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Balanced Fare: We Report, You Deride

Saturday, August 09, 2003

Dwight Meredith, Breaking And Shaking The News, With No Hope Of Success

Glenn tips us with this:

CONFLICT OF INTEREST IN THE 9/11 PANEL: And it's a doozy. Dwight Meredith is right: this is unacceptable.

The soundbite, from Dwight:

Gorelick Must Resign the 9/11 Commision

While [Ms. Gorelick's] her firm is representing Saudi interests against the 9/11 families, Ms. Gorelick is a member of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon The United States.

Beldar, an attorney who has puzzled over these issues, is not convinced that this should be disqualifying.

I hate to soundbite his long and entertaining post, but his gist is that Ms. Gorelick has a fabulous resume (she does!), that the revenue she might personally get from the Saudis as a result of this is tiny (almost surely true), that we want Dems on a bipartisan commission (grudgingly, but yes), that conflicts like this pop up all the time and law firms can deal with it (hmmm), and we should move on (Never!).

I think the Beldar argument would prevail in 99.9% of conflict of interest arguments. However, this 9/11 panel is reviewing one of the bigger cases in American history, and its credibility must be unimpeachable, since many folks will reject whatever it concludes anyway.

Appearances and public acceptance are mission-critical: this panel can not operate under the sort of cloud created by this appearance of conflict; it must have the stature of, for example, the Warren Commission.

Or something. But we have to at least try. As a colleague once observed during yet another corporate "right-sizing" - "the challenge used to be to keep smiling; now, the challenge is to keep a straight face".

So, great job by Dwight. Can he send Jamie Gorelick to the "Trent Lott School For People Who Pissed Off The Blogosphere"?

NO! It turns out, she was a significant player in the Clinton scandals - briefly, she was perceived as Bill and Hillary's woman in the Justice Dept after Webb Hubbell left.

Righties hate her, and the WSJ did not want her on this commission last December.

And, since we have Newton's Law of Washington, the Clintonistas will fight back, Hillary will protect her, and we will re-debate the entire eight years of the Clinton Administration.

Or, we will forget about this, and move on.

SUPPLEMENTAL LINKS: Let me take off my Yankee cap with the tin-foil lining, and present these without endorsement:

(1) Ms. Gorelick's role in covering up, on behalf of Bill Clinton, the TWA 800 conspiracy in the summer of 1996;

(2) Newsmax, quoting the WSJ from last December:

"the Wall Street Journal observed last December that the two 9/11 probers were "Democratic partisans [who are] one or two steps removed from James Carville."

"Ms. Gorelick was Hillary Clinton's eyes and ears at Janet Reno's Justice Department...

(3) The always readable "Daily Republican", explaining Ms. Gorelick's role in impeding the investigation of attempts by China (pardon me, "Communist China") to influence the 1996 election.

OK, do I believe these stories? Of course I do, and you should too. KIDDING!

We can reliably predict the reactions of certain prominent lefty bloggers, and we hope that Dwight does not catch too much flack for, no doubt inadvertently, becoming a temporary dupe of the right-wing spin machine.

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