Congressional Record: April 28, 2004 (Senate)
Page S4482-S4483

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Texas is recognized under the 
previous order.
  Mr. CORNYN. Thank you, Madam President.

                          The 9/11 Commission

  Madam President, earlier, I spoke on the importance of the 9/11 
Commission maintaining its credibility given the important mission that 
organization has undertaken to determine, first, a factual record of 
the events leading up to 9/11, and then to make recommendations to 
Congress and various Government agencies on how we can continue to 
protect our homeland against any further terrorist attacks on our own 
  I spoke about the need of one of the Commissioners, Commissioner 
Jamie Gorelick, to provide information about her knowledge of relevant 
facts. She, of course, was Deputy Attorney General during the Clinton 
administration under Attorney General Janet Reno.
  I also made one other point that I think bears repeating here now; 
that is, this is not about blame. The only person and the only entity 
to blame for the events of 9/11 are al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden. This 
is not about blaming the Clinton administration or the Bush 
administration. This is about getting to the facts. This is about 
getting good recommendations based on all the information and then 
making the American people safer as a result.
  On Monday, Senator Lindsey Graham and I asked the Justice Department 
to produce any documents they may have in their possession relating to 
Jamie Gorelick's involvement in establishing policies preventing the 
sharing of critical terrorism-related information between intelligence 
and law enforcement officials. It is the fact that those have now been 
made public and, indeed, posted on the Department of Justice's Web site 
at which brings me back to the Senate floor to briefly 
mention why I think Ms. Gorelick's testimony is even more important to 
explaining what she did as a member of the Justice Department under 
Janet Reno to erect and buttress this wall that has been the subject of 
so much conversation and why it is so much more important that she do 
so because the 9/11 Commission's credibility is at stake.
  Documents posted today on the Justice Department's Web site 
substantially discredit Ms. Gorelick's recent claims that, No. 1, she 
was not substantially involved in the development of the new 
information-sharing policy, and, No. 2, the Department's policies under 
the Clinton-Reno administration enhanced rather than restricted 
information sharing.
  Madam President, these documents--and they are not particularly 
lengthy, but they do raise significant questions about the decision of 
the Commission not to have Ms. Gorelick testify in public. Indeed, the 
only testimony we know she has given has been in secret or in camera, 
to use the technical term. These documents make it even more important 
that we get her explanation for these apparent inconsistencies and 
  Indeed, the document that Attorney General Ashcroft declassified and 
released during the course of his testimony --giving his very powerful 
testimony about the erection and the buttressing of this wall that 
blinded American law enforcement and intelligence agencies from the 
threat of al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden--these new documents reveal, 
indeed, Ms. Gorelick did have a key role in establishing that policy, 
which was ultimately signed off on and approved by Attorney General 
Janet Reno; indeed, that she received and rejected in part and accepted 
in part recommendations made by the U.S. attorney for the Southern 
District of New York with regard to this wall.

  Specifically, Madam President, as you will recall, the first attack 
on American soil that al-Qaida administered was, in all likelihood, the 
World Trade Center bombing in 1993. Indeed, the document that Attorney 
General Ashcroft released pointed out that Mary Jo White, the U.S. 
attorney for the Southern District of New York, was concerned about an 
ongoing criminal investigation ``of certain terrorist acts, including 
the bombing of the World Trade Center,'' and that ``[d]uring the course 
of those investigations significant counterintelligence information 
[had] been developed related to the activities and plans of agents of 
foreign powers operating in [the United States] and overseas, including 
previously unknown connections between separate terrorist groups.''
  Well, in response to some draft proposals for establishing criteria 
for both law enforcement and intelligence, counterterrorism officials, 
Ms. Gorelick noted that the procedures that were adopted at her 
recommendation by the Justice Department under Attorney General Janet 
Reno went beyond what is legally required. Indeed, I spoke earlier 
about the fact that the USA PATRIOT Act brought down that law that had 
been established both by this policy and, indeed, by policies that had 
preceded it.
  But it is important, in these new documents that have just been 
revealed today, in response to my request and Senator Graham's request, 
that there is, indeed, a memorandum by Mary Jo White dated June 13, 
1995, in which she was given an opportunity to respond to the proposed 
procedures that have maintained and buttressed this wall that blinded 
America to this terrible threat.
  Mary Jo White, in part, said--and the documents are on the website so 
anyone who wishes can see the whole document, but she said, in part:

       It is hard to be totally comfortable with instructions to 
     the FBI prohibiting contact with United States Attorney's 
     Offices when such prohibitions are not legally required. . . 

  She goes on to say:

       Our experience has been that the FBI labels of an 
     investigation as intelligence or law enforcement can be quite 
     arbitrary depending upon the personnel involved and that the 
     most effective way to combat terrorism is with as few labels 
     and walls as possible so that wherever permissible, the right 
     and left hands are communicating.

  Indeed, it was this lack of communication, which I think is 
universally acknowledged, that contributed to the blinding of America 
to the threat of terrorism leading up to the events of 9/11. So Ms. 
White made what she called a very modest compromise and some 
recommendations for change to this proposed policy.
  In the interest of fairness and completeness, let me just say the 
documents reveal there were two memoranda by U.S. Attorney Mary Jo 
White, and they contain recommendations for revisions of the 
policy, and that Ms. Gorelick, through and in cooperation with Michael 
Vatis, Deputy Director of the Executive Office for National Security, 
accepted some of those proposed changes and rejected others.

  But then in these documents, again, which were finally disclosed 
today in response to Senator Graham's and my request, there is a 
handwritten note from Ms. Gorelick that says:

       To the AG--I have reviewed and concur with the Vatis/
     Garland recommendations for the reasons set forth in the 
     Vatis memo. Jamie.

  So it is clear Ms. Gorelick was intimately involved with 
consideration of the arguments, both pro and con, on establishing this 
policy which, according to her own memo, went well beyond what the law 
required. Thus, it becomes even more clear she is a person with 
knowledge of facts that are relevant and indeed essential to the 
decisionmaking process of the 9/11 Commission.
  I wish it stopped there, but it does not. Indeed, it appears these 
new documents contradict or at least require clarification by Ms. 
Gorelick of subsequent statements that she has made on the 9/11 
Commission. For example, in a broadcast on CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, 
Wolf Blitzer asked her:

       Did you write this memorandum in 1995 . . .

  By reference, this was the one that was declassified by Attorney 
General Ashcroft that established these procedures building the wall 
and blinding America to this terrible threat.
  He asked:

[[Page S4483]]

       Did you write this memorandum in 1995 that helped establish 
     the so-called walls between the FBI and CIA?

  Ms. Gorelick said:

       No. And again, I would refer you back to what others on the 
     commission have said. The wall was a creature of statute. It 
     existed since the mid-1980s. And while it is too lengthy to 
     go into, basically the policy that was put out in the mid 
     1990s, which I didn't sign, wasn't my policy in any way. It 
     was the Attorney General's policy, was ratified by Attorney 
     General Ashcroft's deputy as well on August of 2001.

  In other words, Ms. Gorelick, notwithstanding the fact that her 
initials as Deputy Attorney General appear on the very memos 
considering recommendations, both pro and con, with regard to 
establishing these procedures, in spite of the fact she appears by 
these documents to have been intimately involved in the adoption and 
establishment of these procedures, said: I didn't sign this memorandum 
and it wasn't my policy.
  Well, at the very least it is clear that it was the policy of the 
Attorney General, based on her explicit recommendation, and that she 
consciously adopted in some cases and rejected in others the 
recommendation of the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New 
York with regard to sharing of information between law enforcement and 
counterintelligence authorities.
  Finally, another example of an apparent contradiction, and maybe one 
that Ms. Gorelick could explain if she would testify in public, as I 
and others have requested, before the Commission, she said in an op-ed 
that appeared in the Washington Post, April 18, 2004, entitled ``The 
Truth About the Wall,'' in giving the various reasons for her side of 
the story in response to the testimony of Attorney General Ashcroft and 
the revelation of this previously classified document:

       Nothing in the 1995 guidelines prevented the sharing of 
     information between criminal and intelligence investigators.

  That appears to directly contradict what is contained in these 
documents. I would imagine if asked to provide her own testimony, Mary 
Jo White, the now retired former U.S. attorney for the Southern 
District of New York, would beg to differ.
  The primary purpose of this is not to cast blame. We know where the 
blame lies. But it is important the 9/11 Commission get an accurate 
record, a historical record of the events leading up to September 11. 
If, in fact, there is a way for Ms. Gorelick to shed some light on this 
subject, indeed, if there is a way for her to clarify or reconcile the 
apparent contradictions between what these newly released records 
demonstrate and her public statements and writings, then she ought to 
be given a chance to do so.
  If she does not avail herself of that opportunity, if the Commission 
refuses to hear from this person in public and to give the American 
people the benefit of this testimony in public in a way that they have 
done with Attorney General Janet Reno and former FBI Director Louis 
Freeh, current FBI Director Robert Mueller, George Tenet, Director of 
Central Intelligence, and Attorney General John Ashcroft, if they 
refuse, if they continue to refuse to avail themselves of this public 
testimony and the opportunity for questions to be asked about these 
apparent contradictions, they will have administered a self-inflicted 
wound. The public will be left, at the conclusion of the 9/11 
Commission, with grave doubts about the impartiality and the judgment 
of the Commissioners who have refused to allow the American people the 
benefit of this relevant and important testimony.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oregon.