April 16, 2004


Kean Interest (The Prowler, 4/16/2004, American Spectator)

According to a Republican staffer on the 9/11 commission, growing public and pundit outrage over commissioner Jamie Gorelick's failure to disclose the existence of a Justice Department memo, had chairman Gov. Tom Kean asking Gorelick yesterday morning if she would think about stepping aside.

"The word is she was asked whether she might consider it and she flat out shut him down," said the staffer. "We're in an extremely difficult spot on this."

Gorelick's conflict of interest came to light on Tuesday afternoon, when a newly declassified 1995 Justice Department memo written by her when she was serving as Deputy Attorney General was presented to the commission by Attorney General John Ashcroft during public testimony. The memo, which mandated policy that, as it turned out, made it almost impossible for counter-terrorism investigators to pursue the 9/11 plot before it unfolded, surprised Gorelick's fellow commissioners and staff because, staffers said, she never disclosed its existence to any of them.

Her name alone should have raised questions about her impartiality.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 16, 2004 9:49 PM

Orrin, did you _really_ have to evoke that image? Ick. Ick, ick, ick. Ack, phoo. Where's the Listerine?

Posted by: Joe at April 16, 2004 10:14 PM

Wonder if she's any relation to Kenny G(orelick).

Posted by: Twn at April 16, 2004 10:28 PM

More seriously, if I pulled a stunt like this I would be disbarred faster than you could say Jack Robinson. Any DC bar members out there want to file a formal complaint with the Disciplinary Board?

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at April 17, 2004 12:07 AM

And there's even more to the saga -- as an attorney to DOD she incorrectly advised that special forces covert operations were prohibited, and her current firm is representing the Saudi government in 9-11 family suits against it. It seems to me she has several conflicts of interest.

Posted by: jd watson at April 17, 2004 12:33 AM

I, of course, agree with all of the above.

However, I think the commission has already become a bad joke anyway and therefore Republicans should take a position of humorous disdain toward the entire spectacle.

Arguing against my own position, I realize there are people of good faith who felt that we would actually learn pertinent facts that would allow for better security in the future. Well with Gorelick on the commission, we are learning a big fact (wall between the CIA and FBI) and are able to hopefully correct it in the future.

By the way, Kissinger was removed from the Commission because of some financial interests as I recall. Hence Gorelick's financial interest (in above mentioned lawsuits) would certainly be relevant to the issues the commission is concerned with. Greater relevance than Kissinger's business deals with Saudi's. In Gorelicks case the financial interest relates specifically to the terrorist event.

Posted by: h-man at April 17, 2004 3:51 AM

Kean himself is conflicted due to his previous role on the board of Amerada Hess, which was
in partnership with Delta Oil's Hassan AlAmoudi
& Khalid bin Mahfouz; the other two Yemeni-Saudi
industrialist tied to Al Queda's Golden Chain.
Ben Veniste's security experience can be attributed to having been Barry Seal's attorney
before he became a DEA informant (in other words
none)Hamilton, was part of the last inquisition
on US Middle East Policy; along with Rudman &
Hart; who did their best to savage covert operations in the 1980s

Posted by: narciso at April 17, 2004 11:37 AM

So, Kean made a suggestion to her that was turned down. Is that it?

What, by the way, is Kerrey's contribution supposed to be besides acting like a jackass? Was he not on the intelligence committees during part of the period in question.

Kean needs to take a position on Gorelick or at least bring her before the commission for questioning about her conflicts ... in public of course ... and under oath.

Posted by: genecis at April 17, 2004 11:37 AM