Thursday, December 18, 2003

Clarification or Backing Down

The chairman of a federal commission looking into the Sept. 11 attacks said Thursday that mistakes over many years left the United States vulnerable to such an attack, but he resisted pinning blame on either of the last two presidential teams.
"We have no evidence that anybody high in the Clinton administration or the Bush administration did anything wrong," chairman Thomas Kean said in an interview with ABC's "Nightline" taped for airing Thursday night.

Kean sought to clarify remarks attributed to him in a CBS News report that aired Wednesday.

In the CBS interview, Kean said the commission's report, due May 27, will detail "what wasn't done and what should have be done" to prevent the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

He added, "There are people that, if I was doing the job, would certainly not be in the position they were in at that time because they failed."

CBS reported that Kean's comments constituted "pointing fingers inside the (Bush) administration and laying blame."

But Kean said in Thursday's interview that he did not mean to suggest that certain federal officials should have been fired after Sept. 11. He said he was commenting on obvious mistakes that were made, such as letting terrorists into the country and letting dangerous items onto planes.
Indeed. Based on his initial statement, it would appear that if he was on the job, they would have been fired before September 11th (would not be in the position they were in at that time). I didn't post or comment on the first report because I suspected a retraction or correction would be forthcoming. It was too good to be true that an Bush-appointed Republican would come forward like this, the question is, did he really misspeak? We'll only know for sure if all of the necessary/requested information is subpoenaed and obtained. In the interim, watch Nightline, it's easier to squirm on paper than it is in front of the camera.


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