October 28, 2003

get your hands off my briefs!

hey, remember that whole 9/11 commission? the one that's trying to get to the bottom of that little incident, find out what went wrong and how to fix it? well, it seems that somebody's not playing nice.

President Bush declined on Monday to commit the White House to turning over highly classified intelligence reports to the federal commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, despite public threats of a subpoena from the bipartisan panel.

The president said in a brief meeting with reporters that the documents were "very sensitive" and that the White House was still discussing the issue with the panel's chairman, Thomas H. Kean, the former Republican governor of New Jersey.

Mr. Bush's remarks and subsequent comments from his press secretary suggested that the White House might ultimately refuse the commission's demand for access to the documents, setting up a possible showdown between the White House and the independent investigators.

in his press conference (nice to see one of those again), bush stated that he wanted to protect the process of the daily presidential brief so that future presidents wouldn't have to worry that they might see the light of day. right.

look, we want to know what you knew. at the very least, we want the bipartisan commission to know what was on those briefs. we're not talking about making these things public on the net, but you need outside oversight on this type of thing, especially when your first idea of a 9/11 committee chairman is henry freaking kissinger.

why was ashcroft flying on private jets in the summer of 2001? why weren't fighters scrambled when four airplanes went off course (fighters had been scrambled before 9/11 for much less)? what intelligence was available and how was it used?

the fact that both republicans and democrats on the committee are calling for the papers should tell bush that this is a big issue. hell, dean and lieberman both made statements about this today, and you can bet that it's going to be an issue in 2004 if these things are sequestered under executive privilege. but we can't even get faa transcripts from that day two years after the fact, much less presidential briefings. the commission has already issued subpoenas on those.

it doesn't look like kean is going to back down on this, so it's going to look even worse if the documents have to be pried out of the hands of the administration.

Posted by kilgore at October 28, 2003 09:22 PM | TrackBack
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