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Monday, April 14, 2008
Waters Misleads on Gorelick Memo
Topic: Media Research Center

Just as the folks at the Media Research Center continue to repeat the discredited claim that Richard Armitage was the first, or the only, person to leak Valerie Plame's identity, they take refuge in another canard: that Clinton Justice Department official Jamie Gorelick was the person who created the "wall" keeping the CIA and FBI from sharing information, thus allegedly contributing to 9/11.

In an April 13 "review" printed in the New York Post of Eric Lichtblau's book "Bush's War," Clay Waters repeats that canard again, stating: "[M]uch ardor is spent defending 'well respected' Clinton Justice Department official and 9/11 commission member Jamie Gorelick against Attorney General John Ashcroft's 'McCarthyesque' accusations. (Former Attorney General John] Ashcroft claimed a Gorelick memo helped build the 'wall' between intelligence officers and criminal investigators, preventing their sharing counterterrorism information.)"

Waters leaves out the context of Ashcroft's claim, as well as the problems with it. As we've noted, the "wall" was created in 1978, not in 1995, when Gorelick issued a set of guidelines regarding it. Further, Ashcroft's own deputy attorney general formally reaffirmed Gorelick's 1995 guidelines just a month before 9/11. And the manner in which Ashcroft made his accusation against Gorelick arguably was "McCarthesque" -- through a document that Ashcroft had conveniently declassified for presentation during his testimony before the 9/11 Commission.

The Post, meanwhile, obfuscates over Waters' identity, stating only that he is "director of Times Watch, a division of the Media Research Center." Nowhere is it mentioned that the MRC is a conservative group, or that Waters' Times Watch is dedicated to attacking the New York Times, which employs Lichtblau, the author of the book Waters was ostensibly reviewing. Thus, Waters is hardly an impartial reviewer.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:32 PM EDT

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