Anthony Shaffer (intelligence officer)
Anthony Shaffer (born 1962) is a retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel who gained fame for his claims about mishandled intelligence before the September 11 attacks and for the censoring of his book, Operation Dark Heart.
Shaffer enlisted in the Ohio Army National Guard in 1980 and graduated from Officer Candidate School in 1982. He received his B.A. in political science and environmental studies from Wright State University in 1986 and was a member of the WSU national championship Mock Trial team that defeated Northwestern University in front of the Iowa Supreme Court that same year.
9/11 hijacker claims
After coming under investigation over an alleged pattern of misconduct while deployed as a staff officer in Afghanistan, Shaffer responded by alleging that the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) failed to properly evaluate intelligence on 9/11 hijacker Mohamed Atta. Shaffer's allegations subsequently became known as the Able Danger controversy. In October 2003, according to his later statement to Congress, Shaffer told the 9/11 Commission staff director, Dr. Philip D. Zelikow, that in 2000 a DIA data-mining program known as Able Danger had uncovered two of the three terrorist cells eventually implicated in the September 11 attacks. Shaffer reportedly told Zelikow that DIA leadership declined to share this information with the FBI because military lawyers expressed concerns about the legality of doing so. Shaffer also asserted that he briefed Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet on three separate occasions regarding his unit's activities. The 9/11 Commission Report did not mention Shaffer's allegations, but in 2005 and 2006 the Chairman of the House Select Intelligence Committee, Rep. Curt Weldon, publicized Shaffer's allegations in public statements and hearings.
Shaffer published memoirs of his time in Afghanistan in book titled Operation Dark Heart. The Defense Department attempted to preserve secrecy of revelations made by the book, by buying up and destroying all 10,000 copies of the book's first, uncensored run, before allowing for the release of a second, censored printing. However, several uncensored pre-release copies were distributed, allowing a person in possession of an earlier copy to compare it to the redacted version to glean what the government considers unfit for public consumption.
Shaffer has conducted multiple courses of instruction in his capacity as a Senior Fellow at the Center for Advanced Defense Studies, including the Psychology of Terrorism, Leadership and Effects-Based Operations, and has been a frequent guest lecturer and exercise participant at the US Army War College (USAWC) Center for Strategic Leadership and Development (CSLD). He is a frequent guest on national electronic media (TV and radio) and is frequently quoted in print media as an analyst on defense issues. He is also a nationally known Subject Matter Expert (SME) on intelligence collection and policy, terrorism, data mining, situational awareness and adaptive/disruptive technologies.
Shaffer recently retired from the U.S. Army Reserve, in which his last position he served in a training division as its Reserve G6 Assistant Chief of Staff, Communications and Technology. He is also a senior advisor to multiple organizations on terrorism and counterinsurgency issues and a member of the U.S. Nuclear Strategy Forum.
Shaffer was appointed in the summer of 2013 as a Senior Fellow to the London Center for Policy Research, www.londoncenter.org.
With William H. Keith, he has written a novel, The Last Line, that was released in hardback in June 2013, and is due out as a paperback in October 2014.
- "Able Danger and the 9/11 Attacks." Unclassified Draft Statement by Anthony A. Shaffer, Lt. Col., U.S. Army, House Armed Services Committee, February 15, 2006.
- Shane, Scott (2010-09-10). "Pentagon Plan: Buying Books to Keep Secrets". The New York Times. p. A16. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2010-09-26.
- Shane, Scott (2010-09-18). "Secrets in Plain Sight in Censored Book's Reprint". The New York Times. p. A9. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2010-09-26.
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- Operation Dark Heart
- 'Able Danger' and Coordinating Pre-September 11 Intelligence – Interview on NPR's Talk of the Nation including Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, Thomas Kean, Harry "Skip" Brandon, and Tom Fitton.
- Able Danger Blog.
- Ex-US spy Anthony Shaffer talks about his posting in Afghanistan as an undercover agent on The State We're In (radio) radio show, January 2011