Zelikow’s ‘What Do I Do Now?’ Memo Found

We have found the famous "What Do I Do Now?" memo drafted by 9/11 Commission Executive Director Philip Zelikow on March 2, 2003. The memo advised staffers newly hired by the commission what they should do after starting work.

The memo was found by Erik at the National Archives and uploaded to the 9/11 Document Archive at Scribd.

Philip Shenon's The Commission highlighted the memo and one controversial section in particular. The section says:

Interactions with commissioners can be helpful to you and them. If you are contacted by a commissioner with questions, please contact Chris [Kojm, Zelikow's deputy] or me. Consulting with the Chair and Vice-Chair, we will be sure that the appropriate members of the Commission staff are responsive.

Shenon called this provision, channelling contacts between the staff and the commissioners through Zelikow and his deputy, "unusual" and "worrying to the staff." He added:

It occurred to several of the staff members, especially those with experience on other federal commissions, that Zelikow was trying to cut off their contact with the people they really worked for--the commissioners. Democratic commissioner Jamie Gorelick saw a copy of Zelikow's memo and was furious. Through an arrangement with her law firm, she intended to spend nearly half of her work week on commission business, and she was not going to have Zelikow telling the staff that they could not speak freely with her--that they had to wait to get his permission to return her phone calls. She called [Commission Chairman Tom] Kean and [Commission Vice Chairman Lee] >Hamilton.

"This is totally unacceptable," she told them. "I'm going to have free access to the staff."

[Commissioner] Max Cleland said he was worried from the start that Zelikow was trying to "stovepipe" the investigation. It was ironic, said Cleland; it seemed Zelikow was going to duplicate just the sort of information bottlenecks that had plagued the FBI and the CIA and made them unable to "connect the dots" before September 11.

"It violates the whole spirit of an open look at what the hell happened on 9/11," he said.

Zelikow was forced to rescind that portion of the memo; the commission's staff would be permitted to talk to the commissioners.

That's from pages 84-85 of Shenon's book.

It was certainly good to find the memo after hearing about it. Naturally, we'll continue looking for other stuff.

Originally posted here.

Good job.

Do these people deserve to know how and why their loved ones were murdered? The facts speak for themselves.

Who's Philip Zelikow & what does he have to do with 911?

Part 1 & 2 below.

Public address

I don't think it's a good idea to disseminate people's addresses on the internet. I certainly wouldn't do it and I wouldn't like my address disseminated. It would be better to edit this to remove his address.


If you feel that way, Kevin, then perhaps you could take up that issue with the web site zabasearch (among several others) which makes such public information accessible to millions via the internet--the same listings willingly and knowingly made available by individuals in any public phone directory. Access to this information, or its "dissemination", is not contingent upon or subject to your approval.

Aren't you the same guy who posted this article about the Freedom of Information Act, Kevin? Do you know what the word hypocrite means?

This and that

I don't know zabasearch, never been there. I just don't think it's wise to post Zelikow's address like that, because it doesn't really serve any useful purpose and it looks intimidatory. If somebody wants to contact Zelikow, then they can e-mail him, not go round to his house where he lives with his family.

And yeah, I wrote stacks of posts about FOIA. I don't see any conflict between filing FOIA requests and thinking it's not a good idea to post people's addresses on the net.


The last thing we need is a headline like, "Fmr. 9/11 Commission Director Harassed At Home By "Truther."

Do these people deserve to know how and why their loved ones were murdered? The facts speak for themselves.

Posting Address Unhelpful

It gives ammo to the meme that 9/11 Activists are wackos.

Show "Ridiculous premise" by MrEguy


This comment is in reference to one MrEGuy posted with Zelikow's address and a link to zabasearch- this has been removed.

MrEGuy- what was your intention in posting Zelikow's address? Your comment subject was "Here's where Zelikow lives".

Public info or not, 911Blogger will not be used to promote what could be interpreted as 'veiled' threats, i.e. 'We know where you live, Zelikow'.

Interviewing Zelikow might produce useful information- the rules for posting at 911Blogger are also useful guidelines for interacting with anyone, online or in the carbon world:

"Be civil. ... (If the only comments that you bother making here are to tell others users how stupid that you think they are, your comments will be added to a moderation queue, and your user account may eventually be closed.)

Do not post material that promotes hatred, racism, violence, terrorism or criminal actions.
Post useful information and commentary, not ad-hominem attacks or insults."

Disagreement and civil discussion is fine; insinuating Kevin's a 'hypocrite' and is 'whining' was unjustified, uncivil and borders on insulting.


Conflicts of Interest of the Zelikow Commission

Could there have been a worse and more conflicted individual to run the 9/11 Commission than Philip Zelikow? OK, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Perle, Feith, and a handful of their neocon friends “may” have been slightly worse, but Zelikow definitely makes the short list being a close associate and confidant of the one person most responsible for keeping America safe on 9/11, the President’s National Security Advisor, Ms. Condoleeza Rice. Shenon provides many instances of Zelikow’s bias and manipulation of the Commission in order to spin a favorable impression of Rice and the Bush Administration in its many many failures around 9/11, and who would expect anything different given Zelikow’s following history with Rice:

1. Zelikow and Rice worked closely together in the first Bush White House as aides to former National Security Adivsor, Brent Scowcroft. Rice reportedly hired Zelikow and both started in 1989 and left in 1991.

2. A few years after leaving the White House, Zelikow and Rice co-authored a book together which was published in 1995 (Germany Unified and Europe Transformed: A Study in Statecraft).

3. The two associated once again when Zelikow directed the Aspen Strategy Group, a foreign policy strategy body co-chaired by Scowcroft. Rice, along with Cheney and Wolfowitz, were members.

4. After the 2000 election, Zelikow worked on Rice’s NSC transition team and is believed to be responsible for Richard Clarke’s demotion which helped put terrorism on the back burner of the Bush White House (it also appears that Zelikow did not disclose this fact before accepting the 9/11 Commission appointment).

5. Prior to heading the 9/11 Commission, Zelikow was appointed to President Bush’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board and is the person responsible for rewriting and completing the Bush Doctrine on Preemptive War (upon Rice’s request).

6. After the 9/11 Commission ended, Rice hired Zelikow as her special counselor at the State Department. If this act of cronyism was not so pathetic, it would actually be kind of funny if we were a third world country.

When there is such a significant conflict of interest, you can almost be assured of poor transparency and a cover-up which is exactly what America got in the white washed Zelikow Commission Report. Zelikow even outlined the entire Commission Report before the investigation began, basically guarantying the omission of any evidence that did not agree with his preconceived idea of what transpired around 9/11. Similar to the Warren Commission searching out only information that backed the lone gunman theory and ignoring all contradicting evidence of a conspiracy, the Zelikow Commission followed the exact same ignorance and accomplished the exact same feat with another set of patsies four decades later. Zelikow knew he was creating the 9/11 public myth when he wrote the significantly erroneous and flawed 9/11 report, and like the authors and researchers who have subsequently proved the Warren Commission wrong, it’s now up to 9/11 researchers to show the sham of the Zelikow Commission Report (note: even the government’s House Select Committee on Assassinations concluded in 1979 that the JFK assassination was a “probable conspiracy”).