News Release

9-11 Commission

DAVID MacMICHAEL
A former analyst for the CIA, MacMichael said today: “Richard Clarke is not the first to make the point, though he does it from the inside, that the administration had priorities that superseded protecting the American people. According to Gary Hart, the Hart-Rudman report lay unopened until August 2001 on Condoleezza Rice’s desk; on Sept. 10, 2001, Ashcroft was trying to cut counterterrorism budget items….”

ANDREW RICE
Andrew Rice’s brother was killed at the World Trade Center on 9-11. He said today: “Among many of the family members who have followed the 9-11 Commission closely, there is great skepticism that the commission will ultimately produce a truly independent, transparent report on the failures of the last several administrations to effectively fight terrorism. This belief is rooted in a widespread understanding … that the very way the commission has been designed and staffed inherently prevents it from being effective in its work. The most striking example of this is the appointment of Philip D. Zelikow as the commission’s executive director…. Zelikow was on the Bush transition team in January 2001, and Richard Clarke, who is to testify this week, has indicated Zelikow was intricately involved in the crucial national security transition work from Clinton to Bush. One has to safely assume that there are indeed thousands of qualified, truly independent individuals who could have been appointed to Zelikow’s post; why was one of Condi Rice’s closest colleagues, with whom she wrote national security position papers, appointed to such an important post? This is a flagrant case of conflict of interest, and it should not take telephone calls from family members like myself to have Zelikow step down…. Just a little over 20 of the 300-plus requested Presidential Daily Briefings were handed over to the commission by the White House…. Rice now claims, contradicting her earlier statements in 2002, that the administration was aware of serious internal threats, including those involving hijackings, and reacted accordingly…. Why does the president have numerous former high-ranking employees of his administration (Paul O’Neill, Clarke, and Rand Beers) claiming he and his people were obsessed with Iraq instead of Al-Qaeda?… Rumsfeld should be asked directly about his Sept. 12 statement that ‘we should use this to go after Iraq,’ and if he denies it, those present in the White House situation room should be asked to testify about what he and others were saying…. The arrogance and uncooperative stance that this administration has taken toward a commission that it did not even want to exist in the first place (Cheney called then-Majority Leader Daschle on two occasions asking him to not allow the commission to be formed) needs to be called out for what it is….” Andrew Rice is the chair of the 9-11 Commission Committee for Peaceful Tomorrows.

DAVID BARSAMIAN
Co-author of Terrorism: Theirs & Ours (interviews with Eqbal Ahmad) and Culture and Resistance (interviews with Edward Said), Barsamian said today: “It’s extraordinary that not one official has been fired…. Two and a half years after 9-11, there are so many unanswered questions — from ‘Why were the bin Ladin family and other influential Saudis flown out of the country just days after 9-11?’ to ‘What are the business connections between the Carlyle Group and the Bush clan?’… Madeleine Albright told the committee this morning that the Clinton administration did all it could to combat terrorism. But it never seemed to reassess the foreign policy stance, continuing to bomb Iraq, having troops in Saudi Arabia….”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020