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9/11 Commission Admits: All Politics
by George Washington    George Washington's Blog
Entered into the database on Saturday, August 05th, 2006 @ 14:51:34 MST


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The co-chairs of the 9/11 Commission now admit that the Commission largely acted based upon political considerations. As revealed in the new book "Without Precedent":

Republican Thomas Kean and Democrat Lee Hamilton also say in "Without Precedent" that their panel was too soft in questioning former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani — and that the 20-month investigation may have suffered for it.


The book states that commission staff, "exceedingly frustrated" by what they thought could be deception, proposed a full review into why the FAA and the Pentagon's NORAD had presented inaccurate information. That ultimately could have led to sanctions.

Due to a lack of time, the panel ultimately referred the matter to the inspectors general at the Pentagon and Transportation Department. Both are preparing reports, spokesmen said this week.

"Fog of war could explain why some people were confused on the day of 9/11, but it could not explain why all of the after-action reports, accident investigations and public testimony by FAA and NORAD officials advanced an account of 9/11 that was untrue," the book states.

The questioning of Giuliani was considered by Kean and Hamilton "a low point" in the commission's examination of witnesses during public hearings. "We did not ask tough questions, nor did we get all of the information we needed to put on the public record," they wrote.

Commission members backed off, Kean and Hamilton said, after drawing criticism in newspaper editorials for sharp questioning of New York fire and police officials at earlier hearings. The editorials said the commission was insensitive to the officials' bravery on the day of the attacks.

"It proved difficult, if not impossible, to raise hard questions about 9/11 in New York without it being perceived as criticism of the individual police and firefighters or of Mayor Giuliani," Kean and Hamilton said.


In their book, which goes on sale Aug. 15, Kean and Hamilton recap obstacles they say the panel faced in putting out a credible report in a presidential election year, including fights for access to government documents and an effort to reach unanimity.


If Cleland had not resigned, the commission probably would not have reached unanimity, according to the book."

So why does anyone still believe the mythical "official version" of 9/11 as told by the Commission?


9/11 panel heads say Rudy got off easy


The two chairmen of the 9/11 Commission say in a new book they were intimidated by angry New Yorkers from grilling Rudy Giuliani on the city's organizational failures and called it the "low point" of their probe.

Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton state in "Without Precedent" that they let the former mayor off the hook.

"It proved difficult, if not impossible, to raise hard questions about 9/11 in New York without it being perceived as criticism of the individual police and firefighters or ... Giuliani," they said.

"There were no questions posed to him about communication problems between police and firefighters in the towers, or why New York City had its emergency response command center in World Trade Center 7 after the complex had been the target of the 1993 terrorist attack," they wrote.

Giuliani's questioning is described as a low point of their probe, as panel members continually congratulated Giuliani on his handling of the devastation.

"We did not ask tough questions, nor did we get all of the information we needed to put on the public record. ... We did not question him in the same manner that we questioned other witnesses," said Kean, a Republican, and Hamilton, a Democrat.

Giuliani's office did not return calls for comment yesterday.

The commission did grill the city's former police, fire and emergency operations commissioners the day before Giuliani testified.

The questions focused on the inability of commanders to use radio to warn officers inside the twin towers to get out, and confusion between fire and police commanders.

Commission member John Lehman scolded them, saying the lack of command and control was "not worthy of the Boy Scouts."

The remark infuriated New Yorkers, and Giuliani began the day's hearing by telling the commission that blame should be directed only at the terrorists. The audience applauded. During the questioning of Giuliani someone shouted, "The mayor did a great job, so sit down and shut up!"

Any suggestion of failures, they said, was regarded as an "acknowledgment of culpability for people dying ... or as a threat to the phenomenal legacy that had emerged out of the ashes of the World Trade Center."

The 9/11 Commission was established by Congress in 2002 to look at government decisions that led to the attacks. Its report became a national best seller when it was released in 2004.


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