The Honorable Bill Shuster
United States House of Representatives
204 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515-3809
Phone: (202) 225-2431
Dear Representative Shuster:
On January 15, 2009, I inquired into the new release by the Legislative Archive of 9/11 Commission Report documents and learned of the existence of the Commission’s Staff Monograph about the Wall. My inquiry prompted the Legislative Archive to review the monograph for release. On April 22, 2009, the Legislative Archive verbally informed me that the monograph was releasable and I would “likely have a copy in [my] hands within two weeks.” Yet a memo to me dated April 23, 2009 from the Legislative Archive in part states, “[I]t was determined by the National Archives that the monograph requires official declassification review before it can be released. I will submit the 35-page document to the reviewing agency as a mandatory declassification review request in your name tomorrow.” 
A person who had reviewed the staff monograph subsequently stated to me, “While it contains only a brief passage that might be considered sensitive in nature, the mechanics of information sharing, expect the DOJ to heavily redact it.” They added, “When Jamie Gorelick hears the monograph’s release has been held up, she will be furious.” They were not the first with knowledge of the monograph to describe it in those terms, albeit no one has disclosed to me its actual classified contents.
Those events and statements, coupled with previously released government documents, indicates to me that contrary to the 9/11 Commission’s founding principles and Executive Order 12958, political considerations motivated the DOJ to order – 4 ½ years after the Commission ended its work – an official declassification review of the monograph and to delay the release of eight related memorandums for record (MFRs).
Three times during his tenure as Deputy Attorney General, Eric Holder was made fully aware that intelligence sharing with the Criminal Division was not taking place. As the officer in charge of day-to-day operations at the Department of Justice, his lack of due diligence ensured that the ‘Wall’ between the intelligence and criminal divisions of the FBI that Jamie Gorelick had built would remain in place for the foreseeable future. The ‘Wall’ stood as the Clinton administration and intelligence community saw the rising threat of al Qaeda, Ramzi Yousef prosecuted for making the bomb used in the 1993 attack upon the World Trade Center and “Bojinka” plot to bomb American jetliners, and our embassies in Africa attacked in 1998.
Despite being well informed in 1997 of the problem, Mr. Holder allowed the very working group he had formulated to not make a single serious recommendation; then he disbanded the group without action:
In June 1996, a memorandum was drafted for the Attorney General to issue emphasizing that contacts between intelligence and criminal agents were not prohibited. (Appendix D, Tab 28) This draft memorandum (961) was never issued, however. (McAdams 7/16/99) By September 1997, according to Daniel S. Seikaly, Director of the Executive Office for National Security (“EONS”), the Director of the FBI had complained to the Attorney General that, despite the July 1995 memorandum, OIPR was preventing the FBI from contacting the Criminal Division. (962) (Seikaly 4/4/00) According to a memorandum Seikaly wrote at the time, the Attorney General was “anxious” to see the problem resolved. (Appendix D, Tab 37) Deputy Attorney General Holder instructed Seikaly to convene a working group consisting of representatives from OIPR, the FBI, and the Criminal Division to address the issue. (Appendix D, Tab 37; Seikaly 4/4/00)) Seikaly concluded that the Attorney General’s memorandum was not being followed, indeed that both OIPR and the FBI “were ignoring the procedures out of an abundance of caution.” (Appendix D, Tab 45) One suggestion was “simply to ask the Attorney General to … reassert the validity of the Procedures,” (id) but there was some sentiment that it would be inappropriate for the Attorney General to issue a memorandum that essentially said “And we really mean it this time.” (Seikaly 4/4/00) In the end, the working group was disbanded without recommendation and no significant action was taken. [emphasis added mine] — Bellows Report, page 722, (pdf reader required)
As stated in Chapter 3 of the 9/11 Commission Report, in both 1999 and 2000, “[S]eparate reviews concluded independently that information sharing was not occurring, and that the intent of the 1995 procedures was ignored routinely,” yet again, Holder took no action.