9 November 2003

9/11 White House Subpoena Omits Classified Briefings

An independent commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks announced yesterday that it will issue a second subpoena for documents from the Bush administration, but the legal demand does not include classified intelligence briefings that have been the focus of an ongoing dispute with the White House.

The new subpoena, for Pentagon records about U.S. air defenses on the day of the attacks, follows a demand last month for similar material from the Federal Aviation Administration. The commission said in a statement that it 'has encountered some serious delays in obtaining needed documents from the Department of Defense' and that 'records of importance to our investigation had not been produced.'

The Pentagon said in a statement that Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has pledged cooperation and 'has directed that the department be responsive to help ensure the commission can meet its deadlines.'

The FAA and NORAD chronologies (which contradict each other) have been on the public record for a long time. The explanation for refusing official copies to the commission is going to be fascinating.

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