Sunday :: Oct 26, 2003

9/11 Stonewalling About To Blow Up In Bush's Face As Well

by Steve

As if ongoing problems in Iraq weren't enough for Bush, his stonewalling efforts to keep the public from finding out what he knew in the months leading up to 9/11 aren't working. Former New Jersey Governor Tom Kean, who heads up the 9/11 Commission is fed up with the delaying tactics used by the Administration in keeping documents from his commission. He told the press on Friday that he will issue subpoenas within two weeks if his commission doesn't get the documents they have been waiting months for.

The key document that the Administration doesn't want to release to Kean? The August 6, 2001 President's Daily Brief, which Bush reviewed at the ranch in Crawford while on his month-long vacation. It is widely believed that in that document was the intelligence community's specific warning that Bin Laden and Al Qaeda were about to hijack domestic commercial aircraft and crash them into buildings here at home. Yet the FAA never issued any heightened warnings to airports or to the airlines after August 6, even though the material in the 8/6 PDB came from several allied intelligence services in addition to our own services.

It's not clear to me what the Administration could do to keep Kean and Vice Chair Lee Hamilton away from this material except invoke a politically lethal claim of executive privilege based on national security. At that point, even if they used the Cheneyian approach once again, it would clear folks like Bob Graham to come out and let it be known what he knows is in the PDB. Up until now, Graham has insinuated what is in there, without coming out and saying what he knows from his time chairing the committee because he wants to allow the commission to do its job and follow the process until they reach a point of obvious stonewalling from the Administration.

That point may be imminent.

Steve :: 12:01 PM :: Comments (11) :: Digg It!