Posted By Jon Gold
In a recent interview on Lou Dobbs Tonight, Representative Curt Weldon made the following statement:
“We’ve received assurances that the hearings will go forward.
But the other thing that we have to look at, Lou, and you have had another guest on your show recently, why did the 9/11 Commission pick 1996 and not go back beyond that? There is some very interesting material that needs to be tied in. The ’93 attack on the Trade Center. The blind Sheik’s trial. None of that was looked at by the 9/11 Commission, and the American people need to ask the question why.
We will be asking that question during the Able Danger hearings.”
It will be interesting to see what information Rep. Weldon is referring to. Given the fact that there are many similarities between the ’93 bombing and 9/11, one can only hope he is referring to the truth in its entirety.
In October 1993, in an article entitled, “Tapes Depict Proposal to Thwart Bomb Used in Trade Center Blast” the New York Times reported that, “Law-enforcement officials were told that terrorists were building a bomb that was eventually used to blow up the World Trade Center, and they planned to thwart the plotters by secretly substituting harmless powder for the explosives, an informer said after the blast.”
“The informer was to have helped the plotters build the bomb and supply the fake powder, but the plan was called off by an FBI supervisor who had other ideas about how the informer, Emad Salem, should be used, the informer said.”
As you can see, a lot was known about the bombing, and yet, it still took place. As a matter of fact, the FBI apparently had the opportunity to thwart the bombing, and they decided against it.
In relationship to Able Danger, and 9/11, if the accounts of Lt. Colonel Anthony Shaffer are accurate, not only could the government have stopped 9/11, but much like the ’93 bombing, they made a conscious decision not to. By not allowing the information Able Danger obtained to be shared with authorities, the Pentagon lawyers may have secured Mohammad Atta’s, and three of the other alleged hijackers’ roles in 9/11.
Hopefully, if the information Rep. Weldon has discredits the 9/11 Commission’s findings, the American people will finally start to wake up to the fact that 9/11 has never been thoroughly investigated, and begin to demand answers.
Weldon To Get His Chance To Prove 9/11 Accusations
By William Bender
Source: Delco Times
Many of the questions surrounding the Able Danger intelligence program — and the 9/11 Commission’s decision not to include the program’s purported findings in its final report — could be answered during congressional hearings as early as next month, according to U.S. Rep. Curt Weldon. The Pentagon had previously blocked open hearings on the grounds that the program was classified.
“To have the Defense Department reverse itself and say they will allow these hearings to be held in an open forum is an historic win that all the members (of Congress) are talking about,” Weldon, R-7, of Thornbury, said Wednesday.
Participants in the defunct data-mining operation claim it had identified Sept. 11 hijacker Mohamed Atta in early 2000, but that the information was not relayed to the FBI because of legal constraints on the dissemination of domestic intelligence.
Weldon has accused the 9/11 Commission of failing to fully investigate the program and deliberately excluding it from its July 2004 final report, a charge the former commissioners deny.
Last month, 246 members of the House of Representatives signed a letter asking Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to allow Able Danger participants to testify in open congressional hearings. Acting Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England responded Tuesday in a letter to Weldon.
“If a request by a committee of jurisdiction is received, the department is prepared to fully participate in either open or closed hearings on this matter, consistent with the need to protect national security information,” England wrote.
A Pentagon spokesman did not respond Wednesday to a request for comment on what triggered the change of policy.
Weldon, vice chairman of the House Armed Services and Homeland Security committees, believes the Able Danger information could have prevented the Sept. 11 attacks and the bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen.
The congressional hearings will likely include testimony from Army Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer and Navy Capt. Scott Phillpott, two Able Danger participants who went public with some of their findings earlier this year. The Defense Department blocked Shaffer and Phillpott from testifying in September before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“This is just going to open the door,” Weldon said after receiving England’s letter. “Everyone wants to have a hearing now — and they should. We’re now going to have to do the job the 9/11 Commission was supposed to do.” (emphasis added)
Weldon has singled out former 9/11 Commissioner Jamie Gorelick and commission staff member Dieter Snell as the main players behind the commission’s decision not to include Able Danger in its final report. When the national news media picked up on the story this summer, Weldon’s chief of staff, Russ Caso, received an unsolicited phone call from Gorelick in which she stated, “I did nothing wrong.”
“This is a scandal, I think, bigger than Watergate,” Weldon said last month.
Snell, a New York deputy attorney general, did not immediately respond to a phone call left at his office Wednesday. Gorelick referred questions to former 9/11 Commission spokesman Al Felzenberg, who denied Weldon’s allegation that the commission ignored Able Danger.
“There was no attempt to keep anything from the public or keep anything from the report,” Felzenberg said, adding that the commission investigated Able Danger and found no evidence that it had identified any of the Sept. 11 hijackers.
“It was a thorough investigation,” Felzenberg said. “They ran down every source.”
Dismissing that statement as “absolutely, totally a lie,” Weldon said he expects Able Danger hearings to begin as early as next month.
“It’s a story that needed to be told,” Weldon said. “And now it’s going to be told.”
“We welcome the hearings,” Felzenberg responded.