The vice chair of the prominent 9/11 Commission is denying Attorney General Michael Mukasey's claim that the US received a warning before the attacks of Sep. 11, 2001, Salon reports.
"I am unfamiliar with the telephone call that Attorney General Mukasey cited in his appearance in San Francisco on March 27. The 9/11 Commission did not receive any information pertaining to its occurrence," said former Rep. Lee Hamilton in a statement received by Salon's Glenn Greenwald, who has closely followed the Mukasey revelation.
"Hamilton's statement is consistent with the statement of 9/11 Commission Executive Director Philip Zelikow, as well as the letter sent to Mukasey by House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers and two Subcommittee Chairs, none of whom have any idea what Mukasey was talking about," writes Greenwald.
Given Hamilton's statement, Greenwald says "one of two things is true" about Mukasey's alleged call from an "Afghan safe house": either the White House concealed it from the 9/11 Commission, or Mukasey fabricated it "to scare and manipulate Americans into believing that FISA and other surveillance safeguards caused the 9/11 attacks..."
Last week, key House Democrats demanded an explanation from Mukasey for the purported warning. In response, the Justice Department cited a reference to an untraced call between a 9/11 hijacker and "a known overseas terrorist facility" as well as a February 2008 letter co-signed by Mukasey that blamed the failure to intercept the call on the embattled Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), a law requiring warrants for the government to perform foreign intel surveillance.
Greenwald argued that the US government was "within its mission" to obtain FISA authorization to monitor such a call, yet the Bush administration appeared to be more interested in obtaining greater domestic spying powers.
Greenwald's latest on the Mukasey revelation is available at this link.