November 28, 2003

9 - 11 Victims' Relatives: Extend Probe

Rove and the _resident have played politics with 9/11
since that awful day itself. They exploited it, on one
hand, and they have delayed all meaningful inquiry tp
avoid damaging the _resident, on the other hand. It is
a national disgrace, rivaled only by the US mainstream
news media's lack of enthusiasm for the very real,
very constituional, very bloody scandal unfolding,
slowly, painfully slowly...Yes, it is a national

9 - 11 Victims' Relatives: Extend Probe
By The Associated Press

Wednesday 26 November 2003

Victims' relatives who pressed for an independent
commission to investigate the Sept. 11 attacks say the
panel risks being undercut by the government's failure
to cooperate with it.

The Family Steering Committee, a group of victim
advocates, marked the one-year anniversary of the
National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the
United States by urging an extension of its May 27
deadline for submitting findings and recommendations.

``Unfortunately, the production of a timely
report no longer seems to be possible, in large part
because of the delays caused by the (Bush)
administration and the agencies that report to it,''
the group said Wednesday in a statement.

Twelve people who lost spouses, children,
siblings and parents in the Sept. 11 attacks formed
the steering committee to monitor the work of the
federal commission.

The leaders of the 10-member commission,
Republican Thomas H. Kean and Democrat Lee Hamilton,
said last week that they still intend to complete work
by May 27. But they warned that further resistance
from government agencies could threaten their ability
to meet the deadline.

The panel has issued three subpoenas in the last
six weeks -- to the Federal Aviation Administration,
the Pentagon, and New York City -- saying those
entities had not fully responded to document requests.

The city said it will contest its subpoena, which
seeks transcripts and recordings detailing the
emergency response to the attack on the World Trade

Also, the commission reached a deal with the
White House over access to highly classified
intelligence briefings that President Bush received in
the weeks and months before the attacks. The panel
agreed to several restrictions, including a limit on
how many commissioners may examine the documents.

Initially an opponent of an independent
commission, Bush signed legislation creating the panel
on Nov. 27, 2002. He said the commission -- five
Republicans, five Democrats -- ``should carefully
examine all the evidence and follow all the facts,
wherever they lead.''

Meanwhile, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., is
making another effort to extend the deadline to apply
to the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund past
Dec. 22.

The senator joined Brian Jordan, a grief
counselor for the victims' families, in New York on
Wednesday to announce a final appeal for Congress to
move the deadline back one year.

Current law prohibits further applications for
the fund from being accepted past the December
deadline. Schumer said Congress could still help the
families of the victims.

``The pain for victims' families is particularly
sharp around the holidays, and the idea that Congress
refuses to take this up as the deadline looms adds
insult to injury,'' said Schumer. ``But there is still
a small amount of time left. Congress can still do the
right thing if it wants to.''

Posted by richard at November 28, 2003 09:35 AM