Monday, July 26, 2004
( 8:03 AM )
The 9/11 Report seemingly didn't reach very many harsh conclusions or criticsms in its summary and recommendations - however, scattered throughout the report itself are a lot of conclusions that deserve a bit more airing. One in particular was that the Commission deemed John (holy cow) Ashcroft's public testimony was false and misleading. This was his testimony where he attempted to deflect attention from his own screw-ups by blaming Commission member and former assistant Attorney General Jamie Gorelick for the problems in the intelligence community and Justice Dept.
The commission bluntly stated that Ashcroft's public testimony did not "fairly or accurately reflect the significance of the 1995 documents and their relevance to the 2001 discussions." Specifically, "The Gorelick memorandum applied to two particular criminal cases, neither of which was involved in the summer 2001 information-sharing discussions." Any barriers between the law enforcement and intelligence communities were not created from written guidelines by internal Justice Department conflicts which "neither Attorney General [Ashcroft or Reno] acted to resolve" prior to 9/11.
Even Ashcroft himself has recently backed away from his April testimony before the commission. In a recent document released by the Justice Department, Ashcroft conceded that Gorelick's memo permitted "interaction and information sharing between prosecutors and intelligence officers" and allowed the FBI to use the fruits of an intelligence investigation "in a criminal prosecution." Ashcroft failed to mention that guidelines issued by his own deputy Attorney General, Larry Thompson, were more restrictive because they affirmed the Gorelick memo and added additional requirements.
This administration simply can't keep track of its own lies anymore. However, the worse fault lies with the media, who cannot even report these kinds of conclusions within the Report because I doubt most of them have even bothered to read it.
(thanks to maru for the heads-up)