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The Ref Needs New Glasses

The WaPo has an op-ed written by Jamie Gorelick titled "The Truth About 'the Wall'"

In the first paragraph, the heretofore decidedly partisan Mrs. Gorelick opines, "Sept. 11 united this country in shock and grief; the lessons from it must be learned in a spirit of unity, not of partisan rancor" An interesting lesson to be sure considering her past behavior.

Then she proceeds to defend her actions then blame Ashcroft for not undoing them:

...the memo I wrote in March 1995 ... permits freer coordination between intelligence and criminal investigators than was subsequently permitted by the 1995 guidelines or the 2001 Thompson memo.

Mr. Ashcroft's own deputy attorney general, Larry Thompson, formally reaffirmed the 1995 guidelines in an Aug. 6, 2001, memo addressed to the FBI and the Justice Department. Ashcroft has charged that the guidelines hampered the department's ability to pursue terrorists Zacarias Moussaoui, Khalid al-Midhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi in August 2001, but his own department had endorsed those guidelines at the pivotal time

In reality, none of what she wrote matters. The mere fact she needed to write it publicly, defines the fact that she should be a witness before the commission not sitting on it.


Comments (5)

What absolutely astonishes ... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

What absolutely astonishes me is how she accepted the commission in the first place, without divulging her authorship of the memo in the first place. How in the HELL did she think that would stay secret? The rest of the commission was FLOORED by it's revelation, not only by it's content but by it's authorship as well. If I was on the commission, I'd be outraged with her for allowing a witness (Ashcroft) to blindside us so completely and compromising our integrity so utterly.

I haven't been following these hearings as closely as some, but I have heard Gorelick being praised as an insightful, thoughtful, and demanding questioner -- one of the best of the panel. What a shame she allowed herself to be rendered a partisan hack. A simple disclosure would have prevented all this. She might even have been able to stay on the panel.

J.

So let me get this straight... (Below threshold)
wah:

So let me get this straight...Ashcroft tells people that lack of computers and Clinton are at fault, and you folks buy it. Despite the fact that the FBI and CIA counterterrorism people 'were at War', and Ashcroft spent most of his time going after porn and pot. He point the finger at a (D), and that's the end of the discussion for ya'll. Interesting.

Note: Did you also see Tenet shake his head laughingly when they brought up 'Ashcroft's Wall'? It's bullshit. Ashcroft got caught lying. Look up the MON. And the previous FBI testimony about Ashcroft not wanting to hear about this terrorism nonsense.

So I take it you think ther... (Below threshold)
Paul:

So I take it you think there was no problem with the CIA and the FBI sharing info?

If so, you are the only one in the nation.

Nobody said there anyone was to blame for the wall. But I damn sure am saying she should be a witness.

So I take it you think t... (Below threshold)
wah:

So I take it you think there was no problem with the CIA and the FBI sharing info?

No, I take it as a good thing that the CIA and FBI are not sharing info. I DO NOT WANT MY GOVERNMENT "SPYING" ON ME.

That is the distinction. "Investigation" vs. "Intelligence". Investigation has to follow rules. Intelligence is a more...nebulous matter, shall we say.

For Ashcroft to come up not only with excuses but accusations, I think personally, is beyond the pale.

But then again, I hate Ashcroft. So I'm biased.

--

Now, it does seem that there was a big problem here, but one of those big problems was/is Ashcroft's priorities, IMHO. We knew we were under attack, that we were at war, but we didn't act like it. That was the problem. Not some Pink Floyd pipe-dream excuse.

76 out of 1700 Arabic speakers?! It sounds like if we just had enough people to listen to everything stuff like Eschelon and Carnivore (intelligence gathering programs) can collect, we probably would have been o.k.

But then again, hindsight is much more accurate, and that makes Ashcroft suck even more. He covered up statues with cloth while he knew terrorists wanted to attack us!

He's a nutjob, and should be the 'scapegoat'. Worst intelligence, defense failure ever, and no one has been fired. The President expects to get accurate information, didn't, and no one is out but the guy who was screaming, "They're coming right for us!!!"

I don't get it.

"He's a nutjob,"On... (Below threshold)
Paul:

"He's a nutjob,"

On that sir, I'll trust you as the ultimate authority.




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