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Friday, August 19, 2005

Does GOP Leadership Have the Guts to Put Gorelick Under Oath in Front of a Camera?

Able Danger-inspired revelations keep pointing to the 1995 memo by former Deputy Attorney General and 9/11 Commission Member Jamie Gorelick that, for the sake of "appearances," barred contact between counter-terrorism intelligence agents from talking to FBI agents and other domestic law enforcement personnel. Gorelick's boss, Attorney General Janet Reno reaffirmed Gorelick's directive a few months later.

That bar prevented Able Danger officials who had identified several members of the al Queda cells responsible for 9/11 more than a year before the attacks from informing the FBI about their discovery. The "Gorelick Wall" was thus the fulcrum upon which hinged the Clinton administration's tepid response to Osama Bin Laden's repeated and lethal attacks on U.S. citizens and property abroad from 1993 through 2000.

Gorelick appears to have been on both ends of this fateful sequence of events, having authored the 1995 memo establishing the wall and serving for nine prior months as the Defense Department's General Counsel. In other words, the DOD lawyers who barred Able Danger officials from sharing their information with the FBI may well have been former Gorelick subordinates.

How long before the jelly-boned GOP congressional leadership convenes a hearing and puts Gorelick, the Pentagon lawyers and the Able Danger officials under oath? Don't hold your breath because the GOP leadership is desperately afraid of making congressional Democrats mad.

And how long before federal officials acknowledge that the April 1995 bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City that killed 168 people was al Qaeda's first attack on American soil, not 9/11, and that Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols were simply a couple of far Right goofballs who became pawns of Osama Bin Laden? Journalist Jayna Davis has the facts here.

Interestingly, elements of both the MSM and Blogosphere have done excellent work in keeping the Able Danger story advancing. Could this be a precedent for a rapproachment?

HT: Captain Ed for this excellent analysis and for crediting one of his readers for making the important connection.

UPDATE:

BBMike comments on Captain's Quarters:

"Somebody that needs to be testifying under oath very soon is Richard Shiffrin. Shiffrin was Deputy General Counsel (Intelligence) at DoD from 1997-2003. That puts him in a position not only to quash the Able Danger work, but also to cover-up the mess post 9/11. Prior DoD, he was in Janet Reno's Justice Department from 1993-1997."

Makes sense to me.