Fw: 'Able Danger' Officer's Clearance Revoked
- Fw: 'Able Danger' Officer's Clearance Revoked
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'Able Danger' Officer's Clearance Revoked
Sep 30, 4:13 AM (ET)
By KIMBERLY HEFLING
>(AP) Former Army Maj. Erik Kleinsmith testifies he was ordered to
destroy documents relating "Able...
Bankruptcy Information - Answers to all your bankruptcy questions plus
WASHINGTON (AP) - An officer who has claimed that a classified military
unit identified four Sept. 11 hijackers before the 2001 attacks is
facing Pentagon accusations of breaking numerous rules, allegations his
lawyer suggests are aimed at undermining his credibility.
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.
Shaffer was one of the first to publicly link Sept. 11 leader Mohamed
Atta to the unit code-named Able Danger. Shaffer was one of five
witnesses the Pentagon ordered not to appear Sept. 21 before the Senate
Judiciary Committee to discuss the unit's findings.
The military revoked Shaffer's top security clearance this month, a day
before he was supposed to testify to a congressional committee.
(AP) Representative Curt Weldon, R-Pa., testifies on "Able Danger"
intelligence sharing prior to the...
050921121025.html?date=20050930&docid=D8CUF7H80> Full Image
Mark Zaid, Shaffer's attorney, said the Pentagon started looking into
Shaffer's security clearance about the time in 2003 he met in
Afghanistan with staff members of the bipartisan commission that studied
the Sept. 11 attacks and told them about Able Danger.
Zaid said he can't prove the Pentagon went after Shaffer because he's a
whistleblower, but "all the timing associated with the clearance issue
has been suspiciously coincidental."
Citing concerns with the privacy act, Cmdr. Terry Sutherland, a Defense
Intelligence Agency spokesman, declined to release any information on
Shaffer says he received a Bronze Star medal for work on a classified
operation in Afghanistan in 2003. According to papers provided by Zaid,
the military is now questioning whether he deserved it, including
challenging whether at least one person who backed Shaffer's nomination
for the medal had firsthand knowledge of his actions.
Shaffer says he showed his government credentials during two incidents
in 1990, when he was drunk, and 1996, when he was pulled over by police.
The military says he misused his credentials, but Shaffer says he was
not told he should not have used them. He also said he has joined
Alcoholics Anonymous and has been sober for 13 years.
(AP) James Smith, left, and Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer listen during a
Senate Judiciary Committee hearing...
050921120932.html?date=20050930&docid=D8CUF7H80> Full Image
As for the pens and other office supplies taken, he blamed that on
"youthful indiscretions" more than 20 years ago.
According to the paperwork, the alleged infractions against Shaffer also
- 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
- Showing irresponsibility with $2,012 in credit card debt. He said he
paid off the debt.
Shaffer, now a member of the Army Reserves, has been on administrative
leave since March 2004. During the same time, he was promoted to
lieutenant colonel on Oct. 1, 2004.
Shaffer has said he tried three times to meet with the FBI to convey the
Able Danger unit's findings before Sept. 11, but was ordered not to by
Shaffer's assertions on Able Danger have been supported by Rep. Curt
Weldon, R-Pa. If correct, they would change the timeline as to when
authorities first learned of some of the Sept. 11 hijackers.
The Sept. 11 commission has dismissed the claims. The Pentagon has
acknowledged some employees recall seeing an intelligence chart
identifying Atta as a terrorist before the attacks, but said none have
been able to find a copy of it.
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