"After the 9/11 attack on the United States, the U.S. government adopted a different approach to defending the country against attack from the al Qaeda organization, its affiliates, and its allies. The new approach was fundamentally sound. Yet it was developed and implemented in a flawed manner..."Gosh, haven't we heard that "implementation was flawed" line from a few other neocons? And no wonder Zelikow thinks the policy was sound - he wrote it!
In Rise of the Vulcans (Viking, 2004), James Mann reports that when Richard Haass, a senior aide to Secretary of State Colin Powell and the director of policy planning at the State Department, drafted for the administration an overview of America’s national security strategy following September 11, Dr. Rice, the national security advisor, "ordered that the document be completely rewritten. She thought the Bush administration needed something bolder, something that would represent a more dramatic break with the ideas of the past. Rice turned the writing over to her old colleague, University of Virginia Professor Philip Zelikow."Zelikow now says that 9/11 forced Bush to abandon the "conceptual framework" of "traditional American criminal justice". He says groups like the CIA had to develop "entirely new organizational capacities that did not exist, or no longer existed, in their institutions" because "there was no established body of experience or precedents" to deal with terrorists. The Justice Department also had to make up new rules. He says US lawyers today should not be asking "What can we do?" but "What should we do?". Never mind if you are tossing aside the US Constitution and generations of "traditional American criminal justice". As long as you think you are right, go for it!
Zelikow regrets that other governments do not see the "war on terror" as a military operation.
"“War” is not a misnomer. But it is insufficient. The struggle includes armed conflict but it is more than an armed conflict. It is not just a war."He says European governments are not prepared to abandon their own legal frameworks because they have not been attacked "on the scale suffered by the United States".
"It is tempting for some local governments to let the Americans do the distasteful things that protect their people too."The solution, according to Zelikow, is for US leaders to convince other governments to also abandon the rule of "traditional" law (this already seems to be happening in Blair's UKGB and Howard's Australia).
Zelikow then discusses "the quite defensible policy of renditions":
"The international legal strictures were interpreted so that they would not add any constraints beyond the chosen reading of American law...And get this:
"Brilliant lawyers worked hard on how they could then construe the limits of vague, untested laws. They were operating so close to the frontiers of our law that, within only a couple of years, the Department of Justice eventually felt obliged to offer a second legal opinion, rewriting their original views of the subject. The policy results are imaginable and will someday become more fully known."
"The core of the issue, for legal policy, is this: What is moral – not, what is legal? What is cost-beneficial?"He says Al Quaeda has used "the most barbaric and nihilistic tactics of violence ever employed by any terrorist organization in history" and "this gives our nation moral ground about as high as one could have".
He insists that "good intelligence can be gained by physically tormenting captives". He says improved interrogation methods have been developed through "a process of painful trial and error"! Painful for whom?!
Zelikow concludes with nine recommendations that he claims will keep the legal pendulum "from swinging too hard back and forth" and help "strike the right balance" as the Bush administration seeks to rewrite the Constitution, the law of the land, and international law.
Can anyone doubt that such a man would be more than capable - and more than willing - to stifle evidence from the 9/11 Commission?
The families of 9/11 victims called for the resignation of Executive Director Philip Zelikow. Their demand was ignored, although Commission Member Max Cleland resigned, calling the whole thing a "scam" and a "whitewash." Here are some of the families' still unanswered questions:
Where are the flight recorders?
How did Bush see the first plane crash on live camera?
Why were there no photos or videos of the Pentagon plane?
Why was there no trace of the Pentagon plane after the attacks, especially the titanium around the jet engines, which were 6 tons each and resilient to volatile burning jet-grade fuel temperatures?
Why was the hole in the Pentagon only about the size of a scud missile?
Why didn't jets intercept the airliners since they had several warnings of terrorist attacks?
Why did passengers or crewmembers on three of the flights all use the term "box cutters?"
Why was a security meeting that was scheduled for 9/11 cancelled by WTC management on 9/10?
How did they come up with the terrorists so quickly?
How did they find the terrorist's cars at the airports so quickly?
What about media reports that hijackers bought tickets for flights scheduled after Sept. 11? Weren’t they aware the mission was a suicide mission?
Why do none of the names appear on the passenger lists UA and AA gave to CNN??
Why would the hijackers use credit cards and allow drivers licenses with photos to be zeroxed?
Which hijacker's passport was found after the attacks in the street? How did it survive through an explosive plane crash when the plane’s black boxes did not, and come to a rest outside the building, on the street, where an FBI agent just happened to be there to retrieve it?
How could the FBI distinguish between Muslims and hijacker Muslims on those flights?
Why was there not one "innocent" Muslim on board any of these flights?
Why the strange pattern of debris from Flight 93?
Why did Bush stop inquiries into terrorist connections of the Bin Laden family in early 2001?
Why did the FBI not release the Flight Data Recorder info?
Who video-recorded the first plane hitting the tower? Why did he disappear from the media?
When was the Bin Laden Home Video found and who found the video if Northern Alliance and US troops had not yet arrived in Kandahar or Jahalabad?
Why, according to the German Magazine, MONITOR, were the most controversial statements translated incorrectly?
Why did Bin Laden state in UMMAN Magazine in Sept. 2001, that he was not involved in the WTC?
Why did General Mahmud Ahmad, former head of the ISI quit his position?
Why did retaliation against the Taliban begin the day he stepped down?
Why does Ahmad think that another secret service was involved in the 9/11 attacks?
The September 11th families who fought for an independent investigation resulting in the 9/11 Commission asked over 400 questions, which the 9/11 Commission clearly used as its outline and basis for the report. Most of these questions were left unanswered or completely ignored in the hearings and final report.