Anthony Shaffer (born 1962) is a retired U.S. Army Reserve 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. He is currently Senior Fellow for the London Center for Policy Research.
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.
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. 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 fictionalized "memoirs" of his time as a reports officer 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 is a frequent guest in the media. He retired from the U.S. Army Reserve. He serves as 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.
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.
In 2012, Shaffer claimed President Obama was "in the White House Situation Room in real-time watching" the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, a claim that has been denied by the Obama administration. He further implied the White House was conspiring to prevent charges against released American POW Bowe Bergdahl.