Skip to comments.WSU grad at heart of controversy (RE: 'Able Danger' Jan 2000)
Posted on 12/07/2005 4:24:48 AM PST by Stand Watch Listen
He wants to go public on what U.S. knew before 9/11
By Margo Rutledge Kissell
Dayton Daily News
A Wright State University graduate is at the heart of a brewing controversy in Washington.
The issue: Whether defense experts identified Mohamed Atta and three other Sept. 11 hijackers a year before the terrorist attacks.The issue: Whether defense experts identified Mohamed Atta and three other Sept. 11 hijackers a year before the terrorist attacks.
Anthony "Tony" Shaffer, 43, an Army Reserve lieutenant colonel and veteran intelligence operative, claims they did.
More than half the members of Congress including U.S. Reps. David Hobson, R-Springfield, and Mike Turner, R-Centerville recently signed a letter asking Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to allow Shaffer and other former participants in the once-secret data-mining operation, Able Danger, to testify in an open hearing before Congress.
Hobson called it a "serious situation" that needs to be investigated further: "It would appear to me, for some reason I don't understand, that there's been an unwillingness to tell the whole story."
Shaffer had revealed publicly that Able Danger, created in 1999 to make links between individuals using publicly available information, had identified the hijackers in January 2000. He claims government lawyers prevented the team from sharing the information with the FBI. The Pentagon ended Able Danger in early 2001.
Shaffer who spent his senior year at Stebbins High School and started his military career with an Ohio Army National Guard unit in Kettering is now under a gag order forbidding him and other former Able Danger officials from talking about it.
He has found an ally in Rep. Curt Weldon, vice chairman of the House Armed Services and Homeland Security Committees, who sent the letter to Rumsfeld signed by 246 lawmakers, split almost evenly between Democrats and Republicans.
In a speech on the House floor, Weldon, R-Pa., alleged a cover-up and smear campaign against Shaffer, a Bronze Star recipient who served in Afghanistan and whose story Weldon said has been "fully corroborated" by at least 10 people. Among them: Navy Capt. Scott J. Philpott, a U.S. Naval Academy graduate who managed the program for the Pentagon's Special Operations Command.
But after Shaffer went public, the Defense Intelligence Agency, where he worked as a civilian employee, permanently pulled his security clearance one day before he was scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
"What we have here, I am convinced of this now, is an aggressive attempt by CIA management to cover up their own shortcomings in not being able to do what the Able Danger team did," Weldon said in the Oct. 19 floor speech.
In an interview with the Dayton Daily News before he was silenced, Shaffer said Sept. 11 was "the most devastating single attack on the U.S. in our history.
"To be true to my oath of office to protect the Constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic it was my duty to come forward and tell the truth," he said.
Shaffer, who met with staff members of the Sept. 11 Commission in Afghanistan in October 2003, was suspended with pay in June 2004.
One person who believes Shaffer is telling the truth is James Walker, professor emeritus of political science at Wright State. Shaffer graduated from the university in Fairborn in June 1986 with degrees in political science and environmental studies.
During his senior year, Shaffer was on Walker's national championship mock trial team that defeated Northwestern University.
Shaffer credits that experience with honing his public speaking skills, which have come in handy once he stepped into the media spotlight after 22 years under cover.
"I became much more able to speak in public," he said of the mock trial team experience. "I was always painfully shy growing up. This helped get me out of my shell."
Walker, Shaffer's college mentor who has stayed in contact with him, recalled the student told him about his desire to go into intelligence. The two had discussed truthfulness.
Walker told him he'd rather have someone of his character engage in intelligence activities than someone who may be drawn to the service for adventure or the image.
"That always comes back to me," Walker said. "When this story broke, people asked me, 'Do you think he's telling the truth?' I'm absolutely sure.' "
But the Sept. 11 Commission concluded the intelligence operation was not "historically significant."
On Sunday's Meet the Press, commission chairman Thomas Kean said, "We had an awful lot of people coming forward, 50 or 60, saying they saw Mohamed Atta here, they saw Mohamed Atta there. ... There was absolutely no evidence to back this up. There still isn't."
Former FBI Director Louis Freeh recently took issue with the commission's conclusion in a Wall Street Journal column.
"Recent revelations from the military intelligence operation code-named 'Able Danger' have cast light on a missed opportunity that could have potentially prevented 9/11," he wrote in the Nov. 17 column.
Freeh criticized the commission's "dereliction regarding Able Danger."
Weldon continues to push for open hearings before Congress to investigate what Able Danger team uncovered before the terrorist attacks.
"I am not a conspiracy theorist, but there is something desperately wrong," Weldon said in his speech. He said the issue involved "the covering up of information that led to the deaths of 3,000 people, changed the course of history, led to the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, and has disrupted our country, our economy and people's lives."
Contact Margo Kissell at 225-2094.
Bump for truth
Just like Mopsy, this just "grows and grows". The 9/11 commission was, and is, a farce, and the Pentagon folks aren't doing much to see this through either. Something is really screwy, and I hope Rep. Weldon can get to the bottm of it.
Anyone familiar with the relationship functionality that was formerly on a site called netbase.org. -i think
In the News/Activism forum, on a thread titled WSU grad at heart of controversy (RE: 'Able Danger' Jan 2000) , geezerwheezer wrote:
Just like Mopsy, this just "grows and grows".
Mopsy? From Peter Rabbit? Do you mean Topsy? (I don't know where Topsy comes from, but my mother used to use the expression.)
WE need to than Weldon.
Between the Able Danger issue, the question of Jamie Gorelick's participation as a commissioner rather than as a witness, the clearly biased, non-objective agendas of several other commissioners, this commission will go down in history as a complete farce. That is unfortunate enough but to watch previously credible men like Lee Hamilton continue on well after the completion of the charade is even more disturbing. They look more and more like a pack of fools.
My Mother said "just like Mopsy" all of the time. I think it came from Peter Rabbit, but don't know for sure. Next time I'm at the library I'll look it up, or maybe go on line when I think of it.
The term is "Growing like Topsy" and it comes from the book "Uncle Toms Cabin".
Thanks for the links...appreciate it.
Cool. I think in Peter Rabbit there were little bunnies named Mopsy and Topsy along with Peter Rabbit. Whatever, my memory cells are misfiring, but that's o.k. too, as I'm old and don't really care-if you know what I mean.
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