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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 05:50 PM
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ABLE DANGER Curt Weldon on CNN now
Edited on Thu Oct-20-05 06:14 PM by seemslikeadream
Weldon's House floor speech

ABLE DANGER FAILURE -- (House of Representatives - October 19, 2005)


The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Reichert). Under the Speaker's announced policy of January 4, 2005, the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Weldon) is recognized for 60 minutes.

Mr. WELDON of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, I rise tonight to talk to our colleagues and through our colleagues to the American people about an issue that troubles me greatly.

I have been in this institution 19 years, and during those 19 years I have been on the Committee on Armed Services. Currently, I am the vice chairman of that committee and chairman of the subcommittee that oversees the purchase of our weapons systems. In the past I have chaired the research subcommittee. I have chaired the readiness subcommittee, and I have spent every available hour of my time working to make sure that our military troops were properly protected and have the proper equipment and training.

I am a strong supporter of our military. Whether it was in the last 2 years of the Reagan administration, the four years of the Bush administration, the 8 years of the Clinton administration, or the current administration of President George W. Bush, I have been a strong supporter of our military. I am a strong supporter of President Bush. I campaigned for him. I am a strong supporter of Secretary Rumsfeld. I say all of that, Mr. Speaker, because tonight I rise to express my absolute outrage and disgust with what is happening in our defense intelligence agencies.

Mr. Speaker, back in 1999 when I was Chair of the defense research subcommittee, the Army was doing cutting-edge work on a new type of technology to allow us to understand and predict emerging transnational terrorist threats. That technology was being done at several locations, but was being led by our Special Forces Command. The work that they were doing was unprecedented. And because of what I saw there, I supported the development of a national capability of a collaborative center that the CIA would just not accept.

In fact, in November 4 of 1999, 2 years before 9/11, in a meeting in my office with the Deputy Secretary of Defense, Deputy Director of the CIA, Deputy Director of the FBI, we presented a nine-page proposal to create a national collaborative center. When we finished the brief, the CIA said we did not need that capability, and so before 9/11 we did not have it.

When President Bush came in after a year of research, he announced the formation of the Terrorism Threat Integration Center, exactly what I had proposed in 1999. Today it is known as the NCTC, the National Counterterrorism Center. But, Mr. Speaker, what troubles me is not the fact that we did not take those steps.

What troubles me is that I now have learned in the last 4 months that one of the tasks that was being done in 1999 and 2000 was a top-secret program organized at the request of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, carried out by the general in charge of our Special Forces Command, a very elite unit focusing on information regarding al Qaeda. It was a military language effort to allow us to identify the key cells of al Qaeda around the world and to give the military the capability to plan actions against those cells so they could not attack us as they did in 1993 at the Trade Center, at the Khobar Towers, the U.S.S. Cole attack, and the African embassy bombings.

What I did not know, Mr. Speaker, up until June of this year, was that that secret program called Able Danger actually identified the Brooklyn cell of al Qaeda in January and February of 2000, over 1 year before 9/11 every happened. In addition, I learned that not only did we identify the Brooklyn cell of al Qaeda, but we identified Mohamed Atta as one of the members of that Brooklyn cell along with three other terrorists who were the leadership of the 9/11 attack.

I have also learned, Mr. Speaker, that in September of 2000, again, over 1 year before 9/11, that Able Danger team attempted on three separate occasions to provide information to the FBI about the Brooklyn cell of al Qaeda, and on three separate occasions they were denied by lawyers in the previous administration to transfer that information.

Mr. Speaker, this past Sunday on ``Meet the Press,'' Louis Freeh, FBI Director at the time, was interviewed by Tim Russert. The first question to Louis Freeh was in regard to the FBI's ability to ferret out the terrorists. Louis Freeh's response, which can be obtained by anyone in this country as a part of the official record, was, Well, Tim, we are now finding out that a top-secret program of the military called Able Danger actually identified the Brooklyn cell of al Qaeda and Mohammed Atta over a year before 9/11.

And what Louis Freeh said, Mr. Speaker, is that that kind of actionable data could have allowed us to prevent the hijackings that occurred on September 11.

So now we know, Mr. Speaker, that military intelligence officers working in a program authorized by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the general in charge of Special Forces Command, identified Mohammed Atta and three terrorists a year before 9/11, tried to transfer that information to the FBI were denied; and the FBI Director has now said publicly if he would have had that information, the FBI could have used it to perhaps prevent the hijackings that struck the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the plane that landed in Pennsylvania and perhaps saved 3,000 lives and changed the course of world history.

Mr. Speaker, I rise tonight because we have been trying to get the story out about Able Danger and what really happened. Unfortunately, Mr. Speaker, I have to rise tonight to tell you that as bad as this story is, and as bad as it is that the data was not transferred to the FBI, and as bad as it is that the 9/11 Commission totally ignored this entire story and referred to it as historically insignificant even though it was authorized by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, even though Louis Freeh has now said it could have provided information to prevent the attack against us, the 9/11 Commission ignored it. Not because the commissioners ignored it, but because someone at the staff level on the

9/11 Commission staff decided for whatever reason that they did not want to pursue the Abel Danger story.

Mr. Speaker, in August and September I met with the military officials involved with Abel Danger and one by one they told their story, until, Mr. Speaker, leaders in the Defense Intelligence Agency, including the deputy director, decided they do not want the story told. I think because they perhaps are fearful of being embarrassed and humiliated.

So what direction had they taken, Mr. Speaker?

They have gagged the military officers. They have prevented them from talking to any Member of Congress. They have prevented them from talking to the media. And the Defense Intelligence Agency has began a process to destroy the career and the life of Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Shaffer.

Now, it might be easy for us to ignore this, Mr. Speaker. We all have busy careers and worry about reelections every 2 years and worry about our own families and our jobs. But I cannot do that in this case and neither can this body, and neither can the other body. You see, Lieutenant Colonel Shaffer took an oath to defend our Constitution. He took the words ``duty, honor, country'' seriously and devoted 23 years of his life in four deployed intelligence operations of our military to protect America.

During the time he served our country, he has received the Bronze Star, an award that does not come easily, for showing acts of courage, leadership, and bravery in the course of his activities.

He has received public commendations from previous directors of the Defense Intelligence Agency, including General Patrick Hughes, including generals at Special Forces Command, and including Admiral Wilson of the Defense Intelligence Agency. He has received dozens of letters and commendations for his work. The laudatory comments I reviewed in his files are unbelievable.

But, you see, Mr. Speaker, there is a problem. The Deputy Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency was in a meeting with Lieutenant Colonel Shaffer almost a year before 9/11, and Lieutenant Colonel Shaffer showed him a disk in his office with information about al Qaeda and Mohammed Atta, and the Deputy Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency stopped the briefing and said, you cannot show me that. I do not want to see it. It might contain information I cannot look at.

Now, Tony Shaffer was not in the room alone, Mr. Speaker. There were other people, and we know their names. So we have witnesses. Now, the Deputy Director has denied that meeting and denied he was there and denied this particular story, but the fact is he knows that we are going to pursue it.

So what has happened to Lieutenant Colonel Shaffer, Mr. Speaker? The Defense Intelligence Agency has lifted his security clearance. One day before he was to testify before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, in uniform, they permanently removed his security clearance. And now our Defense Intelligence Agency has told Colonel Shaffer's lawyer that they plan to seek a permanent removal of his pay and his health care benefits for him and his two children. Why, Mr. Speaker? Because Lieutenant Colonel Shaffer, like Commander Scott Philpot of the Navy, like J. D. Smith, and like a host of other Able Danger employees, has told the truth.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I sat here in the 1990s and I sat here during the 9/11 investigation and watched a ridiculous situation develop with Sandy Berger, the National Security Adviser under President Clinton. He walked into the National Archives before he was to testify before the 9/11 Commission looking through documents. He took documents out of the archives and stuffed them in his socks and pants so that no one would see them as he left the National Archives. Now, that is a felony, tampering with Federal documents and removing classified information regarding our security and information that the 9/11 commission needed to see.

Sandy Berger initially lied about it. He said he did not do it. Then he admitted it, and he was given a punishment. And, oh, by the way, his security clearance was temporarily lifted, but he will get it back again, for lying, for stealing, and for committing an act of outrage against our country's security. Lieutenant Colonel Shaffer, a Bronze Star 23-year military veteran, simply told the truth and now his life is being ruined.

His career is ended. He is no longer in military intelligence. They have taken his security clearance, and they are about to destroy him as a person. They are about to deny him the basic health care and the salary that he has earned, and they are doing it in this way. This is outrageous. It is evil. They do not want to fire Tony because they also do not want him to talk to the media. So by suspending him and removing his pay and his health care, they hurt him bad, but he cannot talk because he is under suspension and his lawyer has advised him that to talk to the media, to talk to Members of Congress, even when he is not being paid, would cause him further problems and totally prevent him from ever having this gross problem reversed. Mr. Speaker, this is outrageous. Mr. Speaker, this is not America.

Over my 19 years in Congress, I have led 40 delegations to the former Soviet Union. I have sat in the face of the Soviet Communists and confronted them on full transparency. I sat at the table with President Lukashenko of Belarus, who has been called by our Secretary of State the last dictator in Europe. I took both delegations to North Korea, Mr. Speaker, and sat across the table from Kim Gye Gwan and I told him we abhor the way they treat their people, the way they lie about what is happening, and the way they distort information.

Mr. Speaker, I took three delegations to Libya to meet with Qadhafi, and I told him that we are absolutely outraged at what Libya did in helping complete the Lockerbie bombing and the bombing of the Berlin nightclub.

You know, Mr. Speaker, I never thought I would have to take the floor of this Chamber and make the same statements about the Defense Intelligence Agency. As a supporter of the President, as a supporter of the military, Mr. Speaker, if we allow this to go forward, then we send the signal to every man and woman wearing a uniform that if you tell the truth, you will be destroyed if a career bureaucrat above you does not like what you are saying. If you tell the truth, we will take your health care benefits away from your kids. If you tell

the truth, we will ruin you.

Mr. Speaker, this is not America. Mr. Speaker, this is not what I have been told by Secretary Rumsfeld that we are doing with our troops in protecting them, in giving them the best equipment and the best training. This is not what I spend hours in committee hearings on. This sends the wrong signal to America's troops. It tells them, do not be honest. Do not respect the fact that you have to be truthful. If there is somebody that the truth offends, then you better be silent.

Mr. Speaker, I have today asked for an independent investigation of the Defense Intelligence Agency and their efforts at destroying Tony Shaffer's life. This is outrageous, Mr. Speaker. They trumped up charges against him. They said while he was overseas in Afghanistan, forward deployed, that he forwarded cell phone calls from his official phone to his personal phone; and when they checked that out, it ran up a cost to the taxpayers of about $60. The second verbal charge they gave him was that he went to a course at the Army War College and he got reimbursed for his travel, his mileage and tolls, 100-some dollars. And they said he received a commendation for which he was not entitled, even though it was signed by his commanding officer and the acting Secretary of the Army.

But they went beyond that, Mr. Speaker. They went beyond that with this man. They said he had $2,000 of debt, personal debt. Well, I would like to have every Pentagon employee tomorrow, I would like to have the senior leadership show us what debt they have in the Defense Intelligence Agency so we can make that public.

They even went to this length, Mr. Speaker: the Defense Intelligence Agency wrote in an official document that Lieutenant Colonel Shaffer stole public property. A serious charge. Well, when you check what that public property was, it was an assortment of pens, government pens. But what they did not say in the Defense Intelligence report was that he took those pens when he was 15 years of age and was with his father when he was on assignment at one of our embassy outposts. He took the pens to give to other students at the school when he was 15 years of age. And by the way, Mr. Speaker, it was Tony Shaffer himself who admitted to that thievery when he applied for his security clearance. So the Defense Intelligence Agency knew that during his entire career of 23 years, but they put that in the document against him.

This is a scandal, Mr. Speaker. It is an outrage. It is a travesty. Everyone that worked with Tony Shaffer, the Navy officers, the private citizens have all said the same thing. This is a scandal to get Tony Shaffer because he has told the truth.

Now, this Defense Intelligence Agency and this Deputy Director had the audacity to have their legal counsel send Tony Shaffer's lawyer a letter on September 23. I cannot put that letter in the RECORD because it is privileged information, but it will eventually come out. But in that letter, in the second to last paragraph, the legal counsel for the Defense Intelligence Agency says to Mr. Shaffer's lawyer, he cannot receive any more classified information from the Defense Intelligence Agency because I checked and his security clearances have all been removed. Therefore, he is not allowed to look at anything that is secret or confidential.

Now, that is a letter sent by the general counsel of the DIA on September 23 of this year. Two weeks later, Mr. Speaker, to show the stupidity of the Defense Intelligence Agency, they send seven packages to Mr. Shaffer's lawyer

of his personal belongings, which the Deputy Director of the DIA told my staff 3 months ago did not exist any more. And in those seven boxes, Mr. Speaker, were five classified memos. The Defense Intelligence Agency sent five classified memos to Lieutenant Colonel Shaffer, which they told him on September 23 he was not allowed to have access to.
Mr. Speaker, that is a felony; and I have asked the Inspector General and the legal officials to investigate and prosecute the Defense Intelligence officials who sent five classified documents through the mail or by hand delivery to Tony Shaffer.

In addition, Mr. Speaker, the Defense Intelligence Agency, in its absolute total stupidity, included in those boxes $500 worth of Federal property, including a multi-hundred dollar GPS system owned by the Federal Government, which they sent to Tony Shaffer, I guess to keep. They also sent, Mr. Speaker, 25 pens, brand new, and marked on them is ``Property of the U.S. Government.'' The Defense Intelligence Agency, in its absolute utter stupidity, sent Tony Shaffer Federal property which they accused him of taking when he was 15 years of age.

Mr. Speaker, there is something desperately wrong here. There is a bureaucracy in the Defense Intelligence Agency that is out of control. They want to destroy the reputation of a 23-year military officer, Bronze Star recipient, hero of our country, with two kids because people in defense intelligence are embarrassed at what is going to come out.

And what is going to come out, Mr. Speaker? Well, we are going to find out, Mr. Speaker, that that unit, Able Danger , not only identified Mohammed Atta before 9/11, not only did they try to pass that information to the FBI, not only was that large data destroyed in the summer of 2000, but now, Mr. Speaker, I can add a new dimension to this whole story. Yesterday, Mr. Speaker, I met with another Able Danger official. I was not aware of this official's knowledge because he does not live within the Beltway.

This official, Mr. Speaker, has impeccable credentials. I cannot reveal his name today. I will to any Member of this body, any of our colleagues that want to come to me, I will tell you privately who this official is, and you will agree with me when I tell you his name that he has impeccable credentials. This official yesterday, Mr. Speaker, in a meeting in my office, told me that he has never been talked to by the Pentagon. He has never been talked to by the Defense Intelligence Agency in their supposed investigation. He has never been talked to by the 9/11 Commission staff in their investigation; yet this official had a leadership position in Able Danger .

This official told me that there is a separate cache of information collected from over 20 Federal agencies in 1999 and 2000 on Able Danger that still may exist. Now, the Pentagon has told us all this material was destroyed, and now I have a senior official telling me there is a second pot of information that may well still exist.

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Gabi Hayes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 05:52 PM
Response to Original message
1. blaming Gorelick staffer for refusing to brief commission in 2004
on Philpot guy's Able Danger info

what a surprise

Dobbs leaps in, mentioning Gorelick's role in keeping the wall between CIA/FBI, etc.
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napi21 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 05:54 PM
Response to Original message
2. Yep I heard him. I actually was agreeing with him, until
I heard "it's all Jamie Garella's(sp) fault!"

Is that possible? Somehow, I bet if something bad happens in the year 2050, IT WILL BE CLINTON'S FAULT!
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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 06:01 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. No no Clinton was never told





DIA Agents were ordered to put yellow Post-its over Atta's face and the face's of 3 other 9/11 terrorists

"We were directed to take those 3M yellow stickers and place them over the faces of Atta and the other terrorists and pretend they didn't exist," the intelligence officer told GSN."

Intel agents Michael Shaffer and Scott Philpott have confirmed Rep. Weldon's claims that a chart with Atta's face, soon the photos of 3 other members of the 9-11 terror team, were known to DIA team Able Danger by early 2000.

This diary will show that Pete Schoomaker and Philip Zelikow are two of the main Perpetraitors in this scandal, that they deliberately withheld information from the President of the United States that would have prevented 9/11, that they and their neo-con rulers Let It Happen On Purpose.

Of this there can no longer be any doubt.


Hopsicker: Able Danger Intel Exposed "Protected" Heroin Trafficking

Able Danger: Short Time-line

Was Able Danger Shut Down After It Detected Condi-PRC Spy Ring?

Senate May Hold Hearings on Able Danger, Info Sharing
Thursday, August 25, 2005

Able Danger (search) is the code name for a military-intelligence unit that apparently learned a year before the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks that lead hijacker Mohamed Atta (search) and other terrorists were already in the United States.

One of the central Able Danger claims that military lawyers blocked the sharing of the Atta information from the FBI in the late summer and early fall of 2000 will be a focus of the committee's if a hearing takes place, FOX News has confirmed.

Some analysts involved with Able Danger have recently gone public with their findings, saying they were discouraged from looking further into Atta, and their attempts to share their information with the FBI were thwarted, because Atta was a legal foreign visitor at the time.

"This story needs to be told. The American people need to be told what could have been done to prevent 3,000 people from losing their lives," said Rep. Curt Weldon (search), R-Pa.

Weldon drew attention to Able Danger by speaking about it on the House floor and publicly calling for the Sept. 11 commission to explain why the intelligence information wasn't detailed in its final report.

Some Able Danger analysts, including Army Reserve Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer (search) and Navy Capt. Scott Phillpott (search), claim that in October 2003, they told commission staffers of the presence of Al Qaeda operatives in the United States in 2000.


Senate May Hold Hearings on Able Danger, Info Sharing

Condi in Middle of Able Danger Cover Up"

Weldon is now saying that the Pentagon cover up of able danger will shake the country to its roots."


If the claims made by the Able Danger participants and Rep. Weldon are confirmed, former National Security Adviser Rice and other Bush Administration officials will face a barrage of questions. First would likely be an inquiry into why the administration unceremoniously axed the Able Danger project in May of 2001.

During an August 20th interview on C-Spans Washington Journal, Able Danger member Lt. Col. Schaffer posed a question of his own:

"The American public should ask themselves: Why would the leadership of DoD shut down, terminate, a project which was aimed at targeting al-Qaeda offensively? ...

"Why would they shut that down, four months before 9/11? Thats the big question right now, we have to ask that. I dont know the answer to that question because I know my side of the story, I know that when a 2 star general got in my face and said, Im a 2 star general and you are not. You are to stop your support of Able Danger. Thats what I know personally. But the question has to be: Who told him to do that? ...

"And why did the rest of the project, Im talking about Special Operations Command and the Army portion of this, why was that terminated?

"Those are the questions that need to be asked."


Congressman Weldon -- Why now? Why ever?

Three more assert Pentagon knew of 9/11 ringleader By Will Dunham

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Three more people associated with a secret U.S. military intelligence team have asserted that the program identified September 11 ringleader Mohammed Atta as an Al Qaeda suspect inside the United States more than a year before the 2001 attacks, the Pentagon said on Thursday.

The Pentagon said a three-week review had turned up no documents to back up the assertion, but did not rule out that such documents relating to the classified operation had been destroyed.

Navy Capt. Scott Phillpott and Army Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer last month came forward with statements that a secret intelligence program code-named "Able Danger" had identified Atta, the lead hijacker in the attacks that killed 3,000 people, in early 2000. Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Curt Weldon (news, bio, voting record), vice chairman of the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee, also went public with the allegations.

Pat Downs, a senior policy analyst in the office of the undersecretary of defense for intelligence, told reporters that as part of the review, the Pentagon interviewed 80 people.

Downs said that three more people, as well as Phillpott and Shaffer, recalled the existence of an intelligence chart identifying Atta by name. Four of the five recalled a photo of Atta accompanying the chart, Downs said.

Pentagon officials declined to identify the three by name, but said they were an analyst with the military's Special Operations Command, an analyst with the Land Information Warfare Assessment Center and a contractor who supported the center.

Downs said all five were considered "credible people."

But officials said an exhaustive search of tens of thousands of documents and electronic files related to Able Danger failed to find the chart or other documents corroborating the identification of Atta. Phillpott has said Atta was identified by Able Danger by January or February of 2000.

"We have not discovered that chart," Downs said.

Three more assert Pentagon knew of 9/11 ringleader

Specter Wants Answers About 'Able Danger'

NYT/Reuters: Pentagon Blocks Testimony at Senate Hearing on Terrorist

NOW - ON CAPITOL HILL - Able Danger Inquiry CSPAN3 9:30am et

Able Danger ties Condi Rice to Chinese espionage! (really!)

VIDEO-the Senate Judicial Committee ABLE DANGER saga
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