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Politics stymies 9/11 probes

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CShine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:30 AM
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Politics stymies 9/11 probes
As Condoleezza Rice takes center stage Thursday before the commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, intelligence experts say the partisan sniping over who is to blame for the al-Qaida strikes is diverting attention from critical security issues.

Most of the 19 recommendations of a joint House and Senate inquiry released in December 2002 have not been addressed, according to Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fla.), chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee during that inquiry.

"Two-and-a-half years after 9/11 and some 15 months after we submitted our final report, nothing has happened," said Graham in an interview from Florida. "The basic reforms that we called for have been ignored."

At issue are incendiary accusations from Richard Clarke, the former White House counterterrorism director, who recently published a book suggesting that the Bush administration did not make fighting terrorism its top priority. He echoed this assertion when he testified before the commission in late March. Rice, the president's national security adviser, is expected to counter Clarke's allegations, arguing that Bush did more to try to prevent an attack from al-Qaida than President Bill Clinton did during his eight years in office.

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