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Comment: 9/11 Commissioners Kean and Hamilton NYT January 2, 2008 Op-Ed Article: "Stonewalled by the C.I.A."

Comment: 9/11 Commissioners Kean and Hamilton NYT January 2, 2008 Op-Ed Article: "Stonewalled by the C.I.A."

by Elizabeth Woodworth, January 11, 2008.

On January 2, 2008, the New York Times carried an op-ed article entitled "Stonewalled by the C.I.A." by 9/11 Commission Chair Thomas Kean and Vice Chair Lee Hamilton (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/02/opinion/02kean.html).

It is difficult to understand why there has been so little follow-up to Kean and Hamilton’s emphatic charges that the CIA wilfully obstructed their investigation.

The tapes in question were destroyed in 2005, long after the Commission had collected its evidence in 2003 and early 2004.

This revelation constitutes a new and highly visible public schism between the Chairs of the 9/11 Commission and the CIA, the only agency they thanked twice in the Preface to their official Report.

Commissioners Kean and Hamilton wrote: "There could have been absolutely no doubt in the mind of anyone at the C.I.A. — or the White House — of the commission’s interest in any and all information related to Qaeda detainees involved in the 9/11 plot. Yet no one in the administration ever told the commission of the existence of videotapes of detainee interrogations." They concluded: "As a legal matter, it is not up to us to examine the C.I.A.’s failure to disclose the existence of these tapes. That is for others. What we do know is that government officials decided not to inform a lawfully constituted body, created by Congress and the president, to investigate one [of] the greatest tragedies to confront this country. We call that obstruction."

In their 2006 book, "Without Precedent: The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission," Kean and Hamilton went further, reporting that their greatest difficulty lay in "obtaining access to star witnesses in custody....who were the only possible source for inside information about the plot." They were "receiving information thirdhand" through a CIA "project manager" who asked the questions, and the Commission "never even got to meet with the people conducting the interrogations." "We had no way of evaluating the credibility of detainee information. How could we tell if someone such as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was telling us the truth?" (pp. 118-24).

According to constitutional law attorney Glenn Greenwald, author of "How Would a Patriot Act?" (2006): "It's hard to imagine a more serious scandal than this....It is a confirmed fact that Alberto Gonzales and David Addington -- the top legal representatives of George Bush and Dick Cheney, respectively -- participated in discussions as to whether those videotapes should be destroyed. The White House refuses to disclose what these top officials said in those meetings. Did they instruct that the videos should be destroyed, or fail to oppose their destruction? The NYT previously quoted one ‘senior intelligence official with direct knowledge of the matter [who] said there had been "vigorous sentiment" among some top White House officials to destroy the tapes.’" (Ref: http://groups.google.com/group/alt.peace/browse_thread/thread/17d7c5ebcc9e380a)

Regarding interrogation methods, Kean and Hamilton wrote: "The commission did not have a mandate to investigate how detainees were treated; our role was to investigate the history and evolution of Al Qaeda and the 9/11 plot." As they rightfully point out, these are two entirely separate issues.

The bottom line is that first the Commission was limited to investigating the above presupposition, and then it was denied access to the very sources that it had been charged to investigate. The whole inquiry now appears to have been a circular, self-defeating, window-dressing exercise.

It is clear that both the CIA and the White House have foiled a full investigation into an event that has, in our resulting ignorance, profoundly damaged American civil liberties and deeply fragmented the world. We have all been stonewalled.

The need for a new and thoroughly independent inquiry should now be abundantly clear. This time the scope of the inquiry should be expanded to include not only al-Qaeda, which was immediately named and then studied to the exclusion of all else, but all public offices that have obstructed our knowledge of what happened on that horrendous world-changing day.

Elizabeth Woodworth

Writer/Professional Librarian

The 9/11 commissioners are pointing fingers at others to

distract the public from their complicity in the conspiracy after-the-fact. They know the 9/11 criminal and civil trials are coming, and they do not want to be held accountable. It is called C.Y.A. (cover your ass), and we Truthers should recognize this and stop hoping that someday the commissioners will see the light and declare 9/11 an inside job. They are part of the conspiracy.

Still important

The official report can no longer be called valid, according to those responsible for the report.

Given this story . . .

why would it be harmful to a political campaign for the candidate to show support for a new investigation?

Because that would be like

Because that would be like drawing a line in the sand. When it comes to 9/11 there IS NO gray area. At least not anymore. Either you believe 9/11 was (essentially) an inside job or you believe the official conspiracy theory. To say you are not sure but would like a new investigation into 9/11 is (in the eyes of the state) the same as saying you believe 9/11 was orchestrated completely by U.S. insiders. Either you're in one camp or you're in the other. Can anyone say polarized?

No investigation

It looks like the 9-11 commission was just a pretext to put into place a list of policy recommendations. It is so full of inaccuracies and omissions that it cannot serve any useful purpose in terms of an investigative report. As has often been said, it just tries to bolster the party line, and is in no wise an investigation of any kind.

I'll give a quick example. I worked at Fuji Bank on the 79th or 80th floor,. during the summer of 1999. A fire drill was conducted in which the entire floor participated. The entire floor was evacuated, and went down 79 flights of stairs and out into the open air. But the 9-11 commission states that to its knowledge, no such evacuation was never conducted. I wonder why they could not find out that such evacuations were in fact done. Furthermore, why would they even bother to go out of their way to state that there were no such evacuations (to their knowledge).

I sensed that the 9-11 commission report was a propaganda tool, but one day just looked to see what it said about the evacuations and my own experience. Sure enough, it contradicted my own experience. By the way, there are pictures I took in 1999 through the windows of the world trade center at my site at www.petersnewyork.com.

They are stonewalling themselves

Who are they kidding? The wives Mindy Kleinberg and Lorie Van Auken, in a letter to the NYT make pretty this clear:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/26/opinion/l26cia.html?_r=3&ref=todayspap...

They make it pretty plain the subpoena power in the commission mandate was seldom used. Kean and Hamilton claiming numerous "document requests" fail to mention anything about the chain of evidence that would have been created by subpoenas demanding CIA documents or materials, instead figuring numerous "document requests" supply sufficient plausible deniability, while letting the stonewallers off the hook. They are stonewalling themselves. Plain and simple.