A Historical Whitewash? the '9/11 Commission' Runs into Resistance from Official Washington as It Investigates the Attacks on New York City and the Pentagon

By O'Meara, Kelly Patricia | Insight on the News, December 8, 2003 | Go to article overview

A Historical Whitewash? the '9/11 Commission' Runs into Resistance from Official Washington as It Investigates the Attacks on New York City and the Pentagon


O'Meara, Kelly Patricia, Insight on the News


Byline: Kelly Patricia O'Meara, INSIGHT

Receiving a subpoena in Washington is becoming as common as "credible but nonspecific" terrorist threats, and few are more likely to be issuing them than the bipartisan 10-member commission set up by Congress to investigate the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The problem for the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (also known as the 9/11 Commission) is that Nov. 27 marks its first anniversary and time is running out before the May deadline for filing its report. The 9/11 Commission was allotted 18 months and $14 million to investigate the circumstances that produced the Sept. 11 attacks, but commission insiders say the federal agencies with the most information haven't been cooperating.

The commission is tasked with "providing an authoritative account of the attacks of September 11, 2001, and [making] recommendations as to how to prevent such attacks in the future." More specifically, the commission is mandated to investigate "facts and circumstances relating to the terrorist attacks," including those relating to intelligence and law-enforcement agencies, diplomacy, immigration, nonimmigrant visas and border control, the flow of assets to terrorist organizations, commercial aviation, the role of congressional oversight and resource allocation and other areas determined relevant by the commission.

A Pentagon release says Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld has "directed that the Department [of Defense] be responsive to help ensure the commission can meet its deadlines" that is, cooperate and do so in a timely fashion.

But across the Potomac River from the Pentagon the White House had been refusing to turn over highly classified presidential daily briefings (PDBs) seen only by the president specifically an Aug. 6 briefing President George W. received from CIA Director George Tenet titled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike the United States." Finally, in a last-minute compromise reached by the White House and the 9/11 commissioners, the White House has agreed to provide "restricted access" to years of PDBs. In line with what many family members of the victims believe to be the White House's already-excessive intrusions into the commission's mission, the agreement will allow a few of the commissioners to review portions of the daily briefings. They will only be allowed to take notes, which then must be vetted by the White House before being shared with the remaining commissioners or made part of the commission's report. But the content of the PDBs will continue to be redacted.

Like the secretary of defense, the White House has been reassuring, saying it "believed it was being fully cooperative with the commission" and that "it hoped to meet all of the panel's demands for documents."

Kristen Breitweiser, who on Sept. 11 lost her husband Ronald in the collapse of the second World Trade Center tower and was instrumental in getting Congress to set up the 9/11 Commission, tells Insight that the vagueness of the official statements are upsetting. "I wrote a letter to the New York Times last week because I didn't like the language of the White House spokeswoman. She said, 'We think we're cooperating.' There is a difference between thinking and knowing, and I think at this point in the game they can't 'think' they're cooperating, they have to 'know' they're cooperating. It was upsetting, and reminiscent of [National Security Adviser] Condoleezza Rice's comment a few days after the attack when she said that the White House 'didn't think they [terrorists] could use planes as missiles.'"

Breitweiser is especially concerned about the many press reports, supported by information gleaned from previous investigations of the events of Sept. 11, that cite nearly a dozen countries as having passed information on to Washington about an impending attack on the United States [see time line at the bottom of pp. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

A Historical Whitewash? the '9/11 Commission' Runs into Resistance from Official Washington as It Investigates the Attacks on New York City and the Pentagon
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.