Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation by Philip Shenon

In 2002, the most important federal commission in decades was established to examine the events surrounding the worst attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor.

In 2004, the 9/11 Commission issued its unanimous report to broad acclaim.

Now, in this riveting and groundbreaking investigation of the 9/11 investigators, veteran New York Times journalist Philip Shenon reveals stunning shortcomings in the Commission's work - a series of oversights, omissions, and distortions that raise fundamental questions about 9/11 and the government's failure to prevent it.

From the Commission's inception, Shenon covered its workings on a daily basis, developing sources at all levels of the investigation. For this book, he returned to those sources to write the definitive account of how the Commission operated, who influenced its findings, how political considerations interfered, and what didn't make it into the final report.

Taking readers behind the scenes, Shenon describes the valiant efforts of the Commission's investigators to uncover the facts surrounding 9/11, despite being obstructed and even deceived at many turns. His discoveries are revelatory: The executive director of the Commission, Philip Zelikow, maintained a clandestine relationship with Karl Rove and took actions that were seen as shielding President Bush and Condoleezza Rice from the panel's scrutiny. Investigative staffers at the Commission believe Zelikow repeatedly sought to minimize the administration's intelligence failures in the months leading up to 9/11, which had the effect of helping to ensure President Bush's re-election in 2004.

The Commission is an eye-opening account of how Washington really works: the manipulations of politicians, the secrets of intelligence officers, the battles over information, the pursuit of truth.

In vivid and sobering detail, The Commission shows how the events of 9/11 could have been avoided, how the Bush administration missed crucial opportunities to prevent it, and why the Commission could not tell the whole story. - Book Jacket

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