That commission that I feared would not do its job for the partisan makeup of the board is actually, well, doing its job. Sadly, the government doesn't really want to cooperate.
WASHINGTON, July 8 — The federal commission investigating the Sept. 11 terror attacks said today that its work was being hampered by the failure of executive branch agencies, especially the Pentagon and the Justice Department, to respond quickly to requests for documents and testimony.
The panel also said the failure of the Bush administration to allow officials to be interviewed without the presence of government colleagues could impede its investigation, with the commission's chairman suggesting today that the situation amounted to "intimidation" of the witnesses.
The NY Times story, I feel, downplayed the panel's true feelings ever so slightly. The AP story was much more harsh.
WASHINGTON - Short on time and patience, leaders of the independent commission studying the Sept. 11 attacks released a status report Tuesday that singled out government departments, including Defense and Justice, that they said were not cooperating fully.
Republican Thomas H. Kean and Democrat Lee Hamilton, chairman and vice chairman of the 10-member National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, said they took the unusual step because the Bush administration's level of cooperation during the next few weeks will determine whether the panel can write a thorough report by its May 2004 deadline.
"The task in front of us is monumental, and time is slipping by," said Kean, a former governor of New Jersey. "Every day lost complicates our work."