This is an amazingly outrageous statement and it's absolutely incredible the news media is not covering this, just Glenn. Rachel Maddow, of Air America Radio, had Glenn on her show yesterday, which is how I learned about it. Rachel then went on Countdown to talk about it. You can read the actual transcript here. This is a transcript of the entire Tuesday show so you will have to scroll down a bit to find it, just look for MADDOW. It's well worth the read, I'll just post an excerpt from it here:
MADDOW: The implication of Mukasey‘s story here is that these pesky, restrictive FISA laws kept us from tapping that call from Afghanistan and blocked us stopping 9/11. That‘s complete bull pucky. The laws then, the laws now, the laws since the FISA court has been in existence; the laws have said that you can tap without a warrant that kind of communication from outside the United States into the U.S., particularly if you knew it was an al Qaeda safe house and it had a link in terrorism.Let me translate, she wanted to say bullshit but was on TV. She is also saying that no warrant was ever needed to listen in to that call from Afghanistan since it originated from outside the country. On top of that if they did need a warrant FISA allows them to do the tap immediately and acquire a warrant within 72 hours. So there was no legal reason the Bush administration couldn't have listened into that call and prevented 9/11, they simply failed to do so for unknown reasons (total incompetence would be my guess).
What Mukasey said is either a terrible lie about the law or it‘s terrible admission about the Bush administration leaving us unprotected on 9/11.
OLBERMANN: And given that Mukasey was working as a judge, if I remember the timing—was working blocks from ground zero. He also said that without telecom immunity, we face the prospect of disclosure in open court the means and methods by which we collect foreign intelligence against foreign targets. Is there even a shred of accuracy in that?So Mukasey also said that these law suits against the telecoms would reveal the workings of our Intelligence so Al Quida would then know how we do things. Rachel says bullshit again. Anything involving state secrets is not talked about in open court, it is done in the judge's chambers and sometimes not even the defense counsel is allowed to be present. So clearly, a blatant lie by our nation's highest law enforcement officer.
MADDOW: No, that is more bull pucky. He is a federal judge. He knows. Federal courts deal with classified information all the time. They have a whole bunch of different ways of dealing with it. They have closed court rooms. They have ex-parte communications. They hear things in judge‘s chambers.
OLBERMANN: Let‘s put two things together. We heard this book that‘s coming out about the various elements in the 9/11 investigation and the quotes attributed to John Ashcroft, saying don‘t bother me with this; I don‘t want to hear about this al Qaeda again, sometime in June, I guess June of 2001. If we put all these little strands together, the possibility that maybe Mukasey has the details wrong, or—but he‘s got a shred of something. He couldn‘t have made that up out of whole cloth. Something is in there and there are all sorts of other strands. We know about the PDB that nobody paid any attention to. We know about the ambivalence towards listening to anybody left over from the Clinton administration.So the gist of the story is that Mukasey really let something slip, he let out the information that the Bush administration COULD have stopped 9/11 if they hadn't been asleep at the switch. When are we going to throw all involved into jail?