Able Danger Blog

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Monday, May 21, 2007

LTC Shaffer removed from command

Unfortunately, the retaliation by officials within the DIA against Tony Shaffer for speaking out about their negligence in the events leading up to 9/11 continues. Leading the charge, on behalf of senior officials at the DIA, is MG Galen B. Jackman:

From Wikipedia:

Major General Galen B. Jackman of the United States Army currently serves in the Pentagon as the Army's Chief of Legislative Liaison[1]. The Office, Chief of Legislative Liaison (OCLL) operates directly under the Office of the Secretary of the Army. Its mission is to coordinate efforts between the US Army and Congress. Prior to his assuming this newest Washington assignment, he was the first commanding general of the Joint Force Headquarters National Capital Region (JFHQ-NCR), a dual-hatted role combined with commanding the Military District of Washington (MDW)....

It was under then-Colonel Jackman's command at the Ranger Training Brigade that four Ranger Candidates were killed in training on February 15, 1995 in the Florida swamps of Eglin Air Force Base[1]. Killed were Captain Milton Palmer, Second Lieutenant Curt G. Sansoucie, Second Lieutenant Spencer D. Dodge, and Sergeant Norman Tillman. It was reported to be the worst incident in the Ranger School's 44-year history[2]. Multiple accounts held the leadership climate, both at the command level and at the trainer level, responsible for the multiple errors that led to the training accident and deaths. Among the reasons named for the deaths include the command's lack of a proper risk assessment of the weather conditions surrounding the exercise before it took place and the Ranger trainers' decision to continue with the exercise despite poor training conditions and high water dangers. As a result of the accident, the Ranger School's command changed swamp training to include more food and sleep for trainees and requiring trainers to go into potentially high water before their trainees do.[3] No evidence exists to suggest that Jackman suffered any career-related consequences due to the incident.

Following his command at the Ranger Training Brigade, Jackman served as the Director of Combined Arms and Tactics at the United States Army Infantry School at Fort Benning, as well as the Deputy J3 for Training and Readiness, United States Pacific Command (USPACOM), Hawaii. He was then assigned as Chief of Staff, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), Fort Drum, New York, during which he participated as part of NATO's "Follow-on Force" in Operation Joint Forge, Bosnia-Herzegovina. Shortly thereafter he was made Assistant Division Commander for Support for the 10th Mountain Division.

Jackman served as Director of Operations, United States Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) from 2001-2003, concentrating mostly on anti-drug and anti-terrorism endeavours.

As you might recall, the DIA went to great efforts to get LTC Shaffer's security clearance revoked over what amounted to $200 in travel expenses and cell phone bills. Nonetheless, Representative Chris Shays pulled through for Tony and got his security clearance restored on a temporary basis. As a result Tony was assigned to command the Special Troops Battalion, 9th Theater Support Command at Fort Belvior, Virginia on November 5, 2006.

Of course, when Major General Jackman heard about this, he immediately took action to attempt to have LTC Shaffer removed from his command. Exactly how that meshes with Jackman's role as the "Congressional Liaison for the U.S. Army" is not clear unless you suppose that undue Congressional oversight for a military operation like Able Danger that could have prevented 9/11 might still be keeping him awake at night.

Regardless, on May 3, 2007, LTC Shaffer was removed from command and reassigned. This despite the fact that all investigations into the charges against him that resulted in the revocation of his security clearance were resolved in his favor.