April 18, 2004

Why Gorelick Must Go

Michael Graham in The Corner:

Proof positive that Jamie Gorelick's presence on the 9/11 Commission is a conflict-of-interest nightmare can be found in today's Washington Post. This proof comes from a most unlikely source: Jamie Gorelick. In an op-ed for the Post today, the 9/11 Commissioner herself says:

"the memo I wrote in March 1995 -- which concerns information-sharing in two particular cases, including the original World Trade Center bombing -- permits freer coordination between intelligence and criminal investigators than was subsequently permitted by the 1995 guidelines or the 2001 Thompson memo. The purpose of my memo was to resolve a problem presented to me: facilitating investigations on both the intelligence side and criminal side at the same time."

This isn't a panelists' conclusion or recommendation: It's testimony. In fact, given the importance of the CIA/FBI breakdown in 2001, this is key, vital testimony. Gorelick should be making this argument under oath, not under political fire and in the Washington Post. Thanks to Gorelick's extensive admission of direct involvement in the CIA/FBI communications guideline issue, the burden is no longer on Commissioner Gorelick. It's on the 9/11 Commission itself. How can they have a thorough investigation of the intelligence failures of 2001 WITHOUT Gorelick's sworn testimony?

If she does not testify, then the entire 9/11 Commission's report can be rightfully ignored. For such a direct, glaring oversight will show that the Commission's agenda is something other than a complete and thorough investigation of all parties involved. If Gorelick doesn't quit, then the rest of the Commissioners should.

Yes, she should go from the commission. But I'm not sure we need to hear her testimony. It's not like it could salvage the credibility of the Commission at this late date.

UPDATE 4/18: The Big Trunk has a terrific post on Gorelick over at Power Line.

UPDATE 4/19: Andrew McCarthy makes the case for putting Gorelick in the witness chair.

Posted by dan at April 18, 2004 8:41 PM