Jamie Gorelick

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Jamie S. Gorelick served as Deputy Attorney General under Janet Reno. A significant part of the 9/11 commission's report considered whether she or Ashcroft was more to blame for the effects of the "wall" she created between CIA and FBI; see 1995 Gorelick memo.

  • The 9/11 Commission’s inquiry into the "wall" that formerly separated U.S. intelligence from law enforcement operations has become a news story du jour. (Lew Rockwell)
  • If Jamie Gorelick were a Republican, you can be sure our colleagues in the Fourth Estate would be leading the chorus of complaint that the Commission's objectivity has been fatally compromised by a member who was also one of the key personalities behind the failed antiterror policy that the Commission has under scrutiny. -- Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal reported that:

During the investigation of the first World Trade Center bombing, Gorelick instructed then-FBI Director Louis Freeh and United States Attorney Mary Jo White that for the sake of "appearances" they would be required to adhere to an interpretation of the wall far stricter than the law required. [1]

Also in the Journal:

The Mary Jo White prosecutions and the 2001 Moussaoui arrest were among our best chances to uncover and unravel the al Qaeda network before it struck the homeland. But thanks in part to the Clinton Administration's concern with appearances and in part to its legacy, these investigations were hamstrung. [2]

Gorelick memo of 1995

The Gorelick memo of 1995 erected a "wall" between counter-intelligence and law enforcement, which impeded investigation of al Qaeda in the run-up to the 9/11 attacks. Jamie Gorelick, then working as Deputy Attorney General under Janet Reno was author of the memo.

The wall was nominally created in response to the "legitimate fear that agents denied criminal warrants would gain information through the backdoor from their buddies working under FISA." [1]

Scott Wheeler wrote:

Because the memo created a barrier for U.S. intelligence agencies to share information with the FBI, one of its unintended consequences might have been to prevent the FBI from receiving the necessary intelligence to stop the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the worst in American history. [2]

Attorney General John Ashcroft told the 9/11 commission:

"The simple fact of September 11th is this ... We did not know an attack was coming because for nearly a decade our government had blinded itself to its enemies. Our agents were isolated by government-imposed walls." [3]

At issue in the hearings was whether Clinton, Reno and Gorelick or Bush and Ashcroft were more responsible for the effect the "wall" had. The Democrats acknowledged building the wall but blamed the Republicans for leaving it in place. The Republicans blamed the Democrats for building it in the first place.

  • "The Clinton administration neutered the American intelligence agencies that could have stopped the September 11 plot." [4]

External links


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