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November 3, 2005
Shaffer Loses His Appeals

Earlier today, I received a message from Mark Zaid, attorney for Able Danger whistleblower Lt. Colonel Anthony Shaffer. The Defense Intelligence Agency has decided to proceed in revoking Col. Shaffer's clearance, a necessary component for his civilian job at the agency, and will likely terminate his employment. Zaid says:

Ed, in record breaking speed that to me clearly denotes selective retaliatory attention, the DIA's SAB has affirmed the revocation of Tony's security clearance. Unfortunately DIA has seen fit to completely disregard our submissions, and Cong Weldon and Hunters' formal requests to refrain from acting against Tony. This was the final stage of the process. There are no more administrative appeals left with respect to the clearance. A response to the indefinite suspension will be filed tomorrow. I expect that Tony will receive a notice of termination also in record breaking speed. That will take effect no sooner than thirty days from when received.

Since the Judiciary Committee has decided to schedule the Alito hearings in January, that gives them some free time between now and the end of their work sessions to haul the DIA in front of them and demand some answers. Given the old and picayune nature of the infractions that the DIA has used to challenge Shaffer's security clearance, their haste in closing this case strongly suggests that Zaid has it pegged; this termination surely comes as a vindictive ploy to warn other potential Able Danger witnesses not to cooperate with Congress.

That sounds like a terrible message to allow to pass unnoticed by the American public. While we understand the need for secrecy in dealing with some issues about the war on terror, we need to know that we have all the effective assets of intelligence work on line and functioning properly. We need to know exactly what Able Danger found, and what information got passed along and which got blocked by the DIA and Pentagon lawyers. Mostly, though, when the people's representatives demand that a government agency opens its books, it damned well better cooperate.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at November 3, 2005 10:11 PM

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» Warning to Whistle Blowers to Just Shut Up from Tapscott's Copy Desk
Ed Morrissey has been talking with Shaffer's attorney, Mark Zaid, and has some ideas about what the Senate Judiciary Committee might do between now and its January hearings on the nomination of Judge Samuel Alito for the U.S. Supreme Court: [Read More]

Tracked on November 4, 2005 8:13 AM

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