Campaign 2010

Jun 28, 2006

Where’s Weldon?

DCCC Press

Jun 28, 2006

Where’s Weldon?

Curt Weldon Wanted to go to Iraq to Try and Find WMDs by Himself, Fortunately That Trip was Cancelled

(Washington, D.C.) – News reports today indicate that Curt Weldon wanted to form a secret, politically motivated expedition to Iraq in order to find the elusive Weapons of Mass Destruction that a joint, U.S.-led multinational commission on intelligence proved not to exist. Unfortunately for Weldon, this trip, which was due to take place over Memorial Day weekend, was ultimately nixed by the person Weldon wanted to help lead the expedition. Weldon is one of only a handful of people who still think that these weapons exist, and a congressional expedition to Iraq not only endangers troops he would want to involve, it is also a waste of taxpayer dollars.

“With Curt Weldon, WMD stands for Weldon’s Mission of Desperation,” said Bill Burton, communications director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “Even though Pennsylvania families would love to get Curt Weldon out of the country, his fool’s errand to Iraq is nothing more than a distraction from efforts to fully equip our troops and help them defeat the insurgents so they can come home safely. Come November, Pennsylvanians are going to reject Weldon’s bottomless supply of bad ideas and vote for a new direction.”

Curt Weldon and His Theories of Doom

Weldon Appointed Doobie Brothers Guitarist to Head Advisory Committee on Missile Defense. In 1996, Weldon appointed Jeff Baxter, best-known for his guitar work with the The Doobie Brothers and Steely Dan, to chair and put together the Citizens Advisory Panel on Missile Defense to advise Weldon and other lawmakers. “Most of Hollywood is from the liberal, 'let's hug the tree and be warm and fuzzy and sing Kumbaya,' bent,” Weldon said. “You put Jeff Baxter up against them, and he cleans their clocks because he actually knows the facts and details.” [Washington Post, 3/11/96; Charleston Gazette, 5/29/05]

  • Baxter Lied About His Credentials. According to the Los Angeles Times, “Baxter’s advisory work for Rep. Curt Weldon (R-Pa.) on the [missile defense] landed both men in hot water three years ago when it was revealed that Baxter--who claimed on his resume that he had served in a similar role for NASA and Livermore Labs--acknowledged those credentials were trumped up. Baxter, a college dropout, later dismissed the criticism, saying that he had provided some informal advice to both agencies. ‘If you jam with the Eagles,’ he told Defense Week, ". . . Rolling Stone would say, ‘He plays with the Eagles.’” [Los Angeles Times, 5/19/99]

Weldon Claimed that Osama Bin Laden Had Died in Iran. In March 2006, Weldon claimed that an informant, an Iranian exile named “Ali,” had told him that Osama bin Laden had died in Iran. A few weeks later, a tape surfaced of Bin Laden, which a US intelligence agency authenticated. A Weldon staffer said that terrorists “could be putting out disinformation in the form of the recent tape. You can make a case either way.” The staffer said that Ali has been a reliable source. He said, “If he is wrong about this bin Laden thing, it's the first time he has been wrong about a major issue.” After the tape aired, Weldon said, “"He (bin Laden) might very well be alive. Ali may have been set up.” [Pittsburgh Tribune Review, 4/30/06]

  • Veteran CIA Agent Said Ali Was Unreliable. A veteran CIA agent said that “Ali” did not give “credible” information after meeting with “Ali” four times. Bill Murray, who worked for the CIA for 35 years, served as the CIA’s station chief in Paris and also served in Iran in the 1970’s. Murray said that “Ali” never gave good information: “He’s never given us any information that was the slightest bit credible. This guy was a waste of my time and resources.” [New York Times, 6/9/05]

Weldon Claimed that a Secret Military Intelligence Program Called Able Danger Identified 9/11 Plot Leader as a Terror Suspect a Year Before the Attacks Occurred. Weldon condemned the Pentagon and 9/11 investigators for dismissing assertions by former military officers that a secret “data mining” project called Able Danger had identified 9/11 plot leader Mohamed Atta as a terror suspect a year before the attacks occurred. On the house floor in 2005, Weldon said, “What we have here, I am convinced of this now, is an aggressive attempt by CIA management to cover up their own shortcomings in not being able to do what the Able Danger team did: They identified Mohammed Atta and the al Qaeda cell of Brooklyn 1 year before 9/11. But even before that, as the story unfolds, you are going to hear the story that they also identified the threat to the USS Cole 2 weeks before the attack, and 2 days before the attack were screaming not to let the USS Cole come into the harbor at Yemen because they knew something was about to happen.” [Congressional Record p.H8981, 10/10/05; Philadelphia Inquirer, 3/15/06]

Senior Bush Administration Officials & Several Government Investigations All Contradict Weldon’s Claims. According to a Philadelphia Inquirer entitled “Weldon 9/11 Tale Unravels, But Wait…”: “Key players in the story, including [Bush National Security Advisor] Hadley, contradict Weldon, saying they never saw Atta's picture. Moreover, several government investigations have failed to find any documentation so far that the program had identified hijackers before the attacks, and Weldon has begun to allow that there are parts of his story that may not be proven.” Furthermore, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported, “Other senior government officials and key players in the 9/11 aftermath also have raised questions about Weldon's account. A source familiar with a Senate Intelligence Committee probe of the issue said that committee had turned up no documentation to support Weldon's story. [Philadelphia Inquirer, 3/15/06]

Weldon Claimed to Have Alerted National Security Advisor, Now Says He’s Not Sure. In 2005, Weldon claimed that within days of the 9/11 attacks, he gave a pre-9/11 chart from Able Danger with Atta's name on it to Stephen Hadley, then deputy national security adviser, to show how the government dropped the ball. In 2006, Weldon said that he's not sure the chart had a picture of Atta, as he has sometimes maintained, and that he has been relying on the memory of an intelligence analyst who helped produce it. [Philadelphia Inquirer, 3/15/06]

Weldon Claimed Not to Be a “Conspiracy Theorist,” Said Able Danger Worse than Watergate. In a speech on the House floor in August 2005, Weldon said the Able Danger saga is more important than the Watergate scandal that brought down President Richard Nixon. ”I am not a conspiracy theorist, but there is something desperately wrong…There is something outrageous at work here. This is not a third-rate burglary of a political campaign headquarters. This involved what is right now the covering-up of information that led to the deaths of 3,000 people, changed the course of history, led to the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, and has disrupted our country, our economy and people's lives.” [CQ Today, 9/20/05]