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So far I've heard very little about this, and I wonder if it has any legs. But back when the public hearings first got under way, 9/11 Commissioner Jamie Gorelick seemed like an odd choice to me. She was deputy Attorney General under Clinton and Reno when much of what is being investigated was going on. I wondered if she was tied too closely to events.

This week, it's become clear to me that she was. I have nothing really against her; she's a Democrat and I am a Republican, but I think she's been about as fair and reasonable as any of the other commissioners (except for Ben-Veniste, though he is a trial lawyer, so I give him a little bit of a pass, because being an argumentative and abrasive jerk is his job).

But on Monday, former FBI Director Louis Freeh said in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal that he warned Gorelick about lax immigration policies and terrorism, and suggested she did nothing. Tuesday morning, she recused herself from questioning witnesses because she had worked closely with them. And in the afternoon, Attorney General John Ashcroft described The Wall separating the CIA and FBI, and said much of the problem stemmed directly from a memorandum (which Ashcroft declassified yesterday) implemented under the Clinton administration, written by Gorelick.

And in retrospect, it seems that Rice may have attempted to implicate Gorelick in her testimony of last week, when she responded directly to Gorelick: "It's absolutely the case that we (the Bush administration) did not begin structural reform at the FBI."

And now, Gorelick herself might be called to testify before the commission.

Again, I have nothing against Gorelick, and I am not out to get her. But if I questioned her appropriateness for the commission while knowing nothing about her apart from her job title and dates of service, why didn't people who knew what work she actually performed -- including Gorelick herself -- question her appropriateness?

I am not saying she did anything wrong, any more than anyone else did. You can certainly argue Ashcroft's claim about how much of the problem rests on this particular memo, and Freeh's suggestion that she did nothing about lax immigration, etc. But she is involved, in a significant way, and she never should have been on this commission.

And I also wonder why I am seeing barely anything about this in the news. Maybe because the news orgs are still trying to unravel it, as this came to a head only yesterday afternoon, when Ashcroft testified. slashdot.org

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