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Without Precedent: The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission Hardcover – August 15, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
A re-creation of the inner workings of a government commission threatens to be a dry bureaucratic procedural, but the 9/11 Commission was so politically fraught that its story is compelling in its own right. Chairman Kean and vice-chair Hamilton detail the commission's fight with Congress for more money and time; its wranglings with the Bush administration to win access to witnesses and classified documents; its delicate relations with victims' families, who were its harshest critics and staunchest champions; its strategic use of public censure to wring concessions from recalcitrant officials; and the forging of a bipartisan consensus among fractious Republican and Democratic commissioners. Their tone is evenhanded and diplomatic, but some adversaries—NORAD, the FAA, House Republicans—get singled out as stumbling blocks to the investigation. The authors cogently defend the compromises they made and swat conspiracy theories about coverups, but critics unhappy with the commission's refusal to "point fingers" or its lukewarm resistance to White House claims of executive privilege may not be satisfied. The issues the commission wrestled with—official incapacity to prevent disaster, the government's use and misuse of intelligence, presidential accountability—are still in the headlines, which makes this lucid, absorbing account of its work very timely. Photos. (Aug. 15)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The 9/11 Commission Report (2004) was an exception to the rule that U.S. government publications are written in unreadable bureaucratese. Its plain English yielded sales of hundreds of thousands of copies, and its success indicates that a huge audience may exist for this account by the commission chairmen. Former politicians Kean and Hamilton adopt a chronological approach and a style dominated by descriptions of their investigative process: theirs is not a source for knowledge about the Islamic terrorist strikes of 2001. Information related to 9/11 does permeate the text, but it appears as the object of fact finding, such as the time line of the FAA's and NORAD's reactions to the hijackings. Along with the formal organization of the commission, Kean and Hamilton dwell on two habits of Washington that they worried would roil the commission: leaks and partisanship. As their narrative rolls forward, this leak or that partisan enters their story, whose most dramatic moments reside in the commission's televised hearings. These, one learns, had scant investigative value and were considered vehicles for educating the public about the terrible attacks. A continuation of that lofty aim, this volume's prominence is assured; less certain is the perseverance of average readers. Gilbert Taylor
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top customer reviews
I will immediately qualify myself in that I am no expert other than I've read multiple publications (and I do have some common sense) in the last few years that communicate that the tragic events on September 11, 2001 was a state sponsored operation and the eventual-end-results of the 9/11 commission was, and still is the United States government's effort/response (or rogue elements within the government) [is] to cover up the true nature of this tragic event. Additionally, access to information initially withheld from the American population regarding the Warren commission's investigation makes it difficult NOT to believe that there were elements "Blinking Red" back in 1963, but specifically silenced as exampled by who I just discovered within the last year to be a American Hero, Mr. Abraham Bolden. The historical reference could correlate in a way when one is reminded about Sibel Edmonds and her documented evidence compressed down to one sentence at the end of footnote 25, page 473 titled "Notes To Chapter 3"in the Official 9/11 Commission Report these two honorable gentleman are responsible for. Additionally, other's could reference Susan Lindauer and her publication Extreme Prejudice. Unfortunately, looking at this publication opens up another can of worms in regards to the Pan Am flight destroyed over Scotland. (I do recall that the eventual person convicted of this crime was let go a while back.)
Reminding the reader that this is the rabbit hole of discovery, one person specifically associated after this event also happens to be indirectly connected to the fiasco that Able Danger presented, after it was leaked out to Americans. If nothing else, one should expand their efforts to understand this aspect on why the authors and the 9/11 Commission report failed to communicate all of the information regarding Able Danger and why the 9/11 ringleader Mohamed Atta and other hijackers visited a home owned by Esam Ghazzawi, a Saudi adviser to the nephew of King Fahd? A detailed investigation compiled by Daniel Hopsicker in his publication, Welcome to Terrorland: Mohamed Atta & the 9-11 Cover-up in Florida will fill in the details and why this information was withheld from the American population.Welcome to Terrorland: Mohamed Atta & the 9-11 Cover-up in Florida It's additionally and most strongly recommended a careful review of the 9-11 Congressional Report: Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001 be in all American's personal possession.
I disagree with what the authors claim about Americans really knowing and understanding what's inside this special report (Congressional Report: Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities)from congress really means. My evidence of this is if it was more wildly understood by Americans what Congress has reported to you, I suspect that a publication like the one I'm reviewing would never have been produced.
9-11 Congressional Report: Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001, The Full ... 2003, plus Counterterrorism Material (CD-ROM)
The point to all of this is that more Americans have started to recognize that there are serious and disturbing anomalies as presented by the 9/11 Commission Report, just like the Warren Report but it's confusing and difficult to wonder how honest the material is your looking at to base your personal decisions on and that's why I am recommending this publication, to gleam some insight in these two authors and their detailed attempt to explain and publish what the 9/11 commission report claims or fails to present, specifically to help other Americans looking for answers. This includes the other sources noted.
There were times that I found myself honestly fascinated with what these two gentlemen were attempting to suggest all while referencing the Warren commission more than a couple times throughout their publication Without Precedent, as exampled by one comment where it's noted that "History also gave us a powerful incentive to be open about what level of access--to people and government documents--we were being given. This was a lesson we could take from the Warren Commission, which had looked at the John F. Kennedy assassination. For decades, the Warren Commission's findings have been poked and prodded by conspiracy theorists, in large measure because the commission is not perceived as having had full access to the most secretive materials in the government. Lee Harvey Oswald may have acted alone, but over the years people could point in different directions and say to the commission, "You didn't look at this document about U.S. policy toward Cuba; you didn't talk to so-and-so; you didn't turn over this stone." To avoid such accusations, we had to be able to stand up in front of the American people and say, "We have asked for everything that has to do with the 9/11 story, and have seen everything that we asked for".
I most strongly recommend the publication, Accessories After the Fact: The Warren Commission, the Authorities & the Report on the JFK Assassination as an alternate to what is claimed above. I most strongly point out that it's apparent the quoted statement above and is limited in its scope and what it means to my government and the implications of what happened to John F. Kennedy and how it might be associated with what happened on September 11, 2001 that includes all Americans and their quality of life. Accessories After the Fact: The Warren Commission, the Authorities & the Report on the JFK Assassination
later in the publication, the authors admitted that no commissioner had access (after numerous attempts) to the detained terrorist that "confessed" under torture to be the mastermind behind 9/11, even after extensive effort to confirm such statements. The CIA would not allow any other representative to validate why so many people are being killed as noted in the MSM. I will additionally note to pay careful attention between pages 13 to 174 of Congressional record from CONGRESS. Amplifying information to help other Americans to understand this report can be found by reading Philip Marshall's publication, The Big Bamboozle: 9/11 and the War on Terror. Bottom line, the whole narrative of the 9/11 commission report is based on reports from the CIA, notably by using torture in order to get a confession. The Big Bamboozle: 9/11 and the War on Terror
If nothing else, Americans were presented live on television Obama's comments a few weeks ago from this posting that the CIA's action was illegal.
I was pleased that the authors referenced this failure in their own publication, as specifically noted in the 9/11 commission report but what this means is that although initially Osama bin Laden was claimed to be the individual responsible even before the second tower failed, the whole story was eventually modified on how these terrorists were able to undermine the complete United States defense industry, all based on one man's word, all while being tortured. Additionally, although the 9/11 Commission Report published this astonishing fact in 2004, it would take another three years before the Bush administration would publicly acknowledge this in a very underreported statement, eventually by the White House Press Secretary. Many Americans are still not aware of this and that it was reported on National News. (This observation in under reporting the facts or outright distortion can also be applicable in the lack of coverage by the MSN when one is able to observe the complete interview rendered by the assistant press secretary for John F. Kennedy whereas his index finger points specifically to his temple all while responding to news reporters on John F. Kennedy's murder and how it happened, as reported by the emergency room doctors). For detailed, historical and factual account directly from a primary, historical source regarding what happened at the hospital after the shooting, Dr. Charles A. Crenshaw's publication, Trauma Room One: the JFK Medical Cover-Up will present this aspect conveniently ignored or outright distorted in the Warren commission, something similar to what I might feel about this publication by Mr. Kean and Mr. Hamilton. Trauma Room One: The JFK Medical Coverup Exposed
Again, I am no expert, rather just noting what I see in this rabbit hole and I could go one but there is one thing that Lee H Hamilton wrote about that has compelled me to go back and read this publication carefully in whereas I initially picked up the book a couple years ago in a secondhand store, using it for reference but not really taking the time to read the whole publication...until now.
Someone once wrote that it generally takes about 50 years for the citizens of that country to recognize the specific criminality conducted by their own government. I might agree with this comment but I would suggest that this thought might not accurately represent the astonishing explosion of information available to all people regardless of their required social economic confines, specifically within the last 25 years or so. I agree that you can't trust everything from the Internet and I do apply this to the mainstream media news programs too. But as I previously noted common sense tells me that it's paramount for me to understand why John F. Kennedy died and why it should matter in trying to understand how this affects what we might know or not fully understand what happened on September 11, 2001. Being aware of the dynamics of the mainstream media news is the other component critical for greater comprehension of our government and how information might be controlled.
JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters
Into The Buzzsaw: LEADING JOURNALISTS EXPOSE THE MYTH OF A FREE PRESS
I downloaded the kindle version of Without Precedent off the internet a couple of weeks ago. I'll note specifically that I don't know these two gentlemen personally to render an assessment in what's in their hearts or minds while reading the actual 9/11 Commission Report but I now find reasonable justification to question the authenticity of what they're attempting to communicate to Americans after reading this work. It starts in chapter 12. I don't necessarily claim to agree or disagree with the conspiracy theories as presented by Mr. Hamilton, but it is apparent the structural mechanics in the way Mr. Hamilton wrote this chapter is profoundly disappointing and presents justification on why I and a growing cultural movement of mature American adults are looking at this mess a little bit closer. One of the most powerful publications I've found in this rabbit hole that explains in detail Mr. Hamilton's insulting conjecture and how he applies this against other honorable Americans can be found here: Conspiracy Theory in America (Discovering America)
In any case, reviewing Mr. Lee Hamilton's qualifications at the beginning of this publication, one can't help but to wonder why this list failed to point out that he was the Chairman for the House Select Committee for the Iran-Contra affair. Admittedly, he does casually note this previous history later in the book, all while wondering why he was called to serve on the 9/11 commission report in the first place, but what's really disturbing is his attempt to disassociate the Iran-Contra affair in regards to what happened on September 11, 2001 as though it would be absurd to assume there's some sort of connection, would be understandable in his position.
Using diplomatic diplomacy, I would respectfully point out to the honorable gentleman just the fact that he was the chairman of the House select committee for the Iran Contra cover-up and the fact that he was the Vice Chair for the 9/11 commission report cover up, I suspect that other Americans would find it reasonable to look at this association. Depending on one's degree of tolerance in being exposed to inflammatory and deeply disturbing material, the rabbit hole does indeed present facts, or rather point out factual truths that Mr. Hamilton might find difficult to work with. One example might be the author Alfred W. McCoy and his publication, The Politics of Heroin, CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade that include Afghanistan, Southeast Asia, Central America and Columbia and what his report notes about Al Qaeda and the relationship to the CIA. Indeed, this also includes Gary Webb and his story. Finally, as for other sections of this publication, specifically about the actual investigation, I most strongly recommend the DVD, September 11th, The New Pearl Harbor and the book, Black 9/11: Money, Motive and Technology.
September 11 - The New Pearl Harbor Note Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta comments and the commission's response to his statements.
For a expansive overview and what 9/11 really means to all people throughout the world, I most strongly recommend a careful review of Bob Kirkconnell's publication, Heart of Darkness and Dr. Nancy Turner Banks work, AIDS, Opium, Diamonds, and Empire.
If you're ready to look deeper into factual material about the inter-workings of my government, Psychological Warfare and the New World Order: The Secret War Against the American People by Servando Gonzalez will show you what the hell is really going on here.
Psychological Warfare and the New World Order: The Secret War Against the American People
Among other things, the Report revealed how the inability of the FBI and CIA to share information hampered intelligence-gathering; how two of the hijackers known to the CIA had lived openly under their own names for several months; how an FBI memo warned that the matter of Arab men receiving flight school training needed to be looked into; and how Zacarias Moussaoui had been arrested in Minnesota just weeks before 9/11, and "described as a terrorist suspect with an interest in flight training." (Pg. 16)
It also pointed out the "massive intelligence failure" in assessing Iraq's prewar weapons of mass destruction, as "American forces occupying Iraq found none of the predicted stockpiles of chemical or biological weapons." (Pg. 129) It strongly criticizes the FAA passenger screening, as not only "permeable," but "aimed at keeping bombs out of baggage, not at keeping planes from being turned into guided missiles." (Pg. 138) National terrorism coordinator Richard Clarke (whose book Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror came out during the hearings) argued in his testimony that "President Bush and his top advisers had not taken terrorism seriously before 9/11." (Pg. 154)
The Commission was dismissive of "conspiracy theories" (Pg. 252-255), concluding that after their actions (such as clearing up "inconsistencies in the FAA and NORAD accounts of 9/11"), "Those who chose to continue believing conspiracy theories now had to rely solely on imagination, their theories having been disproved by facts." (Pg. 268) [Which 9/11 "Truthers" dispute; see David Ray Griffin's The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions And Distortions, for example.]
The report itself is available (The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (Indexed Hardcover, Authorized Edition)). Another useful book is The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation.