Earlier, we surmised
that the whistleblower that House Intelligence Chairman Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) was referring to was NSA whistleblower Russ Tice. Then we reconsidered
Now another candidate has stepped forward: Dave Gaubatz. Gaubatz, a former Air Force special investigator who worked as a civilian employee in Iraq, has volunteered that he's the "whistleblower."
TPMm readers should be familiar with Gaubatz as the man who Rep. Curt Weldon (R-PA) wanted to lead his great adventure
to find the WMD himself in Iraq.
Gaubatz told me that the program Hoekstra referenced Sunday, the "major" activity
the Intelligence Committee wasn't briefed on, is a Defense Department program run out of the Air Force Research Lab. Gaubatz said that there were âseveral programsâ there that the Congressman wasn't aware of, but âone major programâ in particular. He wouldn't give too many details about the program, but said that "it pertains to WMD and ways to move the WMD."
Gaubatz's story fits on two key points. However, my call to the House intelligence committee to confirm that Gaubatz is the one hasn't been returned.
It fits with Chairman Hoekstra's recent preoccupation with the WMD issue. Hoekstra has recently been up in arms about a classified report
that disclosed the existence of shells of chemical weapons in Iraq dating back to the first Gulf War.
The timing also fits. On February 16th this year, Gaubatz says he briefed Hoekstra's staff, and then the Congressman himself on May 4th, two weeks before Hoekstra wrote his letter. He told them about the location of the four WMD sites and also the existence of the Air Force's WMD program.
Gaubatz said he "was really stunned they weren't aware" of the program, and then put them in touch with the official at Kirtland Air Force Base
who could confirm the program's existence, a two star general. He said they then confirmed it.
Gaubatz was stationed at Kirtland in Albuquerque, New Mexico before he left for Iraq, where he says he learned of the program. He arrived in Iraq in February of 2003, where he served for six months.
Update: See my follow-up