Yesterday, I contacted Lee Hamilton, the 9/11 Commission Vice Chairman, to ask him whether the Commission was ever told about Mukasey's alleged Afghan Terrorist 9/11-planning telephone calls and/or the Bush administration's failure/inability to eavesdrop on such calls. Hamilton refused to comment, first claiming that he was in meetings all day yesterday and had no time to talk to me. When asked if he would comment today or whenever he had time, he said he was not going to comment on this ever, since he had not read Mukasey's speech. Calls to 9/11 Executive Director Philip Zelikow seeking comment were not returned and 9/11 Commission Chairman Tom Kean could not yet be reached.
It's unacceptable for Hamilton to refuse to comment on Mukasey's claims. The whole purpose of the 9/11 Commission was to ensure that there was full-scale investigation and disclosure of all facts relevant to the 9/11 attacks, including the Government's actions and inactions in preventing that attack from occurring.
If the Attorney General of the United States, out of the blue, makes an extraordinary and new assertion in a public speech about an easy opportunity the Bush administration had to detect those attacks -- an opportunity he claims was lost because of eavesdropping laws -- Hamilton ought to say whether the Commission was ever told about this incident and/or whether Mukasey is telling the truth. Preventing high government officials from lying about the 9/11 attacks or exposing concealment of key 9/11 facts is his obligation as Vice Chairman of the Commission. Some type of comment from 9/11 Commission officials on Mukasey's claims is vital for generating further attention to this story and for compelling Mukasey to account for what he said.
Hamilton is currently the President and Director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and director of The Center on Congress at Indiana University. Please email him at the address below, politely set forth the extraordinary claims the Attorney General just made about the 9/11 attacks (with citations to media sources about the speech -- including here, here, and here), and urge him to fulfill his obligation as 9/11 Commission Vice Chair by confirming whether Mukasey's revelations are true and/or were disclosed to the Commission during its investigation: Lee.email@example.com.
This isn't just a matter of academic and historical interest about the 9/11 attacks, although it is that. One of two things almost certainly happened here, each of which is of great importance. Either Mukasey is lying about the 9/11 attacks in order to manipulate Americans into believing that FISA's warrant requirements are what prevented discovery of the 9/11 attacks and caused 3,000 American deaths -- a completely disgusting act by the Attorney General which obviously cannot be ignored. Or, Mukasey has just revealed the most damning fact yet about the Bush's administration's ability and failure to have prevented the attacks -- facts that, until now, were apparently concealed from the 9/11 Commission and the public.
Since I wrote about this on Saturday, there has been some slowly evolving media attention paid to it. On Monday, I discussed the story on the radio with Rachel Maddow who, as always, grasped completely its importance. The following night, she was on Countdown with Keith Olbermman, which had a lengthy and detailed segment, highlighting all of the right questions (video below). Raw Story compiled a very thorough article with the key facts, and the top Daily Kos post this morning does the same.
The great significance of this story -- that Mukasey either completely fabricated a key 9/11 event or just revealed a heretofore unknown 9/11 bombshell -- is self-evident and made clear by these growing accounts. Having Hamilton, Kean and/or Zelikow comment on the veracity of Mukasey's claims about the 9/11 attacks -- as they ought to do -- is vital for advancing the story.
UPDATE: Philip Zelikow, the 9/11 Commission Executive Director (and former Counselor to Condolleeza Rice), obviously has no idea what Mukasey is talking about, as he replies by email (ellipses in original):
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. So unless we had some reason to link this information to the 9/11 story ....
In general, as with several covert action issues for instance, the Commission sought (and succeeded) in publishing details about sensitive intelligence matters where the details were material to the investigative mandate in our law.
That's polite Beltway talk for saying that nothing like what Mukasey described actually happened. Does anyone on TV other than Keith Olbermann care that the Attorney General of the United States just invented a critical episode about 9/11 that never actually happened -- tearing up as he did it -- in order to scare Americans into supporting the administration's desired elimination of spying restrictions and blame FISA supporters for the 9/11 attacks? We still ought to hear from Hamilton and/or Kean.
UPDATE II: I'll be on Rachel Maddow's show at 7:30 p.m. EST today to discuss these developments. Local listings and live audio feed are here.
At Daily Kos, McJoan -- who wrote about this matter today here -- has written about it again, and included contact information for key members of Congress to demand that Mukasey be compelled to account for his 9/11 claims, preferably under oath.
The reason this story has the potential to be significant is because it's easy to understand -- Mukasey's story is either true or false -- and, more importantly, nothing like it happened. He can't claim that he just misspoke or was confused because not only was there no such call from Afghanistan (at least according to everything that is known, including by the 9/11 Commission's version), but FISA could never possibly have prevented interception of any calls remotely like the one Mukasey described.
He just made this up out of whole cloth in order to mislead Americans into supporting the administration's efforts to eliminate spying safeguards and basic constitutional liberties and to stifle the pending surveillance lawsuits against telecoms. That isn't hard for anyone -- even including those who play the role of journalists on TV -- to understand and convey.
Finally, numerous people have sent me their emails to Lee Hamilton, who still hasn't commented or responded. If he doesn't soon, I think mass (though civil) calling of his office will be in order. I don't think he has the option of simply remaining quiet when the Attorney General makes a statement of this sort about the 9/11 attacks.
UPDATE III: With the help of readers, I was able to find and get in contact with Tom Kean's office, who asked that an email be sent to him requesting comment. The email I sent is here, along with the email I sent to the DOJ (at their request) asking for comment from Mukasey.
Dan Gilmor of the Center for Citizen Media -- affiliated with the University of California, Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University Law School -- has posted a superb piece on this matter, focusing on what it reflects about establishment press behavior. The whole thing is worth reading (Correction: Center for Citizen Media is now affiliated with Arizona State University and Harvard's Berkman Center, and no longer with Berkeley).
UPDATE IV: House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, along with two Subcommittee Chairs, just sent a letter to Michael Mukasey demanding answers to all the right questions about his 9/11 claims as well as the bizarre (though unsurprising) reference in the Yoo Memorandum to the suspension of the Fourth Amendment inside the U.S. That letter will need to be followed up with action, but it's a good start.
UPDATE V: The DOJ replies to my email referenced above, here.
5 Apr 2008 @ 05:53 by : Never a dull moment
Either Mukasey is Lying, ...
or he is telling us that somebody else is lying.
5 Apr 2008 @ 19:03 by : Yeah...
they've all been lying ever since this friggin 'Nation' was founded! ;)
"Forgive them, Patron, for they know not what they do." ??? What? The one who said that was just as nuts as the rest of us! They know exactly what they do and his old Patron (Saturn)? Supposedly created 'them!' So...who the frack is to blame for all this? Yeah, you guessed it. ;)
Good to see you, bro...
6 Apr 2008 @ 20:28 by a-d : Saturn!?!.... You got that right!
Watch this from beginning to end....
[ http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1131942400352901009 ]
7 Apr 2008 @ 05:37 by : Dear A-d...
I may have mentioned this to you 1000 times!!! ;) I don't do videos on the net so...maybe a word or two from you instead as to the implications of whatever it is you wish me to view? Oh, that was a general 'watch this.' Cool...
Yes, Saturn...good old Shabtai (Heb., for Saturn.) Puts old Helena Rubensteins famous quote more into context now that you know. She said "Time is money!" Of course she was mixing it up a bit as the real 'God of the Jews' is Saturn. Thus the most sacred day Shabat. Shevet Shabat Shabtai! ;)
G'day to ya missie Astara. Miss your presence here at ye old cow pastures of NCN. Gommen zeis ve zeis vat shickler?
"...a completely disgusting act by the Attorney General which obviously cannot be ignored."
7 Apr 2008 @ 13:31 by a-d : ...that's exact;ly
what I was thinking of when I wrote the comment!.... Shabtai...plus a bit more.... expressed in the video!... I know you don't... but be in Good Mood; Dave is working on getting this video on to a DvD. If it works out, I'll send it to you, eh? but those here on NCN who can "do videos" on their PC; UTube & such ...( See, Vax.... I thought of more people than "just YOU", Vax, my One and Only... ;) hehehe ... muchoshmuuucho! : )
8 Apr 2008 @ 00:15 by : Monkey girl!
Yup. I thought of that after ipso ibbo so...you know me. I can do just don't do vid on the net. But I do appreciate that you shot put linakge here for others who do do that voodoo that I won't do so well. Sounds great, A-d...Daves' burning it to CD. And even better that you might send little me a copy too! Danke Schoene, Schoene danke...and all that stuff.
In any case I hope the draklinga mood is lifting off and that you'll be getting out and about more and more. When a close friend, be it animal, human, mineral, or whatever, dies...we also experience a subtle death and the mood can last sometimes...forever! So be of good cheer...Santa Klaus is here and so is the adroit Pater Rosa Fiascosa.
http://www.flock.com/ is a browser you really should look into. But I am an opinionated sort of guy in someways so maybe you shouldn't but...you really should! ;) Good to see you here A-d san. Hope the snow doesn't bury you. Any predicted for the Montana dreamworlds? Are you using the new 'cash?'
Cash in a flash! Get your new cash delivered by .swf! Of course I think a cashless, plasticless (credit cards) society where everything is free is just the Dickens we've all been...well, we are who we've been waiting for so I can't exactly say that. So... Thar she blows and I'm off to do a bloggingly http://www.zotero.com/ type of think/thank/thunk/thought/thinging...
Tata beautiful Skadhi...