Meet the Director of the 9/11 Commission...Philip Zelikow.

I find the history and information about this guy fascinating. Notice his "area of academic expertise." Perfect guy for the job.

Read just the bold for the juicy parts.

Philip D. Zelikow

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Philip D. Zelikow is best known as the executive director of the 9/11 Commission. He also acted as the director of the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia until February 2005 when he was appointed Counselor of the United States Department of State.

Philip Zelikow was born in 1954. After study at the University of Houston, he completed a B.A. in History and Political Science at the University of Redlands, in southern California. He earned a law degree from the University of Houston, where he was editor of the law review, and a Ph.D. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.


Professor Zelikow's area of academic expertise is the creation and maintenance of, in his words, “public myths” or “public presumptions,” which he defines as “beliefs thought to be true (although not necessarily known to be true with certainty), and shared in common within the relevant political community.[1]" This can be more simply described as the history and practice of public policy. In addition to the work on German unification, he has been significantly involved in contemporary scholarship on the Cuban missile crisis, including the relation between this crisis and the East-West confrontation over Berlin.

While at Harvard he worked with Ernest May and Richard Neustadt on the use, and misuse, of history in policymaking. Zelikow and May have also authored and sponsored scholarship on the relationship between intelligence analysis and policy decisions. Zelikow later helped found a research project to prepare and publish annotated transcripts of presidential recordings made secretly during the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon administrations (see and another project to strengthen oral history work on more recent administrations, with both these projects based at the University of Virginia's Miller Center of Public Affairs.

In writing about the importance of beliefs about history, Zelikow has called attention to what he has called “‘searing’ or ‘molding’ events [that] take on ‘transcendent’ importance and, therefore, retain their power even as the experiencing generation passes from the scene. In the United States, beliefs about the formation of the nation and the Constitution remain powerful today, as do beliefs about slavery and the Civil War. World War II, Vietnam, and the civil rights struggle are more recent examples.” He has noted that “a history’s narrative power is typically linked to how readers relate to the actions of individuals in the history; if readers cannot make a connection to their own lives, then a history may fail to engage them at all.[1]

Zelikow has also written about terrorism and national security, including a set of Harvard case studies on "Policing Northern Ireland." In the November-December 1998 issue of Foreign Affairs, he co-authored an article entitled “Catastrophic Terrorism,” in which he speculated that if the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center had succeeded, “the resulting horror and chaos would have exceeded our ability to describe it. Such an act of catastrophic terrorism would be a watershed event in American history. It could involve loss of life and property unprecedented in peacetime and undermine America’s fundamental sense of security, as did the Soviet atomic bomb test in 1949. Like Pearl Harbor, the event would divide our past and future into a before and after. The United States might respond with draconian measures scaling back civil liberties, allowing wider surveillance of citizens, detention of suspects and use of deadly force. More violence could follow, either future terrorist attacks or U.S. counterattacks. Belatedly, Americans would judge their leaders negligent for not addressing terrorism more urgently.”

Philip Zelikow served on President Bush's transition team in 2000-2001. After George W. Bush took office, Zelikow was named to a position on the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, and worked on other task forces and commissions as well. He directed the bipartisan National Commission on Federal Election Reform, created after the 2000 election and chaired by former presidents Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford, along with Lloyd Cutler and Bob Michel. This Commission's recommendations led directly to congressional consideration and enactment into law of the landmark Help America Vote Act of 2002.

In Rise of the Vulcans (Viking, 2004), James Mann reports that when Richard Haass, a senior aide to Secretary of State Colin Powell and the director of policy planning at the State Department, drafted for the administration an overview of America’s national security strategy following September 11, Dr. Rice, the national security advisor, "ordered that the document be completely rewritten. She thought the Bush administration needed something bolder, something that would represent a more dramatic break with the ideas of the past. Rice turned the writing over to her old colleague, University of Virginia Professor Philip Zelikow.” This document, issued on September 17, 2002, is generally recognized as a watershed document in the War on Terrorism.

Because Philip Zelikow's significant involvement with the administration of George W. Bush, some questioned the propriety of his position as executive director of the 9/11 Commission, which examined the conduct of George W. Bush and Condoleezza Rice. Both the 9/11 Family Steering Committee and 9-11 Citizens Watch demanded his resignation, due to this apparent conflict of interest. The Commission co-chairs, Tom Kean and Lee Hamilton, shrugged off these criticisms, as did other 9/11 family representatives.

Based on speeches and internal memos, some political analysts believe that Zelikow disagreed with some aspects of the Bush administration's Middle Eastern policy. [2]

In 2002 Zelikow made remarks interpeted as alleging that the United States entered the Iraq War to protect Israel, when he said:

"Why would Iraq attack America or use nuclear weapons against us? I'll tell you what I think the real threat (is) and actually has been since 1990 -- it's the threat against Israel,”

”And this is the threat that dare not speak its name, because the Europeans don't care deeply about that threat, I will tell you frankly. And the American government doesn't want to lean too hard on it rhetorically, because it is not a popular sell.” [3]

Zelikow has called attention to various fallacies in this argument. In addition to observing that any use of nuclear weapons in the Middle East would threaten U.S. and world interests, he noted that, though he publicly worried about the Iraq danger in 2002, he did not take sides in the debate at the time between whether to deal with this problem with war or with further inspections and other diplomatic measures. Nor did he think his views amounted to evidence one way or the other about the Bush administration's motives, since he had not participated in or been privy to the administration's deliberations on this problem.

I know the topic is kind of old, but...

I thought it would strike up some kind of conversation. Oh well.

I have seen people talk about Zelikow here before, but I have not seen anyone point out his area of expertise. Doesn't anyone find it amazing that his experise is in creating and maintaining propaganda? When I first read that I was floored.

---From a decon @ my church: "I want to tell you something very serious..very serious, but I don't want you to say 'I told you so'. I want you to forgive me..You were right. I know the truth about 9/11.

Every American should know who he is.

It's interesting that the page says his expertise is "public myths". I'm not sure I agree with that, based on the source provided. He did use the words in a document he wrote, but does that really make it his area of expertise?

The Eleventh Day of Every Month

i regularly show Zelikow's

i regularly show Zelikow's biography to people when trying to lay out 9/11. its amazing how brazen they were in picking this guy. after they picked Kissinger of course.

See Zelikow get PWNED!1

Forward to "1:50"

"We are going to keep up this fight till the end, till the very end... They took it from the top to the bottom. We're gonna take it from the bottom to the top!"
-Dan Wallace