News and Document archive source
copyrighted material disclaimer at bottom of page

NewsMine9-11inquiry — Viewing Item

Chief assess blame but holds off on higher ups { December 19 2003 }

Original Source Link: (May no longer be active)

December 19, 2003
Chief of Sept. 11 Panel Assesses Blame but Holds Off on Higher-Ups

WASHINGTON, Dec. 18 The chairman of a federal commission investigating the Sept. 11 terror attacks said on Thursday that information long available to the public showed that the attacks could have been prevented had a group of low- and mid-level government employees at the F.B.I., the immigration service and elsewhere done their jobs properly.

The chairman, Thomas H. Kean, former Republican governor of New Jersey, said in a telephone interview that his investigators were still studying whether senior Bush administration officials should also share the blame. He said it was too early to suggest that White House aides or other senior officials had been derelict.

"There were people at the borders who let these people in even though they didn't have proper papers to get into this country," Mr. Kean said of immigration inspectors who allowed the hijackers into the United States.

"There were visa people who let these people in," he said. "There were F.B.I. people who, when they got reports from Phoenix and Minnesota and elsewhere, didn't think they were important enough to buck up to the higher-ups. There were security officers at the airports who let these people onto airplanes even though they were carrying materials that weren't allowed on airplanes."

Mr. Kean said an interview that was broadcast Wednesday by CBS News was being misinterpreted as suggesting that he was calling for the departure of senior administration officials.

"We don't have the evidence to do that yet," he said. "We're doing the work. The report may in fact end up suggesting that people are the subject of some serious criticism."

Mr. Kean, whose bipartisan 10-member panel is to issue a final report in May, said he was surprised that some midlevel officials at the F.B.I. and in federal immigration agencies had not been removed from their jobs, given errors before the Sept. 11 attacks that may have allowed the hijacking plot to go undetected.

"It surprises me that if there were serious mistakes, there haven't been any consequences of those mistakes," he said.

The F.B.I. had no formal response to Mr. Kean's comments. A bureau official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the actions of the midlevel personnel before Sept. 11 were "under review, including an inspector general's review of whether there were institutional or personnel issues that should be addressed."

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

9 11 probe quit
911 attacks preventable panel head believes { December 19 2003 }
911 commission chairs son runs for new jersey senate { October 19 2006 }
911 inquiry fired
911 panel cites communication failures between nyfd nypd { May 18 2004 }
911 panel reaches deal on access to papers { November 13 2003 }
911 panel to get more access to memos
911 probe panel
911 victim families not taking bribe money
Air defense flaws detail in 911 panel { April 25 2004 }
Ashcroft blames clinton rules for 911 { April 14 2004 }
Ashcroft blames intelligence sharing wall { April 14 2004 }
Battle over 911 panels deadline intesifies { January 29 2004 }
Breaks on 9 11 truth commission
Bush disagrees with saddam 911 connection { June 17 2004 }
Bush grants commission extension { February 4 2004 }
Bush press conference during 911 hearings
Bushs 911 coverup { June 18 2003 }
Chair says attack was preventable
Chief assess blame but holds off on higher ups { December 19 2003 }
Cia report criticizes cia leaders actions { January 8 2005 }
Commission could subpoena oval office files { October 26 2003 }
Commission investigates FBI { April 13 2004 }
Commission tells of many warnings { July 25 2004 }
Commission votes to subpoena pentagon
Congressional investigation angers cia fbi
Conspiracy theories abound in 911 probe { December 29 2003 }
Deal 911 commision { November 15 2002 }
Failed put hijackers watch list { May 15 2003 }
Families seek curb probe officer
Grassley investigate 911
House 911 inquiry
Kean says 911 attacks could have been prevented { December 19 2003 }
Kean says 911 report will be surprising
Most families havent taken payoff fund { August 31 2003 }
News reporters ordered not to investigate 911
No iraq link to 911 says panel
Panel describes how attackers got money { September 11 2001 }
Panel grills alqaeda chiefs on 911 { May 12 2004 }
Panel has glimpse presidential briefings { November 16 2003 }
Panel has testy exchange with firefights police { May 18 2004 }
Panel may subpoena its summaries of bush briefings { January 31 2004 }
Panel plans hard questions for fbi doj { April 6 2004 }
Panel probes failures of air defenses
Panel requests documents { June 19 2003 }
Panel seeks declassification of 911 warning memo
Panel urged disciplinary { December 11 2002 }
Panel will sharply fault role of congress { July 22 2004 }
Report citing blame for 911 supressed till after election { October 19 2004 }
Secrets of 911
Tenet lies about not seeing bush in august 2001 { April 16 2004 }
Terrorism catchall too vague an enemy for war { July 23 2004 }
Top brass says no chance hijackers fly into pentagon { April 15 2004 }
Victims relatives press white house for sept 11 details { October 29 2003 }
Why does 911 inquiry scare bush { July 11 2003 }

Files Listed: 55


CIA FOIA Archive

National Security
Support one-state solution for Israel and Palestine Tea Party bumper stickers JFK for Dummies, The Assassination made simple