March 30, 2004

The Family Steering Committee Statement Regarding Condoleezza Rice and Release of 28 Pages

Despite the complicity and cowardice of the "US
mainstream news media," the 9/11 Families continue
their heroic struggle to shed light on disturbing
questions that challenge the CREDIBILITY, COMPETENCE
and CHARACTER of the _resident, the VICE _resident to
serve in high office...Will the 9/11 Commission wimp
out? Will the "US mainstream news media" wake up to
its responsibility to the innocents who lost their
lives on that awful morning and to their familes?
Don't forget the 28 blank pages on the Joint Inquiry
Final Report! Don't forget the White House's refusal
to provide the 9/11 Commission with the details of the
Aug. 6th 2001 PDB!! Don't forget...

9/11 Family Steering Committee: Finally, in light of
recent actions on behalf of Senate Majority Leader
Frist, we also request the de-classification of the
infamous 28 blank pages of the Joint Inquiry Final
Report. The Saudi government stated to the media in
August, 2003 that they would like the 28 pages
released. Members of the Joint Inquiry have stated on
the record that the 28 pages did not include national
security secrets. Nevertheless, the White House
continues to refuse to release said information on
grounds of national security.

Repudiate the 9/11 Cover-Up and the Iraq War Lies,
Show Up for Democracy in 2004: Defeat Bush (again!)

The Family Steering Committee (FSC) is an independent,
nonpartisan group of individuals who lost loved ones
on September 11, 2001. The FSC does not receive
financial or other support from any outside

The Family Steering Committee Statement Regarding Condoleezza Rice and Release of 28 Pages

March 27, 2004

The Family Steering Committee demands the appearance
of National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice under
oath in a public hearing immediately. We believe that
testifying before the Commission in a public forum is
Ms. Rice’s moral obligation given her responsibility
as National Security Advisor to protect our nation.
The death of nearly 3000 innocent people warrants such
a moral precedent.

We further request Richard Clarke, Samuel Berger,
Brent Scowcroft, and Deputy National Security Advisor
Stephen Hadley also be present, under oath, and made
part of the same panel as Dr. Rice.

We have attached a list of questions that must be
addressed during this hearing. In addition to these
questions, we would also appreciate the reconciliation
of various issues that were raised on behalf of Mr.
Clarke during this past week’s hearings. Furthermore,
we would request the examination and discussion of the
following issues:

1. The draft report of the 2001 NSPD-5
Presidential Commission on Intelligence Reform chaired
by General Brent Scowcroft.

2. Budget requests made by various agencies since
1998 so as to compare those requests within the
agencies from which they originated, within the
Administration, and by Congress.

3. The NSC policy options paper, prepared by
Richard Clarke’s office during Spring 2001 which
proposed a change in US policy regarding
[------------]. (Joint Inquiry Report, Appendix, NSC
Document Request, July 1, 2002, enclosure to
Condoleezza Rice letter dated July 8, 2002)

4. The after-action report on the Millennium
prepared by the National Coordinator for
Counterterrorism’s office.

We would encourage White House counsel to view this
commission for what it is— a quasi-legislative entity.
After all, Chairman Kean is an Executive Branch
appointee to the Commission. Furthermore, the mere
fact that the Commission has gained access—albeit
limited access, to the Presidential Daily Briefings
(something that the Joint Inquiry of Congress was
refused for reasons of Separation of Powers
principles) further supports the notion that this
Commission is not a purely legislative body.

Assuming arguendo that White House counsel continues
to persist that a legal precedent might be presented,
Dr. Rice should testify to set a moral precedent that
is aptly warranted by the murder of 3000 people.
Voluntarily coming forward to testify under oath
during a public hearing without the use of a subpoena
would simply set a rare, refreshing, and appropriate
moral precedent for all of history to judge.

Finally, in light of recent actions on behalf of
Senate Majority Leader Frist, we also request the
de-classification of the infamous 28 blank pages of
the Joint Inquiry Final Report. The Saudi government
stated to the media in August, 2003 that they would
like the 28 pages released. Members of the Joint
Inquiry have stated on the record that the 28 pages
did not include national security secrets.
Nevertheless, the White House continues to refuse to
release said information on grounds of national

One of the underlying themes of this past week’s
hearings was the failure to garner the “will of the
nation.” One way to arouse the will of the nation is
to engage the American people in healthy debate and
dialogue. In order to have the will, the nation must
be properly informed. As such, we encourage the
release of the 28 pages of the Joint Inquiry Final
Report that pertains to the foreign sponsorship of

We hope that Senator Frist will show the same zeal to
release the 28 pages as he has shown in de-classifying
Mr. Clarke’s testimony. We request that all witness
testimony to the Joint Inquiry of Congress be
impartially reviewed and declassified if possible. We
abhor the tendency to over-classify information and we
support the release of any material as long such
public release does not legitimately harm national

Questions For Condoleezza Rice
from the Joint Intelligence Committee Inquiry Appendix

1. As stated in the Appendix of the Joint Inquiry of
Congress’ Final Report:
“Despite the White House decision [to deny access to
the PDBs], the Joint Inquiry was advised by
Intelligence Community representatives of the content
of an August 2001 PDB item that is discussed in the
report. This glimpse into that PDB indicated the
importance of such access

*National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice stated in
a May 16, 2002 press briefing that, on August 6, 2001,
the President’s Daily Brief (PDB) included information
about Bin Ladin’s methods of operation from a
historical perspective dating back to 1997. One of the
methods was that Bin Ladin might choose to hijack an
airliner in order to hold passengers hostage to gain
release of one of their operatives. She stated,
however, that the report did not contain specific
warning information, but only a generalized warning,
and did not contain information that al-Qa’ida was
discussing a particular planned attack against a
specific target at any specific time, place, or by any
specific method.” (Joint Inquiry Final Report,
Appendix, "Access Limitations Encountered by the Joint
Inquiry," pages 1-2).

Ms. Rice can you reconcile this intimated discrepancy?

Terrorism as a Policy Priority

1. During your time as National Security Advisor, what
priorities did you establish for U.S. Intelligence
priorities and where did terrorism fit in? How did
this change from the priorities of the Clinton

2. How were these priorities conveyed to the
intelligence Community? Did the intelligence Community
propose any changes in priority with regard to
counterterrorism or al-Qa’ida? What were they?

3. Prior to September 11, who at the National Security
Council and the U.S. government played a leading role
in setting counterterrorism policy? Who else was
involved in this process? Please describe the process,
the participants and the fora.

4. Prior to September 11, did Congress support the
NSC’s counterterrorism efforts? Did Congress oppose
NSC priorities related to terrorism in any way? Please
provide details of both, as appropriate.

5. Was Richard Clarke, the National Coordinator for
counterterrorism, included all in Principals’ meetings
related to terrorism after January 2002? If not, why
not? How was it determined who would be involved in
such meetings? What was his role in counterterrorism
policy and intelligence prioritization after January

6. During the transition from the Clinton
administration, did former National Security Adviser
Sandy Berger or other senior Clinton NSC officials
provide any advice, information, warning, or guidance
requiring policy, priorities, or threats from
al-Qa’ida and Bin Ladin? If so, what was the advice,
information, warning, or guidance?

7. Prior to September 11, was the Administration
engaged in a review of counterterrorism policy? What
issues were identified for change? What stage were
plans in? What changes in the role of the intelligence
Community, if any, were planned? What happened to the
review after the September 11 attacks?

8. When the new Administration came into office, was
it aware that Usama bin Ladin had declared war on the
United States in 1998? Who provided this information,
and how was it provided? What was the impact of that
fact on the Administration’s national security
priorities? How did it affect the intelligence
Community’s posture?

9. Prior to September 11, did the President or other
senior officials in the administration make any public
statements or give any speeches on the subject of the
threat of terrorism, or Usama bin Ladin’s terrorist
network in particular? If so, please make copies
available to the (Joint Inquiry Staff)?


1. Prior to September 11, did the Intelligence
Community come to the new Administration with any
requests for additional counterterrorism resources,
e.g. additional funding? Who made the request, and
what was the nature of the proposal?

2. Did the Intelligence Community ask the
Administration for more resources to fight Usama bin
Ladin and al-Qa’ida? Who made this request?

3. Did the Intelligence Community ever cite a lack of
resources as the basis for not acting? If so, provide
details and the NSC response.

4. When the DCI, Director of NSA, and FBI Director
requested more counterterrorism resources, what was
the stated justification for their requests?

5. What was the NSC’s response to each specific
Intelligence Community request for any increases in
resources for counterterrorism? For al-Qa’ida?

Agency responsiveness and support for policy makers

1. What specific strengths did you observe in
intelligence collection, analysis, and reporting on
Bin Ladin, al-Qa’ida or terrorism in general prior to
September 11? What specific weaknesses? Please provide
specific examples of each.

2. What was the quality of intelligence received by
the NSC? Did the NSC make any efforts to improve this

3. With respect to Intelligence Community
counterterrorism efforts prior to September 11, how
responsive were the CIA, the FBI, NSA, and DIA?

--Did they provide the President and the National
Security Council with the information needed to make
informed decisions?

--Did the agencies use their authority aggressively?
Did they cite limits or a lack of authority as a basis
for no action?

--Did they shift resources appropriately in response
to NSC direction?

--Did the NSC provide any specific tasking to
Intelligence Community agencies to which they did not
respond? Please provide specific examples.

Threat to the homeland

1. Prior to September 11, including especially
spring/summer 2001, what information did the
Intelligence Community provide to the National
Security Council, orally or in writing, indicating the
possibility of terrorist attacks inside the United

2. Prior to September 11, what information did the
Intelligence Community provide to the National
Security Council on al-Qa’ida activities and
infrastructure inside the United States?

3. Prior to September 11, did the National Security
Council ever consider alerting the American people to
the internal threat from al-Qa’ida? What happened?

4. Did the National Security Council ever consider
enhancing U.S. border controls, e.g., by strengthening
watchlist programs, alerting the FAA or the airlines,
or inspecting cargo containers on a larger scale? If
so, what happened?

5. Prior to September 11, what was the National
Security council’s view regarding how well postured
the FBI was with respect to combating terrorist groups
inside the United States? What steps were taken to
improve the FBI, if any?

6. Prior to September 11, did the Intelligence
Community provide the NSC with any information
regarding the possibility that al-Qa’ida members would
use airplanes as weapons or hijack airplanes in the
United States? What did the NSC do in response to this

Foreign governments

1. Prior to September 11, which foreign governments
were most and least helpful regarding
counterterrorism? How were they helpful or not helpful
in each case?

2. Prior to September 11, were the governments of
Saudi Arabia and Pakistan supportive of U.S.
counterterrorism efforts? How responsive were European
allies? What priority was counterterrorism cooperation
in Saudi Arabia relative to military operations
against Iraq, the Middle East peace negotiations, and
other concerns?

3. Did Intelligence Community agencies ask for NSC
assistance in getting foreign governments to take
action against terrorist cells? Did the NSC take any
specific actions to support the Intelligence
Community? What did the NSC do? Did the NSC ask or
instruct the State Department or the Department of
Defense to assist the intelligence Community in this

4. Prior to September 11, was there any discussion of
increasing information sharing and/or counterterrorism
cooperation with the Sudan?

Use of Force/Overt and Covert

1. Prior to September 11, did the National Security
Council consider the use of military force against
al-Qa’ida in Afghanistan? How? In what form? Why was
it not pursued? Was there sufficient intelligence to
support military options? Was their tasking to gain
further intelligence to support military operations?

2. Prior to September 11, did the National Security
Council issue any tasking to the CIA or the U.S.
military to develop plans involving the covert or
overt use of force?

3. Prior to September 11, did the National Security
Council ever review the CIA’s authorities to conduct
covert action against Bin Ladin or al-Qa’ida? What
problems were identified regarding existing
authorities, [-----------]? Were there any proposals
to change those authorities before September 11th?
What steps were taken?

4. Prior to September 11, was the unarmed Predator
flown in Afghanistan after the Bush Administration
came into office? Were proposals made to the NSC to
fly it? Which participants favored flying it? If it
was not flown, why not?

5. Did the National Security Council support the
development of the armed Predator? Did any
administration official try to expedite the process?
Were any discussions held on this issue at the NSC?
Who participated?

6. Did you consider [------------]? Why or why not?
What impact did you expect?

7. Why was there no military response to the attack on
the USS Cole? Was this considered?


1. What recommendations would you make to improve the
intelligence community’s performance?


Statement of the Family Steering Committee
for The 9/11 Independent Commission

March 20, 2004

The Family Steering Committee is deeply disturbed to
learn about Executive Staff Director Philip Zelikow’s
participation in urgent post election briefings,
December 2000, and January 2001, with Sandy Berger and
Condoleezza Rice. In this particular meeting the
Senior Clinton Administration official clearly warned
that Al Qaeda posed the worst Security threat facing
the nation.

It is apparent that Dr. Zelikow should never have been
permitted to be Executive Staff Director of the
Commission. As Executive Staff Director his job has
been to steer the direction of the Commission’s
investigation, an investigation whose mandate includes
understanding why the Bush Administrations failed to
prioritize the Al Qaeda threat. It is abundantly clear
that Dr. Zelikow’s conflicts go beyond just the
transition period.

It is extremely distressing to learn this information
at this late date. This new information clearly calls
into question the integrity of this Commission’s
investigation. The Family Steering Committee
repeatedly expressed concerns over all members’
conflicts requesting that the commission be
forthcoming so as not to taint the validity of the
report. The Family Steering Committee did not know
about Dr. Zelikow’s participation in this intelligence
briefing until today.

As such, the Family Steering Committee is calling for:

1. Dr. Zelikow’s immediate resignation.

2. Dr. Zelikow’s testimony in public and under

3. Subpoena of Dr. Zelikow's notes from the
intelligence briefings he attended with Richard Clarke

4. The Commission to apologize to the 9/11
families and America for this massive appearance of

Posted by richard at March 30, 2004 03:48 PM