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Why Jamie Gorelick
November 13, 2008 - WND.com
by Jack Cashill
This week in its series, “The New Team,” TheNew York Times profiles Jamie Gorelick, (pronounced Guh-REH-lick), very possibly America’s next attorney general.
In the way of “baggage,” reporter Eric Lichtblau cites her past employment as vice chairwoman at Fannie Mae and her role in creating the famed intelligence “wall” while deputy attorney general under Clinton.
Lichtblau may not be aware, however, of her most significant contribution to American security, or lack of the same, the one that put her in position to earn what the Times reports as “$25.6 million in salary and other compensation from 1998 to 2003” at Fannie Mae.
Nor does Lichtblau suggest that something other than patriotism may well have inspired her to leave her lucrative post at Fannie Mae to sign on as one of only five Democrats on the 9/11 commission.
In the way of background, Gorelick assumed the deputy AG position in 1994 a month after Clinton crony Webster Hubbell resigned from the Justice Department in disgrace.
Like Hubbell, Gorelick served as the “political officer” in the 100-thousand employee department, the eyes and ears of the administration, the one who could be trusted. Her boss, Janet Reno, an unreliable figurehead, could not.
An article in the June 3, 1996, Newsweek, described, for instance, how Gorelick had set up a “campaign-like war room” in her office because “in a campaign year, Justice can't afford to be totally blind.”
Six weeks later, on July 17, 1996 –two days before the start of the Atlanta Olympics –TWA Flight 800 blew up off the south coast of Long Island, killing all 230 people on board.
On Aug. 22, 1996, five weeks after the plane’s demise, Jim Kallstrom, who headed up the FBI investigation into TWA 800, was summoned to Washington for a come-to-Jesus meeting.
AP reporter Pat Milton, who had almost total access to Kallstrom for her book on TWA Flight 800, In The Blink of An Eye, puts only one Justice Department official in the August 22 meeting with Kallstrom, Jamie Gorelick.
At this juncture in the investigation, even if Gorelick knew no more than what she read in the Times, she would have known that according to investigators “. . . the center fuel tank did not explode” and that “the only good explanations remaining are that a bomb or a missile brought down the plane."
Gorelick must have known, as Kallstrom did, that traces of PETN and RDX had been confirmed by the FBI lab and that some 270 eyewitnesses had reported seeing at least two different ascending streaks of light that culminated in two or more two high-velocity explosions.
Defense Department missile analysts had debriefed some 34 of the witnesses. There were also scores of witness drawings, some so accurate and vivid they could chill the blood.
Given all the information at their disposal, Gorelick and Kallstrom must finally have known what happened the night of July 17, if not in perfect detail, at least in its rough outlines.
Kallstrom had been a good soldier the past five weeks. He had kept all talk of eyewitnesses, satellites, radar and missiles out the news. But the evidence had led him far away from mechanical failure, and there was no easy way to turn back.
How Gorelick persuaded Kallstrom to change direction I do not know. I suspect that it was an appeal to his patriotism along national security lines. Kallstrom, I believe, has been tortured by this ever since.
“We need to stop the hypocrisy,” he blurted out to Dan Rather on September 11 before catching himself. “Not that hypocrisy got us to this day. I'm not saying it did.”
To be sure, no account of the August 22 nd meeting provides any more than routine detail, but behaviors began to change immediately afterward, especially given the Times headline story the next day, top right—“Prime Evidence Found That Device Exploded in Cabin of Flight 800.”
This article stole the thunder from Clinton’s election-driven approval of welfare reform in that same day’s paper and threatened to undermine the peace and prosperity message of the Democratic convention just three days away.
August 23 represented something of a turning point in the investigation. It was on this day that the FAA began to inquire whether any dog-training exercises had ever taken place on the plane that would become TWA 800.
Further, from that day forward, the FBI would do no more eyewitness interviews for the next two months, and the few its agents did after that were done to undermine earlier eyewitness testimony.
On the 23 rd itself, as CNN reported, Kallstrom was now saying for the first time that “it was possible that the PETN could have been brought on the plane by a passenger and was not part of a bomb.” CNN added an interesting detail: He was “reading a prepared statement.”
On the 25th, the day before the start of the Democratic convention, Kallstrom continued to spin the story away from terrorism. The aircraft, Kallstrom said, had been used as a military charter during the Gulf War five years earlier. Maybe a “passenger” did have some residue on his person.
On Aug. 29 th, at the convention, President Clinton dedicated only one paragraph to the question of terrorism or aviation safety, and this made not the slightest reference to a possible missile attack.
On September 19, the administration introduced a stunning new angle, namely that, as reported in the Times, “None of the physical evidence recovered from T.W.A. Flight 800 proves that a bomb brought down the plane.”
For the first time since the crash itself the White House was floating the idea that “the explosion could have been caused by a mechanical failure alone.”
Conveniently, the next day, the administration was claiming that “the jetliner was used during a test of a bomb-detecting dog five weeks before the crash, which they said could explain the traces of explosives found in the wreckage.”
Those who have followed this story know that the dog-training story proved false in every detail and that the CIA—the CIA?--was eventually recruited to discredit the eyewitnesses.
For the next five years, as anti-terror czar Richard Clarke would concede before the 9-11 Commission, talk of aviation terrorism more or less ended.
Clarke, the admitted architect of the mechanical failure theory, asked that intelligence analysts "be forgiven for not thinking about it given the fact that they hadn't seen a lot in the five or six years intervening about it."
Almost assuredly, Clarke downplayed talk of aviation terror to take Flight 800 off the table. Almost assuredly, Gorelick took the 9-11 post to keep it off.
If any senator needs help framing questions during Gorelick’s confirmation hearing, or any reporter needs help beforehand, I would be happy to oblige.
Monday’s New York Times reported that former Deputy A.G. and 9/11 Commissioner Jamie Gorelick was a candidate for Attorney General in the new Obama Administration. Five-time Emmy winning investigative reporter Peter Lance details a shocking, but little known story about Gorelick involving the loss of a key al Qaeda operative.
Click here for Lance's article on Gorelick .
Click here for info on Peter Lance.
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