- WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President
Bush appointed Henry Kissinger on Wednesday to lead an independent investigation
of the government's failure to prevent the Sept. 11 attacks, instructing
the former secretary of state to "follow all the facts wherever they
- "We must uncover every detail and learn every lesson
of Sept. 11," Bush said before signing legislation creating the 10-member
commission, which he initially opposed, and naming one of the most controversial
American statesmen of the last half-century as its chairman.
- Kissinger promised a full investigation, including an
examination of any ties between U.S. ally Saudi Arabia and Osama bin Laden's
al Qaeda network, which the United States accuses of masterminding the
- "We are not restricted by any foreign policy considerations
... We are under no restrictions and we would accept no restrictions,"
Kissinger said, adding that Bush assured him that "he has every intention
to carry out the recommendations of the commission."
- Democrats, who appointed former Sen. George Mitchell
as vice chairman of the commission, said Bush could be asked to testify
in person about events leading up to the attacks that killed more than
3,000 people. The White House rebuffed the suggestion. Kissinger skirted
- Mitchell, a Democrat known for high-profile efforts to
broker peace in the Middle East and Northern Ireland, promised to "do
all I can to ensure that the commission's inquiry is thorough, fair and
- CONTROVERSIAL CHOICE?
- The president said Kissinger, 79, a Nobel Peace Prize
winner and secretary of state under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald
Ford, would bring "broad experience, clear thinking and careful judgment
to this important task."
- But critics blasted the choice, citing Kissinger's hotly
contested record during the Vietnam War and a U.S.-abetted coup in Chile.
A new documentary called "The Trials of Henry Kissinger" alleged
Kissinger is an international war criminal.
- "Kissinger is not distinguished as an impartial
judge of government misconduct, to put it mildly. To the contrary, he is
an investigatee, not an investigator, and one who has stubbornly resisted
the disclosure of official information to members of Congress, courts of
law, private researchers, and others," said Steven Aftergood, a government
secrecy expert at the Federation of American Scientists.
- The Bush administration initially opposed the commission,
arguing that a congressional investigation was better equipped to preserve
national security secrets. But victims' families led a public campaign
and pressured Bush to back down.
- "This commission will help me and future presidents
to understand the methods of America's enemies and the nature of the threat
we face," Bush said before flying to his ranch in Crawford, Texas,
for a Thanksgiving holiday weekend. "This investigation should carefully
examine all the evidence and follow all the facts wherever they lead."
- The commission, included in a spending bill for intelligence
agencies, will look for failures in intelligence, aviation security, immigration
and other areas. Subpoenas could be issued by agreement of the chair and
vice chair or a vote of six of the 10 commission members.
- Bush urged the commission to expedite its work, due to
be completed within the next 18 months. "After all, if there's changes
that need to be made, we need to know them as soon as possible," Bush
- In a message to victims' families, who he will meet with
monthly, Kissinger said, "There is nothing that can be done about
the losses they have suffered, but everything must be done to avoid that
such a tragedy can occur again."
- A spokesman for the families welcomed Kissinger's appointment
and urged U.S. intelligence agencies to produce the documents and testimony
the commission needs. "We look forward to working with him to make
the commission effective in uncovering the problems that led to the Sept.
11 attacks," said Stephen Push, whose wife died on the hijacked plane
that crashed into the Pentagon.
- BROADER PROBE
- White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said Bush did not
envision testifying before the panel, asserting it would not be "within
the precedence of any congressional commission."
- White House officials disclosed in May that Bush was
told in the months before the attacks that al Qaeda might hijack U.S. passenger
planes, prompting the administration to issue an alert to federal agencies
-- but not to the American public.
- Officials said Bush received no information to suggest
al Qaeda planned to use airplanes as missiles as they did on Sept. 11 to
attack the Pentagon and destroy the World Trade Center.
- But Democrats said Bush's testimony may be needed. "I
would be surprised if this commission, in pursuit of the truth, the whole
truth and nothing but the truth, did not want to speak with this president
and high officials in this administration," said Sen. Joseph Lieberman,
a Connecticut Democrat.
- The commission will include five Republican appointees
and five Democrats. Congress' intelligence committees previously investigated
the failures of U.S. spy agencies.
- From Ian Leahy
- Hi Jeff,
- not going to bore you all with details, but just read
on you're site that Kissinger is to lead the enquiry on 9-11!!!!!! Have
the american lost all credibility in themselves to allow this to happen?
IS BUSH FLIPPING SERIOUS??? talk about keeping it in your own back yard,
WAKE UP PEOPLE, THE WORLD IS FALLING APART IN FRONT OF YOUR EYES AND WE
ARE ALL LETTING IT HAPPEN!!!!!!
- I dont need to go into Kissingers back ground, it has
been done to death but I really cannot beleive it!
- From Alfred Lehmberg
- "Bush Approves 911 Probe Led By Kissinger"
That is what is so astonishing! Kissinger (said to have observed that
"power was the ultimate aphrodisiac,") HAS been done to death!
A booster-shot seems necessary, and the dearth of shocked outrage from
the hijacked mainstream depicts very neatly that "mainstream media"
is very suspiciously suspect with its auspicious absence!
- Does it have any veracity left?
- Kissinger (among *other* pursuits and involvements) was
very deeply and secretly involved, I understand, with the fanning of Richard
Nixon's paranoid irrationalities, and his egregious acts of clandestine
sociopathy against other nations on this planet are unheralded news of
late. Kissinger is a "Grand Dragon" of Machiavellian secrecy
more than willing to break your eggs to make himself an omlete! If I had
to call him an evil old sociopath, bad for the spirit of an efficacious
America, I would.
- Moreover, George Walker Bush seems to further cultivate
the dark side of the Force with this appointment, an appointment every
bit as bad as Ashcroft's squatting on the shoulder of liberty like a crazed
albatross... worse -- it creates a synergy of world hating negative elements,
and then communicates that new sociopathy more forcefully to the rest
of the world!
- 9/11? Forget any hope of finding out who or what went
on vis a vis 9/11! Truly, this will be worse than the Warren commission
if only because it helps validate a "Warren commission" and more
- Everything just went a little darker there perceptually.
Did you see it? There's a little less hope, a little less liberty, and
a lot more *secret* power politics! Things are going to get weird before
they get weirder...
- For AlienViews; Lehmberg@snowhill.com
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