Tuesday, April 13, 2004
Conflict of interest: Perhaps the biggest problem with the 9/11 commission is the presence of former Clinton administration deputy attorney general Jamie Gorelick. Like the others, Gorelick is a political partisan. Unlike the others, Gorelick should be answering questions, not asking them.
For those who watched today's 9/11 commission hearings, you saw Attorney General John Ashcroft refer to this memo, which heightened and reinforced a wall between the FBI's criminal and counterterrorism divisions. That memo was authored by Gorelick.
With Gorelick still a member of the commission, it's unlikely that the commission or the public will ever learn the details of why Gorelick created that memo.
Former U.S. Attorney Andrew C. McCarthy has penned a piece for National Review Online detailing the huge conflict of interest Gorelick presents. The Landmark Legal Foundation has sent a letter to the commission calling for Gorelick to step down.
Gorelick should never have been offered a position on the commission in the first place. The commission's findings, if not already tainted by partisanship, will be colored by Gorelick's presence. Unlike any other commissioner, she has a personal stake in the final report.