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UQ Wire: An Open Letter regardng the Kean Mutiny

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Unanswered Questions : Thinking for ourselves.

An Open Letter regardng the Kean Mutiny

From Co-Founder Kyle Hence

John Podheretz, authored a blistering attack on Chairman Kean and his recent comments about the possible need to subpoena documents he and many Commissioners apparently deem important to their investigation of the 9/11 attacks.

He called the Chairman "belligerant", "arrogant" and accused him of grandstanding. Read for yourself:

Or if you like, just jump into my carefully considered response.

Kyle F. Hence
9/11 CitizensWatch


An Open Letter to Columnist John Podhoretz in defense of Chairman Kean and his Commission's request for "highly sensitive" but "highly material" documents now being withheld by the Bush Administration.

October 29, 2003

Dear Mr. Podhoretz,

In your New York Post piece of October 28, "Kean Mutiny" you accuse 9/11 Commission Chair and former Governor Thomas Kean of grandstanding by calling for the White House to release key 9/11 documents. I don't believe that Gov. Kean is a "grandstander" and you do him a disservice by characterizing him in this manner. As long as he acts decisively to ferret out the truth about 9/11 he should be suppported not unfairly attacked.

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I've attended several of the public hearings held by the commission and I've met the man and where you see arrogance and belligerence I see a mild mannered moderate public servant, who happens to be a Republican and who clearly, judging by his recent statements, may not be willing to put his name to a final 'definitive account' of 9/11 that might go down in history as a hollow $12 million dollar exercise passed off as an investigation --plagued by accusations of having gone soft, leaving 'stones unturned' and trails gone cold.

There is compelling basis here to see that the White House be forced to break with precedent and turn over 'highly material' 9/11 related documents. 3000 lives were snuffed out -- an unprecedented mass murder -- which clearly could have been mitigated had NORAD air defense responded appropriately; especially having forewarnings about hijackings. On September 11th 2001, "the world changed forever," not only for those who lost loved ones, but also for the whole globe. Draconian laws have since been passed that threaten the very freedoms we Americans (and the Brits) say we are fighting for; and the world, that once cried with us, now looks askance as innocent young men and women, our soldiers, march into battle where some die or are maimed as they are called upon to kill many more thousands of innocents in a war our leaders (the same ones who hide the truth) say "won't end in our lifetime." This unprecedented event now precipitating unprecedented changes in our world demands unprecedented steps if the truth, whatever it is, be told.

We still don't have answers to basic questions surrounding 9/11. Exactly how much did this Administration know prior to 9/11? And if they were warned, as they were by 11 nations, what was done with these warnings?

Condaleeza Rice said that no one could have imagined "planes used as weapons," yet the Joint Inquiry determined that in fact there was widespread awareness of just such a threat with several such schemes having been identified, foiled and in the case of the G-8 in Genoa, Italy, guarded against. Did this intelligence reach the President's desk? Did it reach the National Security Council? If not, why not? Only by the White House turning over the documents requested by the Commission will the President be able to assure the nation that indeed there was nothing more he or his administration could have done in the weeks and months prior to September 11, 2001; that there was indeed no reason to take action given the intelligence assessments now at issue. Only then will he be able to put the matter behind him and only then should the Commission and the American people be satisfied that mandate to investigate 9/11 is fulfilled all the way to the top.

The fact that our leaders failed to prevent the attack or take action that might have mitigated loss of life and have not been held accountable is a travesty and perhaps treasonous. It's also dangerous. Would you trust the wheel of your car to a man who, having ignored warnings, already crashed your car, killing your husband or wife, sister or brother?

If as many suspect, including 9/11 Commissioner Cleland, that the President or the National Security Council knew much more that they have revealed, than these officials, whoever they are, should be held directly accountable. If on the other hand, they have nothing to hide then let the Commissioners, granted top secret clearance in order to sit on the Commission, review the documents and clear their names and quell the raising chorus that you suggest is only adding to 'ugly divisiveness' by demanding disclosure.

Putting unnamed 'conspiracy theorists' aside, let's simply answer the questions the victim families and many others have about what happened on 9/11. The fact remains that, no matter how often strident voices might whine about hyped up imagined threats posed by sceptical 'conspiracy theorists or 'arrogant' 'grandstanding' Commissioners, or the release of Presidential Daily Briefings and other documents, as long as questions persist in the minds of average Americans, in those of thousands of victim family members and survivors, there will be grave concern about the current and future security of this nation. Only with the truth, transparency and re-application of genuine accountability can this nation re-build and respond appropriately to exigencies of the day.

Bush and his administration are Constitutionally charged with providing for the public safety. They failed on 9/11...on this there can be no dispute. Now is the time for a complete accounting and for those who failed us, to be held directly accountable. If that means the White House being forced to break precedent in service of the truth and accountability then so be it. It is time to end the insidious culture that denies both.

9/11 was an extraordinarily tragic and world changing event -- it should come to no surprise that getting answers to long held questions hanging over this administration will require extraordinary and unprecedented action as just taken by courageous public servants like Chairman Kean. Grandstanding, you say? I call it standing up for investigative rigor. Arrogance? I call it courage to go where it's the hardest to look. Chairman Kean's statements should be applauded and they should be followed by concerted action and support from the Congress, regardless of party. It is polemics such as yours, Mr. Podheretz, that are belligerent, not the bold statements of Chairman Kean in search of the simple truth of the historical record.


Kyle F. Hence
9/11 CitizensWatch


STANDARD DISCLAIMER FROM UQ.ORG: does not necessarily endorse the views expressed in the above article. We present this in the interests of research -for the relevant information we believe it contains. We hope that the reader finds in it inspiration to work with us further, in helping to build bridges between our various investigative communities, towards a greater, common understanding of the unanswered questions which now lie before us.

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