home

Able Danger: Gorelick Smear Unjustified

The right-wing blogosphere has launched a coordinated assault on former Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick as part of a larger effort to blame the Clinton administration for 9/11. Think Progress sets the record straight and explains why the smear is a lie.

Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer claims a “highly classified intelligence program, known as Able Danger, had identified the terrorist ringleader, Mohamed Atta, and three other future hijackers by name by mid-2000, and tried to arrange a meeting that summer with agents of the Washington field office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to share its information.” Shaffer says those efforts were blocked by military lawyers.

....Shaffer’s story, if it’s true, involved communications between the Department of Defense and the FBI. Gorelick’s 1995 memo was only about communications between the FBI and the criminal division of the Justice Department. (It also didn’t create a wall between the FBI and the Justice Department but that’s another story.) Whatever problems Shaffer had trying to communicate with the FBI it had absolutely nothing to do with Gorelick.

Gorelick's memo is here. She explained herself in the Washington Post which I wrote about here, where I also explain why the "the wall" often is a good thing.

< Roberts to Women: Stay in the Kitchen | Judith Miller: 'Yellow Journalist'? >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft


  • Re: Able Danger: Gorelick Smear Unjustified (none / 0) (#1)
    by scarshapedstar on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:02:31 PM EST
    Dog Bites Man, A1 Right-Wing Smear is a Lie, A2

    Re: Able Danger: Gorelick Smear Unjustified (none / 0) (#2)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:02:31 PM EST
    I seem to recall that this issue came up during the 9/11 hearing based upon a smear by John Ashcroft. Wasn't the Gorelick memo just a continuation of policies long in place from previous administrations?

    Re: Able Danger: Gorelick Smear Unjustified (none / 0) (#3)
    by MikeDitto on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:02:31 PM EST
    The last time the radical right unjustifiably focused its laser beams on Gorelick, it predictably devolved into Gorelick getting death threats at home and at work, including a bomb threat. I imagine the poor woman has a rough few weeks ahead.

    Re: Able Danger: Gorelick Smear Unjustified (none / 0) (#4)
    by squeaky on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:02:31 PM EST
    The 9/11 bipartisan commissioners had no recollection of Attas name being mentioned, even after meeting with Shaffer. Atta was notorious at that point, and as braindead or constrained at the commission seemed to be not recalling that would be a fear to challenge Regan's legendary memory. Hmmm. doesn't that strike you as strange Mr. Welden? Poor Mr. Shaffer will be well (done) taken care.

    Re: Able Danger: Gorelick Smear Unjustified (none / 0) (#5)
    by ppjakajim on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:02:31 PM EST
    Squeaky - Your info is dated. The commission now remembers, but says the info wasn't thought important. et al - Whatever the memo did, it was used as an excuse to block contact. It says in part:
    These procedures, which go beyond what is legally required, will prevent any risk of creating an unwarranted appearance that [the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] is being used to avoid procedural safeguards which would apply in a criminal investigation."
    Let's have an investigation and find out what happened. The players are still here. And, if nothing else, Gorelick should never have been on the commission. She should have testified.

    Re: Able Danger: Gorelick Smear Unjustified (none / 0) (#6)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:02:31 PM EST
    Right wing bloggers - at least the larger and more responsible ones - are not trying to blame Clinton for 9/11 by delving into the Able Danger accusations. In fact, I doubt whether 9/11 could have been prevented by anyone even with the AD information. The point is the credibility of the 9/11 Commission itself. The Commission's Final Report was a compromise document that may have ignored vital information that didn't fit it's pre concieved notions of what happened. The reasons for that were political; the need to maintain unanimity of Commission members with regard to the 9/11 narrative. And isn't that what they accused both the Clinton and Bush Administrations of doing? And shouldn't there be an effort to try and find out what happened on 9/11 without regard for the politics of the Commission? And re: Gorelick: You are correct about the wall. However, as Col. Shaffer makes clear there was apprehension on the part of DoD lawyers because of what happened at Waco with the Branch Davidians. That opens some other interesting questions not answered as yet - but not pertinent to Able Danger.

    Re: Able Danger: Gorelick Smear Unjustified (none / 0) (#7)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:02:31 PM EST
    Bush is trying to justify his failures by blaming them on Clinton -another rightwing canard is Clinton should have killed Bin Laden -

    Re: Able Danger: Gorelick Smear Unjustified (none / 0) (#8)
    by squeaky on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:02:31 PM EST
    PPJ- How many times does a lie have to be repeated before it is considered the truth? You may want to expand your sources. As think progress point out:
    That hasnít stopped virtually every major right-wing blogger from repeating the lie. Contact them and demand they correct the record.
    Shaffer seems to be qualifying his recollection now. (Maybe Weldon's payola to Shaffer is less than it once was)
    The former intelligence officer who says that a Defense Department program identified Mohamed Atta and three other hijackers before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks said yesterday that many of his allegations are not based on his memory but on the recollections of others.
    Gorelick's memo has no relevance here, as is laid out in bold type in the TL think progress link:
    Shafferís story, if itís true, involved communications between the Department of Defense and the FBI. Gorelickís 1995 memo was only about communications between the FBI and the criminal division of the Justice Department. (It also didnít create a wall between the FBI and the Justice Department but thatís another story.) Whatever problems Shaffer had trying to communicate with the FBI it had absolutely nothing to do with Gorelick.


    Re: Able Danger: Gorelick Smear Unjustified (none / 0) (#9)
    by squeaky on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:02:34 PM EST
    The 200 other terrorists listed on the Able Danger Chart are what Kristen Breitweiser is worried about in her a very thourough breakdown of Able Danger at HuffPo.