Families Demand Staff Director of 9/11 Commission Resign
by Nicholas Levis
9-11 Truth Alliance
Saturday, Mar 20, 2004
Link to Original
The Sept. 11 Family Steering Committee has reacted to the news that Philip Zelikow, executive director of the 9/11 Commission, attended a Clinton-Bush transition meeting for White House national security staff (on the Bush side with his co-author, Condoleeza Rice). Terrorism and the effort to capture Osama bin Laden were among the topics discussed at this meeting. Zelikow is thus hopelessly compromised as the head of an investigation into the Sept. 11 attacks. Yet the executive director has controlled the entire flow of evidence presented to the members of the Kean Commission! Under the Commission's agreement with the White House Zelikow is one of only two allowed to read the presidential daily briefs predating Sept. 11 (the other is Commissioner Jamie Gorelick, a former Clinton administration member).
The FSC now demands Zelikow's immediate resignation. Next week should bring some very interesting developments. The Kean Commission is meeting, apparently with Rumsfeld and Tenet as witnesses. Clinton just made a big self-exonerating statement yesterday, claiming his administration told the incoming Bush people everything they needed to know in the effort to dismantle the Bin Laden terror network. Time magazine this week published a Joe Klein article on the ongoing controversies and the Family Steering Committee's list of 23 questions to Bush.
Statement of the Family Steering Committee for The 9/11 Independent Commission
March 20, 2004
The Family Steering Committee is deeply disturbed to learn about Executive Staff Director Phillip Zelikow’s participation in urgent post election briefings, December 2000, and January 2001, with Sandy Berger and Condoleezza Rice. In this particular meeting the Senior Clinton Administration official clearly warned that Al Qaeda posed the worst Security threat facing the nation.
It is apparent that Dr. Zelikow should never have been appointed to be Executive Staff Director of the Commission. As Executive Staff Director his job has been to determine the focus and direction of the Commission’s investigation, an investigation whose mandate includes understanding why the Bush Administrations failed to prioritize the Al Qaeda threat. It is abundantly clear that Dr. Zelikow’s conflicts go beyond just the transition period.
It is extremely distressing to learn this information at this late date. This new information clearly calls into question the integrity of this Commission’s investigation. The Family Steering Committee repeatedly expressed concerns over all members’ conflicts requesting that the commission be forthcoming so as not to taint the validity of the report. The Family Steering Committee was unaware of Dr. Zelikow’s participation in this intelligence briefing until today.
As such, the Family Steering Committee is calling for:
1. Dr. Zelikow’s immediate resignation.
2. Dr. Zelikow’s testimony in public and under oath.
3. Subpoena of Dr. Zelikow's notes from the intelligence briefings he attended with Richard Clarke
4. The Commission to apologize to the 9/11 families and America for this
massive appearance of impropriety.
The Family Steering Committee (FSC) is an independent, nonpartisan group of individuals who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001. The FSC does not receive financial or other support from any outside organizations.
(Letter from the Family Steering Committee to the 9/11 Commission chairs)
March 20, 2004
Dear Chairman Kean, Vice-Chair Hamilton, and Commissioners:
Very disturbing information has surfaced regarding Philip Zelikow's participation in the failure to heed warnings about al Qaeda and imminent attacks on America in the months prior to September 11th.
It is clear that Dr. Zelikow should never have been permitted to be a member of the Commission, since it is the mandate of the Commission to identify the source of 9/11 failures. Dr. Zelikow has a conflict of interest that extends beyond just the transition. It is now apparent why there has been so little effort to assign individual culpability. We now can see that trail would lead directly to the staff director himself.
What little time the Commission has left must be spent without the taint of Dr. Zelikow's influence. We demand his immediate resignation.
The Family Steering Committee