Sep 30 2005

Able Danger, Pentagon Coverup, 09/30/05

Published by at 11:49 am under Able Danger/9-11,All General Discussions

Up until today I was fairly sure the current Pentagon leadership would weather the Able Danger storm with style and finesse. I have had long admired Rumsfeld and others on their dealings with that behemoth of a bureaucracy.

But today my respect and faith were shattered. Captain Ed posts on the story of the trumped up BS charges against Lt Col Shaffer here regarding this news article:

The alleged infractions by Army Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, 42, include obtaining a service medal under false pretenses, improperly flashing military identification while drunk and stealing pens, according to military paperwork shown by his attorney to The Associated Press.

Stealing cheap pentagon pens!!! What about stealing classified materials and then taking them to your office and cutting them up with scissors to destroy the record of what led to the worst attack on US soil and killed 3000 people!?!? You think that might be cause to revoke someone’s security clearance! Well it seems like it is not – if you are connected and have friends who can get you into see the President.

I have held clearances and this malarky is not grounds for removal of a clearance. Here are the detailed ‘charges':

According to the paperwork, the alleged infractions against Shaffer also include:

• Falsely claiming $341.80 in mileage and tolls fees. He said he filed travel expenses based on what he was told by human resources staff.

• Obtaining $67.79 in personal cell phone charges. He said the amount was a legitimate expense accrued so he could forward calls.

• Going over his chain of command to do briefings. Shaffer said he was providing briefings to higher-ups on projects even his direct superiors did not know about, and he received superior review ratings for that time.

• Showing irresponsibility with $2,012 in credit card debt. He said he paid off the debt.

It is this exact kind of pathetic, cheap shot power game that led me to leave the democrat party so many years ago and remain an independent. I grew up outside DC and I know the place can be a force for good and evil. Up until this point the Bush team had been doing really, really well. But this is a joke. To lose your clearance on legal matters means to be convicted of a serious crime. Most times even a DUI will not do it. But these are charges that don’t even rank with speeding.

Clearances are evaluated on whether the person is a risk to leak. Not whether the person has been lily white pure. I know people who have had clearances and admitted to drug use. I know people caught taking drugs and gone into counciling with their clearances intact. An affair is a very big deal in the world of clearances – but phone bills????

This is disgusting. Ed Morrissey makes the points succinctly:

Stealing pens? Getting drunk sixteen years ago? Twenty-year-old incidents, all of which should have been reviewed and considered long ago by the DoD when selecting Shaffer for his various cleared positions, do not suddenly rise to a crisis level that requires his clearances to get revoked.

Security clearances are reviewed regularly. The fact these minor infractions did not cause the loss of clearance until now, years later, is defacto evidence this is an attempt to attack a whistleblower. Which is just the kind of PR the Pentagon does not need to put this issue to bed. I appreciate they need to protect intel methods and activities, and there are ways to do that. But Shaffer is not talking about anything classified. Morrissey has another question I can answer:

Why not just revoke his clearances for blowing the whistle on Able Danger and the 9/11 Commission’s ignorance?

Simple. Nothing Shaffer or JD Smith discussed was classified. Go back to the Able Danger sequence:

Open Data -> Orion -> LIWA -> DIA -> SOCOM

Orion’s contract was unclassified. The data they procured and the data mining products they developed for LIWA were unclassified. The events of the purging of the data, the supposed report dating from Feb-Apr 2000 with Atta’s picture, the software tools used – all unclassified. You cannot revoke a clearance for discussing unclassified material. And, theoretically, you cannot revoke a clearance because someone says something politically uncomfortable or about potentially illegal acts.

The Pentagon is now daring Congress to investigate this simply to uphold the Whistle Blower laws. What dunce decided this was the best idea?

All right, taking one deep breath….

There is one possible alternative to a complete melt down of the Bush administration: someone in the current DoD legal counsel side, a civilian, was a key member of the Able Danger events. Other than that completely outside, highly unlikely event – the Bush team is bungling this story big time.

And I am not the only one. MacRanger knows this is a load of bull-hockey and he is none to pleased with it. OK, let’s get Congress into this mess ASAP.

More from Top Dog here and Voice of The Taciturn has an excellent post here.

UPDATE:

Baldilock has also come on board on this latest nonsense. Love this:

I guess the Pentagon did a little data-mining of their own.

I thought that was illegal to do on US citizens?

13 responses so far

13 Responses to “Able Danger, Pentagon Coverup, 09/30/05”

  1. baldilocks says:

    Danger Able Danger

    Okay, Captain Ed and AJ Strata, I’m convinced. The Pentagon is trying to hide something in regard to the Able Danger situation, because this is just pathetic:Shaffer says he received a Bronze Star medal for work on a classified operation

  2. Juliette says:

    Just when I think I’m out, they pull me back in!

    Pens?!!!! This stuff is moronic.

  3. AJStrata says:

    Juliette, I hear you.

    They should have just walked away. Pens!

    How about we all donate some pens to the PENtagon so they don’t have to be so hard on Shaffer.

    (why am I thinking ‘Schaffer Pens’????)

  4. BurbankErnie says:

    Hey now. Sandy “The Tool” Berger did too get bitchslapped. He got his Sec. Clearance pulled…. for three years.

    Boys and Girls, welcome to Politics, where no one does the time for their crime. Get the Senate involved??? They already are were. How soon we forget. Poor Schaffer basically gets booted from working in his profession of 30 years, and all he got was these stupid Pentagon Pens.

    Life, as well as the wheels of Govt., roll on.

  5. Juliette says:

    Not thirty years, Ernie. Not unless the good LTC started when he was twelve. :-)

  6. BurbankErnie says:

    Oops! I was taking advantage of my ineptitude. I do not know how long he has been “on the job” or his age for that matter.
    Literary License as Joe Wilson calls lying.

  7. Snapple says:

    The breathless lemmings who write about “Able Danger” are all racing to repeat these claims about the trivial pen-stealing charges that the Pentagon has ALLEGEDLY filed against Shaffer.

    I just point out that these allegations are only “according to” paperwork shown by Shaffer’s attorney Mark Zaid to The Associated Press.

    Does anyone want to slow down long enough to notice that the Pentagon hasn’t actually commented on Zaid’s claims? Where are there any Pentagon sources quoted saying that Shaffer stole pens in this article? THERE AREN’T ANY!

    Here is the only official source the WP used:
    “Citing concerns with the privacy act, Cmdr. Terry Sutherland, a Defense Intelligence Agency spokesman, declined to release ANY INFORMATION on Shaffer.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/30/AR2005093000117.html

    The WP does say that “The military revoked Shaffer’s top security clearance this month, a day before he was supposed to testify to a congressional committee.” No source is cited for that.

    Has the Pentagon directly told the WP or any news media that it revoked Shaffer’s clearance? What is the source for that?

    Just pointing out a few facts. But I don’t suppose anyone EVER fabricates military documents in America. Naw! That never happened in the history of the world.

  8. AJStrata says:

    Snapple,

    Don’t you think the reporters (a) noted the source of the letter, (b) checked out the source of the letter? You are truly grasping here. For your claim to be right the reporters would have been shown a sheet of paper with no header, to/from, date, etc. and bought it as real.

  9. Snapple says:

    You write, “For your claim to be right the reporters would have been shown a sheet of paper with no header, to/from, date, etc. and bought it as real. ”

    Really? Only if I think that Mary Mapes is now an AP stringer.

    I naturally assume someone made sure that the documents were professionally prepared and had the appropriate, header, a date, a to/from, etc. Of course, I haven’t seen them. Have you?

    CBS 60 Minutes fell for the fabricated “Rathergate/Memogate” documents about Bush. And they had computer-generated copies from Kinkos. Burkett didn’t just flash the papers at Mary Mapes.

    I am holding out for the Kinko’s copies. And the sound of Rumsfeld’s other shoe dropping at the Pentagon.

    So yes. The authenticity of the documents Mark Zaid is flashing to the AP has not been established. Shaffer hangs out with Weldon, who gets his intelligence from people the CIA characterize as fabricators, and writes ludicrous books.

    I have seen people tell reporters they had “secret tapes” and the reporters wrote down what the source claimed the tape said without ever listening to the tape.

    AP could be anyone. Who saw these documents? How did he authenticate them? Did Zaid give the AP reporter a copy of the documents? You might start by getting the original AP article.

    The Pentagon is NOT commenting on Shaffer. That means if someone asks, they don’t comment. To deny the authenticity of the papers that Zaid showed to the AP would be commenting. These purported Pentagon documents are not published anywhere. Zaid showed them to the AP.

    None of this stuff is authenticated.

    Here is TIME on Weldon’s fudging:

    “In a particularly dramatic scene in Weldon’s book, Countdown to Terror, the Pennsylvania Republican described personally handing to then-Deputy National Security Adviser Steve Hadley, just after Sept. 11, an Able Danger chart produced in 1999 identifying Atta. But Weldon told TIME he’s no longer certain Atta’s name was on that original document. The congressman says he handed Hadley his only copy. Still, last week he referred reporters to a recently reconstructed version of the chart in his office where, among dozens of names and photos of terrorists from around the world, there was a color mug shot of Mohammad Atta, circled in black marker.”
    http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/
    0,8599,1093694,00.html

    Weldon’s story is one of the dumbest stories I ever heard. How could Weldon have an original Able Danger chart right after 9-11 and “forget” if M. Atta was on it?

  10. Snapple says:

    I looked back to the WP article and the author is actually an AP writer. Here it is on AP at Yahoo.
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/sept11_hijackers

    So you can ask By KIMBERLY HEFLING, Associated Press Writer what the AP saw.

  11. Snapple says:

    And this site, US Labor Against the War, [OCT 1] carries Kimberly Hefling:

    http://uslaboragainstwar.org/article.php?&list=classt&type=3&class=3&all=1&nointro=1

    Here is the article they post by her: “Congressman: Defense knew 9/11 hijackers”
    http://uslaboragainstwar.org/article.php?&list=classt&type=3&class=3&all=1&nointro=1

    These leftist sites are promoting the lie that the Bush Administration facilitated 9-11.

  12. Snapple says:

    AJStrata claims his (cough, sniff) “respect and faith” in the Pentagon is shattered because the Pentagon has trumped up charges against Shaffer.

    There is no evidence that the Pentagon has charged Shaffer with pen stealing. They have not ever said they did this.

    Shafffer’s lawyer is CLAIMING this. The AP reporter who wrote the story is posted on a website called “US Labor Against the War.”

    Hardly what I’d call a credible source.

  13. Snapple says:

    Little Red Riding Hood pulled the bobbin, and the door opened.

    The wolf, seeing her come in, said to her, hiding himself under the bedclothes, “Put the cake and the little pot of butter upon the stool, and come get into bed with me.”

    Little Red Riding Hood took off her clothes and got into bed. She was greatly amazed to see how her grandmother looked in her nightclothes, and said to her, “Grandmother, what big arms you have!”

    “All the better to hug you with, my dear.”

    “Grandmother, what big legs you have!”

    “All the better to run with, my child.”

    “Grandmother, what big ears you have!”

    “All the better to hear with, my child.”

    “Grandmother, what big eyes you have!”

    “All the better to see with, my child.”

    “Grandmother, what big teeth you have got!”

    “All the better to eat you up with.”

    And, saying these words, this wicked wolf fell upon Little Red Riding Hood, and ate her all up.