Sunday, August 07, 2005

With A Little Help From My Friends

Very little, it would seem. NYTimes (08.07.05):
"The White House has failed to turn over any of the information requested by the 10 members of the disbanded Sept. 11 commission in their renewed, unofficial investigation into whether the government is doing enough to prevent terrorist attacks on American soil, commission members said." 9/11 Group Says White House Has Not Provided Files
Though they were asked two months ago, "the White House, the Pentagon, the State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and several other executive branch agencies" haven't responded. "Mr. Kean said there had been no response of any sort to interview requests for Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld; Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice; Porter J. Goss, the C.I.A. director; Robert S. Mueller III, the F.B.I. director, and Andrew H. Card Jr., the White House chief of staff, among others." "'It's very disappointing,' Mr. Kean said of the administration's failure to cooperate with the group. 'All we're trying to do is make the public safer.'" The requests didn't come from the 9/11 commission itself, "which was created by Congress, and had subpoena powers, but from its shadow group, which the members call the 9/11 Public Discourse Project. It was established by the members of the Sept. 11 commission when the panel formally went out of business last August, shortly after releasing a unanimous report that called for an overhaul of the nation's counterterrorism agencies." "A White House spokeswoman, Dana Perino, would not answer directly when asked if the administration intended to respond to the project's requests for information before next month, when the group is scheduled to publish an updated report that assesses the progress of the government's counterterrorism." She said "much of the information sought by the private group was available from public sources." So get it yourself, in other words? And anyway, Ms. Perino "said that the administration had provided 'unprecedented' cooperation to the commission during the official investigation, including access to more than two million documents." Which to us sounds an awful lot like "you've got all you're gonna get, so buzz off."


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