National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States

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The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, otherwise known as the 9-11 Commission, is an "independent, bipartisan commission created by congressional legislation and the signature of President George W. Bush in late 2002, chartered to prepare for the President and Congress a full and complete account of the circumstances surrounding the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, including preparedness for and the immediate response to the attacks. The Commission is also mandated to provide recommendations designed to guard against future attacks." [1]

Some Commission Members Called as Witnesses
The commission was chaired by Thomas H. Kean, the former Governor of New Jersey. Interestingly, some of the commission members were also called by the Commission as witnesses ..." and other Bush administration officials raise serious questions about the objectivity of the commission." [2]

Background and History

The Bush Administration initially resisted the formation of the Commission, and subsequently obstructed and impeded its progress. [3]

Ultimately, more money was spent investigating Clinton than investigating the 9-11 attacks.

Public Hearings

Archived video from all the public hearings, starting March 31, 2003, are available from C-SPAN

Links to transcripts and articles related to the 8th public hearing on March 23-24, 2004 can be accessed at


The Commission's Final Report was issued on Thursday, July 22, 2004.

Commission Members

Commission Staff

Contact Information

Al Felzenberg, Communications Director
National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States
Office: 202-401-1725
Cell: 202-236-4878
Fax: 202-296-5545
afelzenberg (at)

National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States
301 7th Street, SW
Room 5125
Washington, DC 20407

Washington Office
Tel: (202) 331-4060
Fax: (202) 296-5545
info (at)

New York Office
Tel: (212) 264-1505
Fax: (212) 264-1595
info (at)

Related SourceWatch Resources

External links


Articles & Commmentary


  • David Ensor, Transcript, CNN, January 16, 2001. Scroll down 4/5 of page to beginning: "Osama bin Laden has been a persistent thorn in the side of the Clinton administration, but it may now fall to Mr. Bush to decide how to respond if, as appears likely, the evidence becomes persuasive that bin Laden's group bombed the USS Cole in Yemen. ..." (Credit to Counterspin Central for finding this transcript.)


  • Laura Blumenfeld, "Former Aide Takes Aim at War on Terror," Washington Post, June 16, 2003: "'The administration wasn't matching its deeds to its words in the war on terrorism. They're making us less secure, not more secure,' said Rand Beers, who until now has remained largely silent about leaving his National Security Council job as special assistant to the president for combating terrorism. 'As an insider, I saw the things that weren't being done. And the longer I sat and watched, the more concerned I became, until I got up and walked out.'"
  • Jason Vest, "Why Warnings Fell on Deaf Ears," The American Prospect, June 17, 2003: "For the Bush administration, the Cold War never ended -- so al Qaeda had to get in line behind more serious enemies. ... What did the president know and when did he know it? Following revelations that the White House had reason to suspect an imminent al-Qaeda attack last year, even The New York Times has noted that the perennial post-Watergate question seems entirely appropriate. Nor should it be put exclusively to President Bush: In most countries, the directors of the internal and external security services would have resigned by now. ... Proponents of such blinkered defense priorities -- Andrew Marshall's Office of Net Assessment at the Pentagon, the Rumsfeld Commissions on ballistic missiles and space, and Frank Gaffney's private, defense contractor-funded Center for Security Policy come to mind -- have produced a steady stream of reports based on dubious methodology."
  • David Corn, "The 9/11 Investigation: a Roadmap to Nowhere," The Nation (, July 2, 2003.
  • Laurence Arnold, "Sept. 11 Panel Chief Clarifies Remarks," Associated Press (The Agonist), September 19, 2003: "The chairman of a federal commission looking into the Sept. 11 attacks said Thursday that mistakes over many years left the United States vulnerable to such an attack, but he resisted pinning blame on either of the last two presidential teams."
  • Philip Shenon, "9/11 Commission Could Subpoena Oval Office Files," New York Times (Common Dreams), October 26, 2003.
  • Suzanne Goldenberg, "9/11 inquiry may subpoena White House," Guardian Unlimited (UK), October 27, 2003.
  • Laurence Arnold, "Bush Asserts He's Helping 9-11 Commission," Associated Press (NewsMax, October 27, 2003: "President Bush said Monday his staff is cooperating with an independent commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks, but he stopped short of saying whether the White House would hand over top-level papers that may be subpoenaed. ... 'Those are very sensitive documents,' Bush said, adding that White House counsel Alberto R. Gonzales was working with Thomas Kean, chairman of the commission, on this issue."
  • Op-Ed: "Facing the Truth of Sept. 11," New York Times, October 29, 2003: "The commission investigating the government's failures before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks is in danger of becoming a study in recalcitrance by the Bush administration. The independent commission's mandate is to supply a definitive account of the government's handling of the terrorist plot that killed almost 3,000 people. But the White House continues to fence with requests for classified documents crucial to the inquiry. ... The commission chairman, former Gov. Thomas Kean of New Jersey, a Republican, is threatening to subpoena the administration for documents that officials should forthrightly turn over. Among the key questions is the nature of an intelligence report to President Bush a month before the attacks -- only sketchily confirmed thus far by the White House -- that Al Qaeda might try to hijack passenger airplanes. ... How can an unstinting investigation of the truth of Sept. 11 not be of paramount concern to any official sworn to protect the public? The approaching presidential election makes the administration's evasions even more suspect. Failure to document and face the truth will only feed conspiracy theories and undermine the nation's chances of weathering future threats."
  • Laurence Arnold, "9-11 Panel Votes to Subpoena Pentagon," Associated Press (, November 7, 2003: The Commission "voted Friday to subpoena the Pentagon for documents related to the activities of U.S. air defenses on the day of the terrorist hijackings. ... The independent commission said it was 'especially dismayed' by incomplete document production on the part of the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, the part of the Defense Department responsible for protecting North American airspace."
  • 21 "Sept 11 Commission to Subpoena NY City for Tapes," Reuters AlertNet, November 21, 2003: " had voted to demand the material 'crucial to its investigation that the city has failed to produce in response to a document request issued more than four months ago.' ... A city spokesman said handing over the material would violate the privacy of the victims and emergency responders."
  • Op-Ed: "Stonewalling the 9/11 Commission" (abstract), New York Times, November 23, 2003: "...there is a key figure stubbornly refusing to hand over important data: Mayor Michael Bloomberg."
  • Randall Pinkston, 17 "9/11 Chair: Attack Was Preventable," CBS News, December 17, 2003: "For the first time, the chairman of the independent commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks is saying publicly that 9/11 could have and should have been prevented."
  • Eric Boehlert, "What did Bush know and when did he know it? 9/11 Commission chairman Thomas Kean's suggestion that the administration could have prevented the terror attacks may signal a new, aggressive approach," Salon, December 19, 2003.
  • W. David Kubiak, "Daschle PNACkles 'Commission Incredible'. Top Dem Mis-Kerrey's National 9/11 Probe," Houston Indymedia, December 20, 2003: "December 9th, two days after the 52nd anniversary of Pearl Harbor, the National 9/11 Commission itself was hit without warning by Tom Daschle's bombshell appointment of Iraq hawk Bob Kerrey to replace Max Cleland."
  • Timothy J. Burger, "Condi and the 9/11 Commission. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice is apparently not keen on going under oath for the Kean 9/11 commission," TIME Online, December 23, 2003: "Two government sources tell TIME that National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice is arguing over ground rules for her appearance in part because she does not want to testify under oath or, according to one source, in public. While national security advisers are presidential staff and generally don't have to appear before Congress, the commission argues that its jurisdiction is broader--and it's been requiring fact witnesses in its massive investigation to testify under oath. The exception: it may not seek to swear in President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Bill Clinton or Al Gore in the increasingly likely event they will be asked to speak to the commission."
  • Op-Ed: "Terrorism and Liberty," New York Times (The Freedom of Information Center), December 23, 2003: "After four years of work, a federal commission on terrorism issued its final report last week. The report was unremarkable except for one recommendation that shone brightly through the usual thicket of bureaucratic prose. Aggressive antiterrorism policies, the report suggested, when combined with increasingly sophisticated surveillance technologies, could have a 'chilling effect' on the right to privacy and other fundamental civil liberties. To prevent that from happening, the commission recommended that the White House establish a bipartisan panel to review how constitutional guarantees would be affected by all new laws and regulations aimed at enhancing national security."


Also see: