May 1, 2003
Family members met with Commissioners Kean, Hamilton, Ben Veniste, Fielding, Gorelick, Gorton, Lehman, and Roemer, as well Executive Director Zelikow and Deputy Director Kojm regarding the progress of the investigation into the September 11th attacks.
Nearly all the staff has been hired. Staff biographies will be posted on the Commission’s official website: http://www.9-11commission.gov .
The staff is divided into nine investigative teams:
1) Al Qaeda*
2) Intelligence *
4) Terrorist Financing*
6) Law Enforcement
8) Immediate response to the attack
9) the White House*
The timetable for document requests has been completed by these teams and the Commission has reviewed their work plans. Extensive documents have been requested across the entire mandate. Each team’s goal is to determine
What was the oversight?
Security clearance All Commissioners have top-secret clearance. Staff will have access to classified information on a need to know basis. Half the staff has received clearance. The process for the others will take about a month. Those awaiting clearance are studying non-classified literature in their area of responsibility.
Conflict of Interest
Commissioners have filed financial disclosure statements for review by the Senate Ethics Committee. There are guidelines in place to determine whether a Commissioner will need to recuse himself or herself because of a conflict of interest. Staff has been asked to notify the Commission’s general counsel of any potential conflict(s) of interest.
Access to Joint Inquiry Documents
After a five day period in which the White House considered invoking executive privilege on some requested documents, the Commission now has access to the source material used in the Joint Inquiry on Intelligence including written reports, hearing transcripts
Sandy Berger, President Clinton’s National Security Advisor, testified. However, there was no testimony from President Bush’s National Security Council. interview reports (170 of 300 to date) ; some information has been redacted due to Congressional privilegeThe Commission’s attorney is developing new guidelines for interviews and depositions. However, the Commission must go back to the originating agencies for copies of the original documents provided to the Joint Inquiry because staff notes which are subject to Congressional privilege are intermixed with the official documents. Regarding those documents the FBI kept a second set ; its documents are currently available the CIA did not keep a second set and is in the process of supplying copies of the documents the NSA did not provide any documents to the Joint Inquiry
To verify that all documents have been received, the Commission has asked for an index of all documents received by the Joint Inquiry and a complete list of all documents turned over to the Joint Inquiry by the FBI and CIA. The lists will be cross-referenced.
No subpoenas have been issued.
Rebuttal of inaccurate testimony
The Commissioners indicated that they should be advised of inaccurate testimony.
Access to Joint Inquiry Documents
There should be a free flow of information, including all official and working documents, as well as interim notes from the Joint Inquiry. Nothing should be redacted. Congress mandated that the Commission build on the Joint Inquiry’s work. It is inefficient and redundant for the Commission to go back to the originating agencies for copies of the documents, especially in light of the limited time allotted to the investigation.
The FSC requested a list of the individuals who will be testifying both publicly and in closed session, so that we can submit questions for them.
The FSC agrees with the discovery questions, “What went wrong?” and “What was the oversight?” as we anticipate that the answers will incorporate accountability. The FSC also agrees with the Commission’s goal of ensuring that their recommendations are implemented.
“The New York Office The New York office will be in the Federal Building at 26 Federal Plaza. As soon it is operational, additional information will be posted on the website