The Raw Story | Top Democrats demand Attorney General explain remarks about pre-9/11 phone call
A letter has been sent by leaders of the House Judiciary Committee to Attorney General Michael Mukasey, demanding that he explain a recent public statement that federal authorities failed to intercept a call from suspected terrorists in Afghanistan prior to the 9/11 attacks, when doing so could have prevented the attacks from taking place.
Mukasey blamed that failure on a lack of the sort of warrantless wiretapping authority that the administration has now called on Congress to provide. However, there has never been any previous mention of such a call, and the Judiciary Committee letter — signed by Chairman John Conyers and two subcommittee chairs — points out that the law that existed at the time would have allowed the call to be intercepted immediately, with permission granted retroactively by the FISA court.
That letter has been noted by blogs, such as Talking Points Memo, but does not appear to have gained any attention from the mainstream media.
Blogger Glenn Greenwald, who has covered the Mukasey incident extensively, originally believed that “he just made this up out of whole cloth in order to mislead Americans into supporting the administration’s efforts to eliminate spying safeguards and basic constitutional liberties and to stifle the pending surveillance lawsuits against telecoms.”