The 9/11 Commission and its final report are still held up as the final word on the events of September 11, 2001. But there’s just one problem: Six out of the 10 commissioners have admitted that the commission was misled, stymied, hampered by conflicts of interest, and, ultimately, forced to participate in a politically motivated cover-up. This is the story of the doubtful 9/11 commissioners.
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Of all the 9/11 whistleblowers, perhaps the most noteworthy are the 9/11 Commissioners themselves.
The 9/11 Commission (formally “The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States”) was set up by President George W. Bush, who dragged his heels a full 441 days before finally establishing a body to investigate the events of September 11, 2001, and “to prepare a full and complete account of the circumstances surrounding” them. But that remarkable gap between the events and the empaneling of the Commission was not due to mere laziness; Bush actively resisted any investigation for as long as he could, taking the extraordinary and unprecedented step of personally asking Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle to limit Congress’ investigation into those events.
It was only when the political pressure to form a commission of inquiry became too great for Bush to resist that he authorized the commission and nominated a chairman: Henry Kissinger.
PRESIDENT BUSH: Today I’m pleased to announce my choice for commission chairman: Dr. Henry Kissinger.
REPORTER: Dr. Kissinger, do you have any concerns about once the commission begins it work and fingers point to valuable allies—say, Saudi Arabia for example—what policy implications could this have for the United States, particularly at this delicate time?
HENRY KISSINGER: I have been given every assurance by the President that we should go where the facts lead us.
Kissinger’s reputation as a cover-up artist and tool of the political establishment was such that even The New York Times speculated that Bush’s nomination of him showed that the president wanted to contain the investigation into 9/11, not enable it. 9/11 victims’ family members, similarly concerned that Kissinger was being appointed to run a cover-up commission, challenged him to his face to release the client list of his political consulting business.
NARRATOR: Several family members approached Kissinger and requested a meeting at his office in New York. Prior to the meeting, Kristen Breitweiser conducted a thorough investigation of Kissinger’s potential conflicts of interest.
PATTY CASAZZA: Probably much to the chagrin of some of the people in the room, Lorie (Van Auken) asked some very pointed questions. “Would you have any Saudi-American clients that you would like to tell us about?” And he was very uncomfortable, kind of twisting and turning on the couch. And then she asked “whether he had any clients by the name of Bin-Laden.” And he just about fell off his couch.
NEWS REPORTER: Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger stepped down from the position Friday.
MINDY KLEINBERG: We thought the meeting went well.
SOURCE: 9/11: Press For Truth
The next morning, Kissinger resigned his post as head of the 9/11 Commission and former New Jersey Governor Thomas Kean and former Indiana Congressman Lee Hamilton were appointed chairman and vice-chairman, respectively, to take his place.
Remarkably, the suggestions of political cover-up did not end there, nor were they confined to a marginalized “lunatic fringe” of “conspiracy theorists” derided by the establishment media. The remarkable and almost completely unreported fact is that six out of the 10 commissioners—Kean and Hamilton, as well as Bob Kerrey, Tim Roemer, John Lehman and Max Cleland—have all expressed concern that the Commission was misled, stymied, hampered by conflicts of interest, and, ultimately, forced to participate in a politically motivated cover-up.
In their book, Without Precedent: The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission, and in press conferences and interviews at the time the report was released, Kean and Hamilton famously remarked that the commission had been “set up to fail.”
EVAN SOLOMON: Even Lee Hamilton, the co-chair of the 9/11 Commission itself, admits to us that the process he headed up was seriously flawed.
LEE HAMILTON: So there are all kinds of reasons we thought we were set up to fail. We got started late. We had a very short time frame; indeed we had to get it extended. We did not have enough money. They were afraid we were going to hang somebody.
THOMAS KEAN: But it was very difficult. And Lee and I write in our book that we think the commission in many ways was set up to fail.
As it turns out, the majority of the commissioners felt that the commission had been lied to, deliberately obstructed, undermined by the White House, or set up with staff that had conflicts of interest in the investigation.
One of these concerned commissioners, Max Cleland, resigned because the commission had been “deliberately compromised by the President of the United States.”
Commissioner John Lehman, meanwhile, admitted on NBC Nightly News that the Commission had to go through Karl Rove and other senior White House members to access key documents in their investigation and that “[w]e purposely put together a staff that had—in a way—conflicts of interest,” stressing, lest there be any doubt, that “[a]ll of the staff had, to a certain extent, some conflict of interest.”
Commission members even considered bringing criminal charges against Pentagon officials who had deliberately lied to them about the military’s complete lack of response on that day.
But perhaps the most cryptic of all the dissenting commissioners was Bob Kerrey. In 2009 he remarked that 9/11 was a “30-year old conspiracy,” but no mainstream reporter has ever followed up with him to clarify this statement.
JEREMY ROTHE-KUSHEL: Do you support a criminal investigation into 9/11? Because I know yours was an exposition. It was not a criminal investigation.
BOB KERREY: I don’t think so, but I don’t know. I mean, I do support a permanent commission to examine not just that but lots of other things in this area.
ROTHE-KUSHEL: But if it’s a permanent cover-up then it’s—I mean, if it is an act of war and it’s hiding things—which everyone on your Commission knew, that the Pentagon was changing their stories, lying to you—then it’s a cover-up of an act of war, and under Article 3 Section 3 of the Constitution it’s treason. So unless we get to the very bottom of it then we’re still talking a treasonous exposition.
KERREY: This is a longer conversation, I’m not sure we’ll ever get to the bottom of it.
ROTHE-KUSHEL: We have to or we can’t save our country, sir.
KERREY: I don’t think—well, if that’s the condition upon which we’re going to be saving our country—because the problem is, it’s a 30-year-old conspiracy.
ROTHE-KUSHEL: No, I’m talking about 9/11.
KERREY: That’s what I’m talking about.
ROTHE-KUSHEL: Oh, you are. You mean . . .
KERREY: Anyway, I gotta run.
It is utterly remarkable that the 9/11 Commission and its final report are still held up as the final word on the events of September 11, 2001, when a majority of its own Commissioners admit that the commission was a cover-up and did not get to the bottom of the story. Even more remarkable is that this fact has never even been mentioned, let alone examined, in any mainstream media report. And, despite the fact that the majority of Americans believe the government is concealing what it knows about the events of September 11th from the public, to this day anyone who raises questions about the Commission or its findings is treated as a conspiratorial loony by those same media personalities who refuse to report on the 9/11 Commission’s own whistleblowers.
It should be apparent by this point that the old argument that “someone would have talked” is not just fallacious, but factually incorrect. There have, in fact, been numerous whistleblowers with documentable evidence of the frauds and fictions that have been constructed around the official 9/11 narrative. Their disclosures put the “but someone would have talked” doubters in an uncomfortable predicament: Either they are lazy—boldly pronouncing on issues they have not themselves bothered to investigate—or they are lying.
What is especially galling when the so-called “skeptics” use the “someone would have talked” fallacy is that the whistleblowers have in fact done everything possible to publicize their stories—holding press conferences, filing formal appeals, joining whistleblower organizations, and making themselves available for interviews. For their heroic efforts, these brave men and women have been fired from their jobs, shunned by former colleagues, smeared by the mainstream media, and ignored by the public.
“Someone would have talked.” Indeed, numerous “someones” have talked. Some of them have even screamed. But when their cries are ignored, the stories of the 9/11 whistleblowers sound like the proverbial trees falling in the forest with no one around to hear them. Unless and until we give these valiant men and women a voice, then we will never hope to learn the truth about 9/11.