2004-04-16 00:53:26 UTC
April 14, 2004
By Ann Coulter
Last week, 9/11 commissioner John Lehman revealed that "it was the
policy (before 9/11) and I believe remains the policy today to fine
airlines if they have more than two young Arab males in secondary
questioning because that's discriminatory." Hmmm ... Is 19 more than
two? Why, yes, I believe it is. So if two Jordanian cab drivers are
searched before boarding a flight out of Newark, Osama bin Laden could
then board that plane without being questioned. I'm no security
expert, but I'm pretty sure this gives terrorists an opening for an
In a sane world, Lehman's statement would have made headlines across
the country the next day. But not one newspaper, magazine or TV show
has mentioned that it is official government policy to prohibit
searching more than two Arabs per flight.
Meanwhile, another 9/11 commissioner, the greasy Richard Ben-Veniste,
claimed to be outraged that the CIA did not immediately give
intelligence on 9/11 hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar to
the FBI. As we now know -- or rather, I alone know because I'm the
only person in America watching the 9/11 hearings -- Ben-Veniste
should have asked his fellow commissioner Jamie Gorelick about that.
In his testimony this week, John Ashcroft explained that the FBI
wasn't even told Almihdhar and Alhazmi were in the country until weeks
before the 9/11 attack -- because of Justice Department guidelines put
into place in 1995. The FBI wasn't allowed to put al-Qaida specialists
on the hunt for Almihdhar and Alhazmi because of Justice Department
guidelines put into place in 1995. Indeed, the FBI couldn't get a
warrant to search Zacarias Moussaoui's computer -- because of Justice
Department guidelines put into place in 1995.
The famed 1995 guidelines were set forth in a classified memorandum
written by the then-deputy attorney general titled "Instructions for
Separation of Certain Foreign Counterintelligence and Criminal
Investigations," which imposed a "draconian" wall between
counterintelligence and criminal investigations.
What Ashcroft said next was breathtaking. Prohibited from mounting a
serious search for Almihdhar and Alhazmi, an irritated FBI
investigator wrote to FBI headquarters, warning that someone would die
because of these policies -- "since the biggest threat to us, OBL
(Osama bin Laden), is getting the most protection."
FBI headquarters responded: "We're all frustrated with this issue.
These are the rules. NSLU (National Security Law Unit) does not make
them up. But somebody did make these rules. Somebody built this wall."
The person who built that wall described in the infamous 1995 memo,
Ashcroft said, "is a member of the commission." If this were an
episode of "Matlock," the camera would slowly pan away from Ashcroft's
face at this point and then quickly jump to an extreme close-up of
Jamie Gorelick's horrified expression. Armed marshals would then
escort the kicking, screaming Gorelick away in leg irons as the
closing credits rolled. Gorelick was the deputy attorney general in
The 9/11 commission has finally uncovered the proverbial "smoking
gun"! But it was fired by one of the 9/11 commissioners. Maybe between
happy reminiscences about the good old days of Ruby Ridge, Waco and
the Elian Gonzales raid, Ben-Veniste could ask Gorelick about those
guidelines. Democrats think it's a conflict of interest for Justice
Scalia to have his name in the same phonebook as Dick Cheney. But
there is no conflict of interest having Gorelick sit on a commission
that should be investigating her.
Bill O'Reilly's entire summary of Ashcroft's testimony was to accuse
Ashcroft of throwing sheets over naked statues rather than fighting
terrorism. No mention of the damning Gorelick memo. No one knows about
the FAA's No-Searching-Arabs counterterrorism policy. Predictions that
conservatives have finally broken through the wall of sound coming
from the mainstream media may have been premature.
When Democrats make an accusation against Republicans, newspaper
headlines repeat the accusation as a fact: "U.S. Law Chief 'Failed to
Heed Terror Warnings,'" "Bush Was Told of Qaida Steps Pre-9/ 11;
Secret Memo Released," "Bush White House Said to Have Failed to Make
al-Qaida an Early Priority."
But when Republicans make accusations against Democrats -- even
accusations backed up by the hard fact of a declassified Jamie
Gorelick memo -- the headlines note only that Republicans are making
accusations: "Ashcroft Lays Blame at Clinton's Feet," "Ashcroft: Blame
Bubba for 9/11," "Ashcroft Faults Clinton in 9/11 Failures."
It's amazing how consistent it is. A classic of the genre was the
Chicago Tribune headline, which managed to use both constructs in a
single headline: "Ashcroft Ignored Terrorism, Panel Told; Attorney
General Denies Charges, Blames Clinton." Why not: "Reno Ignored
Terrorism, Panel Told; Former Deputy Attorney General Denies Charges,
Democrats actively created policies that were designed to hamstring
terrorism investigations. The only rap against the Bush administration
is that it failed to unravel the entire 9/11 terrorism plot based on a
memo titled: "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United
I have news for liberals: Bin Laden is still determined to attack
inside the United States! Could they please tell us when and where the
next attack will be? Because unless we know that, it's going to be
difficult to stop it if we can't search Arabs.