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July 9, 2003

News Alert - 9/11 Commission Issues Interim Report

This afternoon, Governor Thomas Kean and Representative Lee Hamilton, Chair and Vice Chair of the 9-11 Commission, released the attached progress report on the Commission's work at a press briefing in Washington DC. Both Kean and Hamilton expressed concern over the level of cooperation they were receiving from certain government agencies, including the Department of Justice, Department of Defense and the White House itself. Kean stated that this was a "critical time" and that the coming few weeks will determine if the commission could do its job within the time provided by the commission's authorizing statute. They stopped short of stating that the White House was stonewalling the commission, but clearly want the American public to know of the challenges they are currently facing. Kean stated that the legislation gives the Commission the power to ask for anything that is relevant to their charter, and they intend to do just that, including obtaining copies of Presidential daily briefings and minutes of National Security Council meetings. He went on to state that a full time person was just brought on last week by the White House - along with four part time staffers - to coordinate the White House's response to Commission requests. He expressed optimism that this would help solve the problem. On the question of whether President George W Bush and Former Present Bill Clinton would be subpoenaed to testify, Kean indicated that no decisions have been made but that both Clinton and Bush have assured Kean personally that they will cooperate. Families of September 11 thanks both Governor Kean and Representative Hamilton for taking the time to outline the progress of the commission to date. However, we remain very concerned with the delays faced by the Commission and are disappointed by the apparent lack of full cooperation by the White House, DOJ and DOD. We will remain vigilant in following the progress of the Commission and doing all we can to help them fulfill their mandate. We remain hopeful that the independent commission will be able to provide a full and complete report detailing the events that led up to the September 11th terrorist attacks and provide recommendations that will be implemented to help prevent future attacks.

Download the Report