Gorelick memo a smoking gun?


William Tate believes he has identified what amounts to the smoking gun in placing responsibility where it belongs for the failure to connect the dots on Atta and his gang. He points to a memorandum issued by Jamie Gorelick in 1995. Writing on whatsinthenews.com, he notes that others have focused on the language of the memo, which clearly states that the wall being erected between justice and defense agencies, preventing intelligence sharing, goes beyond the requirements of the law. But equally important, he avers, is the the list of recipients, particularly a little—noticed entity, the Office of Intelligence Policy Review.

According to the DoJ's website:

"The Office of Intelligence Policy and Review, under the direction of the Counsel for Intelligence Policy, is responsible for advising the Attorney General on all matters relating to the national security activities of the United States. The Office prepares and files all applications for electronic surveillance and physical search under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, assists Government agencies by providing legal advice on matters of national security law and policy, and represents the Department of Justice on variety of interagency committees such as the National Counterintelligence Policy Board. The Office also comments on and coordinates other agencies' views regarding proposed legislation affecting intelligence matters.

The Office serves as adviser to the Attorney General and various client agencies, including the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Defense and State Departments, concerning questions of law, regulation, and guidelines as well as the legality of domestic and overseas intelligence operations." [emphasis added by Tate]

Tate points out that the current political points being scored by Clinton and Gorelick defenders in citing Pentagon lawyers as the ones blocking intelligence sharing are irrelevant. He writes:

The Wall memo, though, was addressed to the Clinton Administration official responsible for making sure that the Defense Department adhered to the memo's guidelines, making it irrelevant which Clinton Administration lawyers instructed the officers not to take to the information to the FBI information. Either way, that decision was a direct result of the new procedures set in place by Gorelick, Attorney General Janet Reno, and —ultimately— Bill Clinton: putting responsibility squarely in their hands.

Thomas Lifson   8 22 05