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John Podhoretz: Compulsive Liar

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"John Podhoretz: Compulsive Liar"

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Earlier today, we noted that several right wing bloggers – including the National Review’s John Podhoretz – were lying about the impact of a 1995 memo written by Jamie Gorelick. Podhoretz and others claimed the memo prevented the Department of Defense from sharing information about Mohammed Atta and other terrorists with the FBI. In fact, the Gorelick memo dealt exclusively with the sharing of information between the FBI and the criminal division of the Justice Department.

Caught in a lie this morning, Podhoretz lied again this afternoon. Responding to ThinkProgress readers, Podhoretz tries to claim his story was — and has always been — that the Gorelick’s memo didn’t prevent the information from being shared but was “important” and “reflective of a mindset of consensus”:

Here’s what I think, and what I have said for more than a week now: The 1981 executive order governing intelligence matters specifically gives military intelligence a right to share information with the FBI. But when the deputy attorney general, in 1995, writes a memo insisting that when it comes to sharing intelligence, it is important to go ‘beyond the letter of the law” — and she is the same person who was the general counsel at the Pentagon before that — said memo indicates a mindset in the government about the dangers and inherent incorrectness about the sharing of intelligence information that was very dangerous. That’s what 9/11 proved in part, and why a lot of us think Gorelick’s “wall” memo was important and reflective of a mindset consensus.

First, that’s not what Podhoretz has been saying for a week. Last Friday Podhoretz said the information wasn’t shared between the DoD and the FBI “solely” because the Gorelick memo raised the “intelligence wall”:

I don’t really understand all of it, but the evidence suggests that the Able Danger information could and should have been shared with the FBI and wasn’t — solely owing to the “raising” of the intelligence wall that was done by Jamie Gorelick herself in 1995.

But the second version of Podhoretz’s claim is equally ridiculous, to the extent it’s even comprehensible. This was a classified Justice Department memo. It’s highly unlikely that it was seen by anyone in the Department of Defense at all, much less the people involved in the Able Danger program.

For good measure Podhoretz throws in an insult to Think Progress readers:

Don’t read anything. Just continue to serve as an e-mail robot. It’s probably the best you guys can do.

E-mail robots, activate! Contact Podhoretz at jpod@sprynet.com and ask him a simple question: Do you stand by your statement that the Gorelick memo prevented the Able Danger information from being shared or not?

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