Magazine article Newsweek

Censoring the Report about 9-11?

Magazine article Newsweek

Censoring the Report about 9-11?

Article excerpt

Byline: Michael Isikoff

Why is the Bush administration blocking the release of an 800-page congressional report about 9-11? The bipartisan report deals with law-enforcement and intelligence failures that preceded the attacks. For months, congressional leaders and administration officials have battled over declassifying the document, preventing a public release once slated for this week. NEWSWEEK has learned new details about the dispute. Among the portions of the report the administration refuses to declassify, sources say, are chapters dealing with two politically and diplomatically sensitive issues: the details of daily intelligence briefings given to Bush in the summer of 2001 and evidence pointing to Saudi government ties to Al Qaeda. Bush officials have taken such a hard line, sources say, that they're refusing to permit the release of matters already in the public domain--including the existence of intelligence documents referred to on the CIA Web site.

One document is called the PDB, the President's Daily Brief. The congressional report contains details of PDBs provided to Bush (and top national- security aides) prior to 9-11. The PDBs included warnings about possible attacks by Al Qaeda. (One PDB was given at the presidential ranch in Crawford, Texas, on Aug. 6, and dealt with the possibility that Al Qaeda might hijack airplanes.) But an administration review committee overseen by CIA Director George Tenet has refused to declassify anything that even refers to the existence of PDBs--though they are described on the CIA's own Web site (www. …

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