Tuesday :: Mar 23, 2004

Relatives Calling for the Resignation of the 9-11 Commission's Executive Director

by paradox

Bumped up from a comment thread from reader larre:

"[Richard] Clarke also reveals that Philip Zelikow, a Bush transition official who is now the executive director of the commission, was present at the meetings where the new team was briefed.

"This news brought an outraged response from relatives of those killed in the attacks, who have long been uncomfortable about Zelikow's role, given his close ties to Bush national security adviser Condoleezza Rice.

"'I can't put into words how outraged I am,' Kristen Breitweiser, whose husband, Ron, was killed in the attack on the World Trade Center. 'This calls into question the integrity of the whole inquiry and the leadership of the commission.'

"The families have called for Zelikow's resignation, and for him to be questioned under oath about his role in the transition when he reported to Rice.

"'It is now apparent,' the relatives wrote Sunday to Commission Chairman and former New Jersey Gov. Thomas H. Kean, 'why there has been so little effort to assign individual culpability. We now can see that trail would lead directly to the staff director himself.'

"Zelikow has previously acknowledged his role in the transition, but this is the first time it has become clear how close was his involvement in the transition's counter-terror strategy.

"The question is significant, because critics of President Bush contend that the incoming administration's transition team effectively 'dropped the ball' on the fight against Osama bin Laden, and on counter-terrorism policy generally.

"Clarke said that counter-terrorism was not on the administration's priority list, which was crowded with what he called 'Cold War issues,' leftovers from the last Bush administration."

paradox :: 6:53 AM :: Comments (5) :: Digg It!