Skip to comments.Gorelick 'MemoGate': It Just Got Worse
Posted on 08/12/2005 6:21:30 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
In March of 1995, Louis Freeh, then FBI Director, and Mary Jo White, the New York U.S. attorney investigating the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, received a directive written by Jamie Gorelick, President Clintons number two official in the Justice Department. That directivewhich has come to be known as the wall of separation memoordered Freeh and White to go beyond what is legally required in following information-sharing procedures between intelligence agencies and agencies charged with criminal investigations of suspected terrorists. At issue, seemingly, was a White House concern to avoid any risk of creating an unwarranted appearance that the civil liberties of terrorism suspects were being undermined.
As has come to light in the past few days, the Gorelick Memo seems to be at the heart of the non-passing of information discovered by a counter-terrorism military operation known as Able Danger to the FBI that Mohammed Atta and three of the other 9/11 hi-jackers had set up an al-Queda cell in Brooklyn, New York, as early as a year prior to the 9/11 attacks. Furthermore, the information that White House or Department of Defense attorneys denied Able Dangers request to give that information to the FBI was furnished to staff members of the Sept. 11 Commissionof which Jamie Gorelick was a sitting memberas early as October of 2003. But that information was not given to Commission members then and does not appear in the Commissions final report.
As has been reported in the New York Post today, by Deborah Orin, and quoted in a story on NewsMax.com (go here), Mary Jo White wrote to the Justice Department about the Gorelick directive, complaining, It is hard to be totally comfortable with the instructions to the FBI prohibiting contact with the United States Attorneys Office when such prohibitions are not legally required. According to Orin in the Post account, White was so frustrated that she sent a second memo excoriating the Gorelick wall of separation as hinder[ing] law enforcement, saying that its prohibitions could cost lives.
The questions now are why did Commission staffers not inform the Sept. 11 Commission members of Able Dangers October 2003 report of prior knowledge of an al-Queda cell in Brooklyn, New York a year before the 9/11 attacks? Why is Mary Jo Whites testimony in the Sept. 11 Commission investigation not included in the Commissions final report? And, finally, why was the Gorelick directive ever written in the first place?
An article from FrontPageMag.com from May of 2004 may shed some light on the reasons for the Gorelick directive (go here). The story suggests strongly that the Clinton Administration worked strenuously, in 1995, to re-organize the ways in which intelligence agencies like the CIA and FBI were allowed to communicate with each other and with U.S. Attorneys Offices investigating foreign and domestic espionage cases and that the Gorelick Memo itself is an outgrowth of policies erected under Clintons Presidential Decision Directive 24:
In April , CNSNews.com staff writer Scott Wheeler reported that a senior U.S. government official and three other sources claimed that the 1995 memo written by Jamie Gorelick, . . . created a roadblock to the investigation of illegal Chinese donations to the Democratic National Committee. But the picture is much bigger than that. The Gorelick memo, which blocked intelligence agents from sharing information that could have halted the September 11 hijacking plot, was only the mortar in a much larger maze of bureaucratic walls whose creation Gorelick personally oversaw.
That maze includes FBI and CIA investigations into the leaking and/or theft of sensitive missile and nuclear information to the Chinese even as illegal donations to the Democratic National Committee were being traced to Bill Clintons old Arkansas friend, Johnny Chung. The bureaucratic nightmare created by PDD 24 effectively stalled these investigations until safely after the 1996 Presidential Election, and led to, among others, Wen Ho Lee and the Los Alamos National Laboratory espionage case. As Mary Jo White wrote in her letter of protest regarding the Gorelick directive, PDD 24s instructions leave entirely to OIPR [Office of Intelligence and Policy Review] and the (Justice Department) Criminal Division when, if ever, to contact affected U.S. attorneys on investigations including terrorism and espionage. And whom did Clinton appoint to head up the OIPR? An old friend of Janet Renos from Florida, Richard Scruggs. So, as FrontPageMag pointed out, for the first time in the history of the Justice Department, a political appointee was put in charge of the Office of Intelligence and Policy Review (OIPR). OIPR is the Justice Department agency in charge of requesting wiretap and surveillance authority for criminal and intelligence investigations on behalf of investigative agencies from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court.
It must be noted that the Gorelick directive to Freeh and White explicitly mentions the FISA court and prohibits the sharing of information gathered by its investigative agencies with US Attorneys Offices.
The upshot of PDD 24 was that all investigations into espionage activityincluding efforts by the CIA, FBI, and the United States Military counter-intelligence operations (like Able Danger)were to be overseen and approved (or not approved) by political appointees that answered directly to a White House that had every reason prior to the 1996 Presidential Election for keeping those agencies from sharing information with each other or with US Attorneys Offices.
It looks like the non-sharing of the Able Danger information by staff members of the Sept. 11 Commission with Commission members themselves is much worse than simply an effort to shield Jamie Gorelick for some responsibility for the intelligence failures that, it is now clear, helped to make the 9/11 attacks possible. What is becoming increasingly obvious is that the Gorelick Memo itself was perhaps part of a much larger effort by the Clinton Administration to shield itself from investigations that would imply its complicity in the passing of sensitive military and nuclear intelligence to the Chinese in return for millions in illegal campaign donations in the run-up to the 1996 election.
Representative Weldoncan you spell MemoGate?
For a related story, go here:
Freeh might be an interesting interview. I know hew's slammed Clinton for chasing imaginary redneck terrorists but I don't really trust him.
Just wanted to note that Able Danger just named the terrorist cell "Brooklyn" (probably because of their connection to Ramzi Yousef, the leader of the New York cell responsible for the 1993 WTC bombing) and it seems that Able Danger had pinpointed Atta's cell as being in Florida.
But who will ever know? The old media will bury this, and the Bush administration will help cover for clinton.
and the MSM says.....(sounds of crickets chirping in the silence)
I'll bet the reason the 9-11 Commission staff did not inform the committee members is because the Republicans, as usual, allowed the rats to stack the staff with rat operatives.
So all in all she was just another brick in the wall...
I hate to say it, but Michael Savage's descriptions of a "benign oligarchy" are starting to seem accurate.
The word 'treason' doesn't really do the Klintlers and Klintonistas justice; what we're dealing with here is demonology. A few autos de fe would seem to be in order and Jamie Gorelick would be as good a place to start as any.
I'm not shocked that this isnt on all the news services. Even Drudge doesnt have it up on his page. Only Rush and Savage have it up on their front pages. Where's Hannity and ORielly? So much for "conservatives". I expected it of CNNABCCBSMSNBCCNBC. Its not on FOX's home page. So why not?
BECAUSE THERE'S A DIRECTIVE GOING OUT FROM THE RNC AND THE DNC TO CAN IT. CLINTON CAUSED THIS, WHY CANT BLAME BE PUT WHERE IT BELONGS? BECAUSE THEYRE BOTH THE SAME. KEEP YOUR LOVE OF BUSH TO YOURSELF.
Hey what about the Karl Rove scandal?
bump to read later
" hate to say it, but Michael Savage's descriptions of a "benign oligarchy" are starting to seem accurate."
I would call political cover of this type (if true) far from "benign".
And let the former Deputy Attorney General sit on the committee?!?!?!
My granny used to rant and rave that "They're ALL crooks in Washington."
I thought this was painting with too broad a brush. Now I'm not so sure.
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