General Accuses White House of Pressuring Him To Change Testimony To Favor Company Run By Democratic Donor

There is a disturbing story out this week that four-star Air Force Gen. William Shelton testified under oath that the White House tried to pressure him into changing his testimony on a new wireless project in a way that would benefit a large Democratic donor. There is also an allegation that someone in the Administration leaked the intended testimony to the company.

Shelton heads the Air Force Space Command and was intending to raise serious concerns of how a new wireless project to threaten military operations. The project is being pushed by a satellite broadband company in Virginia called LightSquared, whose majority owner is an investment fund run by Democratic donor Philip Falcone. After allegedly leaking the testimony to the company, the White House allegedly asked Shelton to change his testimony to say he supported the use of more broadband for commercial use and could resolve the problems surrounding LightSquared with more testing in just 90 days. Shelton viewed the changes to be untrue and resisted. He was asked directly in a classified briefing about any such pressure and confirmed it.

Once again, I see a bit of a double standard in the coverage on this point. During the Bush terms, such intervention on behalf of donors was aggressively pursued by the media. This story would have been a major story. As search of the story this morning shows relatively light attention from the mainstream media. Why?

If there is another side to this story, the media should confirm it in broader discussion of the allegations. I am struck that the testimony was given in what appears to be a classified hearing. The intelligence and military committees appear quite selective in when to inform the public of such testimony. Torture was left classified and undisclosed until the media forced the story into the public. Yet, this story came out with little difficulty. Putting aside the selectivity, it is a story worthy of greater media attention.

Source: Daily Beast

32 thoughts on “General Accuses White House of Pressuring Him To Change Testimony To Favor Company Run By Democratic Donor”

  1. T-P W-S….

    Let’s see… The Bush-Cheney team took us to war on false pretenses and…

    (This isn’t good…, but let’s keep it in perspective… I’m happy that it came out and I don’t condone it, but… and I’ll say it again: There were no WMD in Iraq… Many lives lost (good American men and women, as well as untold numbers of Iraqis…)… Oh, and there was that trivial torture business…

    And I agree with wgward…

  2. Kudos to General Shelton for standing “his ground” and telling the truth: we need more whistleblowers in government and elsewhere.

  3. Big Questions Remain for LightSquared

    The NPEF report indicates that after testing, even shifting the 10 Mhz block to a position lower on the spectrum band at a 50% reduction in maximum authorized power, still produces interference in both U.S. Government and commercial GPS applications.

    The licensing of the spectrum should have included a spectral mask that the LightSquared transmitters have to meet. If LightSquared can’t design transmitters that don’t spew harmonics, I can recommend someone who can.

  4. I await the Republicans complaining of this as another example of job-crushing government regulation of small business.

  5. The intelligence and military committees appear quite selective in when to inform the public of such testimony. Torture was left classified and undisclosed until the media forced the story into the public. -Jonathan Turley

    As a case in point, refer to the following posting:

    Double Secret Probation

    Published 1, August 4, 2011

    Respectfully Submitted by Lawrence Rafferty-Guest Blogger

    Excerpt:

    “There is a significant discrepancy between what most Americans – including many members of Congress – think the Patriot Act allows the government to do and how government officials interpret that same law,” wrote the Senators, Ron Wyden and Mark Udall. “We believe that most members of the American public would be very surprised to learn how federal surveillance law is being interpreted in secret.” The Senators tried to get the government to reveal some of the law’s contents, by forcing the Director of National Intelligence and the Attorney General to produce a report outlining when this secret surveillance has gone overboard. Yesterday, the effort failed. The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence said no to the report by rejecting Wyden and Udall’s amendment to the FY2012 Intelligence Authorization Act.” Crooks and Liars

    If two Democratic Senators cannot convince a Democratically controlled Select Committee to accept their amendment, all hell has broken loose and pigs can now fly. If you think about it, as long as any government agency can keep their interpretation of a law secret, it amounts to a completely independent legislature that does not answer to the American people. (end of excerpt)

    Quoting judge Damon Keith, “Democracies go behind closed doors to die.”

  6. Len,

    Ditto…I am fairly confidant that whomever donates the cash….gets the best deals….in this case favorable results…

    Reminds me of a certain senator from Texas that obtained affiliate licensing agreements from CBS, ABC and NBS…in the late 50’s and early 60…

    I suppose you can own the cable company as well…

    Kind of like a Murdoch…You can control what they say….

  7. ” The intelligence and military committees appear quite selective in when to inform the public of such testimony. Torture was left classified and undisclosed until the media forced the story into the public. Yet, this story came out with little difficulty. Putting aside the selectivity, it is a story worthy of greater media attention.”

    To say the least.

  8. Goes to show, regardless of what party is in power, our tax money and contracts will go to the biggest donors.

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