Monday, August 15, 2005

Jamie Gorelick's Legacy

When voir diring a jury, one of the many questions they get is whether they actually witnessed any of the events giving rise to the trial before them. If they did, they're pretty certainly out.

Which is why this story sticks in my craw. Which causes me to revisit the matter of what Jamie Gorelick was allowed to be on the 9/11 Commission and not on the witness list in the first place. Gorelick helped to erect "the Wall" which prohibited information sharing between intelligence and law enforcement. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, whose terms she took well beyond the requirements of the law by her own admission, prohibits sharing of information that intelligence gets with law enforcement for the purpose of nabbing domestic criminals. But Gorelick raised the wall altogether, prohibiting just about any kind of meaningful exchanges, like the kind referenced in the Fox link above.

Able Danger was designed to prevent 9/11. Gorelick's efforts prevented action from being taken. And the fact that this particular instance is only now coming to light proves all the more that she did not belong on that commission, as she would be investigating (and perhaps covering) her own actions. People within the Clinton Administration will do whatever they must to prevent much more embarrassment from coming to their "legacy".

But the bigger problem is that this raises serious questions about the integrity of the investigation they ran and the report they wrote. Any butt-covering makes for a compromised report. And from where I sat, the Commission was filled with and led by dolts. The Chairman, Thomas Kean, a man whose background is mainly in education not national security, stood up for Jamie Gorelick for reasons unknown, but from just about any viewpoint, if she had personal knowledge of "the wall", she needed to be a witness, not someone in a position to minimize the role of this impediment to information sharing in the Commission's report. I'm not saying that she did that because I have no evidence.

But she was the #2 at the Reno Justice Department which was involved in the ridiculous raising of the wall higher than it had ever been, and the Justice Department best known as Clinton's personal shield from political embarrassment and legal problems. Draw thine own conclusions.

But the fact that the Commission somehow "missed" this non-detail further erodes its credibility.

And the problem is not going away.

Rep. Curt Weldon (R-PA) is fairly hot about it. This has the potential to undermine the Report and the work of the Commission. Gorelick should have recused herself. Because this just stinks.

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