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Friday, November 04, 2005

ABLE DANGER UPDATE: DIA Undeterred in Moving Against Col. Shaffer; Warning to Whistle Blowers to Just Shut Up

Col. Anthony Shaffer bravely came forward earlier this year to tell the American people about the Able Danger intelligence data-sorting program that identified several of the 9/11 hijackers, including Mohamed Atta months before the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Shaffer's reward has been a classic anti-whistle blower campaign by the Defense Intelligence Agency and other Pentagon elements who clearly do not want the American people to know the facts about Able Danger and the apparent catastrophic intelligence failure to communicate the program's findings to those who could put it to best use in preventing terrorist attacks.

Shaffer recently lost an appeal and DIA is now moving forward to withdrawn the security clearance that he must have in order to continue doing his current work. Ed Morrissey has talking with Shaffer's attorney, Mark Zaid, and has some ideas about what the Senate Judiciary Committee might do between now and its January hearings on the nomination of Judge Samuel Alito for the U.S. Supreme Court:

"Since the Judiciary Committee has decided to schedule the Alito hearings in January, that gives them some free time between now and the end of their work sessions to haul the DIA in front of them and demand some answers.

"Given the old and picayune nature of the infractions that the DIA has used to challenge Shaffer's security clearance, their haste in closing this case strongly suggests that Zaid has it pegged; this termination surely comes as a vindictive ploy to warn other potential Able Danger witnesses not to cooperate with Congress."

Morrissey is exactly right about the purpose of the DIA campaign against Shaffer. I covered the General Services Administration in the late 1970s and early 1980s when the corruption that was rife within the government's "housekeeping agency" was routinely being exposed on the front page.

That corruption could not be exposed without honest employees within GSA talking to journalists. More than a few of those whistle blowers suffered patterns of retaliation that look very much like what we now see being done against Shaffer.

Go here to read Morrissey's full post.