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Update on 9-11 Commission: Trouble in the Endgame

The 9-11 Commission is apparently having some difficulties closing out its investigation. The NYT reports that it may have trouble reaching unanimity in its final report. The members of the Commission seem to think they can issue a unanimous report on the facts and failures precipitating 9-11, but will struggle to reach unanimity on recommendations for reforming the intelligence and homeland security apparatus. The dispute isn't partisan, according to Slade Gorton.

"From a personal point of view, I am not certain that we will be unanimous on all of the recommendations," Mr. Gorton said. "Just take the issue of the way we organize intelligence. Reasonable people can differ on that. I know I've seen some recommendations, some tentative ones, with which I don't agree.''

Mr. Gorton said the commission's staff had recently presented members of the panel with a list of possible recommendations for the panel's final report.

While refusing to describe the recommendations or say which he might support, Mr. Gorton said that if there was a split on the commission in the final report it would not necessarily be on partisan lines.

"Certainly, the tentative debates have no split on partisan lines by any stretch of the imagination," he said.

The commission has prided itself on what it has insisted are nonpartisan policy deliberations behind closed doors.

Additionally, the Commission has rankled some in the publishing industry by awarding a private publishing contract to W.W. Norton & Company. Norton is planning to print a first run 500,000 paperback copies, and sell them in bookstores for $10. Although Zelikow, a conflict-of-interest laden character, is involved, it seems like a pretty good deal to me.


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