View Full Version : Pentagon Firing Lt. Col Anthony Shaffer, Ending His Military Career

11-14-2005, 02:07 PM
Pentagon Firing Link To Able Danger


(Gold9472: For telling the truth?)

By RICHARD LARDNER rlardner@tampatrib.com
Published: Nov 10, 2005

The Army Reserve officer who went public with details about a secret military unit called Able Danger is being fired from his post at the Defense Intelligence Agency, a move that also could end his military career.

Attorney Mark Zaid, representing Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer, was informed last week that the agency rejected an Oct. 19 appeal of its decision to revoke his client's top-secret security clearance.

The rejection came nearly two years after Shaffer said he first told the Sept. 11 commission that Able Danger identified four of the Sept. 11 hijackers, including ringleader Mohamed Atta, as terrorists more than a year before the attacks.

Zaid said he cannot prove the action was based on Shaffer's conversations with the commission, but he said the speed of the agency's decision "denotes selective attention."

Without the clearance, Shaffer cannot perform his duties as a senior intelligence officer.

"I expect that Tony will receive a notice of termination also in record-breaking speed," Zaid said in an e-mail.

Shaffer, a 43-year-old native of Kansas City, Mo., began speaking to the media in August after the Sept. 11 commission said Atta had not been identified before the attacks. He has been on paid administrative leave since March 2004, when the Defense Intelligence Agency began looking into allegations he had broken rules.

The allegations against Shaffer ranged from making false statements and circumventing his chain of command to obtaining a medal under false pretenses.

An agency spokesman declined to comment on Shaffer's status, citing privacy concerns.

On Tuesday, Shaffer called the allegations "bogus," noting that the Army promoted him to lieutenant colonel in October 2004.

That promotion would not have occurred, he said, if the Army had concerns with his job performance or personal integrity.

But now, due to the finality of the agency's action, the Army might have little choice but to follow suit, thereby undercutting his uniformed career, Shaffer said.

Shaffer, however, is not without supporters in high places.

U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., and chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, last month asked Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to put any further action against Shaffer on hold until the Pentagon inspector general could review the agency's handling of the case.

Two of Shaffer's former supervisors have backed Shaffer. In separate statements, retired Army Maj. Gen. Robert Harding and retired Army Col. Gerry York called Shaffer a model employee and an "outstanding" officer.

Figure Exposed
Ever wonder how much the United States spends every year on intelligence operations?

It's a closely guarded secret, but at a recent conference in San Antonio, a senior government employee told the audience the figure was $44 billion.

The comments made by Mary Margaret Graham, deputy director of national intelligence for collection, were first reported by U.S. News & World Report, which had sent a correspondent to cover the conference.

Details about intelligence spending are classified. Intelligence officials have argued that releasing the figures could damage national security.

But Steve Aftergood, a research analyst at the Federation of American Scientists in Washington, has said there is no harm in disclosing the aggregate amount.

"Anyone who pretends that national security is jeopardized by the release of this figure is a fool," Aftergood said.

Send military news to Richard Lardner, military affairs reporter, The Tampa Tribune, 200 S. Parker St., Tampa FL 33606; e-mail rlardner

06-12-2007, 08:14 PM