Pentagon engaged in 'smear campaign' against whistleblower
By David Edwards on 10/21/2005, 9:27am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards

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On Sept. 20 2005, the military revoked the security clearance of Army Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, who was scheduled to testify in Congress the following day. Shaffer was to testify about a cover-up by the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). He alleged that the DIA withheld information about one or more of the 9/11 hijackers from the FBI and the 9/11 Commission.

Yesterday, Representative Curt Weldon appeared on CNN where he alleged that the DIA was smearing the whistleblower (Lt. Col. Shaffer) and continuing a cover-up of the 'Able Danger' program. Rory O'Connor of Media is Plural seems to have firsthand information about Representative Weldon's grievances:

Weldon also characterized the Defense Department in general and the DIA in particular as "a bureaucracy out of control," and criticized DIA for revoking Shaffer's clearance, gagging him and other Able Danger analysts from speaking publicly about the program, and attempting to destroy Shaffer¹s reputation.

"Lt Col Shaffer has done nothing wrong," he added. "This is a massive DIA effort to cover its ass because agency officials are embarrassed that a special unit of SOCOM came up with crucial information and DIA did not. DIA needs to be taken to task, not Lt. Col Shaffer."

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I asked Weldon if he was at all concerned about going after high Defense officials from his own party in such a public way.

"Am I concerned about retribution? Absolutely!" he replied. "But this is larger than the party…this is about 3000 dead people, the worst terror attack ever on U.S. soil. And, as (former FBI director Louis Freeh) told Tim Russert on Meet the Press last week, Able Danger is "the kind of tactical intelligence that would make a difference in stopping a hijacking.” So why can't Congress and the American people hear about it? Ultimately, the buck stops with Rumsfeld."

Is Rep. Weldon pursuing the 'Able Danger' cover-up for political reasons or is he simply trying to expose the truth about corruption within the Pentagon and the DIA?