Sept. 11 panel considered Pentagon probe
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of NBC/Associated Press
Posted: November 11th, 2006
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 Rudolph Giuliani, and that the 20-month investigation may have suffered for it. The book...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. "Fog of war...could not explain why all of the after-action reports, accident investigations and public testimony by FAA and NORAD officials advanced an account of 9/11 that was untrue," the book states. The questioning of Giuliani was considered by Kean and Hamilton "a low point" in the commission's examination of witnesses during public hearings. "We did not ask tough questions, nor did we get all of the information we needed to put on the public record." In their book, which goes on sale Aug. 15, Kean and Hamilton recap obstacles they say the panel faced in putting out a credible report in a presidential election year, including fights for access to government documents and an effort to reach unanimity.