The View From 1776

Jamie Gorelick’s Wall of Separation

      http://www.thomasbrewton.com/index.php/weblog/jamie_gorelicks_wall_of_separation/

9/11 Investigation Commission member Jamie Gorelick, while the No. 2 official in President Clinton’s Justice Department, issued a policy directive that eliminated any remaining chance that the CIA and the FBI might have stopped the 9/11 attacks.  Why did she do it?

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Attorney General John Ashcroft, testifying on April 13 before the 9/11 Commission, dropped a bomb on the Commission itself.  The Attorney General delivered a declassified copy of a March 4, 1995, policy directive issued to the CIA and the FBI by Jamie Gorelick, who was then Janet Reno’s Assistant Attorney General, the No. 2 spot in the Justice Department.  That policy directive, which in Gorelick’s words was intended to “go beyond what is legally required,” ordered the the FBI and the CIA to adopt procedures that would make impossible the sharing of international terrorist intelligence with domestic law enforcement agencies.

Why did she do it?  The better question is why do liberal-socialists, both Democrats and Republicans, fail to make a distinction between prior restraint of actions and control of actions intended to damage society and undermine the Constitution?

Preventing individuals from expressing their opinions is different from penalizing them for negative results of their speech and actions.  The intent of the Patriot Act is to identify individuals who aim to harm American citizens in order to forestall their action.

To give the devil his due, liberals have a valid point that too heavy a government surveillance hand could destroy the liberties they aim to protect.  Government policy always is a matter of judgment, of weighing good and bad.

Gorelick’s policy directive reflected no new liberal attitude.  Opposition to the Vietnam War by people like Jane Fonda and John Kerry was the catalyst to the Baby Boomers, who emerged from college believing that the United States is an evil oppressor nation.

 

For their college professors, who aided and abetted the student anarchism of the 1960s and 1970s, the antecedents were the 1880s period of socialist and anarchist terror attacks that murdered several prominent public and corporate officials, along with hundreds of innocent citizens.  Radical-left spokesmen like Emma Goldman called for “propaganda of the deed,” bombing property and assassinating conservatives.  One result was the assassination in 1901 of President William McKinley by one of Goldman’s followers.  This reached a peak around the time of U.S. entry into World War I, when the ACLU was formed to protect the “right” claimed by radicals under the First Amendment to regard any words or deeds as protected freedom of speech.

On June 2, 1918, bombs exploded in eight cities.  After the end of World War I in November, 1918, socialists and anarchists unleashed an unprecedented wave of strikes, race riots, and terrorist bombings.  Seattle Mayor Ole Hanson received a bomb in the mail, as did Georgia Senator Thomas Hardwick.  The Postal Service intercepted thirty-four bombs addressed to prominent citizens, including John D. Rockefeller, J. P. Morgan, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer, and Postmaster General Albert Burleson.  In 1920, liberal activists planted dynamite in a wagon outside the Wall Street headquarters of J. P. Morgan, timed to detonate shortly after noon, in order to kill the maximum possible number of people on the street for lunch hour.  With shrapnel tearing through the packed sidewalk crowds, 38 people were killed and some 300 wounded.

Liberals denounced Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer’s efforts to prosecute these liberal thugs.  Today liberals sneeringly dismiss the hundreds of murders by their predecessors as a “red scare.”  Since liberals like John Kerry still believe that European socialism is a more noble form of government than the Constitution, they are up in arms, screaming that the Patriot Act destroys American liberties, in the same way that an arsonist might inveigh against the fire department for impeding his freedom to set fires and watch the results.