Saturday, February 10, 2007

Think the 9/11 Commission Answered All the Questions About 9/11? Think Again.

I purchased the authorized edition of the The 9/11 Commission Report as soon as it showed up in my local bookstore in August, 2004. At the same time, I picked up Cover Up, by Peter Lance, a five-time Emmy-winning investigative reporter. In his book, Lance offers an unofficial “minority report” on the 9/11 Commission, critiquing its official report as highly politicized and the potential conflicts of interest among the commissioners.

I confess that I didn’t read the 9/11 Commission Report in its entirety, but I read Cover Up from cover to cover. Hmmm, something didn’t quite sound right.

Then my October 2004 issue of Harper’s Magazine arrived, and Whitewash as Public Service was a shocker about how the 9/11 Commission didn’t tell us the truth, especially about Bush’s lying. An excerpt from this excellent article:

There's little mystery about why the Commission is tongue-tied. It can't call a liar a liar.

The most momentous subject before the 9/11 Commission was: What did President Bush know about the Al Qaeda threat to the United States, when did he know it, and if he knew little, why so? The Commission reports that on several occasions in the spring and summer of 2001 the President had “asked his briefers whether any of the threats pointed to the United States.” The Commission further reports the President saying that “if his advisers had told him there was a [terrorist] cell in the United States, they would have moved to take care of it.” Facing his questioners in April 2004, the President said he had not been informed that terrorists were in this country....
Conceivably it was at or near the moment when Bush took this position that the members of the Commission who heard him grasped that casting useful light on the relation between official conduct and national unpreparedness would be impossible. The reason? The President's claim was untrue. It was a lie, and the Commissioners realized they couldn't allow it to be seen as a lie….

Nevertheless the chief executive, seated before the Commission, declared: Nobody told me. And challenging the chief executive as a liar entailed an unthinkable cost—the possible rending of the nation's social and political fabric.

The 9/11 Commission issued its report shortly before the 2004 Presidential election. What would have happened if it had told the truth about Bush’s lying? How could he have run on his platform of being the best candidate to continue to so-called “war on terror?” Our national social and political fabric has been torn to shreds by Bush.

You might wonder why I’m bringing this up now. Because of a currently circulating article posted at AlterNet, From Afghanistan to Iraq: Connecting the Dots With Oil, by Richard Behan, who appears to have done his homework.

Those potential conflicts of interest among Commission members addressed by Peter Lance in Cover Up? Behan describes them as follows:
Many of the 10 commissioners, moreover, were burdened with stunning conflicts of interest -- Mr. Ben Veniste, for example -- mostly by their connections to the oil and defense industries. The Carlyle Group contributed to Commissioner Tim Roemer's political campaigns. Commission Chairman Thomas Kean was a Director of Amerada Hess, which had formed a partnership with Delta Oil, the Arabian company of Khalid bin Mahfouz, and that company was teamed with Unocal in the Afghan pipeline project. Vice-Chairman Lee Hamilton serves on the board of Stonebridge International consulting group, which is advising Gulfsands Petroleum and Devon Energy Corporation about Iraqi oil opportunities.

The breathtaking exemptions accorded President Bush and Vice President Cheney in the inquiry rendered the entire enterprise a farce: They were "interviewed" together, no transcription of the conversation was allowed, and they were not under oath. The Commission report finally places the blame on “faulty intelligence."

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