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9/11 Panel Leaders Accuse CIA, White House of Obstructing Inquiry

Posted on Jan 2, 2008

On Wednesday, the same day that Attorney General Mukasey announced the launching of a federal probe into the destruction of CIA interrogation tapes, the chairman and vice chairman of the 9/11 Commission, Thomas H. Kean and Lee H. Hamilton, respectively, published an explosive Op-Ed piece in The New York Times slamming the CIA and the Bush administration for “stonewalling” their investigation.

Kean and Hamilton writing in N.Y. Times:

The commission’s mandate was sweeping and it explicitly included the intelligence agencies. But the recent revelations that the C.I.A. destroyed videotaped interrogations of Qaeda operatives leads us to conclude that the agency failed to respond to our lawful requests for information about the 9/11 plot. Those who knew about those videotapes—and did not tell us about them—obstructed our investigation.

There could have been absolutely no doubt in the mind of anyone at the C.I.A.—or the White House—of the commission’s interest in any and all information related to Qaeda detainees involved in the 9/11 plot. Yet no one in the administration ever told the commission of the existence of videotapes of detainee interrogations.

When the press reported that, in 2002 and maybe at other times, the C.I.A. had recorded hundreds of hours of interrogations of at least two Qaeda detainees, we went back to check our records. We found that we did ask, repeatedly, for the kind of information that would have been contained in such videotapes.

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By sdemetri, January 4, 2008 at 10:14 am Link to this comment

I am of the opinion Kean and Hamilton are engaged in a bit of stonewalling themselves. 9/11 family members Mindy Kleinberg and Lorie Van Auken, in a lengthy letter (link below) in the New York Times on Dec 26, point out the need for a real investigation of the events of 9/11. They were instrumental in getting the 9/11 commission to be formed at all, and have expressed deep disappointment in the shallow results in the commission’s findings. Perhaps the most damning criticism is the failure of the commission to exercise the subpoena power the commission was given. Phillip Zelikow, as executive director of the commission, heading up, it has been reported, 7 of the 8 working groups involved, made document requests, but neglected to use the subpoena power he had. These woman find this incredible.

They wrote: “A subpoena would have meant that the CIA would have had to answer the commission as to whether the documents and tapes existed, and the agency would have had to explain its reasons for not turning these documents and tapes over to the panel. We would have had a paper trail about the evidence.”

Numerous document requests don’t add up to actually going on record with a subpoena. Kean and Hamilton certainly know this.

While Kean and Hamilton say the CIA made a conscious decision to impede the commission, not acknowledging that the commission made a conscious decision to not use subpoena power but rarely to obtain documents, is hardly any better. The recipe for a cover-up if you ask me.

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By martin weiss, January 3, 2008 at 2:51 pm Link to this comment

Don’t get me started.

Giuliani told Peter Jennings on air that “..they told me it would collapse, that I had to get out of there..”

Who told you, Rudy?

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By martin weiss, January 3, 2008 at 2:47 pm Link to this comment



Bush administration, minus all crimes going back to 1997, equals escape from prosecution.

Military Comissions Act absolves Bush, et al, of all crimes back to 1997, therefore, what crimes go back to 1997?

Don’t lose heart, people. American Democracy has not failed, yet. Only Bush has failed to keep his oath of office. Sooner or later, it will all come out and everyone will know everything, presuming we haven’t all been rounded up for thought crimes like believing in Justice.

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By BruSays, January 3, 2008 at 1:28 pm Link to this comment

I’m shocked! Shocked!

Sadly, once again we’re all preaching to the choir here. What’s even sadder is that nobody else is in the church. 

Those who aren’t surprised by these revelations (which includes all of us cynics below) remain sickened that even THIS event is unlikely to change anything. The road to impeachment is nowhere on the map. (Robert Giacobbe, I think Lady Justice left the room years ago.)

We who question this administration and demand impeachment procedings remain, in the eyes of most Americans, “haters,” “left-wing wackos,” “nutso conspiracy theorists,” “Bush-bashers,” “America-haters,” “Communists,” “left-coasters,” etc. (I’m sure I missed some, right Expat?).

And onward, down the tubes we travel….

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By ThePonz, January 3, 2008 at 1:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I smell a Revolution….Ayone?

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By rodney, January 3, 2008 at 12:01 pm Link to this comment
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no one cares anymore. Bush should have never been president anyway. nothing was done then, so who cares.

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By Don Stivers, January 3, 2008 at 11:35 am Link to this comment

To Expat:  I agree with you.  We must have dull representatives in the House and Senate.  Impeachment is off the table.  Don’t want to waste time reaching for Justice in the Crime against Iraq.

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By Don Stivers, January 3, 2008 at 11:32 am Link to this comment

I agree with you.  We must have dull representatives in the House and Senate.  Impeachment is off the table.  Don’t want to waste time reaching for Justice in the Crime against Iraq.

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By slangster, January 3, 2008 at 10:55 am Link to this comment
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Still waiting for the NIST report on WTC7. I expect they will have to finally admit that it, as well as every “sensitive” building, was equipped with a Fail Safe, self destruct system in the event Rudys’ Command Center was compromised by the enemy.

Then I will gladly put my tin foil hat in the drawer beside the duct tape and poly.

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By SamBrown, January 3, 2008 at 10:41 am Link to this comment
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All the forced jaded cynicism and sneering exhibited in some of the comments about this article are a big part of what’s wrong with our country.
“Yeah yeah I’ve heard it all before.” is the attitude the government expects from most of the citizenry and appreciates, I’m sure.
Sad times for America.

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By Bill Blackolive, January 3, 2008 at 10:10 am Link to this comment
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Exactly right, all the above.  But isn’t it nice how Robeert Sheer who needs very badly to take a bunch of acid and wake up does let us carry on so.

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By GW=MCHammered, January 3, 2008 at 9:06 am Link to this comment
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Hypnomedityzed America: Inquiry without Accountability is Meaningless. Except to Those that it Costs. Past Time to End the Bleeding. Stop Financing America’s Demise. And Exile Bush-Cheney-Rove-Rumsfeld in ‘08.

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By David, January 3, 2008 at 5:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

One thing that is not mentioned is the Bush/ Cheney efforts to stonewall the formation of the 9/11 Commission from the very beginning. 

If you recall, when the prospect of an investigation was demanded by the victim’s families, there was a united front by the administration claiming that there would be no investigation.

Finally, after they realized that it would likely implicate them in their guilt should they forcefully work to publically call to supress an investigation, they carefully decided upon how they should proceed. 

So they picked and chose what information they should give the 9/11 Commission.  Bush decided that he would not testify under oath, and would not testify on the record, and not without Cheney by his side - who also would not be on record or under oath. 

Does this sound like the innocent fool who was reading “My Pet Goat” in the Florida classroom that day, or a co-conspirator in a crime? 

I must say though, their disregard for the American intellect was well founded, because to this day people can’t see what was painfully obvious from the beginning. Add to that the bogus anthrax sent to Tom Daschell (which as traced to US government labs) and you get…oh never mind…I’m preaching to the choir here.

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By Expat, January 3, 2008 at 4:25 am Link to this comment

What???!!!  You can’t be serious!!!  Oh my god!!!  Nooooo!!!!  Really??  You got to be shitten me!!  Are you f#*&ken;kidding me??!!  Not possible!!  Never happen!!  I don’t believe it!!!  Serious?  Somebody should do something!!!  How can that be?  Damn!!  Shit!!  F*&k;!  Son of a bitch!!  That’s commie bullshit!!  Can’t be true!!  Holy crap!!!  Hot damn!!  I knew it; they’re all a bunch of lying, thieving bastards!!  It’s a conspiracy from on high!! 

I probably missed some.

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By cyrena, January 3, 2008 at 2:24 am Link to this comment

Yep rowdy,

That’s exactly what it means, and of course we’ve known THAT since it was published. The report could have just as easily been titled “Christmas Turkey” or “9/11 Whitewash”

Which leads me to say that I’m really not much impressed with this op/ed from Kean and Hamilton, these 5 or so years later. If they really did believe that they had a ‘mandate’ to uncover the plot, why did they settle for a disclaimer on pg 146 of the so-called report? They’re just as complicit as the rest of the gang.

And why did their ‘mandate’ not include some real basic stuff, (besides investigating ‘plots’) like the mechanics of the whole 9/11 operation? Why didn’t they acknowledge what was obvious to anyone with a set of eyes, which is the fact that the WTC was BLOWN up, and NOT brought down by airplanes?

Why didn’t they ask for some ‘receipts’ on those airplanes that were allegedly destroyed at the Pentagon, and in that field in Shanksville, Pa. Why didn’t they make any attempt to account for the lives lost in those incidents, if in fact they were?

Why didn’t they attempt to investigate any ‘plots’ that involved ‘terrorists’ OTHER than Arabs or Islamists? Why didn’t they investigate the REAL terrorists, as rowdy has suggested here? Why didn’t they tell us THEN, (instead of in the ‘disclaimer’ on pg 146 of the report) that the the CIA, and the Sec. of Defense, and the WH counsel told them, ‘this is all you’re gonna get?”

Why didn’t they tell us THEN, that the real terrorists were obstructing their investigation, instead of going along with the program, and using all of our taxpayer dollars to write and publish the proverbial Christmas Turkey?

What mandate have they fulfilled? I just see more belated ass covering.

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By rowdy, January 2, 2008 at 9:42 pm Link to this comment

so what this means is; the 9/11 commission report is as full of shit as the proverbial xmas turkey. 911 was an inside job and all of the “terrorists” bush has incarcerated are innocent. the real “terrorists” are still running the country. thermonuclear holocaust still sounds good to me. nuke washington d.c. and really get rid of them all.

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By Scott, January 2, 2008 at 6:17 pm Link to this comment

Given that, I guess outrage is probably too much to ask for.

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By VillageElder, January 2, 2008 at 4:33 pm Link to this comment

It’s just another day and we learn of more lies and obstructions.  How can anyone act surprised?  It is tedious and predictable.

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By weather, January 2, 2008 at 3:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Put Silverstein in front of a Grand Jury.

Then ask Guiliani why he felt compelled to fly to Israel w/in just a day following 9/11, when he had so much on his plate here.

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