View Full Version : Specter: Pentagon Drops Hearing Objection

09-23-2005, 08:01 PM
Specter: Pentagon Drops Hearing Objection


1 hour, 32 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - A Senate committee said Friday that the Pentagon has dropped its refusal to let five people with knowledge of a highly classified intelligence program testify about it publicly, but a Pentagon spokesman said it remained opposed to such testimony in an open hearing.

In a news release, Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said the five will testify at an open hearing Oct. 5.

Asked about Specter's announcement, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said, "Our position with respect to this has not changed. Our concerns have not changed." He said the Pentagon has not agreed to permit the five to testify in public.

Whitman said the Pentagon has provided a great deal of information about the program, called "Able Danger," to the Intelligence and Armed Services committees, and will continue to do so.

Spokesmen for Specter and for the Judiciary Committee did not immediately return calls seeking comment on Whitman's remarks.

The five people Specter wants to testify in public have said they recall an intelligence chart that identified Sept. 11 leader Mohamed Atta as a terrorist inside the United States one year before the attacks on New York and Washington. But Pentagon officials who have investigated the matter say they have been unable to find the chart or evidence that it ever existed.

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Wednesday, after Specter's committee held a hearing on the matter, that the Pentagon had offered to provide witnesses for a closed hearing but that the committee insisted it be open.

"Therefore the department declined to participate in an opening hearing on a classified matter," Rumsfeld told reporters. "We have to obey the laws with respect to security classifications."

09-23-2005, 08:17 PM
The way I read this, Specter made a false statement?