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Old 10-26-2003, 03:51 PM   #1
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9/11 Commission Could Subpoena Oval Office Files

By PHILIP SHENON

Published: October 26, 2003

Dith Pran/The New York Times
Thomas H. Kean, the chairman of the federal commission investigating the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, says he is prepared to issue a subpoena for intelligence documents that the White House is withholding.

ADISON, N.J., Oct. 25 ó The chairman of the federal commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks says that the White House is continuing to withhold several highly classified intelligence documents from the panel and that he is prepared to subpoena the documents if they are not turned over within weeks.

The chairman, Thomas H. Kean, the former Republican governor of New Jersey, also said in an interview on Friday that he believed the bipartisan 10-member commission would soon be forced to issue subpoenas to other executive branch agencies because of continuing delays by the Bush administration in providing documents and other evidence needed by the panel.

"Any document that has to do with this investigation cannot be beyond our reach," Mr. Kean said on Friday in his first explicit public warning to the White House that it risked a subpoena and a politically damaging courtroom showdown with the commission over access to the documents, including Oval Office intelligence reports that reached President Bush's desk in the weeks before the Sept. 11 attacks.

"I will not stand for it," Mr. Kean said in the interview in his offices here at Drew University, where he has been president since 1990.

"That means that we will use every tool at our command to get hold of every document."

He said that while he had not directly threatened a subpoena in his recent conversations with the White House legal counsel, Alberto R. Gonzales, "it's always on the table, because they know that Congress in their wisdom gave us the power to subpoena, to use it if necessary."

A White House spokeswoman, Ashley Snee, said that the White House believed it was being fully cooperative with the commission, which is known formally as the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States. She said that it hoped to meet all of the panel's demands for documents.

Mr. Kean suggested that he understood the concerns of the White House about the sensitivity of the documents at issue, saying that they were the sort of Oval Office intelligence reports that were so sensitive and highly classified that they had never been provided to Congress or to other outside investigators.

"These are documents that only two or three people would normally have access to," he said. "To make those available to an outside group is something that no other president has done in our history.

"But I've argued very strongly with the White House that we are unique, that we are not the Congress, that these arguments about presidential privilege do not apply in the case of our commission," he said.

"Anything that has to do with 9/11, we have to see it ó anything. There are a lot of theories about 9/11, and as long as there is any document out there that bears on any of those theories, we're going to leave questions unanswered. And we cannot leave questions unanswered."

While Mr. Kean said he was barred by an agreement with the White House from describing the Oval Office documents at issue in any detail ó he said the White House was "quite nervous" about any public hint at their contents ó other commission officials said they included the detailed daily intelligence reports that were provided to Mr. Bush in the weeks leading up to Sept. 11. The reports are known within the White House as the Presidential Daily Briefing.

Despite the threat of a subpoena and his warning of the possibility of a court battle over the documents, Mr. Kean said he maintained a good relationship with Mr. Gonzales and others at the White House, and that he was still hopeful that the White House would produce all of the classified material demanded by the panel without a subpoena.

"We've been very successful in getting a lot of materials that I don't think anybody has ever seen before," he said of his earlier dealings with the White House. "Within the legal constraints that they seem to have, they've been fully cooperative. But we're not going to be satisfied until we get every document that we need."

Rest of the article: http://www.nytimes.com/2003/10/26/na...agewanted=2&hp
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Old 10-26-2003, 03:59 PM   #2
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Good grief! Kean was a *major* supporter of the first President Bush. It looks like he has different views of his son!
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Old 10-26-2003, 08:02 PM   #3
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The two leaders of the Congressional Intelligence Committee stated on Meet the Press that they too may subpeona the White House if they continue to be stonewalled by the Admin. in releasing info about the Iraqi intelligence used to defend the war.

The Republican leader was very stern in reprimanding the admin. and calling for cooperation.
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Old 10-27-2003, 05:36 PM   #4
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Originally posted by Scarletwine
The two leaders of the Congressional Intelligence Committee stated on Meet the Press that they too may subpeona the White House if they continue to be stonewalled by the Admin. in releasing info about the Iraqi intelligence used to defend the war.

The Republican leader was very stern in reprimanding the admin. and calling for cooperation.
Interesting Post Scarletwine. Having watched the same show you did I did not get the same impression as you did. I never heard either of them use the word subpeona. As a matter of fact I never heard the Republican issue a stern warning. I heard him say that he felt the intelligence was not hyped up. As a matter of fact I head him say he stood by bis vote to give the president the power to wage war. The only thing I heard him question was did they as Senators ask enough questions before the vote.

I also heard the Democrat say that if they, meaning the commission investigating 9/11 were trying to get the President's daily intelligence briefing, that that was going to be "pretty hard for them to get." But I do not see either of them use the word subpeona.

[Q] MR. RUSSERT: We are back.
Senators, welcome. Senator Rockefeller, Iíll start with you. This brazen attack this morning, Al- Rasheed Hotel, where Deputy Defense Secretary Wolfowitz was staying. Thirty-five attacks a day on Americans, some 1,000 injured since May 1, when major combat was supposedly over. Whatís going on?
SEN. JAY ROCKEFELLER, (D-WV): You had a major war, we won that. Then you go into counterterrorism. Weíre doing reasonably well on that. But then the counterinsurgency is what weíre now in, and that is the fight for the hearts and the minds of people. And frankly weíre not doing particularly well. I donít think we have enough troops there, but more importantly, I donít think the right kinds of troops to do counterinsurgency.
Look at what the British did in Basra. They took their helmets off. They havenít had that many incidents down there. Theyíve gotten into the hearts and souls of people more. And the point about getting into hearts and souls is not just calm country, but itís also, thatís the way you get the intelligence that leads you, for example, to Saddam Hussein, and I think itís about time we really found him.
MR. RUSSERT: Where do we get the troops from?
SEN. ROCKEFELLER: I donít know. I mean, thatís the great impossible question. Weíre all over the world with our troops, but the question is if youíre talking about Iraq, and the question is ďDo we have enough and are they the right kind?Ē I think the answer is probably no, even though theyíre doing every possible thing they can.
MR. RUSSERT: Senator Hagel, itís been a very bloody month. Do you have any sense how many Americans weíve lost or injured?óand talk about that.
SEN. CHUCK HAGEL, (R-NE): Well, the numbers that I was provided by the Pentagon on Friday-I had requested from Secretary Rumsfeld more than a month ago some numbers. How are we classifying those numbers? Over 900 maimed or injured. By my calculations, weíve probably seen about 150 wounded, maimed in the last 30 days. So itís a little foggy here. The Pentagon needs to do a better job than they are. They need to pay attention to this. The American people need to know about the costs here. We should have known more about the risks before we went in. Thatís partly the Congressí fault, in my opinion, but the fact is we are having a number of our young people maimed and wounded now, and we will continue to play it that way.
I would also add to your question regarding ďWhere do we get the troops?Ē The sooner we get the Iraqi troops their standard army revitalized, brought back onto the field, the sooner weíre going to be able to address this. Thereís only one way out of Iraq for America and that is working with our allies to get the Iraqis in a position where they can defend themselves and govern themselves. And weíre kidding ourselves if we donít have that as the primary focus.
MR. RUSSERT: You voted for the war resolution, as did Senator Rockefeller. You said since then, however, that Congress is treated like a nuisance and that we gave the president more range, more flexibility, more latitude than any president since Roosevelt and that may have been a mistake. Talk about that.
SEN. HAGEL: Well, first, I think every American understands in a time of crisis when our national security is challenged, we do move toward giving our president more control, more latitude. It certainly happened with Franklin Roosevelt in World War II. Unfortunately, it happened with Johnson during the Vietnam War as a result of the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, 1964. But, at the same time, we have a constitutional responsibility to question, to probe, to work with the president. We are a partner of the presidentís.
You know, Teddy Roosevelt once said that patriotism is not about standing by your president or elected officials. Itís standing by the country. And we, I think, fail our country when we donít ask the tough questions. Thatís where I think the Congress over the last two years has really fallen short of asking these tough questions. How long will-is it going to take? How many troops? How much money? Who is going to govern? Give us the plan, give us the numbers. And we allowed the administration to go into this without getting some very solid answers. This is imperfect. This is imprecise. This is complicated and difficult. We know that. But this is our watch, too. This isnít just a presidential show.
MR. RUSSERT: Do you regret your vote?
SEN. HAGEL: No, I donít regret my vote. I gave a speech an hour before that vote and I laid out why I was voting, and I also said at the time that we couldnít do this alone. We were going to have to have the United Nations, we were going to have to have the allies. I think the vote was right. And, by the way, I might add one thing here, Tim, that resolution we voted on was a far different resolution than what the White House wanted us to vote on.
MR. RUSSERT: Senator Rockefeller, do you regret your vote in favor of the war?
SEN. ROCKEFELLER: If I had known then what I know today about the intelligence or maybe the lack of proper intelligence, if I suspected that there might have been a predetermination to go to war, regardless of the United States, United Nations Security Council, I probably would have voted differently.
MR. RUSSERT: Do you...
SEN. ROCKEFELLER: And I want to explain that.
MR. RUSSERT: Please.
SEN. ROCKEFELLER: I think the central question here is, frankly, ďWas there a predetermination to go to war on the part of the administration led by Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, and that group?Ē Or was there faulty intelligence? And whichever the answer is, itís not a good answer. Because we put our soldiers in harmís way, weíve lost a lot of people, injured a lot of people, and my question really is: ďDid we do justice by the American people by not taking a little bit longer, by not waiting longer for that national intelligence estimate, which was hurried up so quickly, and which was very much in favor of going to war?Ē So we havenít-we really donít know whether it was a wise decision to go to war or not. Right now it does not appear so.
MR. RUSSERT: You are the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee in the midst of looking at this very issue of intelligence, whether it was hyped, whether it was faulty. This was a headline from Dana Priestís story in The Washington Post. ďThe Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is preparing a blistering report on pre-war intelligence on Iraq that is critical of CIA Director George Tenet and other intelligence officials for overstating the weapons and terrorism case against Saddam Hussein according to congressional officials. The committee staff was surprised by the amount of circumstantial evidence and single-source or disputed information used to write key intelligence documents...Ē
What can you tell us about that? Are you finding single-source or disputed evidence that was hyped or molded to fit a case for war?
SEN. ROCKEFELLER: I think thereís a possibility that was the case. We had three ex-CIA officials who had retired and, therefore, were free to speak. They indicated that a number of the analysts that were interviewed-and this was not just recently but also over the years-that they had with them officials from the CIA, the General Counselís Office, Congressional Liaison Office, and that served as kind of a threat to them or as an intimidation to them, would they say everything they really felt. My own view is that people-we donít know the answer to that question yet. I mean, that release came-I was disturbed by that because we donít have the report. Itís still being written. George Tenet and the intelligence community have asked both Pat Roberts and myself to be able to come before the Intelligence Committee and give their side of all of this, and they said thatíll take several days to do.
They deserve that chance. I think there was faulty intelligence. They went on weapons of mass destruction from no real use on nuclear weapons, which is the main cause for going to war, preemption, to reconstruction. Now, how did they move from one to the other in such a short period of time? Itís disturbing.
MR. RUSSERT: Let me ask each of you: Do you believe thereís a shift of emphasis from questioning whether the president hyped the intelligence to the intelligence communities for what they found and is there a political motivation for shifting the emphasis?
SEN. ROCKEFELLER: Itís possible there is and there may not be, but it is happening. And youíre quite correct about that. I mean, itís like one group wants to say, ďIt was the intelligence communityís fault,Ē and the other group wants to say, ďWell, the White House was causing the intelligence community to shift their product.Ē I mean, the main thing is the intelligence community didnít give the direction for the United States to go to war, and secondly, what we have to find out: Were there other sources of intelligence coming out of the Defense Department or other places that were being run separately, quite apart from the knowledge of the CIA or the State Department to get the kind of intelligence that they wanted to hear which would allow them to make a ďpredeterminedĒ decision to go to war.
MR. RUSSERT: Senator Hagel, youíre on the Intelligence Committee, Foreign Relations Committee, youíre a Republican, but based on everything youíve seen and heard, do you believe that intelligence was manipulated or hyped by the administration? And, two, do you believe faulty intelligence was provided by the intelligence communities?
SEN. HAGEL: First, I donít believe faulty intelligence was provided by the intelligence communities.
This is an imperfect process. Itís an imperfect business. Itís imprecise. Itís a matrix of many dynamics, analysis than is in place, and the ultimate outcome is a process of that analysis. Second, it is too early, in my opinion, to answer that question straight up yes or no simply because we donít have all the pieces. Just as the vice chairman has said, weíll get those pieces, and when we get those pieces, weíll say it straight just as Chairman Roberts has said.
One last piece of this, Tim. We should always ensure-and the American people must understand that when you commit a nation to war, and thatís intelligence and thatís all the dynamics of the pieces of that commitment, that this is beyond partisanship, always must be, and itís not about party loyalty either, whether you vote with the president or against a president on something as big as this. This is not just about war and intelligence today, but itís about the consequences of where this is going to end up for Americaís role, position in the world in the next 10 years. So I think thatís important that that be part of the mix on this intelligence debate.

MR. RUSSERT: Excuse me, Senator Rockefeller, front-page story in The New York Times today says that the commission looking into the events of September 11 headed by former Republican Governor Tom Kean of New Jersey not getting the information they need and may subpoena the White House. Whatís your sense of that?
SEN. ROCKEFELLER: My sense of it is that on the Intelligence Committee, weíre going through some of the same problems. A lot of the documents that weíve requested from the Department of Defense, from the White House and the National Security Agency, we do not yet have.
MR. RUSSERT: Why?
SEN. ROCKEFELLER: I donít know why, but weíre going to get them one way or another. And Governor Tom Kean and his commission is obviously-you know, if theyíre trying to subpoena the presidentís daily brief on intelligence, you know, what he has every morning very early, I would think that would be pretty hard to get. But thereís so much interaction between the NSC, the CIA, the State Department, DOD, CIA, we have to get-and Iíve requested-from nine different speeches what led up to those speeches. And one of them frankly: Why was George Tenet sitting right behind Secretary Powell at the U.N. speech? What was his purpose for being there?
MR. RUSSERT: Didnít Colin Powell request that?
SEN. ROCKEFELLER: Probably. It doesnít take away my question.
MR. RUSSERT: Do you believe the White House is stonewalling in providing information to your committee and to the 9/11 commission?
SEN. HAGEL: I hope not. They have an opportunity to come forward with the requested documentation. Itís definitely in their interest, certainly in the interest of this country. Americans and our allies across the globe must have confidence in our leadership. They must trust our processes, and that certainly includes our intelligence communitiesí results.
MR. RUSSERT: You said something interesting about John McCain to The New York Times the other day. And let show you and our viewers, put it on the screen. ďSurely not a day goes by that Senator McCain doesnít think ĎIf I was in that situation as president, I think I could do a better job.íĒ
Do you think John McCain would be a better president than George Bush?
SEN. HAGEL: Well, I supported John McCain. I was co-chairman of his presidential campaign committee, and that isnít all I said, by the way. I said some other things there, too, about McCain.
Sure, anybody who runs for president is a credible presidential candidate, as experienced and effective as John McCain, has to think every day ďI would have handled this a little differently.Ē As to your question would it be better than George Bush, Iím not going to get into the speculation. I supported George Bush; Iíll support him again. Iím co-chairman of his campaign in Nebraska. Iíll vote for him, Iíll help him get re-elected.
MR. RUSSERT: Senator Rockefeller, are there any Democrats who have the national security background to take on George Bush in 2004?
SEN. ROCKEFELLER: Yes, I think there are some, and I think Wesley Clark has it. I think John Kerry in the same way that Chuck Hagel has it because heís been through some tremendous wartime...
MR. RUSSERT: You think foreign policy, national security will be a large issue?
SEN. ROCKEFELLER: Yes, and I think it should be because I think the central question here is was there a predetermined decision to go to war or was it faulty intelligence, or part of both? But you cannot put-you cannot risk the lives of young Americans over bad decision-making.
MR. RUSSERT: Senators Rockefeller and Hagel, we thank you for your views.
SEN. ROCKEFELLER: Thanks, Tim.
SEN. HAGEL: Thanks, Tim.[/Q]
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Old 10-27-2003, 09:16 PM   #5
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They clearly talked about it and it was just before this part of the interview posted above, I think. I don't have a transcript to prove it but I know it was asked by Russert, and answered.
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Old 10-27-2003, 09:18 PM   #6
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I posted the ENTIRE interview.

Russert Spoke about the Subpena. Neither Senator said there would be a subpena. The Republican Senator said he did not think the intelligence community lied falsified or whatever people would like to believe.
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Old 10-27-2003, 09:24 PM   #7
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http://www.msnbc.com/news/MEETPRESS_...0dm=N216V&ta=y

I posted the whole interview with the Senators. I hope you are not implying I would leave something out. The transcript before he says welcome back was his interview with Colin Powel which was not relevant to what was brought up in this thread.

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Old 10-27-2003, 11:33 PM   #8
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No.. no.. not implying anything. Geez, I simply can't remember what I read and watch - usually at the same time. Maybe I'll just read and not try to post, since I don't always have time to back it up with other articles. Dial up takes forever, and most of the time it's just my opinion or thoughts anyway. It was not my intention to offend you Dredsox. If I did, please forgive.
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Old 10-27-2003, 11:36 PM   #9
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REad the print below my posts....I am cranky....
I am passing a kidny stone......
I am in pain.....

It is not you!!!!!
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Old 10-28-2003, 06:56 AM   #10
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They did not specifically say they were going to subpeona the White House, however Rockefeller implied it

Rockefeller: "weíre going to get them one way or another. "

The Republican Senator WAS very stern in his manner concerning the wanted documentation:

"SEN. HAGEL: I hope not. They have an opportunity to come forward with the requested documentation."
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Old 10-28-2003, 04:49 PM   #11
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Listen , you used the word STATED that there would be a subpeona. They did not! The Republican did not REPRIMAND the White House.

Of course if you want to retract that they did not STATE the things you said they stated fine.....you want to say they implied it...fine...but it was not a bi partisan slamming of the white house, and more importantly you seem to have ignored the Republican Clearly supporting the Intelligence community.
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