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8/17/2005
THE “OMISSION COMMISSION”

Is anybody keeping track of the number of revelations coming out in recent days on what the 9/11 Commission failed to include when giving us what was supposed to be the “definitive narrative” of the events leading up to that tragic day?

Bill Clinton’s team ignored dire warnings that its approach to terrorism was “very dangerous” and could have “deadly results,” according to a blistering memo just obtained by The Post.
Then-Manhattan U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White wrote the memo as she pleaded in vain with Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick to tear down the wall between intelligence and prosecutors, a wall that went beyond legal requirements.

Looking back after 9/11, the memo makes for eerie reading — because White’s team foresaw, years in advance, that the Clinton-era wall would make it tougher to stop mass murder.

“This is not an area where it is safe or prudent to build unnecessary walls or to compartmentalize our knowledge of any possible players, plans or activities,” wrote White, herself a Clinton appointee.

Mary Jo White you may recall is the same former US Attorney whose memo to Janet Reno about the danger represented by the “wall” set up by the Department of Justice between intelligence and law enforcement went unheeded:

White knew that prevention should take place over prosecution if the US intended on keeping its citizens safe. She wrote her first memo objecting to the political decision to create an almost-insurmountable barrier that far exceeded the requirements of FISA as interpreted by earlier administrations. When that got her nowhere, she wrote a second memo, giving specific and prescient warnings about what would happen as a result:

That memo surfaced during the 9/11 hearings. But The Post has learned that White was so upset that she bitterly protested with another memo — a scathing one — after Reno and Gorelick refused to tear down the wall.
With eerie foresight, White warned that the Reno-Gorelick wall hindered law enforcement and could cost lives, according to sources familiar with the memo — which is still secret.

The 9/11 Commission got that White memo, The Post was told — but omitted any mention of it from its much-publicized report. Nor does the report include the transcript of its staff interview with White.

And here the Commission engages in its second covert act of omission in order to protect those who made it impossible for the intelligence community to act on its findings. What happened to the second White memo? Mary Jo White gets three mentions in their final report, all of them in the footnotes, and none of them refers to her warnings to Gorelick or Janet Reno. Nowhere does the Commission reveal her objections to the wall or her efforts to reverse the Gorelick decision.

What makes the discovery of this second memo so damaging to the 9/11 Commission is that the warnings contained in it were so spot on, so prescient of exactly what was going to happen if the Department of Justice continued with this idiocy that it’s an outrage both documents were not included in the 9/11 Commission Final Report.

Captain Ed:

Mary Jo White had a good understanding of the consequences of the 1995 policy change. She predicted this outcome five years before it happened. Second, if the policy was indeed misunderstood, who had responsibility for implementing it correctly and ensuring that the FBI understood it properly? The Department of Justice, of which the FBI is a part, and its leadership — Janet Reno and Jamie S. Gorelick.

Mohamed Atta and the other hijackers were able to fly under our intelligence radar precisely because the FBI was prevented from sharing information with the CIA and vice versa about the terrorist’s movements. And the evidence that a Clinton appointee realized the consequences of the wall only serves to open the floodgates to more questions about the author of the policy, 9/11 Commissioner Jamie Gorelick, and why the Commission went out of its way to avoid criticizing both the wall and its enabler.

The question now has to be what’s the next step?

Clearly some kind of Congressional hearings are in order with the Commission itself on trial. Should all revelations about the Commission’s inadequacies be included in the hearing process? What about Able Danger? Or even more explosively, should the entire question about Iraq-al Qaeda connections be re-opened?

Captain Ed has coined the term “Omission Commission” to describe the current state of the 9/11 Commission’s credibility. I sincerely hope that these omissions are explainable due to sloppiness or shallow thinking and not some kind of cover-up or worse, an effort to discard information that did not fit into pre-conceived conclusions.

If the latter were the case, the Commission’s entire effort would have been a waste. This would necessitate the formation of a completely new panel to try and get at all the facts relevant to the attack and draw new conclusions and recommendations accordingly.

UPDATE

Austin Bay weighs in:

I’ll defer to my wife — who is a lawyer– on this point. [objections raised by DoD lawyers] She says attorneys are trained to say no and raise objections. They’ll hesistate because they anticipate an ACLU law suit and a DC political firestorm. A senior military commander will focus on the potential for attack — he knows the American people are “the final client” and will weigh the data with that in mind. So far there is no evidence that says any discussion between attorneys and senior commanders took place.

It’s time for the President to make a statement about Able Danger, even something as simple as “the lieutenant-colonel’s statements require further investigation.” Then, let’s investigate, with presidential authority.

Also, check out AJ’s fantastic AM roundup of the latest on Able Danger at The Strata-Sphere.. I have a feeling he’s going to be adding to it as the day goes on.

GOP Bloggers:

Remember, this was a Clinton appointee! And to whom did this memo go? Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick, Clinton’s #2 at Justice and, incredibly, a member of the September 11 commission - a very conflicted member.

The Clinton administration clearly had a preference for inhibiting government intrusiveness, even in national security cases. As this story develops, its impact on Hillary Clinton’s political ambitions will be interesting to watch.

This brings up a general question of how much will Hillary’s chances be affected by Bill’s shennanigans? I tend to discount much impact for the simple reason most people have made up their minds already about the Clintons which, ironically, could be the biggest obstacle to Hillary even getting the Democractic nomination much less win the Presidency.

By: Rick Moran at 8:48 am
11 Responses to “THE “OMISSION COMMISSION””
  1. 1
    The Strata-Sphere » Blog Archive » Able Danger Round Up Pinged With:
    9:09 am 

    [...] ran at Right Wing Nut House has two posts out (I need to cut back to one a day if I can!), here and here - worth the trip over to read them both. At this point I [...]

  2. 2
    Chateau D'If Trackbacked With:
    9:30 am 

    Remember the Other Shoe?

    Well, it just dropped. Big time.

  3. 3
    bill Said:
    9:47 am 

    To believe that all the evil that came out on 9/11 was caused by a few months of the Bush Presidency is a stretch. President Clinton didn’t care a wit about fighting terror, he demonstrated it over and over again.

    Stay down, here come the chickens, and they want their roost back :)

  4. 4
    steve Said:
    10:17 am 

    The outgoing clinton administration tried to warn Bush and his people about the terrorist threat and were ignored. Michael Moore was dead on when he laid the 9/11 disaster on George Bushs doorstep and the facts are begining to come out. Welcome to hell all ye poor poor republicans, ignorance has its price and you are about to pay it.

  5. 5
    NIF Trackbacked With:
    2:55 pm 

    Beating Dead Horses

    Today’s dose of NIF - News, Interesting & Funny … Hump Day!

  6. 6
    JACITELLI Said:
    3:40 pm 

    Night is day, black is white etc,.

    There is absolutely no, nada, zero evidence that Bush ingored threats. What is proven, is that Clinton ignored 8 years of terrorist activity. And the left comes here to spin it.

    This is how they will approach this mess. With their fingers in their ears, screaming la, la, la and blaming Bush. The funny thing is, I really want to get to the bottom of the mistakes. Honestly, I could care less about the petty partisan politics. I want to know what went wrong and fix it, so that my children wont die in some terrorist attack. But unfortunately, the left (or at least a sizable portion of the population)has become so reflexive in their hate for Bush, we’ll never really know what happened.
    All Americans should demand that we fix this mess.

  7. 7
    bill Said:
    5:29 pm 

    I want to get to the bottom of the mistakes, whoever made them.

    I also have some demands . . .

    1. I want Able Danger back in action.

    2. I want some assurances that the Gorelick wall has been taken down.

    3. I want to know when we are going to secure our borders. We don’t need any walk-in nukes.

    The next attack could be much bigger than the first. While the first debacle was Clinton’s this time it’s on all our watches — since we now know what the terroist can do.

  8. 8
    AJStrata Said:
    5:46 pm 

    Regarding the Clinton appointment of Gorelick - it is even worse for Hillary.

    She proposed Gorelick, ir memory serves.

  9. 9
    Raven Said:
    7:42 pm 

    I have no faith in that 9/11 Commission, or just about anyone else when it comes to this stuff. Everyone is running to cover their butts and it still leaves us unsafe. I don’t think we’ll ever know the truth.

  10. 10
    AMC Said:
    10:56 pm 

    “Ignored” is a strong term. I don’t like Bill Clinton, but I highly doubt that he “ignored” any threat of aggression. I also happen to think that Gorelick is hot!

  11. 11
    Right Wing Nut House » WHY DIDN’T THE 9/11 COMMISSION TALK TO RUDI DEKKERS?: Politics served up with a smile… And a stilletto. Pinged With:
    10:44 am 

    [...] HITS HOMERUNABLE DANGER, THE WALL, AND WACOWILL BIRD FLU’S “PATIENT ZERO” COME FROM CHINA?THE “OMISS [...]

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