9-11 Commission Obstacles

In their interim report, Kean and Hamilton said the degree of cooperation has varied by office and agency:

_The commission is receiving access to “a wide range of sensitive documents” from Bush’s office and from the National Security Council, but “conditions have been imposed, in some cases, with respect to our access to and usage of materials.”

_The CIA assembled a team of analysts to review events leading up to Sept. 11, 2001, and their work has been invaluable. But the CIA has not responded as quickly to the commission’s requests for internal documents on management and resources.

_Records requested from the Justice Department are overdue, and the department has yet to resolve how to help the commission review the case of Sept. 11 conspiracy suspect Zacarias Moussaoui, who is awaiting trial.

_Problems with the Defense Department “are becoming particularly serious.” The commission has received no responses to requests related to national air defenses among other topics.

_Within the Homeland Security Department , elements of the former Immigration and Naturalization Service “have been slow in providing briefings, although there are recent signs of improvement.”

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9-11 Commission

I caught the tail-end of this press conference on C-Span’s Public Affairs last night.

Despite Thomas Kean’s repeated denials that the Bush WH is impeding the investigation it would seem they are and that the ‘agencies’ are taking the heat.

A problem even Kean refused to defend was the insistence that a monitor be present during interviews the commission conducts.

One of the more interesting questions raised by a reporter was whether these delays in the delivery of requested documents might cause the findings to come out after the 2004 elections. Kean, who fielded the majority of the questions, stated one of the reasons for the conference was to call attention to the problems the commission is facing in meeting its deadline and that was their committment. He denied the delays were intended to achieve a post election publication.

How could he know this? And if he does know it with the certainty he expressed doesn’t that indicate a conflict of interest?