More than a few of my Washington allies noticed a seemingly unremarkable bit of news in a Monday Washington Post article that they thought I ought to see. The article concerned Jared Kushner’s appointment as adviser to his father-in-law Donald Trump.
The appointment did not trouble my friends. What troubled them was the Post’s casual mention that Kushner’s attorney was none other than Jamie Gorelick, deputy attorney general under President Bill Clinton. Observed the Post, Gorelick “is confident that the anti-nepotism statute does not cover Trump’s appointment of Kushner.”
Nepotism was the thrust of the article. The Post made no allusion to the concerns my friends and I have about this relationship. I assured them that Kushner probably does not know Gorelick’s history. I write this to make him aware of why bloggers have taken to calling Gorelick, “The Mistress of Disaster.”
Some recent highlights. In 2014, it was revealed that the George Soros-funded Urban Institute had an officially sanctioned role in the vetting of non-profits that seek tax-exempt status through the IRS. Gorelick was the vice-chairman of the Urban Institute board.
In 2011, she represented Duke University in its attempt to squash a suit by lacrosse team members whose lives had been turned upside down by false rape accusations that the university aided and abetted. In 2010, Gorelick represented BP in the Deepwater Horizon oil mess. It gets worse, much worse.
In 1993, as deputy attorney general under President Clinton, Gorelick served as “field commander” for the horrific government assault on a religious community in Waco, Texas, that left more than eighty dead, twenty of them children.
In 1995, she went on to pen the infamous “wall” memo that prevented the FBI and CIA from sharing information in the run-up to September 11. At the time, a dismayed FBI investigator wrote a memo to headquarters which included the sentence, “Someday someone will die — and wall or not — the public will not understand why we were not more effective.”
In 1996, Gorelick stepped up her game, taking a lead role in the investigation of the TWA Flight 800 disaster. This was the 747 that inexplicably blew up off the coast of Long Island in July 1996 killing 230 people.
As deputy attorney general serving under a feckless Janet Reno, Gorelick’s assignment was to rein in the FBI. Five weeks into the investigation, she summoned FBI honcho Jim Kallstrom to Washington and served up a dose of political reality. To be sure, no account of the Aug. 22 meeting provides any more than routine detail, but behaviors began to change immediately afterwards.
The FBI had already leaked to the New York Times information that would result in a headline on Aug. 23, top right: “Prime Evidence Found That Device Exploded in Cabin of Flight 800.” This article stole the thunder from Clinton’s election-driven approval of welfare reform in that same day’s paper and threatened to undermine the peace and prosperity message of the next week’s Democratic National Convention.
What followed in the next several weeks was the most ambitious and successful cover-up in American peacetime history. At its center was Gorelick. With the help of a complicit media and the active involvement of the CIA, she and her cronies transformed a transparent missile strike into a mechanical failure of unknown origin.
Given her role, the months after the crash had to have been emotionally harrowing. In May 1997, the Clintons appear to have rewarded Gorelick for her steely performance with a job that would pay her $877,573 in that first half-year alone.
According to a Lexis search, not one reporter even questioned why a middling bureaucrat with no financial or housing experience would be handed the vice chairmanship of Fannie Mae, a sinecure that the Washington Monthly called “the equivalent of winning the lottery.”
Six years and an incredible $25.6 million later, having done her share to wreck the American economy, Gorelick responded to the call of duty once more and took just one of five Democratic seats on the 9/11 Commission.
During the 2004 Commission hearings, CIA Director George Tenet first addressed the “wall that was in place between the criminal side and the intelligence side.” Tenet made that barrier sound impenetrable.
“What’s in a criminal case doesn’t cross over that line. Ironclad regulations,” he insisted. “So that even people in the Criminal Division and the Intelligence Divisions of the FBI couldn’t talk to each other, let alone talk to us or us talk to them.”
In her response to Tenet, Gorelick acknowledged the wall and claimed to have used “brute force” in her attempt to penetrate it, but she took no responsibility for its creation. The task of assigning credit was left to Attorney General John Ashcroft.
“The single greatest structural cause for Sept. 11 was the wall,” said Ashcroft. “Full disclosure compels me to inform you that its author is a member of the commission.” That author, of course, was Gorelick, the same official who oversaw the cooperation of the FBI and the CIA in the corruption of the TWA 800 investigation.
As the nation learned in the aftermath of 9/11, the “wall” that was breached all too easily to protect the secrets of TWA 800 held much too firmly when it came to the secrets of our enemies.
Jared, don’t trust her! If need be, I would be happy to sit in a room with Ms. Gorelick and hash this out.