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Saturday, August 05, 2006

9/11 Commissioners are selling a new book

Oh, for the love of God. The commissioners are selling a new book about themselves. Interesting. Of course, it was actually the staff not the commission who wrote the report. Anyway, who do they think they're kidding? Without precedent? Heard of the Warren Commission?

Without Precedent: The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission

Thomas H. Kean, Lee Hamilton

Pub. Date: August 15, 2006

FROM THE PUBLISHER

In the words of the commission's co-chairmen, this is the compelling inside story of how the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States-more commonly known as the 9/11 Commission-managed to succeed against all odds in producing a report that made clear what went wrong and why. The mandate of the 9/11 Commission was daunting and all-encompassing. In its investigation of the events leading up to and including September 11, 2001, the commission had to examine U.S. diplomacy, military policy, intelligence agencies, law enforcement, border and aviation security, and congressional oversight, as well as the immediate response to the terrorist attacks, while also investigating the lethal enemy al Qaeda. The creation of the 9/11 Commission was blocked for months by the Bush administration, and after its inception in December 2002 the commission spent months mired in a series of controversies-the resignation of its first chairman, Henry Kissinger, and vice-chairman, George Mitchell; an inadequate budget; an extraordinarily polarized atmosphere leading up to the 2004 presidential election; the conflicting demands of various interest groups; the distrust of the victims' families; difficulties in obtaining access to highly classified documents and to al Qaeda detainees; and a media eager to record stumbles and gaffes. The obstacles were great, and the expectations for a blue-ribbon panel are never high-yet somehow the 9/11 Commission overcame everything that might have thwarted it and succeeded beyond anyone's greatest expectation, holding a series of hearings that riveted the nation, producing a unanimous and widely heralded report that became a national best seller,and issuing recommendations that led to the most significant reform of America's national security agencies in decades. The 9/11 Commission report slaked the national thirst for accountability. Here for the first time is the story of how the commission came together to produce its landmark document.

FROM THE CRITICS
Publishers Weekly

A re-creation of the inner workings of a government commission threatens to be a dry bureaucratic procedural, but the 9/11 Commission was so politically fraught that its story is compelling in its own right. Chairman Kean and vice-chair Hamilton detail the commission's fight with Congress for more money and time; its wranglings with the Bush administration to win access to witnesses and classified documents; its delicate relations with victims' families, who were its harshest critics and staunchest champions; its strategic use of public censure to wring concessions from recalcitrant officials; and the forging of a bipartisan consensus among fractious Republican and Democratic commissioners. Their tone is evenhanded and diplomatic, but some adversaries-NORAD, the FAA, House Republicans-get singled out as stumbling blocks to the investigation. The authors cogently defend the compromises they made and swat conspiracy theories about coverups, but critics unhappy with the commission's refusal to "point fingers" or its lukewarm resistance to White House claims of executive privilege may not be satisfied. The issues the commission wrestled with-official incapacity to prevent disaster, the government's use and misuse of intelligence, presidential accountability-are still in the headlines, which makes this lucid, absorbing account of its work very timely. Photos. (Aug. 15) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.


Why do I have a feeling the book will not mention Able Danger at all. Or that if it does, it will be downplayed or relegated to a footnote, just like the commission did with most of the important information in it's report.

From Fox News:

Sept. 11 Commissioners' Book Details Internal Disputes

The Sept. 11 commission was so frustrated with repeated misstatements by the Pentagon and FAA about their response to the 2001 terror attacks that it considered an investigation into possible deception, the panel's chairmen say in a new book.

Republican Thomas Kean and Democrat Lee Hamilton also say in "Without Precedent" that their panel was too soft in questioning former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani — and that the 20-month investigation may have suffered for it.

The book, a behind-the-scenes look at the investigation, recounts obstacles the authors say were thrown up by the Bush administration, internal disputes over President Bush's use of the attacks as a reason for invading Iraq, and the way the final report avoided questioning whether U.S. policy in the Middle East may have contributed to the attacks.

Kean and Hamilton said the commission found it mind-boggling that authorities had asserted during hearings that their air defenses had reacted quickly and were prepared to shoot down United Airlines Flight 93, which appeared headed toward Washington.

In fact, the commission determined — after it subpoenaed audiotapes and e-mails of the sequence of events — that the shootdown order did not reach North American Aerospace Command pilots until after all of the hijacked planes had crashed.


Thanks to Mark at Regime of Terror Blog for the tip.