Calling a Spade a Spade
Editorial by Kyle F. Hence, Co-founder 9/11 CitizensWatch
The time has come to call a spade a spade with regard to the Government's investigation of 9/11. There is scant evidence to suggest the government is executing a full and transparent investigation. Family members are expressing extreme frustration and skepticism; some, including U.S. Senators, have suggested a cover-up may be afoot. One might draw that conclusion based on the Bush Administration's record of refusing to declassify material and their attempts to kill, stone-wall or otherwise delay the investigation. Many are asking, "What do they have to hide? and "Why not be forthcoming when we must learn all we can in order to prevent another attack?" In addition, the National Commission's weak approach to fulfilling their mandate naturally raises doubts about their ability to create the 'definitive account' of the attacks.
The Commission's approach, despite finding some success in securing hundreds of thousands of pages of documents, holding a few hearings and conducting scores of interviews, has been decidedly 'softball' and entirely lacking in investigative rigor and thus has raised serious questions about the integrity of the inquiry. The search for answers and accountability by victims families and others is being frustrated by the Commission's approach and its inherent failings.
Most recently as reported by Shaun Waterman, the families have exposed a blatant conflict of interest with the Commission's Executive Director, Phillip Zelikow who has close ties to Condi Rice and the National Security Counsel, now being investigated by the Commission. Reportedly, Dr. Zelikow crafted an important internal memo that was part of the transitioning to the new National Security Council under Bush.
Earlier conflicts of interest, or suspected conflicts, forced the resignation of Kissinger and Mitchell, first appointed to head the Commission. This more recent conflict of interest raises doubts about whether or not the Commission will be aggressive enough to learn exactly what the Administration knew and when. This only adds to on-going concerns raised including the fact that no testimony whatsoever has been taken under oath, that intimidating Administration or Agency minders are ever-present in 'interviews' of key witnesses, and that 'extensive negotiations' are on-going with the White House over access to documents that are most critical to learning how much the government knew and what was done with clear warnings received prior to the attacks.
All of these issues taken together and seen as part of a wider pattern raise skepticism about the Commission's ability or willingness to aggressively, openly and expeditiously move to definitive answers regarding the attacks of 9/11.
Yet, to date, barring a well-funded blue-ribbon 'citizens' truth commission or a breakthrough in the discovery process associated with victim family suits, the government's National Commission remains the best hope of families and others who two years after the attacks still have no definitive answers, explanations or accountability for the attacks; who instead have only a rising skepticism about the official narrative and cynicism over 'business as usual' at the highest echelons of power.
Judging by a clear pattern from the immediate aftermath of the attacks when metal from the towers was removed and melted down without being analyzed, to recent accusations of conflict of interest involving Dr. Zelikow it is becoming manifestly clear that the investigation of one of the most pivotal and tragic events in modern history is falling well short of the inspiring confidence. It is an outrage that this investigation has been consistently undermined or compromised by the very persons within government charged with giving the American people and the world a full accounting of 9/11, and the very people who thus far have refused to hold anyone accountable.
The Administration and President Bush should do far more than just hand over the names of the officials who 'outed' a CIA operative charged with monitoring WMD, an act of treason. They should declassify 90-95% of the Joint Inquiry Report (as suggested by Republican Senator Shelby) and turn over to the Commission the complete contents of the August 6th 2001 Presidential Daily Briefing and the Intelligence Review given the National Security Council in July 2001; that's just for starters. The Commission should demand this now and if not complied with they should issue a subpeona. If this does not occur in short order than pressure must be put on Congress to force full disclosure. All parties at the very core of this investigation should be brought before the American people and cross examined with rigor. Only then perhaps will the victim families and the American people have confidence that we have gotten to the bottom of 9/11.
[Note: I received this in the 9/11 CitizensWatch Newsletter. To sign up, click on the link at the top of the page.]
~Did You Miss These?~
Just a Reminder - Tuesday, Nov. 04, 2003
Ravyne Is Moving - Friday, Oct. 17, 2003
The Mission - Sunday, Oct. 12, 2003
Siege Heil - Thursday, Oct. 09, 2003
Litany Of Lies - Wednesday, Oct. 08, 2003
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