9/11 Commission Suspected Pentagon Deception
Some staff members and commissioners of the Sept. 11 panel concluded that the Pentagon's initial story of how it reacted to the 2001 terrorist attacks may have been part of a deliberate effort to mislead the commission and the public rather than a reflection of the fog of events on that day, according to sources involved in the debate.
Suspicion of wrongdoing ran so deep that the 10-member commission, in a secret meeting at the end of its tenure in summer 2004, debated referring the matter to the Justice Department for criminal investigation, according to several commission sources. Staff members and some commissioners thought that e-mails and other evidence provided enough probable cause to believe that military and aviation officials violated the law by making false statements to Congress and to the commission, hoping to hide the bungled response to the hijackings, these sources said.
"We to this day don't know why NORAD [the North American Aerospace Command] told us what they told us," said Thomas H. Kean, the former New Jersey Republican governor who led the commission. "It was just so far from the truth. . . . It's one of those loose ends that never got tied."
If the commission felt this way before the 2004 election, why are we hearing about this now? It should have been clear to anyone paying close attention to George W. Bush’s Washington of the last five years that this administration did everything necessary to bury damaging stories until after the 2004 election, like they did with the Hadley memo indicating Bush misled the country about what he knew about the veracity of the WMD intelligence used to sell the war.
Yet there are thousands of Democratic dupes inside the Beltway who still can’t bring themselves to say out loud that the cabal in power will do anything to stonewall, lie, and prevent bad news from seeing the light of day. That doesn’t mean that Democrats inside the Beltway need to sign onto every conspiracy theory about 9/11, but it is way past time for Democrats to publicly call into question the official story put forward by the Bush Administration for 9/11 and Iraq, and to tie the two together as a storyline of their own against this cabal.
Even with the most benign explanation possible, that these deceptions were put out there by NORAD to cover up their ineptitude and mistakes that day, the fact still remains that an official inquiry without prosecutorial power was knowingly misled by the Bush Administration. That alone calls for a new congressional inquiry should the Democrats retake Congress next year, or a formal request for a Special Counsel to review the veracity of the information provided by the Bush Administration to the commission, and to determine if information was withheld.
Lastly, it appears that in an effort to portray themselves as courageously facing tough decisions about what to do with United flight 93, the Vice President and Andy Card lied to the American people about what they knew and when they knew it. The truth is that Cheney didn’t even know about the plane until a minute before it crashed into the Pennsylvania countryside. But that didn't stop Shooter from making it sound like he faced an agonizing period of time deciding whether or not to shoot the plane down.
We shouldn't be surprised that a man who so willingly sends other folks' kids to die for his profit opportunities and used five deferments and the impregnation of his wife to stay out of Vietnam would use a national tragedy on his watch as an excuse to make himself look courageous.