Another former DOD official told me and your staff and was prepared to testify today--and he is in the room--that he worked on the data collection and analysis used to support Able Danger. He was prepared to state, as he told us, that he had an Able Danger chart with Mohammed Atta identified on his office wall at Andrews Air Force Base until DOD Investigative Services removed it. At risk to his current employment, he has told us and was prepared to testify under oath in direct rebuttal to the claims of the 9/11 Commissioners that he was aware of the purchase of Mohammed Atta's photograph from a California contractor, not from U.S. legal identity documents. He was prepared to discuss the extensive amount of data collected and analyzed about Al Qaeda--
Chairman Specter. Whom are you referring to now, Congressman Weldon?
It is important to recall that, like Sibel Edmonds, these witnesses had been silenced by the Bush Administration. Also like Sibel Edmonds, many of them are dedicated and loyal to the United States.
When silenced by the Bush Administration through legal and administrative means, they found ways to obey the letter of the law or directive, while continuing to act in the spirit of loyalty to the United States, and specifically to our Constitutional form of government. In the Sibel Edmonds case, Edmonds says what she is not prohibited from saying, and, to hear the story of the treason and espionage that holds a death grip not just on the Federal Bureau of Investigation, but on significant other parts of the US Government as well, the listener must hear what is not said! Here in this Senate hearing, the "witnesses" are sitting in the room speechless -- they are prohibited by their superiors in the Bush Administration from testifying before Congress -- yet their presence and their silence speak volumes, as their story is told by others who are not prohibited from speaking, and as they, themselves, do not jump up and down, shaking their heads and flapping their arms in contradiction of the "hearsay" evidence.
Normally it is the bad guys who are slick. Well, I commend all these heroes for being slick in the face of the official pressure brought on them by the corrupt and treasonous criminals who occupy the very highest levels of the federal government of the United States of America.
Representative Weldon. I am talking about J.D., right here, J.D. Smith, in the room. He was prepared to discuss the extensive amount of data collected and analyzed about Al Qaeda, underscoring the fact that Able Danger was never about one chart or one photograph, but rather was and is about massive data collected and assembled against what Madeleine Albright declared to be in 1999 an international terrorist organization. He, too, has been silenced.
Huge quantities of data about one of the most dangerous terrorist organizations in the world, an organization which already had a long history of devastating attacks against the United States (and our allies) -- data that was mostly unclassified....
Another former DOD official will testify today that he was ordered to destroy up to 2.5 terabytes of data. Now, I don't know what a terabyte of data is, so we contacted the Library of Congress. It is equal to one-fourth of all the entire written collection that the Library of Congress maintains. This information was amassed through Able Danger that could still be useful today. He will name the individual who ordered him to destroy that data and will state for the record that the customer for that data, General Lambert of SOCOM, was never consulted about that destruction and expressed his outrage upon learning that the destruction had taken place.
Data which was "equal to one-fourth of all the entire written collection that the Library of Congress maintains" -- 2.5 terabytes! -- nearly all unclassified, and about a terrorist organization which had already killed an incredible number of people, Americans and others... and it was destroyed.
An FBI employee that I identified and has met with your Committee staff and was prepared to testify today that she arranged three meetings with the FBI Washington Field Office in September of 2000 for the specific purpose of transferring Al Qaeda Brooklyn cell Able Danger information to the FBI for their use. In each instance, she has stated that meetings were canceled at the last minute by DOD officials. She has not been allowed to testify publicly today.
The Department of Defense prevented this data from going to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, then prohibited people from talking about the whole topic.
As I point out in the companion series of posts, entitled Phoenix, there are reasons to suspect what the FBI would have done with that data if they had received it. But that is not the issue here; the issue here is why wasn't this information about a terrorist organization which the FBI was investigating and against which the FBI was building cases given to the FBI?
And why have people with pertinent knowledge not been allowed to testify to the US Senate?
The US Congress has the Constitutional obligation of oversight of the Executive Branch. Since officials in the Executive Branch -- the Department of Defense -- are obviously stonewalling Congress, why does the US Congress not begin an investigation of those officials? Congress does have the authority to impeach them.
The 9/11 Commission was created by Congress with my full support. I have publicly championed many of their recommendations. On four separate occasions, I attempted to brief the Commission on specifics related to intelligence problems, lack of intelligence collaboration, the NOAH concept, the National Operations Analysis Hub that I had pursued in 1999 and 2000, and the work of the LIWA and Able Danger. Except for one 5-minute telephone call with Tom Kean, I was unable to meet with 9/11 Commissioners and/or staff. In fact, I had my Chief of Staff hand-deliver questions to be asked of George Tenet and others to the Commission on March 24 of 2004, which I will enter into the record. They were never used and the questions were never asked.
It was, in fact, a member of the 9/11 Commission who encouraged me to pursue the Able Danger story after I briefed him on June 29 of 2005. He informed me that the 9/11 Commission staff had never briefed Commission members on Able Danger. He said that the facts had to be brought out.
When the 9/11 Commission first responded to questions about Able Danger, they changed their story and spin three times in 3 days. This is not what Congress intended. All the people involved with Able Danger should have been interviewed by the 9/11 Commission.
Obviously, the 9/11 Commission's job was to suppress the facts related to 9/11. Their job was to propagate an agreed-upon cover story, and bury all evidence that contradicts that story.
So, what is it exactly that the 9/11 Commission is burying?
(Pela, might it be a dog buried here?)
Because Able Danger ceased to formally exist before the administration came into office, I understand why there might have been a lack of knowledge about the program and its operations. In fact, when I first met with Steve Cambone, and I am the one that introduced him to Tony Shaffer, who is here today, he told me that he was at a significant disadvantage, that I knew more about Able Danger than he did, but that is not an excuse to not pursue the complete story of Able Danger.
If "Able Danger ceased to formally exist before the [Bush] administration came into office," what was the Bush Administration hiding once it was running the show?
In fact, Mr. Chairman, DOD never conducted an actual investigation, and this came up in our Armed Services meeting 2 weeks ago. No oaths were given. No subpoenas were issued. Rather, an informal inquiry was initiated. A thorough review of Able Danger, its operations, and data collected and analyzed, and recommendations for data transfer to other agencies could have and should have been completed by more than one Member of Congress using one staffer.
Whatever it was -- is -- it is something that career officials in the Department of Defense had wanted hidden.
Instead, over the past 3 months, I have witnessed denial, deception, threats to DOD employees, character assassination, and now silence. This is not what our constituents want. It is unacceptable to the families and friends of the victims of 9/11 and flies in the face of every ideal upon which this country was founded.
They wanted it hidden so badly that they denied it, they mislead people, they threatened DOD employees... and they finished (?) by stonewalling Congress.
Over the past 6 weeks, some have used the Able Danger story to make unfair public allegations, to question the intentions or character of 9/11 Commissioners, or to advance conspiracy theories. I have done none of this. When I learned details of Able Danger in June, I talked to 9/11 Commissioners personally and staff. I delivered a comprehensive floor speech on June 27 of 2005 and methodically briefed the House Chairs of Armed Services, Intelligence, Homeland Security, and Justice Appropriations.
Uh-oh -- the attack of the conspiracy theorists!
That is an interesting statement. First, Congressman Weldon points out that some are using this story "to advance conspiracy theories", but then denies doing that himself. However, the Congressman then goes on to say:
This story only became public, even though significant portions were first reported in a Heritage Foundation speech that I gave, still available online, on May 23, 2002, and a Computer World magazine story that ran on January 28, 2003, when Security News ran a story on August 1 of 2005, followed by a front-page story in the New York Times on August 2 of 2005.
My goal now, Mr. Chairman, is the same as it was then, the full and complete truth for the American people about the run-up to 9/11. Many Americans lost family and friends on 9/11. Michael Horacks was a neighbor of mine in Pennsylvania, a former Navy pilot, graduate of Westchester, like myself. He was at the controls of one of the planes on 9/11. He left behind a wife and two kids. We built a playground in his honor at his kids' school.
Ray Downey was a personal friend. As a New York Deputy Fire Officer, he took me through the garage of the Trade Center Towers in 1993, the first time Bin Laden hit us. We worked together. In fact, he gave me the idea for the creation of the Gilmore Commission, which I authored and added to the Defense authorization bill in 1997. On September 11, 2001, he was the New York City Fire Department Chief of All Rescue. The 343 fire fighters, including Ray, who were all killed were under Ray's command as he led the largest and most successful rescue effort in the history of mankind.
I promised Michael's wife and kids and Ray's wife and kids and grandkids that we would not stop until the day that we learned all the facts about 9/11. Unfortunately, Mr. Chairman, that day has not yet arrived. We must do better.
Is there some reason why Congressman Weldon suspects, as of September of 2005, that the "full and complete truth" about 9/11 is not yet out, why we haven't "learned all the facts about 9/11"?
Apparently some group of people in the Department of Defense is working together to stonewall Congress regarding Able Danger.
(Please keep in mind that just because a group of people is working together to stonewall Congress, that should not be construed as to imply that there is a conspiracy.)