Congressional Record: October 19, 2005 (House)
Page H8979-H8983                         

                          ABLE DANGER FAILURE

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Reichert). Under the Speaker's announced 
policy of January 4, 2005, the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Weldon) 
is recognized for 60 minutes.
  Mr. WELDON of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, I rise tonight to talk to 
our colleagues and through our colleagues to the American people about 
an issue that troubles me greatly.
  I have been in this institution 19 years, and during those 19 years I 
have been on the Committee on Armed Services. Currently, I am the vice 
chairman of that committee and chairman of the subcommittee that 
oversees the purchase of our weapons systems. In the past I have 
chaired the research subcommittee. I have chaired the readiness 
subcommittee, and I have spent every available hour of my time working 
to make sure that our military troops were properly protected and have 
the proper equipment and training.
  I am a strong supporter of our military. Whether it was in the last 2 
years of the Reagan administration, the four years of the Bush 
administration, the 8 years of the Clinton administration, or the 
current administration of President George W. Bush, I have been a 
strong supporter of our military. I am a strong supporter of President 
Bush. I campaigned for him. I am a strong supporter of Secretary 
Rumsfeld. I say all of that, Mr. Speaker, because tonight I rise to 
express my absolute outrage and disgust with what is happening in our 
defense intelligence agencies.
  Mr. Speaker, back in 1999 when I was Chair of the defense research 
subcommittee, the Army was doing cutting-edge work on a new type of 
technology to allow us to understand and predict emerging transnational 
terrorist threats. That technology was being done at several locations, 
but was being led by our Special Forces Command. The work that they 
were doing was unprecedented. And because of what I saw there, I 
supported the development of a national capability of a collaborative 
center that the CIA would just not accept.
  In fact, in November 4 of 1999, 2 years before 9/11, in a meeting in 
my office with the Deputy Secretary of Defense, Deputy Director of the 
CIA, Deputy Director of the FBI, we presented a nine-page proposal to 
create a national collaborative center. When we finished the brief, the 
CIA said we did not need that capability, and so before 9/11 we did not 
have it.
  When President Bush came in after a year of research, he announced 
the formation of the Terrorism Threat Integration Center, exactly what 
I had proposed in 1999. Today it is known as the NCTC, the National 
Counterterrorism Center. But, Mr. Speaker, what troubles me is not the 
fact that we did not take those steps.
  What troubles me is that I now have learned in the last 4 months that 
one of the tasks that was being done in 1999 and 2000 was a top-secret 
program organized at the request of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of 
Staff, carried out by the general in charge of our Special Forces 
Command, a very elite unit focusing on information regarding al Qaeda. 
It was a military language effort to allow us to identify the key cells 
of al Qaeda around the world and to give the military the capability to 
plan actions against those cells so they could not attack us as they 
did in 1993 at the Trade Center, at the Khobar Towers, the U.S.S. Cole 
attack, and the African embassy bombings.
  What I did not know, Mr. Speaker, up until June of this year, was 
that that secret program called Able Danger actually identified the 
Brooklyn cell of al Qaeda in January and February of 2000, over 1 year 
before 9/11 every happened. In addition, I learned that not only did we 
identify the Brooklyn cell of al Qaeda, but we identified Mohamed Atta 
as one of the members of that Brooklyn cell along with three other 
terrorists who were the leadership of the 9/11 attack.
  I have also learned, Mr. Speaker, that in September of 2000, again, 
over 1 year before 9/11, that Able Danger team attempted on three 
separate occasions to provide information to the FBI about the Brooklyn 
cell of al Qaeda, and on three separate occasions they were denied by 
lawyers in the previous administration to transfer that information.
  Mr. Speaker, this past Sunday on ``Meet the Press,'' Louis Freeh, FBI 
Director at the time, was interviewed by Tim Russert. The first 
question to Louis Freeh was in regard to the FBI's ability to ferret 
out the terrorists. Louis Freeh's response, which can be obtained by 
anyone in this country as a part of the official record, was, Well, 
Tim, we are now finding out that a top-secret program of the military 
called Able Danger actually identified the Brooklyn cell of al Qaeda 
and Mohammed Atta over a year before 9/11.
  And what Louis Freeh said, Mr. Speaker, is that that kind of 
actionable data could have allowed us to prevent the hijackings that 
occurred on September 11.
  So now we know, Mr. Speaker, that military intelligence officers 
working in a program authorized by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of 
Staff, the general in charge of Special Forces Command, identified 
Mohammed Atta and three terrorists a year before 9/11, tried to 
transfer that information to the FBI were denied; and the FBI Director 
has now said publicly if he would have had that information, the FBI 
could have used it to perhaps prevent the hijackings that struck the 
World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the plane that landed in 
Pennsylvania and perhaps saved 3,000 lives and changed the course of 
world history.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise tonight because we have been trying to get the 
story out about Able Danger and what really happened. Unfortunately, 
Mr. Speaker, I have to rise tonight to tell you that as bad as this 
story is, and as bad as it is that the data was not transferred to the 
FBI, and as bad as it is that the 9/11 Commission totally ignored this 
entire story and referred to it as historically insignificant even 
though it was authorized by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 
even though Louis Freeh has now said it could have provided information 
to prevent the attack against us, the 9/11 Commission ignored it. Not 
because the commissioners ignored it, but because someone at the staff 
level on the 9/11 Commission staff decided for whatever reason that 
they did not want to pursue the Abel Danger story.

  Mr. Speaker, in August and September I met with the military 
officials involved with Abel Danger and one by one they told their 
story, until, Mr. Speaker, leaders in the Defense Intelligence Agency, 
including the deputy director, decided they do not want the story told. 
I think because they perhaps are fearful of being embarrassed and 
  So what direction had they taken, Mr. Speaker?
  They have gagged the military officers. They have prevented them from 
talking to any Member of Congress. They have prevented them from 
talking to the media. And the Defense Intelligence Agency has began a 
process to destroy the career and the life of Lieutenant Colonel 
Anthony Shaffer.
  Now, it might be easy for us to ignore this, Mr. Speaker. We all have 
busy careers and worry about reelections every 2 years and worry about 
our own families and our jobs. But I cannot do that in this case and 
neither can this body, and neither can the other body. You see, 
Lieutenant Colonel Shaffer took an oath to defend our Constitution. He 
took the words ``duty, honor, country'' seriously and devoted 23 years 
of his life in four deployed intelligence operations of our military to 
protect America.
  During the time he served our country, he has received the Bronze 
Star, an award that does not come easily, for showing acts of courage, 
leadership, and bravery in the course of his activities.

[[Page H8980]]

                              {time}  2030

  He has received public commendations from previous directors of the 
Defense Intelligence Agency, including General Patrick Hughes, 
including generals at Special Forces Command, and including Admiral 
Wilson of the Defense Intelligence Agency. He has received dozens of 
letters and commendations for his work. The laudatory comments I 
reviewed in his files are unbelievable.
  But, you see, Mr. Speaker, there is a problem. The Deputy Director of 
the Defense Intelligence Agency was in a meeting with Lieutenant 
Colonel Shaffer almost a year before 9/11, and Lieutenant Colonel 
Shaffer showed him a disk in his office with information about al Qaeda 
and Mohammed Atta, and the Deputy Director of the Defense Intelligence 
Agency stopped the briefing and said, you cannot show me that. I do not 
want to see it. It might contain information I cannot look at.
  Now, Tony Shaffer was not in the room alone, Mr. Speaker. There were 
other people, and we know their names. So we have witnesses. Now, the 
Deputy Director has denied that meeting and denied he was there and 
denied this particular story, but the fact is he knows that we are 
going to pursue it.
  So what has happened to Lieutenant Colonel Shaffer, Mr. Speaker? The 
Defense Intelligence Agency has lifted his security clearance. One day 
before he was to testify before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, 
in uniform, they permanently removed his security clearance. And now 
our Defense Intelligence Agency has told Colonel Shaffer's lawyer that 
they plan to seek a permanent removal of his pay and his health care 
benefits for him and his two children. Why, Mr. Speaker? Because 
Lieutenant Colonel Shaffer, like Commander Scott Philpot of the Navy, 
like J. D. Smith, and like a host of other Able Danger employees, has 
told the truth.
  Now, Mr. Speaker, I sat here in the 1990s and I sat here during the 
9/11 investigation and watched a ridiculous situation develop with 
Sandy Berger, the National Security Adviser under President Clinton. He 
walked into the National Archives before he was to testify before the 
9/11 Commission looking through documents. He took documents out of the 
archives and stuffed them in his socks and pants so that no one would 
see them as he left the National Archives. Now, that is a felony, 
tampering with Federal documents and removing classified information 
regarding our security and information that the 9/11 commission needed 
to see.
  Sandy Berger initially lied about it. He said he did not do it. Then 
he admitted it, and he was given a punishment. And, oh, by the way, his 
security clearance was temporarily lifted, but he will get it back 
again, for lying, for stealing, and for committing an act of outrage 
against our country's security. Lieutenant Colonel Shaffer, a Bronze 
Star 23-year military veteran, simply told the truth and now his life 
is being ruined.
  His career is ended. He is no longer in military intelligence. They 
have taken his security clearance, and they are about to destroy him as 
a person. They are about to deny him the basic health care and the 
salary that he has earned, and they are doing it in this way. This is 
outrageous. It is evil. They do not want to fire Tony because they also 
do not want him to talk to the media. So by suspending him and removing 
his pay and his health care, they hurt him bad, but he cannot talk 
because he is under suspension and his lawyer has advised him that to 
talk to the media, to talk to Members of Congress, even when he is not 
being paid, would cause him further problems and totally prevent him 
from ever having this gross problem reversed. Mr. Speaker, this is 
outrageous. Mr. Speaker, this is not America.
  Over my 19 years in Congress, I have led 40 delegations to the former 
Soviet Union. I have sat in the face of the Soviet Communists and 
confronted them on full transparency. I sat at the table with President 
Lukashenko of Belarus, who has been called by our Secretary of State 
the last dictator in Europe. I took both delegations to North Korea, 
Mr. Speaker, and sat across the table from Kim Gye Gwan and I told him 
we abhor the way they treat their people, the way they lie about what 
is happening, and the way they distort information.
  Mr. Speaker, I took three delegations to Libya to meet with Qadhafi, 
and I told him that we are absolutely outraged at what Libya did in 
helping complete the Lockerbie bombing and the bombing of the Berlin 
  You know, Mr. Speaker, I never thought I would have to take the floor 
of this Chamber and make the same statements about the Defense 
Intelligence Agency. As a supporter of the President, as a supporter of 
the military, Mr. Speaker, if we allow this to go forward, then we send 
the signal to every man and woman wearing a uniform that if you tell 
the truth, you will be destroyed if a career bureaucrat above you does 
not like what you are saying. If you tell the truth, we will take your 
health care benefits away from your kids. If you tell the truth, we 
will ruin you.

  Mr. Speaker, this is not America. Mr. Speaker, this is not what I 
have been told by Secretary Rumsfeld that we are doing with our troops 
in protecting them, in giving them the best equipment and the best 
training. This is not what I spend hours in committee hearings on. This 
sends the wrong signal to America's troops. It tells them, do not be 
honest. Do not respect the fact that you have to be truthful. If there 
is somebody that the truth offends, then you better be silent.
  Mr. Speaker, I have today asked for an independent investigation of 
the Defense Intelligence Agency and their efforts at destroying Tony 
Shaffer's life. This is outrageous, Mr. Speaker. They trumped up 
charges against him. They said while he was overseas in Afghanistan, 
forward deployed, that he forwarded cell phone calls from his official 
phone to his personal phone; and when they checked that out, it ran up 
a cost to the taxpayers of about $60. The second verbal charge they 
gave him was that he went to a course at the Army War College and he 
got reimbursed for his travel, his mileage and tolls, 100-some dollars. 
And they said he received a commendation for which he was not entitled, 
even though it was signed by his commanding officer and the acting 
Secretary of the Army.
  But they went beyond that, Mr. Speaker. They went beyond that with 
this man. They said he had $2,000 of debt, personal debt. Well, I would 
like to have every Pentagon employee tomorrow, I would like to have the 
senior leadership show us what debt they have in the Defense 
Intelligence Agency so we can make that public.
  They even went to this length, Mr. Speaker: the Defense Intelligence 
Agency wrote in an official document that Lieutenant Colonel Shaffer 
stole public property. A serious charge. Well, when you check what that 
public property was, it was an assortment of pens, government pens. But 
what they did not say in the Defense Intelligence report was that he 
took those pens when he was 15 years of age and was with his father 
when he was on assignment at one of our embassy outposts. He took the 
pens to give to other students at the school when he was 15 years of 
age. And by the way, Mr. Speaker, it was Tony Shaffer himself who 
admitted to that thievery when he applied for his security clearance. 
So the Defense Intelligence Agency knew that during his entire career 
of 23 years, but they put that in the document against him.
  This is a scandal, Mr. Speaker. It is an outrage. It is a travesty. 
Everyone that worked with Tony Shaffer, the Navy officers, the private 
citizens have all said the same thing. This is a scandal to get Tony 
Shaffer because he has told the truth.
  Now, this Defense Intelligence Agency and this Deputy Director had 
the audacity to have their legal counsel send Tony Shaffer's lawyer a 
letter on September 23. I cannot put that letter in the Record because 
it is privileged information, but it will eventually come out. But in 
that letter, in the second to last paragraph, the legal counsel for the 
Defense Intelligence Agency says to Mr. Shaffer's lawyer, he cannot 
receive any more classified information from the Defense Intelligence 
Agency because I checked and his security clearances have all been 
removed. Therefore, he is not allowed to look at anything that is 
secret or confidential.
  Now, that is a letter sent by the general counsel of the DIA on 
September 23 of this year. Two weeks later, Mr. Speaker, to show the 
stupidity of the Defense Intelligence Agency, they send seven packages 
to Mr. Shaffer's lawyer

[[Page H8981]]

of his personal belongings, which the Deputy Director of the DIA told 
my staff 3 months ago did not exist any more. And in those seven boxes, 
Mr. Speaker, were five classified memos. The Defense Intelligence 
Agency sent five classified memos to Lieutenant Colonel Shaffer, which 
they told him on September 23 he was not allowed to have access to.
  Mr. Speaker, that is a felony; and I have asked the Inspector General 
and the legal officials to investigate and prosecute the Defense 
Intelligence officials who sent five classified documents through the 
mail or by hand delivery to Tony Shaffer.
  In addition, Mr. Speaker, the Defense Intelligence Agency, in its 
absolute total stupidity, included in those boxes $500 worth of Federal 
property, including a multi-hundred dollar GPS system owned by the 
Federal Government, which they sent to Tony Shaffer, I guess to keep. 
They also sent, Mr. Speaker, 25 pens, brand new, and marked on them is 
``Property of the U.S. Government.'' The Defense Intelligence Agency, 
in its absolute utter stupidity, sent Tony Shaffer Federal property 
which they accused him of taking when he was 15 years of age.
  Mr. Speaker, there is something desperately wrong here. There is a 
bureaucracy in the Defense Intelligence Agency that is out of control. 
They want to destroy the reputation of a 23-year military officer, 
Bronze Star recipient, hero of our country, with two kids because 
people in defense intelligence are embarrassed at what is going to come 
  And what is going to come out, Mr. Speaker? Well, we are going to 
find out, Mr. Speaker, that that unit, Able Danger, not only identified 
Mohammed Atta before 9/11, not only did they try to pass that 
information to the FBI, not only was that large data destroyed in the 
summer of 2000, but now, Mr. Speaker, I can add a new dimension to this 
whole story. Yesterday, Mr. Speaker, I met with another Able Danger 
official. I was not aware of this official's knowledge because he does 
not live within the Beltway.
  This official, Mr. Speaker, has impeccable credentials. I cannot 
reveal his name today. I will to any Member of this body, any of our 
colleagues that want to come to me, I will tell you privately who this 
official is, and you will agree with me when I tell you his name that 
he has impeccable credentials. This official yesterday, Mr. Speaker, in 
a meeting in my office, told me that he has never been talked to by the 
Pentagon. He has never been talked to by the Defense Intelligence 
Agency in their supposed investigation. He has never been talked to by 
the 9/11 Commission staff in their investigation; yet this official had 
a leadership position in Able Danger.
  This official told me that there is a separate cache of information 
collected from over 20 Federal agencies in 1999 and 2000 on Able Danger 
that still may exist. Now, the Pentagon has told us all this material 
was destroyed, and now I have a senior official telling me there is a 
second pot of information that may well still exist.
  Furthermore, at the hearing over in the Senate Committee on the 
Judiciary, when Senator Specter asked why this data was destroyed, the 
witness who destroyed the data said, well, I was told that we could not 
keep this data for more than 90 days because it might involve 
information that contains U.S. persons, so we had to destroy it.

                              {time}  2045

  Well, I found out that is not the story. The reason the data was 
destroyed was because Special Forces Command asked the Army for that 
data and within a matter of days, that data was destroyed so the Army 
would not pass it to Special Forces Command. Yet there still is, was 
and I hope still is a massive pot of data.
  But furthermore, that official that I talked to yesterday will also 
say that there was no 90-day requirement, as was testified before the 
Senate Committee on the Judiciary. He said on a regular basis they kept 
information from Able Danger data mining for months and months and 
months. In fact, he will say he had a discussion with a lawyer in DOD 
named Schiffren who told him do not worry about it, just fill out a 
document, sign your name that you need it, put it in the box, and you 
can keep it as long as you want.
  Mr. Speaker, that is entirely contradictory to what the Defense 
Intelligence Agency has been telling us, to what DOD has been telling 
us. Now we have someone who is willing to come forward and say that 90-
day period is not real, they kept Able Danger information for months 
and months and months.
  Mr. Speaker, there is something desperately wrong here. A sitting 
President of the United States resigned his position because he tried 
to cover up a third-rate burglary when some low-level operatives from 
the Republican committee to reelect him broke into the Democrat 
headquarters in Washington, D.C. No one was killed. No money was 
stolen. No State secrets were stolen. It was a third-rate burglary, but 
it caused the resignation of President Richard Nixon.
  Mr. Speaker, we are talking about the deaths of 3,000 Americans.
  Mr. Speaker, we are talking about 2.5 terabytes of data about al 
Qaeda. That is equal to one-fourth of all of the printed material in 
the Library of Congress.
  Mr. Speaker, we are talking about Mohammed Atta and three of the 
terrorists that attacked us on 9/11.
  Mr. Speaker, we are talking about military intelligence officers, 
including an Annapolis graduate who will command one of our destroyers 
in January of 2006 who risked his entire career to state on the record 
I will swear until I die that I saw Mohammed Atta's face every day 
starting in January of 2000, a year and a half before 9/11.
  Mr. Speaker, this is not somebody off the street, this is a graduate 
of Annapolis, a 23-year Naval officer who will command one of our 
destroyers in January who is agreeing with Lieutenant Shaffer. We have 
three other people who have testified under oath that they saw the same 
photograph, and the person I met yesterday will testify that he had the 
name of a Mohammed Atta before 9/11 but not the face.
  Mr. Speaker, this is not some third-rate burglary coverup. This is 
not some Watergate incident. This is an attempt to prevent the American 
people from knowing the facts about how we could have prevented 9/11 
and people are covering it up today. They are ruining the career of a 
military officer to do it and we cannot let it stand. I do not care 
whether you are Democrat or Republican, you cannot let a lieutenant 
colonel's career be ruined because of some bureaucrat in the Defense 
Intelligence Agency. If we let that happen, then no one who wears the 
uniform will ever feel protected because we will have let them down. 
Anyone who wears the uniform of this country who is serving today 
expects us to back him or her up and that is not happening. We are 
seeing lying, distortion.
  Mr. Speaker, do you know, Wolf Blitzer on CNN told my staff that a 
Department of Defense employee told him that Lieutenant Colonel Shaffer 
was having an affair with one of my employees. How low can we go, Mr. 
Speaker? How low can we go to allow this Defense Department to try to 
ruin the reputation and the personal life of a lieutenant colonel with 
a Bronze Star? To Wolf Blitzer, Mr. Speaker.
  We need to know the name of that defense official who told Wolf 
Blitzer who told my staff, and he is not the only one. I have other 
media people who will come forward in this grand effort to destroy the 
reputation of a uniformed military officer, to create scandalous 
accusations. He does not even know my staff, to accuse him of stealing 
pens when he was 15, to take away his health care benefits for his two 
kids because he is telling the truth.
  What do we stand for if not the truth? Is it more important that we 
be politically correct? Is it more important that I not rock the boat 
because my party is in the White House, because I campaigned for Bush, 
and support Don Rumsfeld. Is that more important? If that is more 
important, I do not want to be here. I will leave. I will leave my 
post, but I will not do it until we get justice for this man and for 
these people who the 9/11 Commission called historically insignificant.
  Mr. Speaker, there is something wrong inside the Beltway.
  Mr. Speaker, there is something desperately wrong when a military 
officer risks his life in Afghanistan time and again, embedded with our 
troops under

[[Page H8982]]

an assumed name with a false beard and a false identity, forward 
deployed with our troops, gets castigated, gets ridiculed, gets some 
low life scum at the Pentagon spreading malicious lies about this 
individual, and then say to his lawyer, we are going to take away his 
health care benefits, we are going to take away his salary.
  Mr. Speaker, if we allow this to stand as Democrats and Republicans, 
then none of us deserve to be here. When we all go overseas and meet 
the troops, we tell them how proud we are of them. We provide funding 
for them. We give them training and take care of their families. What 
we are allowing to happen right now is the Defense Intelligence Agency 
to ruin the career and the life of a man who spent 23 years protecting 
his Nation. If Lieutenant Colonel Shaffer was telling this story alone 
in a vacuum, that would be one thing. But he has been corroborated over 
and over again. I have met with at least 10 people who fully 
corroborate what Tony Shaffer says. Those meetings with the FBI, the 
FBI employee still works there and she told the Senate Committee on the 
Judiciary, I set those meetings up with the FBI to transfer information 
about al Qaeda and Able Danger. So she is still there and she 
  What we have here, I am convinced of this now, is an aggressive 
attempt by CIA management to cover up their own shortcomings in not 
being able to do what the Able Danger team did: They identified 
Mohammed Atta and the al Qaeda cell of Brooklyn 1 year before 
9/11. But even before that, as the story unfolds, you are going to hear 
the story that they also identified the threat to the USS Cole 2 weeks 
before the attack, and 2 days before the attack were screaming not to 
let the USS Cole come into the harbor at Yemen because they knew 
something was about to happen.
  Mr. Speaker, bad news never comes easy; but in a democracy, the bad 
news has to come out so we can make sure it does not happen again.
  Mr. Speaker, this whole thing started, not to embarrass anyone, this 
whole thing started because none of us knew that Mohammed Atta was 
identified before 9/11. It started because this Congress, this body in 
particular, tried to establish what is now in place back in 1999, a 
national collaborative center, but the CIA said we did not need it. The 
American people deserve to have the answers here. They deserve to know 
why 3,000 people died. They deserve to know what we could have done and 
should have done to better prepare ourselves and to work to prepare for 
the next incident. The American people need to know where those 
multiple terabytes of data is. Is it still being used? We know in 
January of 2001, General Shelton was given a 3-hour briefing on Able 
Danger. So even if they destroyed the data back in the summer of 2000, 
in January of 2001 there was enough material to give General Shelton, 
Commander of the Joint Chiefs, a 3-hour briefing.

  Mr. Speaker, there is something here. I am not a conspiracy theorist, 
but there is something desperately wrong, Mr. Speaker. There is 
something outrageous at work here. This is not a third-rate burglary of 
a political campaign headquarters. This involved what is right now the 
covering up of information that led to the deaths of 3,000 people, 
changed the course of history, led to the invasion of Iraq and 
Afghanistan, and has disrupted our country, our economy and people's 
  Mr. Speaker, we could ignore this. I cannot. If it means I have to 
resign from this body, I will resign. I will not allow, after 19 years 
in this body and as a vice chairman of the Committee on Armed Services, 
bureaucrats in the Defense Intelligence Agency to concoct stories, to 
talk about the theft of pens when this lieutenant colonel was 15 years 
old, to talk about this man's personal debt of $2,000. I would hate to 
check the indebtedness of Members of Congress. I know mine is more than 
  Mr. Speaker, this is not America. I had a group of college students 
down from Drexel University. There were about 20 of them, including 
representative students from eight other nations. We talked about this. 
Of course we have talked about all of the problem countries in the 
world. We talk about our values as a Nation, the need for a democracy 
to have people involved, to have transparency, to have people who 
respect the rule of law and the Constitution.
  How do I tell them that is what is working here, Mr. Speaker, when 
the Pentagon says that these people who simply want to tell the truth 
are not allowed? They are saying it is for classified purposes, yet the 
DOD lawyer on the Senate side there is nothing classified about any of 
the information. It is not about classified programs. I would be the 
last to want to see anything classified revealed. I have seen many, 
many instances where I have been given sensitive information that only 
a few people in the Congress and the country had. I would never reveal 
it. It is not about that. This is not about the DIA, this is not about 
the CIA, this is about CYA. It is about CYA by bureaucrats in the 
Defense Intelligence Agency and possibly some political operatives that 
do not want the facts to come out about Able Danger and the information 
that the Able Danger team put together. And in the process, they are 
going to destroy a man, a man who has been recognized by his country, 
who has a family, and who simply wants to do the right thing.
  Mr. Speaker, I hated to take the floor tonight, but I did not know 
what else to do. We have committees of Congress working on this. I want 
to thank the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Wolf), chairman of the FBI 
Appropriation Committee on Oversight. He is as outraged as I am. I want 
to thank the gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. Sensenbrenner), who is 
looking at this, and the gentleman from California (Chairman Hunter). 
The Committee on Armed Services has a full-time staffer assigned to get 
to the facts of this. I want to thank the gentleman from New York (Mr. 
King), chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, because he is 
looking at this. I want to thank the gentleman from Michigan (Chairman 
Hoekstra) and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. He has 
met with Tony Shaffer and has offered to get more information. I want 
to thank my colleagues on the other side of the aisle for standing up 
and beginning to ask questions, and I want to thank Senator Specter and 
Senator Biden, who attended a Committee on the Judiciary hearing and 
expressed their outrage. I want to thank Senator Sessions, Senator Kyl, 
and Senator Grassley, who were all there. In fact, Senator Grassley 
called it a coverup.
  Mr. Speaker, I cannot tell you the number of Members who have come to 
me and said this is unacceptable. I would hope that as a result of what 
we have heard tonight every Member of Congress will ask for an inquiry. 
The gentlewoman from Georgia (Ms. McKinney) wrote a letter to the 
chairman of the Committee on Armed Services asking for an 
investigation. We have from Republicans to Democrats, left to right, 
conservatives to liberals. What is happening here is unacceptable. It 
is unimaginable. It is un-American. All over the world tonight, young 
Americans are wearing our uniforms. They are doing a great job. They 
make us all proud when we travel overseas. They make us proud because 
of the pride they have. When I talk to them, they say I am glad to be 
doing what I am doing. I am doing the right thing for our country. I 
will go any place the Commander in Chief sends me. Whether I am in 
Afghanistan or Iraq, they will tell me that.

                              {time}  2100

  Whether we are in Kosovo or Somalia, they will tell us that. Whether 
we are at Hurricane Katrina, whether we are at Hurricane Andrew, or 
whether we are out in California, the earthquake, or the Midwestern 
floods, our troops are all the same. They respect our country. They 
respect our Constitution. If we allow this travesty to continue, Mr. 
Speaker, then we have let all of those people down for some nameless, 
faceless bureaucrat who is fearful that the information will finally 
come to light, that the DIA just did not get it.
  Back in 1999 and 2000, they did not have a clue. They had millions of 
dollars, hundreds of millions of dollars, and could not do what a 20-
member team did in being able to identify Mohammed Atta before the 9/11 
attacks. DIA does not want that to come out, Mr. Speaker. They do not 
want that to come out. Heaven forbid the Defense Intelligence Agency, 
with hundreds of millions of dollars, would have a 20-member team do 
what they could not

[[Page H8983]]

do because they were using new technology and new software. They do not 
want that to come out. That is why that Deputy Director, when he was at 
that meeting, said, I do not want to see this. Do not show it to me. 
And that is why today that Deputy Director is trying to ruin the career 
of Lieutenant Colonel Shaffer.
  The only way to resolve this, Mr. Speaker, is to have a full 
independent investigation by the Inspector General of the Pentagon. I 
have asked Secretary Rumsfeld today to do that. I would ask my 
colleagues on both sides of the aisle to join me in that request. Let 
the independent inspector for the Pentagon go in, not DIA. DIA cannot 
investigate itself. It does not have the capability to do that. It does 
not have the integrity to do that. Let the Inspector General do the 
investigation and while that is being done, protect Lieutenant Colonel 
Shaffer. He does not deserve to have his career ruined or destroyed for 
telling the truth.
  And while we are at it, Mr. Speaker, if DIA is going to continue to 
press this ridiculous set of facts, then as I said earlier, I want DIA 
prosecuted for the five felonies they committed in sending classified 
documents to a person that 2 weeks earlier they said was incapable of 
receiving classified information. And if this continues, I want DIA 
held responsible for illegally transferring $500 of public assets to a 
person, that in the process of sending that stuff to him, DIA committed 
fraud against the taxpayers. I want them held accountable: DIA's 
stupidity; DIA's incompetence.
  We have a new nominee for the head of DIA, and I am going to ask 
every Senator to fully explore each of these issues before that person 
is confirmed. I will meet with every Senator personally and go over all 
of this information. And I would encourage the Senators and the House 
Members to interview the other people who worked with Lieutenant 
Colonel Shaffer and to get their assessments of what is going on there. 
They will all tell them the same thing: Shaffer is being abused and 
used as a scapegoat. If they can ruin Shaffer, they can silence the 
  It cannot happen, Mr. Speaker. We cannot let it. That is not what 
America is about. That is not what we say to our enlisted personnel 
when they sign up for duty. That is not what we say when we pass our 
defense bills every year.
  This man is being maligned and mistreated. He is being harassed. The 
most scurrilous accusations, totally unfounded, have been given to the 
American media; and I will name names, and I will ask for an 
investigation of the people who made those statements to these media 
people because it all needs to be put on the record.
  And as someone tomorrow who will chair another hearing on our defense 
oversight to try to get the best value for the dollars for our 
military, I ask all of our colleagues, Mr. Speaker, on both sides of 
the aisle to join us. This is not Republicans or Democrats. It is about 
what is fundamental to this country. I would ask our constituents 
across America we represent to join us, to express their outrage, to e-
mail, make phone calls, write letters to the Secretary of Defense, the 
President of the United States, to Members of Congress to simply let 
the story be told. Let the Able Danger story finally come out to the 
American people. Let them understand what really happened. Let Scott 
Philpott talk. Let Tony Shaffer talk. Let the others who have been 
silenced have a chance to tell their story to Congress and openly to 
the American people. In the end, the country will be stronger.