Never underestimate the ability of WorldNetDaily columnist Jack Cashill to cling to a bogus conspiracy theory. Thus, we have this blast from the past in Cashill's Jan. 16 column, appearing in the midst of a larger rant about his pet conspiracy theories about the crash of TWA Flight 800:
When testifying before the 9/11 Commission in the spring of 2004, then CIA Director George Tenet first addressed the “wall that was in place between the criminal side and the intelligence side.”
Tenet, a Clinton appointee who kept his job under President Bush, made that barrier sound impenetrable. “What’s in a criminal case doesn’t cross over that line. Ironclad regulations,” he insisted.
“So that even people in the Criminal Division and the Intelligence Divisions of the FBI,” he continued, “couldn’t talk to each other, let alone talk to us or us talk to them.”
In her response to Tenet, 9/11 Commissioner Jamie Gorelick acknowledged the wall and claimed to have used “brute force” as Clinton’s deputy attorney general in her attempt to penetrate it, but she took no responsibility for its creation.
The task of assigning credit was left to Attorney General John Ashcroft. In fact, he was the first witness to call attention to the inherent conflict in Gorelick’s double agency.
“The single greatest structural cause for Sept. 11 was the wall,” Ashcroft testified before the commission on April 13, 2004.
He was referring here to the same memo Tenet had, the one issued in 1995, which provided instructions on the “separation of certain foreign counterintelligence and criminal investigations.”
These instructions, as Tenet noted, disallowed FBI agents from communicating with intelligence gatherers at the CIA and elsewhere.
“Full disclosure,” Ashcroft continued, “compels me to inform you that its author is a member of the commission.”
That author, of course, was Gorelick. “We predicted Democrats would use the 9/11 Commission for partisan purposes, and that much of the press would oblige,” thundered a Wall Street Journal editorial.
“But color us astonished that barely anyone appreciates the significance of the bombshell Attorney General John Ashcroft dropped on the hearings Tuesday.”
But as we documented at the time, Gorelick responded to Ashcroft's conveniently declassified memo with a Washington Post op-ed pointing out that she didn't create the so-called "wall"; it was created in 1978. Her 1995 memo merely detailed procedures that she said permitted a freer exchange of information between criminal and counterterror investigators than had been allowed under the Reagan and first Bush administrations. Additionally, she said, Ashcroft's own deputy attorney formally reaffirmed the 1995 guidelines just a month before 9/11.
Cashill apparently doesn't know that we have at least as long a memory about his bogus conspiracies as he does.