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President signs bill to establish independent Sept. 11 probe, names Kissinger as its head
Associated Press / SFGate | a

Posted on 11/27/2002 7:29:31 AM PST by RCW2001

JENNIFER LOVEN, Associated Press Writer
Wednesday, November 27, 2002
©2002 Associated Press


(11-27) 07:23 PST WASHINGTON (AP) --

President Bush signed legislation creating a new independent commission to investigate the Sept. 11 attacks Wednesday and named former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger to lead the panel.

"Dr. Kissinger will bring broad experience, clear thinking and careful judgment to this important task," Bush said at a signing ceremony in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. "Mr. secretary, thank you for returning to the service of your nation."

The commission has a broad mandate, building on the limited joint inquiry conducted by the House and Senate intelligence committees. The independent panel will have 18 months to examine issues such as aviation security and border problems, along with intelligence.

Bush called on members to report back more quickly than 18 months, saying the nation needed to know quickly how it can avoid terror attacks in the future. "The sooner we have the commission's conclusions, the sooner we can act on them," Bush said.

"This should carefully examine all evidence and follow all facts, wherever they lead," the president said.

However, Bush did not set as a primary goal for the commission to uncover mistakes or lapses of the government that could have prevented the Sept. 11 attacks. Instead, he said it should try to help the administration learn the tactics and motives of the enemy.

"This commission will help me and future presidents to understand ... the nature of the threats we face," he said.

"We must uncover every detail and learn every lesson of September the 11th," Bush said in a ceremony with survivors, families of victims, and advocates of the bill, including lawmakers.

He pledged his administration will "continue to act on the lessons we've learned so far to better protect the people of this country. It's our most solemn duty."

The commission's creation is part of a bill authorizing intelligence activities in the 2003 budget year. Though most details of the legislation remain secret, lawmakers say it provides the biggest-ever increase in intelligence spending in an attempt to fix some counterterrorism weaknesses -- such as a lack of information-sharing, a shortage of experts in certain key languages and new attention to traditional, human spying.

It was Bush's third major bill-signing in as many days and served as a holiday send-off for the president, who was leaving immediately afterward to spend the long Thanksgiving weekend at his Crawford, Texas, ranch.

Considerable fanfare and celebratory crowds accompanied the signings on Monday and Tuesday of legislation to create a new Homeland Security Department and help guarantee businesses coverage for terrorism insurance. The White House was more subdued about Wednesday's bill signing.

Like the Homeland Security Department, the independent commission was an idea to which Bush's support came late.

The White House held that only Congress should investigate, arguing that an independent probe could distract administration officials from anti-terrorism efforts and produce leaks that could compromise intelligence operations. The change of heart came in September, as family members of Sept. 11 victims applied pressure and congressional hearings began to uncover intelligence and law enforcement failures.

The White House had concerns about the leadership and subpoena powers of the panel. Bush insisted only a bipartisan group should be able to compel testimony and documents, fearing that one-party subpoenas would lead to ineffective finger-pointing and allow the panel to be used merely to score political points.

The 10-member commission will be evenly divided between Republican and Democratic appointees. As Bush demanded, the president will name the chairman and it will take at least six members, in most cases, to approve subpoenas.

Fleischer said the changes would ensure the inquiry's usefulness. He also said Bush does not envision testifying before the panel.

Stephen Push of Great Falls, Va., a leader of a group of victims' relatives, argued the commission as passed was not as powerful as family members wanted.

Though the spending total was not made public, the bill is believed to authorize more than $35 billion in intelligence programs to make up for a decade of declining spending.

The bill requires a database of known or suspected international terrorists. Two of the Sept. 11 hijackers were placed on a State Department watch list in the weeks before the attacks, but other agencies were not notified.

It also establishes a new center to help intelligence agencies quickly translate foreign languages; provides millions for the study of languages key to national security; and calls for a standard way for all agencies to spell names from other alphabets.

©2002 Associated Press  

TOPICS: Front Page News; Government

1 posted on 11/27/2002 7:29:31 AM PST by RCW2001
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To: RCW2001
WOOOWWWEEEE!!! Great choice!! God continual blessing of SMARTS upon our president!!!
2 posted on 11/27/2002 7:37:06 AM PST by RoseofTexas
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To: RCW2001
This should have been posted under 'humor' with a 'major barf alert' warning.
3 posted on 11/27/2002 7:58:26 AM PST by A Vast RightWing Conspirator
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To: A Vast RightWing Conspirator
The above comment has to do with the 'Kissinger' nomination.
4 posted on 11/27/2002 7:59:48 AM PST by A Vast RightWing Conspirator
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To: RCW2001
A brilliant choice. I was suprised and pleased. I know the tinfoil hat crowd will be out in force, but Bush did a good thing here, as he always does.

5 posted on 11/27/2002 8:12:50 AM PST by IVote2
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To: unequallawsuntoasavagerace
Independant of whom??? Or what?
6 posted on 11/27/2002 9:22:21 AM PST by unequallawsuntoasavagerace
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To: A Vast RightWing Conspirator
What a cynical's like appointing Danforth to investigate Waco. Boy, did he get to the bottom of that one even as his star witness mysteriously dies...
7 posted on 11/27/2002 9:24:19 AM PST by JohnGalt
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To: RCW2001
Dr.Henry Kissinger, Bilderberger Conference, Evians, France, 1991

Today, America would be outraged if U.N. troops entered Los Angeles to restore order. Tomorrow they will
be grateful! This is especially true if they were told that there were an outside threat from beyond, whether
real or 'promulgated,' that threatened our very existence. It is then that all peoples of the world will plead to
deliver them from this evil. The one thing every man fears is the unknown. When presented with this
'scenario', individual rights will be willingly relinquished for the guarantee of their well-being granted to them
by the World Government.
8 posted on 11/27/2002 9:38:19 AM PST by joesnuffy
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To: RCW2001
There is no way God fearing Conservatives would ever follow a democrat into the
New World Order willingly..
9 posted on 11/27/2002 9:39:47 AM PST by joesnuffy
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To: joesnuffy
Yes...and merrily we march along (however this 'we' is stepping 'out of the line').
10 posted on 11/27/2002 10:24:36 AM PST by RCW2001
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To: joesnuffy
Sorry. . .but that is not, could not have been Kissinger. The syntax is all wrong and goes against his political (U.S.) values--the U.S. is an independent nation that answers to no one.

Read the "quoted" text out loud, and even with the best hearing in the world, you can't hear these words coming from Kissinger.

A quick search indicates the quote receives heavy play with the tin-foil hat wearing, one worlder/new world order crowd. Unless a credible source is provided, like actual transcripts and such, I’d caution against believing this supposed quote came from Kissinger.

(And, BTW, the "secret" conference is not taped or recorded and only those that are members are allowed to be there.)
11 posted on 11/27/2002 11:08:37 AM PST by Gunrunner2
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To: Gunrunner2
Besides, even the internet conspiracy-types can't agree on the year. The year is reported as 1991 or 1992. . .
12 posted on 11/27/2002 11:14:23 AM PST by Gunrunner2
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