Unredacted & Damning

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Unredacted & Damning

In August 2004 the Bush Administration stopped the 9/11 Commission from releasing a report on the failures in the aviation industry and the government to prevent 9/11. Now we know why.
American aviation officials were warned as early as 1998 that Al Qaeda could "seek to hijack a commercial jet and slam it into a U.S. landmark," according to previously secret portions of a report prepared last year by the Sept. 11 commission. The officials also realized months before the Sept. 11 attacks that two of the three airports used in the hijackings had suffered repeated security lapses.

Federal Aviation Administration officials were also warned in 2001 in a report prepared for the agency that airport screeners' ability to detect possible weapons had "declined significantly" in recent years, but little was done to remedy the problem, the Sept. 11 commission found.

The White House and many members of the commission, which has completed its official work, have been battling for more than a year over the release of the commission's report on aviation failures, which was completed in August 2004.

A heavily redacted version was released by the Bush administration in January, but commission members complained that the deleted material contained information critical to the public's understanding of what went wrong on Sept. 11. In response, the administration prepared a new public version of the report, which was posted Tuesday on the National Archives Web site.
I'm sure the timing of the release of this report has nothing to do with the fact that the news media is currently distracted by the Roberts hearings, Katrina coverage, etc. I'm also sure the fact that they waited to release it until September 13th, 2005 just a few days past the 9/11 anniversary news cycle is just a mere coincidence. (deep sigh)

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