9/11 Panel Comments Freely (Some Critics Say Too Freely)

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by jimnyc, Apr 15, 2004.

  1. jimnyc
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    jimnyc ...

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    WASHINGTON, April 14 — As President Bush was appearing at a news conference on Tuesday night, the two leaders of the independent commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks were not behind closed doors dissecting intelligence documents. They were sitting at a CNN studio here waiting to go on "Larry King Live."

    One of them, Thomas H. Kean, the former New Jersey governor who is the commission's chairman, said he and his colleagues were so determined to be credible with Americans that they decided early on to conduct themselves in a very public manner.

    "We made a conscious decision, and part of it was under strong pressure from the families, to make this commission as transparent and as visible as possible," Mr. Kean said in an interview.

    But Democrats and Republicans alike have raised concerns about the degree to which commission members are discussing their deliberations on television and, even, in newspaper columns — to the point that they are spinning their views like the politicians that many of them are.

    Americans can hardly turn on a television or pick up a newspaper these days without seeing or reading about a member of the commission. From the Fox News Channel to ABC to newspapers including The Wall Street Journal, panel members have been providing a running commentary about the investigation as it unfolds, sometimes drawing blunt conclusions months before the final report is to be published in late July.

    The accessibility of the commissioners to the news media, not to mention the openness of their views, is a departure from similar independent commissions of the past. Its members' openness troubles some officials here, who say they worry that it is giving the panel an edge that will taint its conclusions — especially when coupled with what some have called a partisan tone to members' questions at the hearings here.

    The two independent panels that Sept. 11 commission staff members say they consider to be most similar in their charge to this one are those that investigated the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the bombing of Pearl Harbor, both of which worked largely out of public view.

    Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, a Republican who worked as a lawyer for the Warren Commission, which investigated the Kennedy assassination, said in an interview this week that it had operated like a jury. "When a jury goes out, you don't give a report in midstream on what you're doing, expressing opinions," Mr. Specter said. In the case of the Sept. 11 commission, he added, "Speaking so freely to the press while they're in midstream tends to politicize it when they come to their conclusions."

    Read the rest here:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2004/04/15/p...400&partner=GOOGLE&pagewanted=print&position=
     
  2. UsaPride
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    UsaPride Senior Member

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    ***But that did not stop Mr. Kerrey, a former Democratic senator from Nebraska, who said: "Mitch McConnell is the Republican whip of the Senate and he's accusing us of being too partisan? He can go to hell for all I'm concerned."***
    Wow, nice. :rolleyes:
     

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