Friday, March 10, 2006

The Perils We Face

Congressman Curt Weldon,(R-PA), recently gave a speech on some of the perils we now face and how these perils came to be. It is rather lengthy, but well worth yout time to read. I will post a few excerpts here.
"I think of Dr. Gordon Oehler. Buried in the bowels of the CIA, Dr. Gordon Oehler was in charge of non-proliferation. When Benjamin Netanyahu came out in 1997, Dr. Oehler told us that Israel had evidence that Russia was working with Iran on the Shahab missile system. He came over to brief Congress and made a fundamental mistake that you didn’t make during the Clinton years: he told us the truth. He said, “We have the same information that Israel has: that in fact there is cooperation between Russian engineers to allow Iran to build a missile system that will one day threaten Israel directly and will eventually threaten all of Europe and the U.S.”

Because of Gordon Oehler’s work, we introduced the Iran Missile Sanctions bill. I was a prime sponsor and had bipartisan support. In spite of Al Gore personally lobbying against the bill, we passed it in the House with 398 votes. I got called back down to the White House a second time. The vice president lobbied us for another 90 minutes, before the Senate voted and passed it with 98 votes. That was four months before Clinton vetoed the bill.

As you all know, last summer, Iran paraded the Shahab-3 missile system down the streets of Tehran. It’s now complete. In 1997, we could have stopped it. Gordon Oehler was that patriot who told us the truth, and for that, he lost his job."
Then there is this on Able Danger.
"When the data-mining operation was shut down, General Lambert was in charge of the Special Forces operation, and he saw one of the military analysts in an airport a month or so later and said, “Why did you destroy my data? That data was being used to understand where al-Qaeda cells were worldwide.” Eric Kleinsmith, who has testified before my committee that he was ordered to destroy that data, said, “General, I had no choice. I was told that data had to be destroyed.” The Clinton administration didn’t want that data kept at Fort Belvoir because of the Chinese proliferation study that had been done in the months leading up to that revelation.

Unbeknownst to me, that team, known as Able Danger, was doing unbelievable work on al-Qaeda cells in 1999 and 2000. Now, I knew the operation of data mining, but I didn’t know the specifics of what they were doing until last May, when I went to publish my book, Countdown to Terror, and I called them back in to give me a chart they had given me after 9/11 occurred. They said, “Congressman, let us tell you what we were doing in Able Danger.”

Now, these weren’t people off the street. These are career military intelligence officers:

* Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Schaffer, a 23-year Army veteran, bronze star recipient; letters of commendation in his file from every DIA director; deployed in Afghanistan with our troops under cover under an assumed name as an intelligence officer.
* Scott Philpot, Navy Captain, commanding one of our newest destroyers next month. An able intelligence officer working as the point person for the head of SOCOM.
* General Schoomaker, leading Able Danger.

The two of them – Schaffer and Philpot, came to me privately and said, “Congressman, our unit identified five cells of al-Qaeda a year and a half before 9/11.”"
All and all a must read! - Sailor

Rep. Curt Weldon, R-PA, delivered the following speech at Restoration Weekend, which took place at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix February 23-26, 2006

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