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Pentagon blocks Able Danger testimony to Judiciary Committee

[JURIST] The US Defense Department [official website] said Tuesday that it has banned military officers and intelligence analysts from testifying on "Able Danger" [Wikipedia profile; JURIST report], the highly classified US Army intelligence program alleged to have identified Mohammed Atta [Wikipedia profile] and three other 9/11 hijackers as suspected al-Qaeda terrorists prior to the 9/11 attacks [JURIST news archive]. The personnel were scheduled to testify at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing [witness list] Wednesday. This news follows a report that an unnamed Pentagon employee had been ordered to destroy Able Danger documents [JURIST report] prior to the hearing. A Defense Department spokesperson said that it is not possible to discuss Able Danger in an open public forum. Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter (R-PA) expressed surprise at the decision and said that the American people had a right to know about the program's findings, thought to have been ignored by the 9/11 Commission [official website]. The Defense Intelligence Agency's liason officer to Able Danger, Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, said that he was told that the hearing would be classified [NewsMax report]. The New York Times has more. A live webcast of the committee hearing is available beginning Wednesday at 9:30 AM ET.

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