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October 09, 2005

Well, that sure beats stealing pens

I just read Maloof's piece again, but I still don't see him say that he knew anything about Able Danger or it's use of LIWA during the time he was apparently using it for the Chinese proliferation work. Was he involved in or aware of Able Danger? If so, why didn't he ask his good friends Perle, Feith, or Cambone not to let it die on the vine in early 2001? Instead, he only talks about April 2000, not what happened at LIWA during the following eighteen months.

From the New York Times on April 28, 2004:

An appeals board reinstated his clearances after Mr. Feith and Mr. Perle wrote letters to the D.I.A. But the intervention angered some intelligence officials, and a second panel reversed course in April 2003. Mr. Maloof is now on paid leave.

Boy, I bet Shaffer would appreciate one of those letters about now.

Before people draw too many parallels between Shaffer and Maloof, can we all agree that secret dealings with a Lebanese gun runner are a lot more serious than stealing pens when you were fifteen or sixteen?

Another Near East policy official, F. Michael Maloof, was stripped of
his security clearance a year ago after the FBI linked him to a
Lebanese-American businessman under investigation by the FBI for
weapons trafficking. A handgun registered to Maloof was found in the
possession of Imad el Hage, a suspected arms dealer.

Investigators are seeking to learn whether Maloof's alleged contacts
with Hage and a hard-line former Lebanese general, Michel Aoun, may have been part of a back-channel effort to destabilize Syria, which has occupied Lebanon for nearly two decades.

"People are concerned about covert action being conducted by a policy office with no legal mandate to do so," said one Democratic official involved in the Judiciary Committee inquiry. "If the Senate and House intelligence committees in their review only look at the Chalabi relationship but don't look at the office's role in what was in effect covert action to explore regime change in the entire arc of the Middle East, then their inquiry will be a joke."

The official said he is trying to determine if some of the office's
activities may have been prohibited by the Hughes-Ryan Amendment, which holds that all activity to undermine a foreign government must be approved by the president in a specific document approving such activity.

Posted by Mike at October 9, 2005 05:07 PM

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Tracked on October 9, 2005 06:44 PM


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