9/11 COULD HAVE BEEN PREVENTED, 9/11 CHAIR ADMITS
December 17, 2003 2300 PDT (FTW) -- The modified limited hangout has arrived! (Admit part of the blame to hide the greater sin) -- Fresh on the heels of the reported capture of Saddam Hussein, the Bush administration, working through a Republican apparatchik heading a virtually useless and spineless commission investigating the attacks, has decided to try to turn the corner on 9/11. It was all just a big mistake that could have been prevented and the Bush administration is protecting screw-ups. That’s what they want America and the world to believe. 9/11 was not an intelligence failure. It was an intelligence success. Everyone who sees this story is urged to react as strongly as possible with emails, calls and letters to CBS, the major press and the White House saying, "THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE. IT DOES NOT ANSWER THE QUESTIONS AND WE WANT FULL DISCLOSURE."
(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.)
9/11 Chair: Attack Was Preventable
NEW YORK, Dec. 17, 2003
For the first time, the chairman of the independent commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks is saying publicly that 9/11 could have and should have been prevented, reports CBS News Correspondent Randall Pinkston.
"This is a very, very important part of history and we've got to tell it right," said Thomas Kean.
"As you read the report, you're going to have a pretty clear idea what wasn't done and what should have been done," he said. "This was not something that had to happen."
Appointed by the Bush administration, Kean, a former Republican governor of New Jersey, is now pointing fingers inside the administration and laying blame.
"There are people that, if I was doing the job, would certainly not be in the position they were in at that time because they failed. They simply failed," Kean said.
To find out who failed and why, the commission has navigated a political landmine, threatening a subpoena to gain access to the president's top-secret daily briefs. Those documents may shed light on one of the most controversial assertions of the Bush administration – that there was never any thought given to the idea that terrorists might fly an airplane into a building.
"I don't think anybody could have predicted that they would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile," said national security adviser Condoleeza Rice on May 16, 2002.
"How is it possible we have a national security advisor coming out and saying we had no idea they could use planes as weapons when we had FBI records from 1991 stating that this is a possibility," said Kristen Breitweiser, one of four New Jersey widows who lobbied Congress and the president to appoint the commission.
The widows want to know why various government agencies didn't connect the dots before Sept. 11, such as warnings from FBI offices in Minnesota and Arizona about suspicious student pilots.
"If you were to tell me that two years after the murder of my husband that we wouldn't have one question answered, I wouldn't believe it," Breitweiser said.
Kean admits the commission also has more questions than answers.
Asked whether we should at least know if people sitting in the decision-making spots on that critical day are still in those positions, Kean said, "Yes, the answer is yes. And we will."
Kean promises major revelations in public testimony beginning next month from top officials in the FBI, CIA, Defense Department, National Security Agency and, maybe, President Bush and former President Clinton.
© MMIII, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.