Thursday, April 15, 2004

"I know nussing! Let's just move on!"

The NY Post is a tad bemused by the continued presence of Janet Reno's butt girl, Jaime Gorelick, on the 9/11 commission - National Discgrace, Contd.:
House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner has demanded the resignation of Jamie Gorelick as a member of the federal 9/11 Commission.

Frankly, given her blatant conflicts of interest, she should never have been appointed in the first place.

One stunning Gorelick conflict emerged at Tuesday's public commission hearing: Attorney General John Ashcroft disclosed that in 1995, Gorelick - while deputy attorney general under Bill Clinton - wrote a memo ordering the FBI to separate counterintelligence work from criminal investigations.

As Ashcroft put it, this memo - which went beyond what federal law required - erected a legal wall between the FBI and CIA, creating "the single greatest structural cause for September 11."

So. How can someone who played a key role in the events under investigation possibly sit as one of the investigators?

Indeed, Gorelick has a proper role to play with the commission - as a witness, grilled under oath about her own actions.
Real good question.
And what was Commission Chairman Tom Kean's response to calls for Gorelick's dismissal or resignation?

"People ought to stay out of our business," he huffed.

Funny, but isn't the commission meant to be conducting the people's business?
That's kinda what I was thinking too. Thanks Tom for pretending to have a set.

But wait, there's more:
As it turns out, the memo is just the tip of the iceberg concerning Gorelick's questionable fitness as a member of the panel.

That's because she's a litigation partner in one of Washington's most high-powered Democratic law firms - Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering.

And that firm represents Prince Mohammed al-Faisal al-Saud, a member of the Saudi royal family and director of a key Saudi financial agency, against a lawsuit filed by a coalition of 600 Sept. 11 families.

The lawsuit, filed by Families United to Bankrupt Terrorism, seeks "to cut off the pipeline that fueled the al Qaeda terrorists" - a pipeline in which the high-paying client represented by Gorelick's law firm reportedly played a central part.

The prince is chairman of Dar al-Maal al-Islami (DMI), which boasts $1 billion in assets.

One of its subsidiaries is the Al-Shamil Islamic Bank, whose directors include Osama bin Laden's half-brother and his brother-in-law.

According to congressional testimony last October by Jean-Charles Brisard, an international expert on terrorism financing, the Swiss-based DMI "is one of the central structures in Saudi Arabia's financing of international Islam," and is rooted in the House of Saud's "support for the radical Islamic cause."

DMI, according to published reports, was a major shareholder of a Bahamian Islamic bank that was shut down after Washington tabbed it a centerpiece of Osama bin Laden's financial network.

Though Gorelick may not be litigating the lawsuit, as a partner she profits from her firm's work for the Saudi prince.

Gorelick, who might have become attorney general in an Al Gore administration, could get that same job if John Kerry wins in November.
There's a pleasing thought.

So what does this wannabe have to say for herself? - Gorelick: I won't quit Sept. 11 commission
Jamie Gorelick – the former deputy attorney general under President Clinton and current 9-11 Commission member under fire for alleged conflict of interest – is rejecting calls that she step down from her position and become a witness.

"I'm not going to resign from the commission," Gorelick said on CNN tonight. "It's a bogus factual issue. When you ask hard questions of people who are in office and who have been in office, they take offense."
Kinda like you, eh Jaime?
When asked specifically by CNN's Wolf Blitzer if she wrote the "memorandum in '95 that helped establish the so-called walls between the FBI and CIA," Gorelick distanced herself from the matter:

"No, and again, I would refer you back to what others on the commission have said. The wall was a creature of statute. It's existed since the mid 1980s. And while it's too lengthy to go into, basically the policy that was put out in the mid-nineties, which I didn't sign, wasn't my policy by the way, it was the attorney general's policy, was ratified by Attorney General Ashcroft's deputy as well in August of 2001. So we are just going to move on from this. This is not a basis for resignation."
Criminal attorney's first ploy: the defendant didn't do it!
Criminal attorney's second ploy: if the defendant did do it, it was legal anyhow!

National Review has a copy of Gorelick's memo online. It's a tad scarey to think that Jaime is contending that the Justice Department generated memos from her that she didn't know about setting important policy for the FBI and CIA. Identity theft must be rampant. And, Jaime, while the "wall" was in statute, your memo made it worse. Cut to the document:
"These procedures, which go beyond what is legally required, will prevent any risk of creating an unwarranted appearance that [federal law] is being used to avoid procedural safeguards which would apply in a criminal investigation"
Bzzzt, thanks for playing! The only thing moving on should be Jaime's wide load. Get this clown off the commission.