"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please." (Mark Twain)
Friday, September 30, 2005
I haven't really gotten a handle on the "Able Danger" story, probably because it all feels like a cut-rate conspiracy theory to me. Still, it's clear that the Pentagon is afraid of something, or they wouldn't be working so hard to apply the brakes. Today, I read this (emphasis supplied):
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, charges 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 paperwork from the Pentagon's Defense Intelligence Agency shown by his attorney to The Associated Press....
The military revoked Shaffer's top security clearance this month, a day before he was supposed to testify to a congressional committee.
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."
Stealing pens?!? It's come to this? They're revoking this guy's security clearance for stealing pens from the office? Sheesh - imagine what kind of trouble he'd be in if he'd taken the White-Out!
Now, I will grant that these are Pentagon pens, so they're probably worth about $43 each (does anyone out there know if there's a published MILSPEC for retractable Bics?). And sure, if senior officers start taking home office supplies willy-nilly, why, the terrorists will already have won, but sweet Baby Jeebus in a Hummer, they were pens!!!
It's like they're not even trying any more.