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9/11 Commission

Executive Obstruction

The Bush administration and the New York City Government have obstructed the investigation for the 9/11/2001 attack in many varied ways.

Destruction of WTC Physical Evidence

On September 22, 2001 The City's Department of Design and Construction accepted a plan from Controlled Demolition Incorporated to remove and recycle the steel from the World Trade Center. Although victims' families and fire safety experts decried the rapid removal of remains and recycling of steel Mayor Bloomberg defended the operation.

New York authorities' decision to ship the twin towers' scrap to recyclers has raised the anger of victims' families and some engineers who believe the massive girders should be further examined to help determine how the towers collapsed.

But New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg insisted there are better ways to study the tragedy of September 11.

"If you want to take a look at the construction methods and the design, that's in this day and age what computers do," said Bloomberg, a former engineering major. "Just looking at a piece of metal generally doesn't tell you anything." 1  

Intimidation

On October 9, 2001 Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy and Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle received letters containing anthrax. The anthrax was ultimately traced to a military lab at Fort Deitrick. 2   Leahy and Daschle were attempting to slow the passage of the Bush administration's USA PATRIOT Act. Only Senator Russ Feingold voted against the Act.

On November 10, 2001, President Bush, in an address to the United Nations suggested that to entertain any theory of the crime other than the official conspiracy theory was aiding the criminals.

Let us never tolerate outrageous conspiracy theories concerning the attacks of September the 11th; malicious lies that attempt to shift the blame away from the terrorists, themselves, away from the guilty. 3  

In late 2001, the Bush administration issued a series of executive orders under the guise of the War on Terror. Several of these measures have the potential to seriously hamper investigations of the attack. For example Attorney General John Ashcroft issued a directive limiting compliance with the Freedom of Information Act.

In late January of 2002, Bush personally asked Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle to limit congressional investigation of the attack. Vice President Cheney met with Congressional leaders to bolster the request. 4  

Compromising Investigations

The investigation of the alleged collapses of the World Trade Center towers would ultimately be assigned to NIST, a non-regulatory agency under the Departmen of Commerce headed Bush-appointee Carlos M. Gutierrez

The Bush administration resisted pressure to form an independent commission to investigate the attack for more than a year. Finally, in the fall of 2002, the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, or 9/11 Commission, was formed, and Bush appointed Henry Kissinger as chairman. Kissinger withdrew rather than reveal his client list, and was replaced by New Jersey governor Thomas Kean. However the work of the Committee and the Report was shaped by the Commission's executive director Philip Zelikow and his staff. Zelikow has intimate connections with the Bush administration.

e x c e r p t
title: Philip Zelikow: Calling the Shots
authors: Jim Hoffman
David Griffin ennumerates some of Zelikow's many connections to the Bush White House:
  • Member of the National Security Council of the Bush I administration
  • Aid to National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft under Bush I
  • Co-Author of book with Condoleezza Rice, National Security Advisor for Bush II
  • Director of Aspen Strategy Group, to which Rice, Scowcroft, Dick Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz belonged
  • Member of Clinton to Bush II transition team
  • Member of Bush II's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, until being appointed to 9/11 Commission

Legislation proposed in 2006 would make prosecuting whistleblowers easier. A bill introduced by Senator Kit Bond wound curb the need to prove that a disclosure damaged national security, when prosecuting a whistleblower for leaking classified information. 5  


References

1. Baosteel Will Recycle World Trade Center Debris, china.org.cn,
2. Just Testing: Is the U.S. Government making anthrax bombs in Utah?, Salt Lake City Weekly, 2/23/06
3. President Bush Speaks to United Nations, WhiteHouse.gov,
4. Bush asks Daschle to limit Sept. 11 probes, cnn.com,
5. Whistle-blowers tell of cost of conscience, USA Today, 11/24/06

page last modified: 2010-12-18
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Members of FEMA's Building Performance Assessment Team (BPAT) measure some pieces of steel at Fresh Kills landfill