Home  »  General  »  Bombshell: White House Pressured General To Change Critical National Security Testimony To Help Big Democrat Donor

Sep 15, 2011 3 Comments ›› Pat Dollard

“Fast and Furious”, Solyndra, and now this…worse than the Nixon administration…

Fox News:

Gen. William Shelton, head of the Air Force Space Command, told House members in a classified briefing earlier this month that he was pressured to change prepared congressional testimony in a way that would favor a large company funded by Philip Falcone, a major Democratic donor, congressional sources told Fox News.

Republicans have raised questions about whether project pursued by the company, LightSquared, is being unduly expedited by the Obama administration, which has pushed for national wireless network upgrades.

The Virginia-based satellite and broadband communications company has plans to build a nationwide, next-generation, 4G phone network that many, including Shelton, think would seriously hinder the effectiveness of high-precision GPS receiver systems, a product used most commonly by the United States military.

A source familiar with the technology told Fox News that the LightSquared spectrum would be 5 billion times stronger than the military’s GPS system, rendering the military’s system almost useless.

“Imagine trying to have a telephone conversation while your neighbors are hosting a rock concert,” the source told Fox News. “That’s the situation the military is facing.”

Shelton, in testimony Thursday before a House Armed Services subcommittee, refused to suggest that interference problems could be mitigated, as he allegedly was being pressured to say.

Military training that relies on precision GPS, such as dropping ordnance, potentially could cease to exist in the United States. Many farmers who also rely on the systems would also be affected. It’s estimated this system is used by as many as 1 million people.

A House Armed Services Committee staff member confirmed to Fox News that when asked whether he was pressured to change public testimony he had prepared to for the hearing Thursday, Gen. Shelton said he was “being asked to say things he didn’t agree with.”

It’s unclear who exactly pressured Shelton, but it’s possible the culprits are in White House, Department of Defense or the Office of Management and Budget, which each approve military testimony prepared for Congress. The House staff member also told Fox News a copy of Shelton’s prepared testimony was leaked to LightSquared.

The Pentagon did not respond to Fox News’ requests Thursday evening to comment for this story, though a spokeswoman for Shelton told the Washington Post that there was no improper influence on the general’s testimony. The Post also reported that the White House denied trying to influence Shelton’s testimony.

The company also defended its work.

“We understand that some in the telecom sector fear the challenges for their business model that LightSquared presents. It’s also ludicrous to suggest LightSquared’s success depends on political connections. This is a private company that has never taken one dollar in taxpayer money,” chief executive Sanjiv Ahuja said in a statement quoted by the Post.

At the House subcommittee hearing Thursday, which focused on strategic forces and sustaining GPS for national security, Republican Chairman Michael Turner lashed out at the Obama administration for its acceptance of LightSquared proposals. He took aim at FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, a longtime basketball buddy of President Obama, for not showing up at the hearing and for granting a waiver to LightSquared on Jan. 26.

“I trust Chairman Genachowski is doing something very important this morning if he couldn’t be here to discuss the significant harm to national security that may result from the FCC’s action,” Turner said

Excerpted from The Daily Beast:

by Eli Lake

The Pentagon has worried for months that a project backed by a prominent Democratic donor might interfere with military GPS. Now Congress wants to know if the White House pressured a general to change his testimony.

The four-star Air Force general who oversees Air Force Space Command walked into a highly secured room on Capitol Hill a week ago to give a classified briefing to lawmakers and staff, and dropped a surprise. Pressed by members, Gen. William Shelton said the White House tried to pressure him to change his testimony to make it more favorable to a company tied to a large Democratic donor.

The four-star Air Force general who oversees Air Force Space Command walked into a highly secured room on Capitol Hill a week ago to give a classified briefing to lawmakers and staff, and dropped a surprise. Pressed by members, Gen. William Shelton said the White House tried to pressure him to change his testimony to make it more favorable to a company tied to a large Democratic donor.

The episode —confirmed by The Daily Beast in interviews with administration officials and the chairman of a congressional oversight committee —is the latest in a string of incidents that have given Republicans sudden fodder for questions about whether the Obama administration is politically interfering in routine government matters that affect donors or fundraisers. Already, the FBI and a House committee are investigating a federal loan guarantee to a now failed solar firm called Solyndra that is tied to a large Obama fundraiser.

Now the Pentagon has been raising concerns about a new wireless project by a satellite broadband company in Virginia called LightSquared, whose majority owner is an investment fund run by Democratic donor Philip Falcone.

According to officials familiar with the situation, Shelton’s prepared testimony was leaked in advance to the company. And the White House asked the general to alter the testimony to add two points: that the general supported the White House policy to add more broadband for commercial use; and that the Pentagon would try to resolve the questions around LightSquared with testing in just 90 days. Shelton chafed at the intervention, which seemed to soften the Pentagon’s position and might be viewed as helping the company as it tries to get the project launched, officials said.

Read the whole thing at The Daily Beast