Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Mukasey utterance redux

Just five days ago I posted about Attorney General Michael Mukasey's astonishing assertion when speaking before the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco.
Officials "shouldn't need a warrant when somebody with a phone in Iraq picks up a phone and calls somebody in the United States because that's the call that we may really want to know about. And before 9/11, that's the call that we didn't know about. We knew that there has been a call from someplace that was known to be a safe house in Afghanistan and we knew that it came to the United States. We didn't know precisely where it went." [Emphasis mine]
The director of the 9/11 Commission has no memory of any such call coming to the attention of the Commission (as I posted then).
Not sure of course what the AG had in mind, although the most important signals intelligence leads related to our report -- that related to the Hazmi-Mihdhar issues of January 2000 or to al Qaeda activities or transits connected to Iran -- was not of this character. If, as he says, the USG didn't know where the call went in the US, neither did we.

Neither do the co-chairs or anyone in Congress. As Rep. Lee Hamilton finally responded to Glenn Greenwald:
I am unfamiliar with the telephone call that Attorney General Mukasey cited in his appearance in San Francisco on March 27. The 9/11 Commission did not receive any information pertaining to its occurrence.
Gleen Greenwald comments today:
(1) The Bush administration concealed this obviously vital episode from the 9/11 Commission and from everyone else, until Mukasey tearfully trotted it out last week; or,

(2) Mukasey, the nation's highest law enforcement officer, made this story up in order to scare and manipulate Americans into believing that FISA and other surveillance safeguards caused the 9/11 attacks and therefore the Government should be given more unchecked spying powers.

Either way, isn't it rather self-evidently a huge story?
Rep. John Conyers wrote Mukasey asking for clarification. I have not noticed word of any response.

I agree with Greenwald's obvious implication. This IS self-evidently a huge story.

Did the maladministration make a horrendous error in not acting when it could and should have?

Or is the current Attorney General, like the previous one, a liar?

Anyone have other interpretations of this (and some reason to deem them plausible)?

--the BB

1 comment:

FranIAm said...

Oh Paul- you and your pesky need for details, truth and so forth.

It's practically... um, how do I say this... un-American.

(I loathe these bastards. Sorry for the snark.)