News Release

National Security Experts: 9/11 Commission Falls Short

Today a group of 25 veteran former agents, analysts and other experts from a number of government agencies involved in national security are releasing a letter critical of the 9-11 Commission.

Among the 25 signers are John M. Cole, former FBI intelligence operations specialist, and Diane Kleiman, a former special agent with U.S. Customs assigned to JFK International Airport. Other signers, available for interviews, are:

SIBEL EDMONDS
Edmonds worked as a language specialist for the FBI. After reporting security breaches, cover-ups, and blocking of intelligence, Edmonds was retaliated against and ultimately fired in March 2002. Since that time, all her court proceedings have been blocked by the assertion of “State Secret Privilege” by Attorney General Ashcroft; the Congress has been gagged and prevented from any discussion of her case through retroactive re-classification by the Department of Justice; and the report on her case issued by the DOJ-IG has been entirely classified.

BOGDAN DZAKOVIC
Dzakovic has worked for the Security Division of the Federal Aviation Administration since 1987 as a special agent and from 1995 until September 11, 2001, was a team leader of the “Red Team” (terrorist team). He has filed a whistleblower case against the Federal Aviation Administration and testified before the 9-11 Commission.

MELVIN A. GOODMAN
A senior fellow at the Center for International Policy, Goodman recently retired with 41 years of service with the Central Intelligence Agency (senior analyst and division chief). His recent books include Bush League Diplomacy: How the Neoconservatives are Putting the World at Risk. Goodman is also available for interviews regarding the Porter Goss nomination.

DANIELLE BRIAN [via Beth Daley]
Brian is working with several of the signers and is legal director at the Project on Government Oversight.

Excerpts of the letter:

“Omission is one of the major flaws in the Commission’s report. We are aware of significant issues and cases that were duly reported to the commission by those of us with direct knowledge, but somehow escaped attention….

“The Commission in its report holds no one accountable, stating instead ‘our aim has not been to assign individual blame.’ That is to play the political game, and it shows that the goal of achieving unanimity overrode one of the primary purposes of this Commission’s establishment….

“Even before the Commission began its work, many honest and patriotic individuals from various agencies came forward with information and warnings regarding terrorism-related issues and serious problems within our intelligence and aviation security agencies. If it were not for these individuals, much of what we know today of significant issues and facts surrounding 9/11 would have remained in the dark. These ‘whistleblowers’ were able to put the safety of the American people above their own careers and jobs, even though they had reason to suspect that the deck was stacked against them. Sadly, it was. Retaliation took many forms…. No government workers have access to jury trials like Congress enacted for corporate workers after the Enron/MCI debacles. Government workers need genuine, enforceable rights just as much to protect America’s families, as corporate workers do to protect America’s investments….

“While we do not intend to imply that all recommendations of this report are flawed, we assert that the Commission’s list of recommendations does not include many urgently needed fixes, and further, we argue that some of their recommendations, such as the creation of an ‘intelligence czar,’ and haphazard increases in intelligence budgets, will lead to increases in the complexity and confusion of an already complex and highly bureaucratic system….

“Congress has been hearing not only from the commissioners but from a bevy of other career politicians, very few of whom have worked in the intelligence community, and from top-layer bureaucrats, many with vested interests in saving face and avoiding accountability….”
Project on Government Oversight

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167