September 5, 2006

BenVeniste-Pickert.jpg How quickly we forget. The administration that fell asleep at the wheel had John Ashcroft on board and he didn't even want to hear about terrorism anymore. Will this be in the ABC special?

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BEN-VENISTE: Good afternoon, gentlemen.

Mr. Pickard, on January 21st of this year you met with our staff. Is that correct?

PICKARD: That's correct.

BEN-VENISTE: And according to our staff report, you told them that in June 2001, you met with Attorney General Ashcroft and he told you that you would be the acting FBI director.

PICKARD: That's correct.

BEN-VENISTE: You had some seven or eight meetings with the attorney general?

PICKARD: Somewhere in that number. I have the exact number, but I don't know the total.

BEN-VENISTE: And according to the statement that our staff took from you, you said that you would start each meeting discussing either counterterrorism or counterintelligence. At the same time the threat level was going up and was very high. Mr. Watson had come to you and said that the CIA was very concerned that there would be an attack. You said that you told the attorney general this fact repeatedly in these meetings. Is that correct?

PICKARD: I told him at least on two occasions.

BEN-VENISTE: And you told the staff according to this statement that Mr. Ashcroft told you that he did not want to hear about this anymore. Is that correct?

PICKARD: That is correct.

(h/t Mike)

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