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 attack.
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."