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August 12, 2005

Able Danger: Background On The Gorelick Wall

Andrew McCarthy (Class, Wild Horses) bugs his eyes out on the verge of tears over Gorelicks's absurd defense of her policy, and the Commission's refusal to call her as a witness.

The wall generally forbidding intelligence agents from communicating with their criminal counterparts was a suicidally excessive way to ensure that what little information intelligence agents were permitted to pass would be admissible in court. This is the product of a mindset that insists, beyond all reason and common sense, that terrorism is just a law-enforcement problem. The object of a rational counterterrorism approach is to prevent mass murder from happening in the first place, not to improve your litigating posture for the indictment you return after thousands of people have been slaughtered.

Ummm... what Blaine said.

For the more conspiratorially-minded, some speculation that the Gorelick Wall helped Clinton by preventing intelligence sharing in the Chicom Donations scandal.

Now, I don't usually buy those triple-bank-shot "who benefits?" sort of Internet Detective manifestos. But I guess if the other side can scream Halliburton, Halliburton 24/7, I can at least post that link, while noting my skepticism about the theory.

Much more likely it was the usual liberal urge to overprotect civil liberties at work. There is certainly some benefit to that urge -- protecting civil liberties at the expense of state power is not exactly a crazy idea, after all; a lot of conservatives agree with that idea in principle -- but, with the clear and very present danger of Al Qaeda operatives attempting to blow up the WTC (remember? first happened in 1993? ring any bells), perhaps this wasn't the best time to so severely choke off interagency communication.

As Burke from Aliens would say, "It was a bad call, Ripley."

Thanks to Sue Donhim.


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posted by Ace at 02:27 PM

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