MUKASEY FOLLOWUP….Glenn Greenwald has a followup today on Attorney General Michael Mukasey’s claim that the old version of FISA prevented us from intercepting a communication between Afghanistan and one of the 9/11 hijackers in 2001. Glenn finds a note in the 9/11 Commission report that might refer to the missed call Mukasey was talking about, but the report clearly states that FISA was not to blame:
Critically, the Report emphasized that FISA provided all of the authority needed to have intercepted that communication, to learn of its domestic origins and to disseminate it to the FBI and other domestic intelligence agencies. To the extent the NSA failed to do so, this had nothing to do with FISA or any other legal restraints or civil liberties, but rather, with poor intelligence practices….The pre-9/11 failures, as the Joint Inquiry itself concluded, were failures resulting from how the NSA used its legal authorities, not from insufficient legal authorities or excessive legal restraints.
And down the rabbit hole we go. Again: this deserves some followup from the press. Mukasey has spoken about this in public, so if he’s claiming that FISA prevented us from intercepting a key call before 9/11 he also needs to defend that in public. Did this really happen or didn’t it?