Family Steering Committee Statement
Regarding Access to Presidential Daily Briefings( PDBs)


November 13, 2003


The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Against the United States, commonly known as the 9/11 Independent Commission, released a statement to the press regarding the culmination of recent negotiations with the White House. These negotiations involved the 9/11 Independent Commission's document requests for access to certain Presidential Daily Briefings that may relate to the 9/11 attacks.

In response to the Commission's Press Release, which provides insufficient details to evaluate the circumstances and effects of the compromise, the Family Steering Committee holds the following positions:

1. All ten Commissioners should have full, unfettered, and unrestricted access to all evidence - including but not limited to all Presidential Daily Briefings and all working notes related to those Presidential Daily Briefings, that may be related to the attacks on 9/11.

2. The full, official, and final written Agreement that was reached between the Commission and the White House should be released to the American public in its entirety. The American public should be fully informed as to all legal restrictions and limitations placed within this Agreement upon the 9/11 Independent Commission and their collective ability to access all information needed for their investigation. Furthermore, the mechanism by which this Agreement was reached should be fully released to the public. For example, who was involved in these negotiations? Were the terms of this agreement presented to all Commissioners and was a subsequent vote taken?

3. The Commission should issue a Statement to the American public fully explaining why this Agreement was chosen in lieu of issuing subpoenas to the CIA and Executive Branch to access these certain Presidential Daily Briefings.

4. The Family Steering Committee is committed to ensuring that the Independent Commission executes their mission statement in a full and unrestricted manner.

The mission statement of the 9-11 Commission is as follows:

"The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, an independent, bipartisan commission created by congressional legislation and the signature of President George W. Bush in late 2002, is chartered to prepare a full and complete account of the circumstances surrounding the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, including preparedness for and the immediate response to the attacks. The Commission is also mandated to provide recommendations designed to guard against future attacks."

As it now stands a limited number of Commissioners will have restricted access to a limited number of PDB documents. This will prevent a full uncovering of the truth and is unacceptable.