***see updates for audio and blogger reax…PDF text of Weldon’s full speech here…***
Watching C-SPAN right now. Rep. Curt Weldon is on the House floor blasting the Defense Intelligence Agency and vigorously defending Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer. He says he will resign from Congress if it refuses to investigate the government’s smear tactics against Able Danger whistleblowers. Rough transcription:
Yesterday I met with another Able Danger official…this official has impeccable credentials…can’t reveal his name today [publicly]…[will tell any member the official's name privately]. In a meeting, he told me he’s never been talked to by the Pentagon and DIA in their investigation…The Pentagon says all the material has been destroyed, but I have a second senior official telling me there may be a second pot of information…
According to UPI, Weldon is calling for a new probe “into what he says is a ‘witch-hunt’ by defense officials against a Sept. 11 intelligence whistleblower” (Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer).
More of the speech:
You can’t let a Lt. Col.’s career be ruined because of a bureaucrat in the DIA…We’re seeing lying. Distortion. Wolf Blitzer told me that a Defense Department official told [Blitzer] that Shaffer was having an affair with a member of my staff…he doesn’t even know my staff! What do we stand for if not the truth? I’ll leave my post, but not until I get justice for this man and the American people.
…scum at the Pentagon are spreading malicious lies.
What we have here is an aggressive attempt by CIA management to cover up their shortcomings.
If it means I have to resign, I will resign. [Excoriates feds for dragging out info that Shaffer stole pens when he was 15.] This is not about the DIA or the CIA. This is about CYA…
…What’s happening here is unacceptable. Unimaginable. Un-American.
This man is being abused and used. He’s being maligned. [Weldon vows to call for an investigation into leaks of scurrilous information about Shaffer to the media.] Urges viewers to e-mail SecDef, President, and members of Congress to let the story be told. Let Tony Shaffer talk. Let the others who have been silent have the chance to tell their story to Congress.
905pm EDT. House adjourned.
Ed Morrissey highlights Weldon’s claims of reckless incompetence by DIA reported in UPI and reiterated in his House speech:
Weldon’s move comes after Shaffer said that boxes of his personal effects, returned to him by the DIA earlier this month, contained both government property and classified documents.
“Sending classified material through the mail is a felony, and much more serious than any of these minor, trumped up charges against (Shaffer),” he said, adding that “I want the appropriate persons held accountable.”
Ed asks: “If the DIA really has resorted to these tactics, then it only demonstrates even more that they fear Shaffer and the rest of the Able Danger revelations. What has them so afraid?”
AJ Strata has a thorough recounting of Weldon’s speech and notes a few “bombshells.” Excerpt:
Weldon’s tirade starts warming up with the accusation the DIA is out to destroy the career and life of Lt Col Shaffer. I agree. He worries this is too easy to ignore. He reminds us Lt Col Shaffer took an oath to defend our country for 23 years, and received the Bronze Star and other commendations from DIA and SOCOM.
Another bombshell: The DIA Deputy Director was in a meeting with Lt Col Shaffer nearly a year before 9-11, and Lt Col Shaffer showed him a disk on Atta and Al Qaeda. Weldon then claims the Deputy Director (DD) stopped the meeting and said Shaffer could not show him that information. The DD was afraid it might contain information he shouldn’t see.
Weldon then goes on to drop the next bombshell: there were other people in the room and he knows their names. They have witnesses. Weldon then says the DD denies he was at the meeting and the story! Wow – this is big stuff. The staff seems to be rising up against the DD. Weldon is going to pursue it.
…Weldon goes on to highlight the lifting of Shaffer’s clearances just prior to his scheduled testimony in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Next bombshell: Shaffer has been notified that the DIA intend to go after his pay and family health care benefits (he has two children). What kind of dumba$$ maneuver is the DIA trying to play at here? Weldon rightfully asks “why?”
Ian Schwartz has audio at The Political Teen.
Vi Adkins has much more.
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