Statement Regarding Pentagon's Alleged Deception
August 4, 2006
Mandate of the 9/11 Commission
The 9/11 Independent Commission was established by law to "... ascertain, evaluate, and report on the evidence developed by all relevant governmental agencies regarding the facts and circumstances surrounding the attacks;... "make a full and complete accounting of the circumstances surrounding the attacks, and the extent of the United States' preparedness for, and immediate response to, the attacks... "
Recent stories in the Washington Post, the New York Times, as well as the release of the transcripts of the NORAD tapes in Vanity Fair, clearly show that the 9/11 Commission failed in its duties.
According to current reports, the Commission knew that it had been deceived by NORAD. In May 2003, representatives of NORAD testified, in full regalia, before the 9/11 Commission equipped with an easel and visual aids to highlight NORAD's timeline for the day of 9/11. In June 2004, NORAD testified again, changing its previous testimony. The new timeline blamed the lack of military response on late notification by the FAA.
The Commissioners never determined or explained why there was a discrepancy between the two sets of testimonies. Governor Kean is quoted in the Washington Post article as saying "we, to this day don't know why NORAD told us what they told us, it was just so far from the truth ... It's one of those loose ends that never got tied".
The fact that the Commission did not see fit to tie up all loose ends in their final report or to hold those who came before them accountable for lying and/or making misleading statements puts into question the veracity of the entire Commission's report. Individuals who came before the Commission to testify, after NORAD's appearance, had no reason to state the truth. It was abundantly clear that there would be no repercussions for any misrepresentations.
Furthermore, the lack of tenacity and curiosity, by the Commissioners themselves, to determine why NORAD had deceived them is unconscionable. Knowing full well that the lack of military response was such a critical failure, begs the question of whether that same lack of tenacity and curiosity was applied to other critical areas of the 9/11 investigation.
We fought to establish the 9/11 Independent Commission because we believed that American citizens would be better served if our nation's vulnerabilities were uncovered and then fixed.
Unfortunately, once again the failure to fully and properly investigate all areas, not follow all leads and not address the need for accountability, whether it be bureaucrats lying at a hearing or personnel with questionable performance of assigned duties, continues to leave this Nation and its citizens vulnerable and at risk.
The 9/11 Commission was derelict in its duties. What we needed from them was a thorough investigation into the events of September 11th. Inexcusably, five years later, we still do.
Lorie Van Auken