Thursday, April 29, 2004

Gorelick should have been fired . . .

. . . from the Justice Department. Check out this report from the Washington Times detailing her involvement with walling off FBI and CIA investigations from each other. Gorelick has claimed that the "wall" was a statutory requirement. That's completely untrue. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act did not require separation between criminal and espionage investigation of foreign nationals (see my earlier posts re: Andrew McCarthy's articles). Only an incorrect court ruling in the 1980s (overturned by the Ashcroft Justice Department's challenge) establishing a primary purpose test regarding information-sharing required any segregation of investigative information. But the wall Gorelick designed (and which Janet Reno approved) went beyond the legal requirements of the statute and the court ruling and Gorelick boasted of that fact in her memo creating the wall!

Here are the key points in the article, noted by the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York (the one who prosecuted the 1993 WTC bombers) in a memo to Gorelick in 1995 in response to the Gorelick memo that created the prototype wall that Reno approved later that year:

"It is hard to be totally comfortable with instructions to the FBI prohibiting contact with the United States Attorney's Offices when such prohibitions are not legally required," U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White wrote Ms. Gorelick six years before the 2001 terrorist attacks in New York and at the Pentagon.

"Our experience has been that the FBI labels of an investigation as intelligence or law enforcement can be quite arbitrary, depending upon the personnel involved and that the most effective way to combat terrorism is with as few labels and walls as possible so that wherever permissible, the right and left hands are communicating," she wrote.

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