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WP: The Truth about the "Wall," by Jamie S. Gorelick

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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 05:13 AM
Original message
WP: The Truth about the "Wall," by Jamie S. Gorelick
Washington Post op-ed:

At last week's hearing, Attorney General John Ashcroft, facing criticism, asserted that "the single greatest structural cause for September 11 was the wall that segregated criminal investigators and intelligence agents" and that I built that wall through a March 1995 memo. This is simply not true.

First, I did not invent the "wall," which is not a wall but a set of procedures implementing a 1978 statute (the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA) and federal court decisions interpreting it. In a nutshell, that law, as the courts read it, said intelligence investigators could conduct electronic surveillance in the United States against foreign targets under a more lenient standard than is required in ordinary criminal cases, but only if the "primary purpose" of the surveillance were foreign intelligence rather than a criminal prosecution.

Second, according to the FISA Court of Review, it was the justice departments under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush in the 1980s that began to read the statute as limiting the department's ability to obtain FISA orders if it intended to bring a criminal prosecution. The practice of prohibiting prosecutors from directing intelligence investigations was first put in place in those years as well. Then, in July 1995, Attorney General Janet Reno issued written guidelines that spelled out the steps FBI intelligence agents and criminal investigators and prosecutors needed to follow when sharing information. The point was to preserve the ability of prosecutors to use information collected by intelligence agents.

Third, 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 her fourth point, Ms. Gorelick writes: "Had my memo been in place in August 2001 -- when, as Ashcroft said, FBI officials rejected a criminal warrant of Moussaoui because they feared 'breaching the wall' -- it would have allowed those agents to obtain a criminal warrant without fear of jeopardizing an intelligence investigation." In her fifth point, she writes: "... nothing in the 1995 guidelines prevented the sharing of information between criminal and intelligence investigators.")


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A20786-20...
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LittleApple81 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 05:18 AM
Response to Original message
1. Anybody heard Randi Rhodes discuss "The Wall"? she
researched the number of FISA requests and the number denied (since the 80s I believe) and ALL FISA requests were approved. No wall. You needed to present the request but according to records they were never denied. And Ashcroft had such a spike in 2001 (If I remember correctly it was over 1000) that for him to say that was really preposterous. He just wanted to bring a memo that should had been classified to point fingers at Gorelick and Clinton
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murielm99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 06:46 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. We don't need no education...
Assholes!

Partisan assholes!

They send out their attack dogs to savage the messenger every time it looks bad for them.

Someone really needs to put this all back where it belongs, on Asskkkroft's head. I am glad Gorelick is making the attempt. Other journalists need to follow up.

I've said it before, but I would really like to see someone put a couple of calico cats down his shorts.
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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 07:00 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. The NYT, in fact, gives Ashcroft a bad review today...
in an article evaluating the 9/11 panelists and witnesses. They begin by saying that Ashcroft should maybe have stayed at home, and then add:

Then he produced a 1995 memorandum, declassified by the Justice Department in time for the hearings, outlining restrictions on sharing information between agents in criminal and intelligence investigations. He blamed the policy of building a "wall" for the failure of the C.I.A. and F.B.I. to share information that might have prevented the hijackings and proceeded to point a finger.

"Full disclosure compels me to inform you that the author of this memorandum is a member of the commission," Mr. Ashcroft said. He did not name the member, but everyone on the panel knew he was talking about Ms. Gorelick, a Democrat who was the second-ranking official in the Clinton Justice Department.

The memorandum led some Republicans to call for her resignation, a demand that did not seem to go far. "Baloney," said John F. Lehman, a Republican on the panel, in response to the demand. But some Bush administration officials credited Mr. Ashcroft for mounting an aggressive and much-needed defense.

Mr. Ashcroft's challenge to Ms. Gorelick could prove a badge of honor for her should John Kerry win election, since she is on the list of people mentioned as a possible attorney general in a Kerry administration. One commission member said of Mr. Ashcroft's testimony, "The basic thrust was to put all the blame on Clinton, and he really made it very politicized." Ms. Gorelick, on the other hand, "came out looking really good," said Matt Bennett, a Democratic consultant....

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/04/18/politics/18PANE.html
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murielm99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 07:14 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Asskkkroft knew perfectly well that the memo said
exactly the OPPOSITE of what he testified to under oath.

Therefore, he should be prosecuted for lying under oath to the 9/11 commission.

I am going to write to my local newspaper, to my senator (Durbin), to shrub and to asskkkroft himself telling them that if he is not prosecuted, the least he could do is resign because of his perjury.
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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 08:22 AM
Response to Reply #3
11. I meant to add, murielm99 -- "calico cats down his shorts"! LOL!
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LittleApple81 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 05:21 AM
Response to Original message
2. I hope she gets really upset about all this and becomes sharper
in her questioning and analysis.
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0007 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 07:41 AM
Response to Reply #2
8. Gorelick is a shinning star in these hearings - bar none!
Ashcroft has demonstrated again how dull and vindictive and ignorant he indeed is to hold a job as General Attorney of the U.S.
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KharmaTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 07:22 AM
Response to Original message
6. We Get Skunked Again...
The RoveCo. game is making the loudest noise and the first impression. That's why they're spreading all those lies about Kerry on their TV spots (and no one dares to shout them down for that)...even if it's not true, get the spin out there fast enough and people will believe it.

RoveCo. has a well-oiled machine out there and has been gunning for Goerlick and Ben Veniste since the start of the commission (Cleland was target #1) by attempting to kill the messengers (like Clarke) and the Investigators.

This character assasination was well executed. They had the memo declassified right before the hearings, let Asscroft (who loves a good political dogfight) throw the stink-bomb, then flood the media with "cries of outrage". Anyone see Sensenbrenner...the fat fuck...hopping up and down for her resignation. Brought back the phoney "outrage" and just general hatred he has of the Clinton inquisition.

I'm glad Ms. Gorlick wrote this piece and it surely clears a lot of questions I had...and knew that the '95 date had a lot to do with a review of how information was being shared in the wake of Oklahoma City...that terrorist bombing the Repugnicans never mention!

Problem is her words only will go to those few who seek it, the vast majority have been tainted by a slander and smear campaign that again lowers the bar on the ulitmate results this commission presents and will fuel the years of second-guessing and tin-hatting certain to come of out it. Also, it dumbs it down to let this regime off the hook for its either negligence or intentional actions.

Thank goodness for the Jersey Girls! They're the real heroes.
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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 07:41 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. They operate so far outside the norms...
of American political discourse. Ashcroft throws his phony "stink-bomb," virtually blaming Gorelick for 9/11; Sensenbrenner froths at the mouth on the Senate floor, calling for resignation; Rush stirs up the wingnuts to such a fever pitch that Gorelick gets death threats.

Gorelick responds by writing an op-ed in the Washington Post. The sane Republicans -- even Lehman, quite strongly -- defend her. God, I wish we could rid ourselves of this uncivilized band of extremist nuts who have taken control of our government.
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KharmaTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 07:57 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. We're "Too Civil"
When an Al Franken gets out and screams the facts just like the wingnuts do, he's dismissed as a "crumudgeon" or a "satarist"...despite having facts to prove what he says. The problem is there's too little of him and too much of them.

I saw this media empire get rolling in the 80's and regulate or "deregulate" itself into the monopoly it is in the 90's (Clinton's greatest failure) that now serves as Rove's conduit to get his spin out first and fast.

Somehow we need to break the "fear factor" around many of the major independent media outlets...NYT, WaPo, CBS and ABC to take the lead here and bring some accountability and balance to the other forces. I think the time's coming, but the dirt is gonna have to get deeper here first.

Remember, many in the media are fighting a deep denial. Either they were misled or swallowed principles to get access and now are being blamed by that same regime for the regime's failures. It's only going to last so long.

In the meantime it was good to see Lehman, Keane and other Republicans come out in support of Ms. Gorlick. It gives me some hope that some objectivity might actually appear in the final report.

Cheers!
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Toucano Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 08:06 AM
Response to Original message
10. Ashcroft BUSTED!
"Third, 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."

Guess he hadn't read that memo either! Go ahead, Jamie! Tear that incompetent zealot lost-to-a-dead-guy bastard a new one!
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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 08:28 AM
Response to Reply #10
12. DU's making threats, too --
Edited on Sun Apr-18-04 08:55 AM by DeepModem Mom
murielm99 wants calico cats down "lost-to-a-dead-guy"'s shorts!
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G_j Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 09:21 AM
Response to Reply #10
14. it's unbelievable
Ashcroft, America's chief law enforcement officer perjures himself in front of the 9-11 commission and yet the main effect of his testimony is the echoing of his scurrilous attack on Jamie Gorelick that results in death threats to her. Now we are assured that Ashcroft's Dept. of Justice will investigate these threats.

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LittleApple81 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 09:03 AM
Response to Original message
13. kick n/t
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robbedvoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 09:33 AM
Response to Original message
15. Ashcropft lie on loudspeakers - like France - to prop Patriot Act
I saw this in a local Buffalo paper;

Support for renewal of existing parts of the Patriot Act may grow in the wake of hearings by the 9/11 commission in which many witnesses complained the government was late in dealing with al-Qaida because of a "wall" that barred the Central Intelligence Agency from sharing data with the FBI.
The act removed part of that wall.

Freepers on randi show were foaming at the mouth about Gorelick and the wall. We need to shout the truth from rooftops - remember "Saddam did 9.11"? 70% believed it.
We cannot expect everyone to read WaPo, NYT.
They will actually believe that the Patriot Act freed then from The Wall and Gorelick is responsible for 9.11
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UTUSN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 09:50 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. This "Wall" Demolition Stuff Is Ominous
What the Fascists are up to is to blur all cases (like NIXON's Enemies List people) into "terrorism", like dissent in Soviet jargon being called a psychiatric illness with internment. Rosa PARKS in a mental ward.
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