the next 9-11 type attack - an attack that many experts fear wil be one that utilizes a weapon of mass destruction such as chemical, biological or nuclear - it is my judgment that we must examine and make sure that the bureaucratic and policy problems that hobbled ABLE DANGER effort have been fixed.

From my experience, to date, the problems have not been fixed as the officers and culture that existed before 9-11, and permitted the ABLE DANGER project to fail, are still in place today.

There is no incentive for the bureaucrats to change - and instead of embracing change, and being accountable to their actions, they obfuscate and inveigle and hide their own failures. In my specific instance, DIA has been allowed by DoD to make an "example" of me to try and intimidate the others from coming forward by spending what we now estimate $2 million in an effort to discredit and malign me by creating false allegations, and using these false allegations to justify revocation of my Top Secret security clearance. How can it be that we, as a country at war, have such officers in the government who are more concerned about suppressing the truth than winning the war? How many sets of body armor, or enhanced protection for military vehicles in Iraq or Afghanistan would $2 million buy?

Curt Weldon on Lou Dobbs tonight

I believe it must be a recorded interview with Weldon, but it will still be worth seeing. It might be live, if they can fit it in before the closed session starts. Either way, Dobbs will have video clips from the hearing as well.

From CNN:

We’ll have that report, as well as one on the House Armed
Services joint subcommittee’s hearings on the Pentagon’s Able
Danger program. And Congressman Curt Weldon is Lou’s guest
tonight – the Congressman offers his insight into today’s
hearings.

Public testimony in hearing cut off

CORRECTION: I'm hearing it was Zelikow, not Cambone, who originally said he had to leave at 6pm. I should not have jumped to the conclusion that it was Cambone. It was not. I've replaced the name Cambone with Zelikow below. The rest of the text is unchanged.

Chairman Saxton has cut short testimony in the open session because Zelikow said he had a critical appointment at the White House at 6pm so they wanted to start the closed session earlier. The three witnesses will have to complete their testimony in closed session, off the public record. Weldon protested that the session should re-opened after Zelikow testifies, but Saxton denied the request.

UPDATE: Zelikow just said he can wait, but it sounds like they only got another ten minutes as a result. Then they are going to closed session.

Public testimony ended at 5:50pm. According to Vi's live blog of the hearing, the first panel, where Cambone was the only witness called to testify, lasted from 2:50pm to 4:38pm. The second panel, with the three other witnesses, lasted from from 4:39pm to 5:49pm. Cambone got one hour and forty-eight minutes, while the others got one hour and ten minutes. In addition to Vi's blog, which provides an in-depth running summary, a streaming audio recording of the hearing is available here.

Liveblogging Today's Able Danger Hearing at 2:30 PM

I will be liveblogging today's Able Danger hearing at 2:30 PM here.

Scott Phillpott will testify in closed session

UPDATE: The hearing has started now. The written testimony was all just posted.

Pentagon Channel has a live video feed.

You can also listen to the live feed from the Armed Services Committee hearing room here.

Here is the written testimony.

Saxton statement: (pdf)
Everett statement: (pdf)
Dr. Stephen Cambone, Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence (pdf)
Mr. Erik Kleinsmith, Defense contractor (pdf)
Mr. Tony Shaffer, Department of Defense employee (pdf)
Mr. J.D. Smith, Defense contractor (pdf)

Not counting any chickens before they're hatched, but the Network Pool will be taping the hearing.

AJ Strata has a good overview of events up to this point.

Weldon explained in the hearing Tuesday, Phillpott will testify in the closed half of Wednesday's hearing. It sounded like Weldon was saying Phillpott has concerns he will be retaliated against, if he testifies publicly.

Don't get me wrong, as you can see from the banner on the site, I am glad Tony Shaffer will finally get a chance to talk, at both hearings Tuesday and Wednesday, but how can you have a hearing on Able Danger without the guy who was in charge of it? In fact, none of these four witnesses worked full time on Able Danger. Cambone was an Assistant Secretary of Defense, Kleinsmith ran LIWA, Smith worked for LIWA, and Shaffer ran Stratus Ivy. He acted as a liaison and more for Able Danger but was not one of the dozen or so people working full time on Able Danger - none of whom have talked - other than a two sentence statement from Phillpott back in August.

From the House Armed Services Committee web site:

Wednesday, February 15, 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:

Dr. Stephen Cambone, Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence
Mr. Erik Kleinsmith, Defense contractor
Mr. Tony Shaffer, Department of Defense employee
Mr. J.D. Smith, Defense contractor

Weldon on C-SPAN Washington Journal now

From C-SPAN:

09:00 AM EST
LIVE Call-In
Military Spending
C-SPAN, Washington Journal
Curt Weldon , R-PA


It sounds like he'll be discussing the budget hearing earlier in the day, as opposed to Able Danger but if I know those C-SPAN callers, I bet the subject will come up.

Hearing airing on C-SPAN TV now

Tune in if you're still awake and missed it this afternoon. What you miss by only listening to it is how hard a time Shaffer had keeping from laughing when going through the list of actions taken against him. On the radio he sounded nervious because he rushed, but from the video you can see that he was not nervous at all.

James Rosen has a good summary of Tuesday's hearing here.

Don't forget Vi's audio clips of the Able Danger portions of the hearing.

You can see the video from C-SPAN here, or at their direct link here.

A commenter points out an article with some key quotes here, too:

In an unusual move, whistleblowers from the FBI, National Security Agency, Defense Department and Energy Department were allowed to testify before the House Government Reform National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations Subcommittee. Congressional committees usually hear from senior agency managers, not rank-and-file employees.

The whistleblowers recounted their allegations and how they were retaliated against, in some cases by having their security clearances revoked or their careers ruined. They said agency managers seemed more focused on cover-ups and retaliation than investigating allegations or addressing exposed problems.

"I became a whistleblower not out of choice, but out of necessity -- necessity to tell the truth," said Army Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, who said he was retaliated against after reporting pre-9/11 intelligence failures.

Shaffer is scheduled to testify in a closed session Wednesday before the House Armed Services Committee. Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa., said the session will be "a hearing that is going to change... the nature of this city."

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Tony Shaffer's testimony

If you want to see why Tony Shaffer was in such a hurry during his opening statement today, I recommend that you go read it. It's a powerful statement, and I can see why he wanted to get it all in. I wouldn't want to be Steve Cambone tomorrow, that's all I've got to say about it.

I might type it all out, since the subcommittee didn't put it in text format.

UPDATE: C-SPAN TV just posted a schedule change. They'll broadcast today's hearing as soon as the House session finally closes. They just said they are going to go until midnight. Two or three congressmen have been talking for over an hour since it was supposed to end at 9:30pm.

Shaffer vs Zelikow?

If you're wonder what interview Weldon was referring to when he mentioned that Zelikow now denies even meeting Shaffer, despite the fact that Shaffer still has the business card that Zelikow personally gave to him, here it is - complete with a helpful photoshopped graphic:



Kerrey said Commission members had asked Zelikow to describe his meetings in Afghanistan and that Zelikow had submitted a derailed written explanation of what happened.

“Basically, [Zelikow] says he has no recollection of being told about [Able Danger] and, had he had been told about it, he certainly would have brought it to the attention of the Commission members,” said Kerrey. “I think the majority of the Commission members, myself included, believe Phil Zelikow. We believe he’s telling the truth. But, I don’t have the basis to resolve the conflict between these two men. Congress does.”

Kerrey said he supports Zelikow’s current posture of refusing to answer the media’s questions about Able Danger.

“I think he’s doing the right thing by not responding. He can’t constructively engage in this debate unless Congress establishes an environment in which the debate can lead to an answer,” said Kerrey. “One of these guys is telling the truth and we can ascertain who’s telling the truth only if the House Armed Services Committee [hears their testimony.]


UPDATE: Here's the best part:

GSN:
Why wouldn’t Philip Zelikow have answered any of the press inquiries -- including my own -- to speak on this subject?

KERREY:
Because it can only lead him to a position where he’s basically debating another individual, and it’s going to be a “He said, She said,” kind of encounter. They’re not saying they have a disagreement with him [Zelikow], they’re attacking him.

I think he’s doing the right thing by not responding.


You see, Shaffer is attacking Zelikow! Poor, courageous, tormented, Philip! Not only has he had to steadfastly avoid responding to these ridiculous charges. He has also had to put up with being promoted to a top post at the State Department, not having his security clearance revoked, not having higher-ups try to fire him from his job, and not having vicious rumours and lies spread behind his back by unaccountable, spineless bureaucrats!

Weldon press conference transcript

UPDATE: Here is a key quote from the transcript. A new witness has come forward, although they are not willing to testify publicly:

I've learned some additional things that are new. You saw the Arlen Specter hearing in Judiciary that occurred in September. It's very troubling to me that it appears as though the DOD witness did not tell the truth. We had testimony that all of the Able Danger data-mining material was destroyed. I now know that that's not the case. In fact, I now know there's data still available. And I am in contact with people who are still able to data mining runs on pre-9/11 data. In those data runs that are now being done today, in spite of what DOD said, I have 13 hits on Mohammed Atta, spelled Mu and Mo. Not Mohammed Attif, not Mohammed Attel; Mohammed Atta. Thirteen times we have hits in the data that's still available, that we were told was destroyed. That was pre-9/11 data, where Mohammed Atta's name was spelled two different ways, but it was Mohammed Atta.


From AJ Strata:

It has always been my belief that the classified data sets sent to SOCOM still existed. Apparently I was correct.


From Michael Tanji at Group Intel:

Generally speaking history doesn’t give you second chances. I’ve been witness to a number of lost intelligence opportunities that I wish I could have gotten a “do over” on. Sometimes these were opportunities that were just pissed away by the near-sighted and narrow-minded, sometimes we faced a no-win situation and something had to give.

The opportunity to repeat history – and in fact improve upon it since technology and methodology have only gotten better in the past three years – is unique and something that should be pursued with all possible speed and vigor. While it is too early to speak with certainty, I think it is fair to say that at the very least the opportunity to shoot holes in a lot of pre-conceived notions, and to drive home the need for more reforms, is not that far away.


Here is the full transcript. We fixed the formatting now:

REPRESENTATIVE WELDON HOLDS A NEWS CONFERENCE ON ABLE DANGER

FEBRUARY 14, 2006

WELDON: Good afternoon. I apologize for being late. Traffic coming down from Pennsylvania was a little heavier than I thought.

Thank you for coming out. I'm Curt Weldon and I'm here to announce the hearing that everyone said would never occur, that will begin tomorrow.

But, before that, I want to say that, as most of you know, I have been subpoenaed by the defense lawyer for Moussaoui for the sentencing process that will begin in March.

I have talked to the defense attorney. My counsel and my chief of staff has talked to him. We understand what the subpoena would involve. And I, this morning, talked to Rob Spencer, who is the U.S. attorney handling the case.

Obviously, he's not going to tell me what to do because he can't. But I have come to the conclusion, talking to my own counsel and staff counsel for the House, that I would rather not testify.

So we'll be notifying the defense attorney for Moussaoui that I will invoke the House Speech and debate clause providing me with House defense counsel and will not be available to testify as a defense witness in the Moussaoui trial.

Ed McMahon is the defense counsel. He has been very polite in talking to my staff and my attorney. But, in both talking to my counsel and the House counsel, I think it's better that I not appear as a witness there.

The hearings will begin this week, tomorrow at 2:30. And they're going to be everything that we said they would be, filled with a lot of still-unanswered questions.

Many discounted this whole process when it began in earnest in August, when the New York Times wrote the first story with Fox News. I wanted to thank both of those media outlets for staying the course.

WELDON: While the mainstream media chose to ignore this story, they paid attention. And except for certain select people, like Lou Dobbs and others, we've had to the bulk of our investigative work ourselves.

I can tell you that here we are in February, and we're still identifying additional witnesses. At least one additional witnesses has come forward who just retired from one of the intelligence agencies who will also testify under oath that he was well-aware of and identified Mohammed Atta's both name and photo prior to 9/11 occurring.

The hearings that are being held this week and throughout this sessions of Congress are numerous. Tomorrow it's the Armed Services Committee, joint hearings of two subcommittees.

Our witness list includes Dr. Steve Cambone, Eric Kleinsmith, J.D. Smith, Lieutenant Colonel Tony Shaffer, Commander Scott Philpot and Dr. Eileen Pricer.

Most of the hearing will be open; there will be some that's closed. And part of the closed hearing is not necessarily due to classified information, but rather witnesses that are concerned for their careers. I shouldn't have to say that. That shouldn't have to be, but it is the case.

In fact, when I leave here, I'll be testifying at Chris Shays' hearing on whistleblowers, where Tony Shaffer will testify.

What's happening to witnesses that have truthful information to tell, in my opinion, is unconscionable, that we would have people who'd be threatened and intimidated not to come forward and tell their story.

But that has happened in this case. I'm aware of it happening numerous times in the previous administration.

And when I go before Chris Shays' subcommittee in a few moments, I will give a number of specific examples about people whose careers were ruined, whose lives were ruined, who were threatened and intimidated because they simply wanted to tell the truth. And believe me, I felt significant pressure myself for pushing this story as hard, as long as I have.

Rob Simmons on the Homeland Security Intelligence Subcommittee will do hearings. I mentioned Chris Shays'. Dana Rohrabacher, chairman of the Investigations Subcommittee on International Relations, has tentatively scheduled hearings. Arlen Specter continues his hearings.

There was a DOD I.G. investigation -- it's been under way for several months -- looking into DIA harassment of Lieutenant Colonel Shaffer, and that investigation is proceeding, in my opinion, very well.

Tony is fully cooperating with them, and I think you're going to see some unusual but very positive results come out of that DOD I.G. investigation of the Defense Intelligence Agency.

I did talk to the head of GAO, and he came back and said because these were largely intelligence-related issues, they did not feel that they would have jurisdiction. But I did ask them to do an investigation.

So there are a number of activities under way.

There are a number of questions that need to be answered that have not been answered. The witnesses, starting tomorrow, will testify under oath, something that's not happened yet. DOD has talked about having an internal investigation. Well, that never happened. There was no swearing in of witnesses. There was no testimony under oath. That will begin tomorrow.

The questions will revolve around why was this information collected before 9/11, and if so, who in fact can verify that under oath. And there will be a number of people who will say -- and there are others who are not appearing who will also give similar testimony when they're appropriately called.

We will get into the attempts to transfer the information to the FBI.

WELDON: Now, since this whole process began, you saw Louie Freeh, former FBI director, on "Meet the Press" in October respond to Chris Matthews and say publicly, "If I would have had the kind of information Able Danger had, we in the FBI may well have been able to stop 9/11 from ever occurring."

How the 9/11 Commission can call Able Danger historically insignificant is just beyond my imagination.

In addition, several months ago, General Hugh Shelton came out for the first time publicly and has said that he was the one who personally authorized the creation of Able Danger; that it was a top- secret, elite organization of approximately two dozen individuals whose total purpose was to identify Al Qaida operatives around the world and in the U.S.

So we have General Shelton testifying that he created it. You have Louie Freeh saying if he'd have had the information it could have helped stop 9/11, perhaps. And now we have information that will be testified to under oath that there were attempts to transfer information to the FBI on at least three occasions, and on all three of those occasions in September of 2000, lawyers within the administration denied those meetings from taking place.

I've learned some additional things that are new. You saw the Arlen Specter hearing in Judiciary that occurred in September. It's very troubling to me that it appears as though the DOD witness did not tell the truth.

We had testimony that all of the Able Danger data-mining material was destroyed. I now know that that's not the case. In fact, I now know there's data still available. And I am in contact with people who are still able to data mining runs on pre-9/11 data. In those data runs that are now being done today, in spite of what DOD said, I have 13 hits on Mohammed Atta, spelled Mu and Mo. Not Mohammed Attif, not Mohammed Attel; Mohammed Atta. Thirteen times we have hits in the data that's still available, that we were told was destroyed. That was pre-9/11 data, where Mohammed Atta's name was spelled two different ways, but it was Mohammed Atta.

It is outrageous to me that the Defense Department would say, as we will hear from Eric Kleinsmith tomorrow, that, yes, he did destroy the LIWA data, but the LIWA data wasn't all the data. There was other massive data mining that was collected, that we just don't know the whereabouts of.

WELDON: But I do know -- I'm not going to give you the name of who I'm working with -- I do know there are still data available that was collected through the legal process.

In addition, we have people now coming out of the woodwork refuting these witnesses.

Today and tomorrow, Lieutenant Colonel Shaffer will testify in his uniform under oath in spite of an aggressive effort by D.A. bureaucrats to tarnish his image.

In checking Lieutenant Shaffer's files, you'll see that letters of highest recommendation and commendation from every DIA director, from the CIA directors for his work. And then you will see a pattern that began when he started to talk about Able Danger of destroying this man and his career, eventually trying within two days to take away the health benefits for his kids and the salary and benefits for himself.

Thank goodness Gordon England had the decency to work with me on behalf of the secretary of defense to stop that process from going forward.

Tony Shaffer has been allowed to return to DIA and is currently cooperating, and will testify in uniform both today and tomorrow.

We saw a statement by one of the two -- actually, the staff director of the 9/11 Commission. Is it Dr. Zelikow?

In an interview last week, supported by Senator Bob Kerrey, who believes him, but he never met with Tony Shaffer, so he's completely refuting Tony Shaffer as a witness.

Well, tomorrow, we will present irrefutable evidence that Zelikow did meet with Tony Shaffer, and we'll present physical evidence of that meeting.

I don't know what's going on. But I can tell you that this country needs to get to the bottom of who does not want the American people to know the facts leading up to 9/11; why the 9/11 Commission deliberately denied information to the commissioners?

I don't think the commissioners were ever briefed on Able Danger. In fact, I know two of them were never briefed, because I talked to them personally. Was this an effort by both administrations to keep information from the American people about what was known before 9/11? If that's the case, that is outrageous and wrong.

The hearings are designed to get at the facts, nothing more, nothing less. There's no spin on these witnesses. They're not out to tell a story for some private gain. They're simply here to tell the story so the American people will hopefully begin to understand the information leading up to the most terrible and egregious attack in the history of our country; an attack that's very personal for me because I lost good friends.

Chief Ray Downey, the chief of all rescue for New York City Fire Department, was one of my best friends. He was overseeing the rescue at 9/11. He was killed when the first tower came down. He was the fire officer who took me through the Trade Center in 1993. He was the man who convinced me to introduce the legislation and create the Gilmore Commission, which issued three reports before 9/11. And he's dead today, in overseeing 343 firefighters who were killed trying to rescue the 70,000 or 80,000 people in the Trade Center complex.

WELDON: One of the pilots of one of the planes was a neighbor of mine, Michael Horrocks. We went to the same university. He leaves behind a widow and two kids.

He had his throat slit because he simply was in the pilot seat of one of the planes.

I am not going to sit still until we have the facts and the true information about what we knew before 9/11.

And why is there this effort to silence these people? Why have there been intimidating threats made when people simply want to tell the truth?

Why did it take so long and require me to get 248 signatures from my colleagues in Congress, including Steny Hoyer and Roy Blunt, including Jack Murtha and Bill Young, including senior leaders of both parties, to get these people to be able to testify in an open setting before the Congress?

I don't have the answers to those questions. But the American people deserve those answers.

The 9/11 Commission has hemmed and hawed. They called this a historically insignificant process.

When you listen to what these brave Americans have to say, you will, as I have believed and come to believe, that there is no -- anything historically insignificant about this.

And when Louis Freeh says it could have helped prevent 9/11, and when General Shelton said he organized this, clearly the work of the Able Danger team, the work of the LIWA, processing effort of massive amounts of open-source data was not historically insignificant.

I would also add that as recently as two weeks ago additional Able Danger material was found in files at the Pentagon. I cannot understand how we could have an exhaustive search of all efforts and then two weeks ago I would get it again through my sources -- and a general was present as the information was taken out of file cabinets -- that more Able Danger material was still being found.

So we begin the process today with the whistleblower hearing of Chris Shays. Tony Shaffer will testify. And tomorrow we continue with Dr. Cambone, the other witnesses.

This is not about me embarrassing anyone. This is not about me taking sides.

I still don't understand why Jamie Gorelick would have called me on the Friday of the first week when the New York Times broke the story to tell my chief of staff to, "Please get a hold of Congressman Weldon and tell him that I did nothing wrong."

WELDON: I've never met Jamie Gorelick, have no idea who she is and don't know why she would have called me to convey that message, the same message she conveyed personally twice to Arlen Specter's staff on the Senate Judiciary Committee in August.

But there's something fundamentally wrong here. The information has not been sorted through. The 9/11 Commission did not look at this material. The 9/11 Commission never spoke to any of the Able Danger principals during its entire time of being in operation.

And I supported the commission with my vote and my voice.

None of the people involved with Able Danger were talked to by the 9/11 Commission staff, except for the two volunteers who, on their own, went to the commission, Tony Shaffer and Scott Philpot. And they were both largely ignored or told their information wasn't worthy of further consideration.

And so the hearing begins tomorrow. No one's happy with this hearing. I made a lot of enemies, I'm sure, in the White House, in the agency network. And I know the Clinton people are not happy.

But in the end, I'm here to do a job. And I'm here with my colleagues who support this effort, on both sides of the aisle.

And I could name dozens of members of Congress, from Rush Holt and Solomon Ortiz and Silvestre Reyes on the Intelligence Committees, to Republicans like Pete Hoekstra, Frank Wolf. And Pete Hoekstra and Frank Wolf are doing their own effort, which I'm not supposed to talk about, I understand. But as the chairman of the Judiciary Oversight Committee and the Intelligence Oversight Committee, they have both taken joint efforts which are now under way that I cannot get into.

These members simply want to know what happened; not to point fingers, not to blame anyone but to understand what happened before the largest attack in our country's history.

We're also going to hear testimony tomorrow -- this will be in a closed session, unless we can convince the one witness to testify in the open -- and he has been allowed, but for his own personal career interest, he doesn't want to testify right now in open -- and he will testify that Able Danger identified a problem in Yemen two weeks before the attack on the Cole.

Two days before the attack on the Cole, they knew it was tied into the port of Aden and involved a U.S. platform. WELDON: Two days later, the Cole was hit: 17 sailors died and the career of the commander of the Cole, Kirk Lippold, who I've met with, has been put on hold because some have blamed him.

He told me in my meeting he had three options that day: to refuel the Cole at sea, to refuel the Cole at Aden in Yemen, or to refuel the Cole in another port.

If anyone would have told him there was any indication of a problem in Aden, he would not have gone there. He had no clue.

And yet we will hear testimony tomorrow that there was, in the intelligence world of Able Danger, direct clues that they were jumping up and down over: an incident that would involve a U.S. platform in the port of Aden in Yemen that happened two days after they saw this massive amount of activity occurring.

In the end, what I hope to accomplish from this is to finally get the truth and finally get the whole truth. And that will lead to all kinds of other issues involving the 9/11 Commission.

Did they arbitrarily pick 1996 to begin their investigation and why? Or should we look at what Peter Lance, who was an ABC news 20/20 journalist, who's writing a book this year that says they deliberately chose '96 not to go back and include data from the trial of the blind sheik and from the ties of Ramzi Yousef and others, where it would indicate further agency failures.

I'm not alleging that, but others will.

But why'd the 9/11 Commission not include Able Danger? Why'd they not list it as a footnote? Why'd they not want to pursue the material that Ton Shaffer offered in October of '03 when he came back from duty and offered to come in and volunteer with them?

Why was all the material that Tony Shaffer had in his office at DIA headquarters not provided to the 9/11 Commission? And who made that decision?

So there are a lot of unanswered questions here about the original operation of Able Danger, the material they collected, a whole second data-mining operation that was stood up by Special Forces Command down in Texas, in Garland, Texas, overseen by General Schoomaker, that collected identical data to what the LIWA facility had at Fort Belvoir. When Senator Specter had the Judiciary Committee hearing, you heard Erik Kleinsmith testify publicly that he was ordered to destroy the LIWA data, which he did.

What he didn't tell us was that there was a whole set of other data that we don't know whether or not it was destroyed, that was equal to some -- and, in fact, the director of that operation, who I've also talked to personally, again in the 9/11 Commission, never even knew who to interview -- Dr. Bob Johnson.

WELDON: He maintains more data than what the LIWA had at Fort Belvoir. And in spite of Erik Kleinsmith's testimony, I will tomorrow talk about continuing capabilities to data-mine the original 9/11 data, with 13 hits on Mohammed Atta.

Now some are saying, "Well, this is all about a chart. If you don't have the chart, it doesn't mean anything."

This is not about a chart.

Steve Hadley has not denied that I gave him a chart. He maintains The Washington Post spun his story and his statement when he told them he doesn't remember meeting with me -- or he remembers meeting with me and he remembers seeing a chart, but doesn't remember me giving it to him.

We've talked to Steve Hadley's staff since, and he said he did not mean to indicate that I did not give it to him. I did give it to him. And as you all saw, Congressman Dan Burton, who at the time was chairman of the House Oversight Government Operations Committee, was with me when I presented that chart to Steve Hadley in the White House.

And Dan Burton has said publicly that he even explained the linkages on the chart to Steve Hadley.

It's not about a chart.

It's about a process that identified massive amounts of information about Al Qaida before 9/11. It's about an effort that tried to transfer this information to the FBI before 9/11 and were denied. It's about why the 9/11 Commission never looked at any of this. And it's about why that data was never transferred.

And it's about why, as Louis Freeh has said, that information that may well have allowed the FBI to investigate the Brooklyn cell thoroughly, to understand Mohammed Atta and those other three terrorists, might have been able to give America a forewarning of what was going to occur.

So let the hearings begin.

QUESTION: You mentioned that Mohammed Atta's name has come up in pre-9/11 databases that are available at the Pentagon...

WELDON: I didn't say "at the Pentagon." I said there are data sets available that were a part of the data-mining operation that allegedly was destroyed that I'm still getting information on, as recently as last week.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

WELDON: Well, we have 13 hits of Mohammed Atta's name, spelled two different ways. But it's not Mohammed Attif. It's Mohammed Atta, spelled with an "Mo" and an "Mu." Mohammed is spelled two different ways. Thirteen times.

QUESTION: How did it come up? Can you tell us more about it...

WELDON: I worked through what should the 9/11 Commission and the DOD should have done, to find out who was doing this work and to understand what was happening.

WELDON: And I located someone who -- and a lot of people are coming forth privately who don't want to talk publicly. And he said, "I still have access to that data," even though I was told it was destroyed.

QUESTION: Are you corroborating the report that (OFF-MIKE)

WELDON: The person who said that is not testifying.

QUESTION: But you're corroborating that that person (OFF-MIKE)

WELDON: Absolutely. You mean the story that ran in the New York Post this morning? I'm saying that that statement was given to me by an employee of one of our agencies who still has access to data sets.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) verifying that? I mean, does this verify the information or...

WELDON: Well, you're going to tell me the guy lied to me? I don't know. I'll put him under oath, the same way I want the 9/11 Commission put under oath.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) putting him under oath?

WELDON: I have not brought him in yet because, obviously, this will be very detrimental to his career if I give his name.

You know, I went to Steve Cam bone when this whole story broke and said, "I'll cooperate with DOD but I want these people -- I don't want their careers ruined." And I have had two people whose careers have been directory threatened in phone call conversations that I'm aware of, which I turned over to DIA, threatening to pull their security clearances if they talked.

Tony Shaffer you saw publicly. They destroyed the guy. They took away his security clearance. A 23-year veteran of military intelligence, a Bronze Star recipient, they take away his security clearance, and they're two days away from taking away his pay and his health care benefits for his two kids and destroying him.

And his lawyer, Mark Zaid, said -- he represents whistleblowers -- he's never seen an effort so aggressively abusive of a person than what they were putting forward against Tony Shaffer.

Because they were not going to actually dismiss him from his job. They wanted to keep him in his job unpaid, without benefits, so he couldn't talk to Congress or the media.

Gordon England, on behalf of the secretary of defense, stepped in and was the new head of DIA.

General?

The new head of DIA and Gordon England: I can't praise them enough for their cooperation in restoring Tony Shaffer to allow this I.G. investigation to go forward, which has been under way for several months, requested by the House Armed Services Committee, and to let Tony Shaffer testify, as he will today and tomorrow.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

WELDON: I think they wanted to ask me about all this information and what's out there. That's what I assume.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

WELDON: I guess their angle was that the government didn't do all that it could have done to prevent 9/11, I assume. I don't know. You'll have to talk to the lawyer. His name is McMahon, Ed McMahon.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) I just want to be really clear and precise on this, OK? Did that happen in replication...

WELDON: We've been told...

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: ... a post-9/11 replication of what might have happened or could have happened pre-9/11? Or do you have concrete evidence that the 13 hits actually happened pre-9/11?

WELDON: We have an informant that came to us who is a current employee, who said he has access to data sets that were developed before 9/11.

He actually can identify when the data was collected, some after, post-9/11, other pre-9/11. And he made the differentiation for us.

I said I only want to see what you had pre-9/11, not post-9/11.

I have a chart that's post-9/11, you've all seen it. I said I want to know what hits you had pre-9/11. He identified 13 hits, eight with either "Mo" or "Mu," and five with the other. But they were all Mohammed Atta.

QUESTION: There have also been reports that as many as three other hijackers were identified by Able Danger. You have this confirmation only regarding Atta. Do you have it regarding any other...

WELDON: We did ask them to run other names. Did we get information on that?

STAFF: We haven't gotten that yet.

WELDON: Haven't gotten that yet.

I've actually asked a person to recreate the chart for me using the hits that have been identified, and I hope to have -- I hope; I'm optimistic but I'm also pessimistic, because this guy is risking -- you can imagine what we're doing here. I've seen what they do and they're -- neither side wants this to come out.

QUESTION: I'm still confused. You say "running." Are they running new open data-mining...

WELDON: There's been data collected...

QUESTION: ... or are they just finding preexisting data that...

WELDON: Yes. Data that was pre-existing, that was a part of what was collected in the LIWA operation.

WELDON: You see, there were two separate data-mining operations. There was the LIWA operation at Fort Belvoir. When LIWA shut down because the previous administration was partly embarrassed over an analysis they had done of Chinese proliferation.

I was very much involved in looking at that. I went into great detail with it at the time, as the chairman of the Defense Research Committee.

General Schoomaker didn't want to lose the capability. So he established a whole separate data-mining operation with his own money, working under the Raytheon Corporation's management in Garland, Texas.

That operation was run by the individual I mentioned a few moments ago. They did a completely separate data-mining analysis of Al Qaida. So you actually had two separate data sets.

Now what we heard in the Senate hearing was the Kleinsmith was ordered to destroy the LIWA data at Fort Belvoir, which I assume he did as much as he could.

But what I've since learned is there was another whole complete set of data that we just don't know the whereabouts of that SOCOM had at the Raytheon facility at Garland that was eventually transferred back to SOCOM's headquarters.

I don't know the status of that data. That'll be a question that I'll be asking. What I'm also saying, in addition to that, is there are people within our intelligence agency structures who have access to some of that data that was collected that we were told had to be destroyed within three months.

And as recently as the last couple of weeks, they have run data hits looking at my request for the name Mohammed Atta. And they have come up with 13 hits using pre-9/11 data that was collected through the LIWA data-mining model that was available and collected prior to 9/11 ever occurring.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

WELDON: No, I don't have that information now.

QUESTION: On the 13 hits, I want to make sure I understand -- you provided the name Mohammed Atta and said: Search the pre-9/11 database and see how many times, if at all, this name comes up? WELDON: I guess I should say that there were people involved with Able Danger who knew about it and who are still working for our federal agencies. And they obviously are watching this story.

WELDON: And I guess he came to us, volunteered. I didn't find him out. He came to us and said "I still have access to this data. I was going through my old files, and I can get into it."

And I said, "Will you do me a favor? Will you get into that pre- 9/11 data? Can you tell when it was put in?

He said, "Yes."

"And see, pre-9/11 how many times the name Mohammed Atta comes up," because we've heard people saying -- I think Steve Cambone tomorrow is going to say it wasn't Mohammed Atta, it was Mohammed Attif, which is what he told me. Well, I'm telling you, this is not Mohammed Attif. This is Mohammed Atta. And it came up 13 times, spelled two different ways -- not Atta spelled two different ways; Mohammed spelled two different ways.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

WELDON: If you listen to Tony Shaffer's testimony tomorrow, he will tell you that the reason they wanted to transfer the pre-9/11 data -- and you're right, they didn't know who Mohammed Atta was back then -- but they say connections to a Brooklyn cell that indicated to them that they were up to no good and they were planning something. They didn't know what it was.

Now, if you talk to Peter Lance, he'll tell you there was evidence the Justice Department had that came out in the trial of the blind sheik about a plot that was hatched in the Philippines specifically against the Trade Center towers. But that's a separate issue.

The fact is that the Able Danger team felt that this information about the Brooklyn cell and four people was significant enough to transfer -- four people among others. They were not just the only four, there were others -- to the FBI so they could follow up and look specifically at what this cell was doing.

Now you're right, they didn't know what they were going to do. There was no at that time plan to attack the Trade Center. But the point is that they had these names identified as potential problems and people that were in this country that needed to be looked at. And they were prohibited from transferring that data to the FBI for their appropriate follow up.

I don't know where it would have gone. All I can tell you is what Louie Freeh said. You saw Louie Freeh respond and say that's the kind of information -- he mentioned Able Danger -- that may well have allowed the FBI to stop the hijackings from ever occurring.

That's not me saying that; that's not Scott Philpot; that's not Tony Shaffer. That's Louie Freeh.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

WELDON: Just the name. No.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

WELDON: Well, they would have linked in, because that's part of what this is, link analysis. They would have done the massive data- mining runs to prove the linkages.

WELDON: And what you're hearing is the 9/11 commission, everyone else is saying, they never identified Mohammed Atta before 9/11. He wasn't in the country and he was under a different name.

Well, I'm telling you now that we now have a new person that we've just, in the past three weeks, has come forward and came with this information. And we asked that person to unofficially, off the record, do data runs for us with pre-9/11 data -- that was the same data in the LIWA facility.

And he came up with 13 hits of Mohammed Atta's name.

Now, I don't know what the context is.

QUESTION: So how do you know it's the real Mohammed Atta?

WELDON: I don't. All I can tell you: It's spelled the same way. It could be some other Mohammed Atta.

QUESTION: You haven't seen this information; you're just relying on somebody else's say-so...

WELDON: Well, this whole story is relying basically on career military intelligence officers. It's not me. I'm not the firsthand witness to this.

QUESTION: This person hasn't come forward publicly...

WELDON: And he's probably not going to come forward publicly, because he's seen what's happened to Tony Shaffer and others.

And I'll be honest with you, when the American media allows a guy like Tony Shaffer to have his career destroyed and doesn't issue a peep, what do you think they're going to do?

Was anybody defending Tony Shaffer? No. You were dismissing him. The mainstream media dismissed Tony Shaffer as a kook.

Now all of a sudden, as the I.G. investigation has gone forward -- and I'm not going to tell you where it's going; you'll find out for yourself -- we find out that Tony Shaffer was harassed, that there are people within DIA and others who didn't want him to talk.

We did not do our job here in getting to the bottom of what occurred. These people -- and I just named you six of them -- there are another dozen people that will testify under oath, that I've talked to.

They simply want the truth to come out. That's all they ask for -- and have the 9/11 commission spin them as well.

You know, they didn't have a truck. It has nothing to do with the chart. It has to do with the massive amounts of data that pointed to the Brooklyn cell and these individuals who would become our terrorists that the military intelligence felt so strongly about that they wanted the FBI to have that and to go in and investigate -- this is open-source data -- and they were denied.

And so the American people have a right to know: Why were they denied the transfer of that data? And then on top of that, why did the 9/11 commission not investigate that?

Now, they can tell you all they want. Lee Hamilton was a friend of mine.

WELDON: And Tom Kean will say: We investigated it. They didn't investigate it. They did not talk to any of the Able Danger principals except for Lieutenant Colonel Shaffer and Scott Philpot.

And the two of them, they only talked to because they went to the commission to speak. The commission didn't go to them. And, even thought Tony Shaffer went to them in October of '03 and now, Phil Zelikow is saying, he never met with him -- well, tomorrow, we're going to present physical evidence that he did meet with him.

Why didn't they follow up? Why didn't they pursue Tony Shaffer? He could have turned them on to Scott Philpot. He could have turned them on to the LIWA, to the information dominance center at Raytheon in Texas.

Why did they not go through all of that? Why did they ignore the largest-ever assemblage of data on Al Qaida that this country has ever gotten?

Until July of '04 -- and Scott Philpot had not talked to Tony Shaffer -- Scott Philpot, on his own, comes back from active duty -- he was deployed on one of our ships -- and goes to General Schoomaker and says, General: I have additional information from Able Danger which, you know, I headed for you.

And he said: Should I go talk to them? And Schoomaker says: Yes, go talk to the commission.

And so, in October of '04, Scott Philpot tells the commission he wants to brief them. The debriefing is done by a guy named Dietrich Snell, who some say should have been a witness to the commission and not a staff member.

Dietrich Snell, who was involved in the blind sheet trial and all the activities up in New York from the first World Trade Center attack, decided the story wasn't worthy enough to brief the commissioners and told Scott Philpot, what do you want me to do with this now? We go to print in two weeks.

And I can't believe that that's what you would say. Who was it that told me that they were a trial lawyer? I guess it was Louis Freeh or who was it that said, when they were a lawyer, if they had information two weeks before a trial, they'd postpone the trial date?

Instead, the 9/11 Commission said: We're not going to pursue this. And the representative for the commission, when they changed their story three times the first week of August, when the New York Times wrote the story, three straight days.

On Tuesday, the response from the 9/11 Commission was, we knew about Able Danger, but they never told us about Atta. Now, I had to meet with Tony Shaffer, the New York Times and Fox News. And the response by the 9/11 Commission on the second day was, well, we did meet, we did get briefed and they did mention Mohammed Atta.

On the third day, when I had them meet with Philpot and Tony Shaffer, they were embarrassed. For the third straight day, they said, well, we determined that what they had to say was historically insignificant.

They changed their story three times.

WELDON: Now, I'm not trying to take away from all the other work the 9/11 Commission did. There are a lot of good recommendations that I fully support. In fact, I got a letter of praise from them for my work on interoperable communication systems.

What's interesting is I wrote them a letter in the second week of August asking for them to respond to my concerns. I have yet to receive a response, even though Kean and Hamilton took the time to send me a congratulatory letter for my work on interoperable communications.

I don't know what's going on here. I wish I had the answers. I'm not a prosecutor. I am a guy that's going to ask questions, because my ultimate responsibility as the vice chairman of Armed Services and Homeland Security is to understand how to protect against the next threat, and I have a personal stake here.

I lost some good friends; New York firefighters I'm very close to. In fact, many of the firefighters I knew. Republican Convention was held in New York just a year or so ago. The first day I was up there, I went with the New York City Fire Department for the entire day and spent two hours in Engine 54 Ladder 4, midtown Manhattan, riding with them, because that's where Angelini, father and Angelini sons were killed when all 15 firefighters from that station were wiped out when the first tower came down.

Many of you know I represent all the firefighters in America. They want to know the truth. I want to know the truth. I'm convinced none of us know the truth right now, at least as far as what Able Danger did and the potential impact that information could have had on the run-up to 9/11.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

WELDON: Not lives, careers.

Intimidations -- yesterday -- yesterday, Lieutenant Colonel Shaffer is scheduled to appear. He's at DIA (inaudible) and a DIA employee goes up to him and intimidates him personally.

Am I right or wrong? I haven't talked to Tony yet.

STAFF: (OFF-MIKE)

WELDON: And he'll say that today -- yesterday.

So am I aware of threats? Yes.

And why? Is this Bush doing this? No, I don't think it's Bush. I think it's career underlings that were holdovers from the previous administration who are fearful they're going to be embarrassed when the story is told.

They're more concerned about their careers than the safety of the country. They're more concerned with their careers and their little fiefdoms than they are about what really happened in the run-up to 9/11.

I mean, Richard Nixon covered up a third-rate burglary and had to resign from office. What's going on here?

WELDON: The 9/11 Commission -- it's explanations are anywhere near valid.

And they can point to me and say that this is something that I want. It's not about me. I'm just telling the -- I'm the messenger for these people that have confided in me. And the list keeps growing, as I said. Just a month ago, we had a another guy call us who had just retired from the intelligence service.

You talked to him, right?

(UNKNOWN): (OFF-MIKE)

WELDON: Another guy signed an affidavit saying, "Not only did I know that we identified Mohammed Atta, I saw the photo of him."

I mean, how many more people are there? And why don't people want this information? What are we, afraid to embarrass people because it happened in the year following the change over of two governments.

I don't want to embarrass President Bush; I'm a Republican. But this is bigger than a president, it's bigger than the administration. It'd be like denying what happened in the run-up to Pearl Harbor.

The American people deserve the truth. That's why 248 of my colleagues signed the letter.

And, believe me, I didn't want to do this to cause pain for anyone, but the American people deserve to know what happened. The 9/11 Commission did not look at this at all.

I talked to every witness in the Able Danger program and I will emphatically say, the 9/11 Commission staff talked to none of them except Tony Shaffer, who went to them, and Scott Philpot, who went to them. They talked to none of the other principals. They didn't talk to Eric Kleinsmith. They didn't talk to J.D. Smith. They didn't talk to Eileen Pricer. They didn't talk to the FBI person who arranged the meetings. They didn't talk to Dr. Bob Johnson. They didn't talk to any of them. They didn't even know they existed.

How can they say they investigated this? And how can they say it was historically insignificant when they didn't even look at it?

Now, I understand that happened. It was a staff decision made. The commissioners were never aware of it, and they got caught after the book was out. So what were the commissioners going to do? They're going to defend the staff based on staff summaries to them. Well, that's not acceptable.

And now when Dr. Zelikow comes out and says he did not even meet with Tony, then under oath I will have Tony stand up and take the oath, and then he'll present physical evidence of the meeting.

So somebody's distorting here. Somebody's not telling the truth.

Why did Jamie Gorelick call my office and say she did nothing wrong? Why did she call Specter's office twice and say the same thing? I don't even know the woman. She did that the first week the story broke. So she can't say it was because of blogging activity.

WELDON: She did that the first week the story broke. So she can't say it was because of blogging activity.

WELDON: The story ran three days in the New York Times, she calls my office on the fourth day, says, "You got to tell Congressman Weldon. Extremely important. I did nothing wrong."

Well, who accused her of doing anything wrong?

And what about Dietrich Snell? Should he have been a witness, as opposed to a staffer on the 9/11 Commission? And who was he working for? Was he working for Jamie Gorelick? I don't know the answer to that.

And why did the 9/11 Commission start only in '96 and go forward? Why did they arbitrarily pick that date? Why didn't they want to look evidence that was obtained from conversations between a criminal in New York by the name of Scarpa and conversations he had with a blind sheik while he was awaiting trial? Those are all questions Peter Lance is looking at.

And I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but I can tell you what I see in terms of the information that I wanted from the 9/11 Commission is not what we got. And I support almost every other recommendation they've made -- on interoperable communications, on realigning the Homeland Security agency.

You know, I was the one that authored the language to create the Gilmore commission, which issued three reports before 9/11.

So, you know, I'm not somebody taking a shot at them. I'm saying in this area, for whatever reason, they didn't do their job.

QUESTION: Why is the hearing tomorrow before a subcommittee of the Armed Services Committee (OFF-MIKE)?

WELDON: That's a good question. I didn't make that call. I'm happy we're having hearings. That was the chairman's choice.

QUESTION: The chairman of the full committee?

WELDON: I don't know whether...

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

WELDON: I don't whether Defense Department has weighed in or not. I have no idea. I'll be there, though.

QUESTION: In your mind, does this lower the significance of the hearing?

WELDON: Not to me, it doesn't. People who know me know that that's not going to -- the hearing will be the hearing. And this is hopefully going up other hearings.

There's too many unanswered questions here just to brush this aside, as the mainstream media has done, to brush this aside and said, "Oh, well, it's a lot of hoopla about nothing." If I thought that, I wouldn't have spent nine months on my own with one staffer and a part- timer, gone through interviewing all these people, with more and more people coming in.

And what really bothers me is, these people who want to testify closed tomorrow, they're fearful. They're actually scared. You've talked to them. They were very scared about their careers and about what can happen to them.

WELDON: Is that what we want in this country? People to be fearful of telling the truth? We don't want to create hype or hoopla or connect things that aren't there. We simply want to know, "What happened; what did you know; when did you know it; what did you do with it?", so we can learn from that. That has not been the case with this, at all.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

WELDON: I got a letter signed by 248 members of Congress, and I have just been on their back continuously. They're not happy. I mean, I have evidence. I mean, two reporters told me that they were actually told by one of the Pentagon press people, they wanted to know when this was going to go away.

And it's not about going away. It's about just getting the facts.

I'm convinced there are bureaucrats within agencies who have been there, who are fearful when this comes out they are going to be embarrassed.

Is that what we have to worry about, embarrassment? I mean, it's not about embarrassment. It's about understanding so we can learn. Everybody made mistakes. Congress made mistakes before 9/11.

I'm willing to admit that. I should have pushed harder on the CIA to put the data fusion center together, and I didn't. And I blame myself for that.

But I don't know why there's been such an aggressive effort, except for that, to shut it down. People just don't want this story to be told. And I don't think it's about classified capabilities.

I've been on the Armed Service Committee 20 years. I would never do anything to jeopardize our national security. If somebody in the administration came to me and said, "Curt, you're pushing in the area that's going to jeopardize our methods and operations," I would have said, "OK, I'll stop." Nobody's done that.

This is not about methods and procedures. We're not going to reveal any information publicly.

It's about what we knew, when we knew it, open-source information, and what could have been done. And the story needs to be told, because it actually is a good news story. Our military intelligence efforts, using data obtained overseas, linked into Mohammed Atta and the Brooklyn cell and others, actually knew in the five cells they identified -- one was in Yemen; one was in Hamburg, Germany; one was at Brooklyn; one was -- was one in Africa?

WELDON: There were two others. Nairobi, and there was a fifth one.

They did great work. And all they wanted to do was transfer the U.S.-based information to the FBI.

We needed to know why. Was it because of the Gorelick memo firewall? Is that why? And could that have helped us?

I don't know the answer to that, but I know what Louis Freeh said publicly two months ago. He said it could have been very significant.

And when the 9/11 commission says all this was historically insignificant, and Louis Freeh says that, and then you have General Shelton come out publicly in an interview in the San Francisco paper and say, "I authored Able Danger. I was the one that requested it and I asked Schoomaker to run it with 20 people" -- to me, that's not historically insignificant. That needs to be looked at.

QUESTION: Congressman, you've said that you've been under pressure because of your interest in this issue and you're pushing it. Can you talk a little bit about that pressure -- from whom, what kind of pressure?

WELDON: No.

QUESTION: White House, Pentagon?

WELDON: Just -- I'm doing what I have to do. I don't want to talk about that.

QUESTION: (inaudible) why did it decide not to use this...

WELDON: Because I don't want what I did misconstrued by Moussaoui's defense lawyers. I think Moussaoui's a thug. I think he deserves to be given the harshest punishment that our country can afford.

I don't have any tangible information to help them understand what Moussaoui's role was and, therefore, I just don't want to be -- if they were going to use me, I don't want to be used.

My information is for the benefit of future attacks against us and our allies. And that's the context I want it used in. And I just made my own personal determination that it's best I not appear. And since I have that ability under the House counsel to make that, I've asked them to so instruct the speaker that I will not respond to the subpoena.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

WELDON: They told us two weeks ago, and the subpoena actually came a week ago.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

WELDON: I think they subpoenaed others, too, in the Able Danger story.

So thank you all.

Weldon on Lou Dobbs tomorrow

UPDATE: Weldon was not interviewed by Dobbs tonight. They had a video clip from his news conference. In the clip, Weldon basically said, "I am not gonna sit still until we know the facts about Able Danger." He asked why there has been retaliation against those simply trying to tell the truth about Able Danger and said he wanted answers. I'll post the transcript from CNN later tonight.

Lou then mentioned some of the other things Weldon discussed at the press conference. First the fact that Able Danger data still exists, and according to Dobbs, ATTA'S NAME SURFACED THIRTEEN TIMES WITHIN THE EXISTING DATA. This is a major revelation if it is true - and if Dobbs did not just get the quote wrong. Not only does this data still exist, but it apparently clearly identifies Mohamed Atta. I don't know how you can get more proof than that of what Able Danger accomplished. Still trying to get a transcript from the press conference for confirmation, though.

Anyway, here is the schedule for the rest of the week on Lou Dobbs:

Wednesday - Interview with Curt Weldon.
Thursday - Interview with Tim Roemer.
Friday - Interview with Peter Lance.

UPDATE: Here is the transcript, and yes, the data still exists:

Congressman Curt Weldon promised today that this week's Able Danger hearings on Capitol Hill will answer many important questions about pre-9/11 intelligence failures. The Congressman says these hearings will prove there's been a massive cover-up about Able Danger intelligence that some say could have well prevented 9/11.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. CURT WELDON (R), PENNSYLVANIA: I am not going to sit still until we have the facts and the true information about what we knew before 9/11. And why is there this effort to silence these people? Why have there been intimidating threats made when people want to simply tell truth?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DOBBS: Among those scheduled to testify tomorrow, Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Shaffer, the officer who brought the Able Danger controversy to national attention. Erik Kleinsmith, a former U.S. Army major, who says he was ordered to destroy Able Danger data.

Congressman Weldon said today that all Able Danger intelligence was not destroyed and says the name of 9/11 mastermind Mohamed Atta surfaced 13 times in pre-9/11 intelligence data that still exists. This broadcast will have complete coverage and analysis of the hearings tomorrow. Congressman Weldon will be our guest here as well.

Former 9/11 commissioner member Tim Roemer joins me Thursday. And Emmy award-winning investigative journalist Peter Lance, who's written extensively on Able Danger, joins us here Friday.

Audio clips from today's hearing

Vi is posting audio from the hearing here, for those who missed it. The first file includes the opening remarks of Weldon and Shaffer on Able Danger. Shaffer was trying to fit a lot into his statement. Overall, there was not a lot new today for those who have been following the Able Danger story, but it was still important for Shaffer to finally get to testify publicly and explain the need for an independent body to investigate retaliation against national security whistleblowers like him.

Several of the other witnesses kept saying "I agree with the Lt. Col." which was interesting. Not sure if Shaffer's wife was at the hearing, but I hope they are enjoying a happier Valentine's Day today, now that he's been able to publicly deny the ugliest of the false rumors spread against him by some nameless bureaucrat.

Liveblogging the Committee on Government Reform's National Security Subcommittee Hearing on National Security Whistleblower Protection

I am now liveblogging this hearing here.

Whistleblower hearing on C-SPAN Radio

UPDATE: You can watch the streaming video with Real Player here. It's on now. You can listen to it live here.

Just got a C-SPAN Alert. The hearing will be rebroadcast tonight on C-SPAN TV at 9:30pm ET.

From C-SPAN:

Tuesday, February 14
House Hearing on National
Security Whistleblowers
On C-SPAN Radio at 1pm ET


Tony Shaffer is scheduled to testify on the first panel of witnesses.

Still nothing on coverage for Weldon's press conference at 12:30, but it looks like both CNN and C-SPAN with be taping the hearing today. Maybe CNN will cut in, but I doubt they will show very much live.

GOVERNMENT REFORM

1:00-Open

CNN Network POOL Cap DA 5; C-Span switched feed Cap DA 6.

House Cable System Channel 33

National Security, Emerging Threats, and International Relations Subc. Hrng. on National security whistleblowers in the post 9/11 era. Pub. wits. 2154 RHOB.

Atta surfaced thirteen different times

From the New York Post:

An active-duty military intelligence analyst has told congressional investigators that 9/11 pilot Mohamed Atta surfaced 13 times in a controversial Pentagon computer program before he executed the attacks, The Post has learned.

Congressional sources said last night that an officer in the Pentagon's secretive Land Information Warfare Center told the staff of Rep. Curt Weldon (R-Pa.) about the computer hits.

The revelation is significant because the 9/11 commission has asserted that Atta was not on the intelligence community's radar screen before the attacks.

The commission had also dismissed assertions from Weldon and others that a program known as Able Danger had linked Atta to a Brooklyn cell and included his photo on a chart of al Qaeda suspects.

Monday, February 13, 2006

The Best Blog Sources of Able Danger Information

In order to facilitate the accurate dissemination of comprehensive Able Danger news and analysis I have posted a great set of Able Danger links at the top of QT Monster's Place. This Able Danger Blog, of course, tops the list.

This post will remain at the top of QT Monster for the time being.

Weldon Press Conference on Tuesday

WELDON CALLS PRESS CONFERENCE IN ADVANCE OF WEDNESDAY'S HEARING ON ABLE DANGER

WASHINGTON (13 Feb.) -U.S. Rep. Curt Weldon (R-Pa.), vice chairman of the House Armed Services and Homeland Security Committees, will hold a press conference on Tuesday, February 14th at 12:00 p.m. in the House Radio/TV Gallery in advance of Wednesday's House Armed Service joint subcommittee hearing on the Able Danger - a Department of Defense planning effort prior to 9/11 tasked to identify and target the linkages and relationships of Al-Qaeda worldwide.

Weldon plans to highlight much of his work over the past 9 months on Able Danger, and detail new information on the planning effort, including some of the ongoing investigations within Congress.

Following the press conference, Congressman Weldon will appear before the Committee on Government Reform's National Security Subcommittee hearing on National Security Whistleblower Protection. Weldon will highlight how individuals within the U.S. government who have told the truth, when the truth went against agency leadership, they were fired.

WHAT: Press Conference with U.S. Rep. Curt Weldon on Able Danger

WHERE: House Radio/TV Gallery, The Capitol (H-321)

WHEN: Tuesday, 14 February 2006 at 12:00 p.m.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Congress to hear pre-9/11 report

From the Dayton Daily News:

Wright State University graduate Anthony "Tony" Shaffer, an Army Reserve lieutenant colonel and veteran intelligence operative, will be allowed to testify before the House Armed Services Committee next week about the controversial, once-secret operation, Able Danger.

Shaffer, 43, and others involved with the former data-mining operation, claim Able Danger had identified Mohamed Atta and three other Sept. 11 hijackers a year before the terrorist attacks.

They have been under a gag order....

Wednesday's hearing will be a joint session before the Strategic Forces subcommittee and the Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities subcommittee, according to a spokesman for U.S. Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa.

Weldon is the vice chairman of the House Armed Services and Homeland Security Committees who sent the letter to Rumsfeld signed by 246 lawmakers....

Part of the hearing will be open, but classified aspects will be discussed behind closed doors.

Message from Congressman Curt Weldon

The following message was sent out today to those who have contacted Weldon's office regarding Able Danger:

Thank you for taking the time over the past few months to contact me regarding the Able Danger - a Department of Defense planning effort prior to 9/11 tasked to identify and target the linkages and relationships of Al-Qaeda worldwide. Your voice has played a crucial role in getting 248 Members of Congress to ask for Congressional Hearings. I wanted to update you about the progress that has been made on Able Danger with your help.

First, I would like to thank the House Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter for his leadership in pursuing Able Danger hearings, as well as Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England for his support on behalf of the Pentagon.

Following a long congressional recess where staff was busy preparing for this hearing, I am pleased to announce that on Wednesday, 15 February 2006 at 2:30 p.m. in 2118 Rayburn House Office Building, the House Armed Services Strategic Forces and Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities Subcommittees have tentatively scheduled a joint hearing for open and closed testimony on the Able Danger effort. Witnesses have not yet been scheduled as interviews are ongoing. A complete list of witnesses should be available by close of business on Monday, February 13, 2006.

Thank you for your ongoing interest. I would ask that you communicate with your Member of Congress and express how important Able Danger hearings are and thank them for their support. I will continue to keep you updated as hearings progress.

Thank you


Curt Weldon

MEMBER OF CONGRESS

7th District of Pennsylvania

Friday, February 10, 2006

Going after Weldon

Sounds like Clinton Administration insiders are not very happy with Congressman Weldon:

In a deal cemented by a phone call from the governor, Delaware County Democrats yesterday settled a fight over a congressional candidate and came up with a new candidate for the state House.

Bryan Lentz, 41, a Swarthmore attorney who volunteered for combat in Iraq, agreed to pull out of the race for the seat of U.S. Rep. Curt Weldon, and run instead for the state House, against Thomas P. Gannon, a 28-year Republican veteran.

Joseph A. Sestak Jr., 54, a recently retired Navy vice admiral who worked in the National Security Council in the Clinton administration, has the inside track to take on Weldon in November.


Paul Scoles, who ran against Weldon in 2004, also quit the race this week and endorsed Sestak. Anyone who has been involved in local politics knows getting two candidates to drop out in one week almost never happens. Someone is worried where this Able Danger story is headed.

UPDATE: A commenter sums it up this way.

I couldn't agree with you more. People are trying to silence Weldon, both within the Clinton and Bush Adminsitration. For all those who appreciate what Weldon has done in exposing the truth about Able Danger, visit his campaign web site and provide some financial support. Every little bit helps and it looks like he may be in for the toughest race of his career. If he's not reelected, I highly doubt that anyone else will take up this issue in Congress.

http://www.curtweldon.org

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?

Monday, February 06, 2006

Andy McCarthy on Lou Dobbs tonight

From CNN:

And former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy tells Lou why
Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez was right when he said much
of the criticism of the surveillance program is “misinformed,
confused or wrong.” The former prosecutor will also fill us in
on the latest from the Able Danger investigation.


UPDATE: Able Danger was not discussed, but here is the transcript.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

What can Capital One do that the NSA can't?

From Michael Tanji at Group Intel:

Despite all the hard work put forth by our intelligence community there are still major problems associated with efforts to find terrorists.

Recent reporting on the failure of NSA’s TRAILBLAZER program comes to mind. Designed to do on a large scale the kind of work that the much-disputed NSA terrorist surveillance program is carrying out now, TRAILBLAZER is a bottomless money pit. Let us not forget the recently deceased Virtual Case File fiasco at the FBI, the myriad of problems and the expense of the US VISIT system, and the penchant for Customs and Border Patrol computers to just flat out quit. The icing on the cake of course is the DOD’s Able Danger program, which pointed out the threat to the USS Cole and the 9/11 hijackers, but was canceled when it was thought that the effort – you guessed it – spied on citizens.

But what about that other data-hungry group that seeks to vacuum up your information and monitor your activities for purposes that might run contrary to your personal welfare? Unlike the intelligence community these organizations have mastered the technology necessary to know exactly how to most effectively gather and exploit your personal data.

When any of the tens of millions of Capital One credit card customers call the company, the firm’s computers correlate the data they have on their buying patterns and recent purchase activity to predict why they are calling. The call is routed to just the right customer service representative who knows with near certainty what he needs to do to solve their problem and what additional products or services to offer that their likely to buy. All of this happens in a fraction of a second.

Cole mastermind escapes

You've probably heard by now, but if you missed it:

Thirteen al Qaeda militants convicted in the attacks on the U.S. warship Cole and the French supertanker Limburg in Yemen were among 23 men who broke out of jail in Sanaa, a state-run Web site said on Saturday.

The September 26 site (www.26sep.net) quoted unnamed sources saying the 13 convicts included top militants Jamal Badawi and Fawaz al-Rabe'ie, who managed to flee the central prison by digging a 70-metre-long tunnel.

Rabe'ie -- the leader of the group convicted of bombing the Limburg in 2002 -- was facing the death sentence, while Badawi was serving 15 years in jail for the bombing of the Cole in 2000 after his sentence was commuted from the death penalty.

Badawi had escaped from prison in Aden in 2003 but was later arrested and sent back to prison, the Web site said.


Here are some more details on Badawi:

A man convicted of masterminding the attack on the American destroyer Cole in 2000 escaped a Yemeni jail through a tunnel with 22 other prisoners, the international police organization, Interpol, said today.

The prisoner, Jamal Ahmed Badawi, was sentenced to death in 2004 by a court in Yemen for his role in the attack on the warship that killed 17 American sailors and provided an early glimpse of the workings of Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda global terror network. The Interpol statement said that 12 of the prisoners who escaped through the tunnel with Mr. Badawi were convicted members of Al Qaeda.

Yemeni officials also confirmed to Interpol that a man responsible for the attack on the French tanker Limburg in 2002, Fawaz al-Rabeei, was among those who escaped.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Shaffer scheduled to testify before Congress

It's not up on the website yet, but multiple sources confirm that Shaffer will be appearing before Chris Shay's Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations. The hearing is scheduled for February 14th. The subject of the hearing is national security whistleblowers. I believe this is the hearing originally scheduled for December 6th. Able Danger itself is not the subject of the hearing, but rather the retaliation against Shaffer and others for speaking out, on issues that are vital to our national security. After all the things DIA has said about him since he was gagged, he will finally get a chance to defend his good name. Now, will DIA try to stop Shaffer from testifying about their own retaliation against him?

If they try, I'm betting Schoomaker might be ready to back Shaffer up.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Able Danger Roundup

UPDATE: McCarthy was not on Lou Dobbs tonight. This is also not the first time Lou has taken a vacation day and postponed an interview he previewed, without any explanation or notice.

From Lou Dobbs on Wednesday:

We want to thank our panelists and we want you to join us tomorrow as well, when former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy will join us with the very latest on the Able Danger controversy...


I wonder if he'll be discussing this?

Attorneys for al Qaeda conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui have subpoenaed Pennsylvania Congressman Curt Weldon to testify at a trial that will determine whether Moussaoui should be executed.

The defense is seeking Weldon's testimony to try and show that the government knew more about the September 11, 2001, attacks than Moussaoui did....

Weldon is discussing the Moussaoui subpoena with legal counsel.

"The congressman certainly wants to cooperate any time a subpoena is issued," Tomaszewski said. "He is inclined to cooperate, but has not made a decision yet."

Mark Zaid, an attorney for Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, one of the Pentagon analysts who has come forward to support Able Danger's findings, said Shaffer had not yet received a subpoena.


Go read that article for the latest on Able Danger and Moussaoui. The sentencing hearings are scheduled to start March 6th, and could last up to a month or two.

Then if you missed it, Sean Hannity was talking about Able Danger again on Tuesday, although only briefly, in reference to the joke formerly known as the 9/11 Commission. For those who disagreed with the slant of that Pittsburgh Tribune Review editorial, a reader writes in with a different take on Able Danger.