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Saturday, July 15, 2006

Former 9/11 Commissioner Max Cleland on the 9/11 Commission

A few quotes from Max Cleland (from the Salon article "The president ought to be ashamed")in regards to the 9/11 Commission (which he was a former member of)
"We shouldn't be making deals," Cleland complains. "If somebody wants to deal, we issue subpoenas. That's the deal."
First of all, as someone who co-sponsored legislation creating the 9/11 commission, against great opposition from the White House, this independent commission should be independent and should not be making deals with anybody. I start from there. It's been painfully obvious the administration not only fought the creation of the commission but that their objective was the war in Iraq, and one of the notions that was built on was there was a direct connection between al Qaida and 9/11 and Saddam Hussein. There was not.
Now, it's not partisan; Bill Clinton has already agreed to come personally before the 9/11 commission. But a majority of the commission has agreed to a bad deal.

And what is the deal?

A minority of the commissioners will be able to see a minority of the [PDB] documents that the White House has already said is pertinent. And then a minority of the commissioners themselves will have to brief the rest of the commissioners on what the White House thinks is appropriate.

So the minority of commissioners will get a briefing on the documents?

Yes, but first they have to report to the White House what they're going to tell the other commissioners.

This is not a political witch hunt. This is the most serious independent investigation since the Warren Commission. And after watching History Channel shows on the Warren Commission last night, the Warren Commission blew it. I'm not going to be part of that. I'm not going to be part of looking at information only partially. I'm not going to be part of just coming to quick conclusions. I'm not going to be part of political pressure to do this or not do that. I'm not going to be part of that. This is serious.

You say you think it should be a national scandal ...

It is a national scandal. Here's the deal. The administration made a connection on Sept. 11, and you can read Bob Woodward's book ["Bush at War"]. He's a private citizen. He got access to documents we don't have yet! Just think about that.

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