September 11

Kean and Hamilton out of their 9/11 lane

While Chairman Thomas H. Kean and Vice Chairman Lee H. Hamilton might have opinions on waterboarding, they admitted yesterday in their commentary in the New York Times that the 9/11 Commission was not constituted to investigate post-9/11 intelligence gathering methods when they wrote:

“The commission did not have a mandate to investigate how detainees were treated; our role was to investigate the history and evolution of Al Qaeda and the 9/11 plot.”

They alleged, “Those who knew about those videotapes — and did not tell us about them — obstructed our investigation.” Yet they contradicted themselves just a few paragraphs later:

“As a legal matter, it is not up to us to examine the C.I.A.’s failure to disclose the existence of these tapes. That is for others.”

They were provided no less than ten intelligence reports on what the interrogation of Abu Zubayduh revealed, relevant to the Commission’s charter:

Endnotes for Chapter 2:

#18. … See, e.g., Intelligence report, interrogation of Zubaydah, Oct. 29, 2002;… [Page 54] #76. …. Intelligence reports, interrogations of KSM and Zubaydah, 2003… [page 66]

Endnotes for Chapter 5

#19. … See also Intelligence report, interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, Nov. 7, 2002; … [page 150] #31. … See Intelligence report, interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, Aug. 29, 2002. … [page 153] #35 … Intelligence report, interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, May 16, 2003… [page 154]

Endnotes for Chapter 6

#5 … See Intelligence report, interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, July 10, 2002… [page 175] #8 … For more on the origins of the Encyclopedia, see Intelligence report, interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, June 24, 2003 … [also page 175] #125 … see Intelligence report, interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, Dec. 13, 2003… [page 191]

Endnotes for Chapter 7

#90 … Intelligence report, interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, Feb. 19, 2004;… [page 232] #108 … Intelligence report, interrogation of Zubaydah, Feb. 18, 2004… [page 236]

The mere opinions of Mr. Kean and Mr. Hamilton provide no evidence of obstruction.

9/11 was their lane and — at least in regards to whether the CIA did or did not obstruct the Commission’s investigation — Mr. Kean and Mr. Hamilton ought to have stayed within it.

Update, 12:14 PM: An emailer writes:

“They had no right to those tapes. It blows my mind that they demanded to question KSM.”

Rudy Giuliani’s “September 11” campaign advertisement

America was attacked on September 11. No one has sole ownership of 9/11, including my family because we lost someone.

Here is the text of Rudy Giuliani’s advertisement:

“Right before September 11 and months before I had read this book about the greatest generation written by Tom Brokaw and the book explains how brave, and how persistent, and how courageous the people were in the generation that won the Second World War.

“And during the day of September 11 living through the things that I saw and observed, immediately, when I saw people helping each other, I saw the picture of the firefighters putting the flag up, I said these are the children or grandchildren or great-grandchildren of the greatest generation. They have the same resolve, the same understanding.

“When you challenge Americans, there’s no country that stands up stronger and better than the United States of America. When you try and take something away from us like freedom, my goodness, Americans are going to be one in resisting you.

“So, the Islamic terrorists would make a terrible mistake if they confuse our democracy for weakness.

“Our democracy means we disagree with each other but when you come and try and take away from us our freedom, when you try and come here and kill our people, we’re one and we’re going to stand up to you and we’re going to prevail.”

Debra Burlingame adds:

“It’s perfectly legitimate for Giuliani to remind us of that day, and how the country responded and his role in it,” said Debra Burlingame, co-founder of 9/11 Families for a Safe and Strong America, and whose brother, Charles, was the pilot of the hijacked plane that crashed into the Pentagon.

“I was very moved by Giuliani’s great leadership on Sept. 11,” added Burlingame, who said the “silent majority” of families affected by the attacks are not Giuliani critics.

He helped me get through that day. He helped rally the nation when we were on our knees.”