House Amendment Passes Calling for Independent Commission on 911|
Amendments Introduced by Tim Roemer (D), and Christopher Smith (R) Now Call for Inclusion of Victim Families
By Michael C. Ruppert
[? Copyright, 2002, From The Wilderness Publications, http://www.copvcia.com/. All Rights Reserved. May be reposted, distributed or reprinted for non-profit purposes only.]
July 25, 2002, 8 PM, PDT (FTW) In a session lasting until 2 A.M., the House of Representatives today passed an amendment to the 2002 Intelligence Authorization Bill (HR 2883) that would require the establishment of a "blue ribbon" independent commission to investigate the attacks of last September 11th. The amendment, introduced by Indiana Democrat Tim Roemer, passed by a vote of 219 to 188. 25 of those voting in favor were Republicans.
But the passage of this amendment is a far cry from seeing the commission signed into existence. A separate Senate bill (S 1867) sponsored by Arizona Senator John McCain (R) and Joe Lieberman (D) has been voted out of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee as a separate piece of legislation but has not been voted on by the full Senate.
There are differences between the two measures but the House version has the best chance of being acted on by Congress in the near future. Before an intelligence-funding bill goes to President Bush for signature, the Senate and House versions must be reconciled in the Conference Committee and there the Senate will either accept or reject the Roemer/Smith amendments.
Of the two versions, the House amendment offers some protection against political cover-up because of an amendment offered by Rep. Christopher Smith (R-NJ) that would require inclusion of victim family members on the commission.
Historically, independent commissions looking into events from the JFK Assassination, to the Iran-Contra scandal, to the crash of TWA 800 have failed to publicly acknowledge facts that were later disclosed and or admitted to in government documents. With the legitimacy of the Bush Administration, and perhaps the entire government, at stake - expectations of miraculous revelations from such a commission are likely overoptimistic. In her book "Kiss The Boys Goodbye" (Penguin, 1990), former 60 MINUTES producer Monika Jensen-Stevenson documented the heartbreaking infiltration of the Vietnam POW movement by government and intelligence operatives to cover-up evidence that large numbers of U.S. POWs and MIAs had been abandoned in Southeast Asia. What began as a unified and committed movement ultimately disintegrated into splintered and disorganized factions that often fought each other harder than they fought the government. Though we know they were left behind, no POWs were ever re patriated.
The stakes with 9/11 are much higher and the administration knows this.
Sources tell FTW that the most effective way to ensure passage of the House version of the intelligence bill is for activists tocontact members of the United States [Congress] and encourage them to adopt the Roemer and Smith amendments.
Additional contacts can be made directly to House-Senate conference committee members from the U.S. Senate [listed below]. A Senate vote on the intelligence appropriations act is unlikely before Summer recess which starts next Monday. The Congress will reconvene on Tuesday, September 3rd and action on the bill is expected shortly thereafter.
If the Senate adopts the two amendments and sends the bill to the White House, there is still the possibility that President Bush will veto it. Both he and Vice President Cheney are on record as having asked Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D) to curtail and limit any investigations of the attacks.
U.S. Senate Conferees:
515/284-4574 Des Moines
505/988-6647 Santa Fe;
651/645-0323 St. Paul
501/324-6336 Little Rock
314/725-4484 St. Louis
719/643-6071 Colorado Springs