9/11: Voices of Dissent to a Unanimous Bipartisan Consensus Report

[UPDATE 9/11/2006 : moved from the archive September 11, 2006. Originally published November 11, 2004]
The 911 Final Report is a placebo for the truth

Our leaders carefully invented a drug delivery device of sufficient blandness that average American sheeple wouldn't be disturbed from their patriotic consumption cycle to notice that the truth placebo was in the form of a suppository.

Some definitions from the pharmacy:
  • unanimous - adjective: 1) acting together as a single undiversified whole; 2) in complete agreement
  • consensus - noun: agreement in the judgment or opinion reached by a group as a whole; verb: settle by concession
  • compromise - noun: an accommodation in which both sides make concessions
Complete political agreement in an equally divided commision requires compromise. Such a bipartisan consensus demands the exclusion of any issue with which one or more parties disagree. So, committee consensus is achieved by compromising or ignoring all points of dissent.

In this way, the Commission’s unanimous agreement enabled five Democrats and five Republicans to avoid the distasteful need to...assess blame, we do not consider that part of the commission’s responsibility (Lee Hamilton, Independent 911 Commission).

The Final Report was a consensus report. Because the goal of the Commission was to achieve unanimity, any report the American people ultimately saw was that which was agreeable to all ten members according to the facts as reported to them or following their compromised agreement on the facts.

Conversely, in accordance with the intent of a consensus, we Americans must NOT have seen reported any issue about which a SINGLE committee member disagreed.

To reiterate, any finding we see in the Final Report must have arrived there after careful vetting by five 'Independent' Democrats and five 'Independent' Republicans who unanimously agreed to its status as holy grail material. Perhaps this vetting process was taken exactly as prescribed by Sec. Donald Rumsfeld on March 25, 2004:

"...I would urge commission members to strive for agreement on their findings and conclusions. Sometimes agreement and consensus can dumb a decision down. And it isn't a good thing ...find out where there are, maybe, differences with respect to facts and pursue it long enough until everyone is working off basically the same set of facts. That can be done. I know it can be done. It has been done. And a unanimous final report that is based on a common understanding of the facts and is based on the investment of the commissioner's time, sufficiently, and is endorsed by every member of the commission in my view would have a powerful impact."

I wonder just what sort of impact Rummy was hoping to achieve that would be endorsed by an 'Independent' Bipartisan Commission? Dumbing down perhaps?

Final Report of the 'Independent' 911 Commission

"...Yet, because the commission had a goal of creating a unanimous report from a bipartisan group, it softened the edges and left it to the public to draw many conclusions..."

9/11 Report is honorable but incomplete, Richard A. Clarke.

"Without dissent, five prominent Republicans joined an equal number of their Democratic Party peers in stating unequivocally that the Bush administration got it wrong…

Although the language of the commission's report was carefully couched to obtain a bipartisan consensus, the indictment of this administration surfaces on almost every page.

9/11 Commission Contradicts Bush At Every Turn, Robert Sheer, July 27, 2004. Los Angeles Times.

"...But insistence on unanimity, like central planning, deprives decision makers of a full range of alternatives. For all one knows, the price of unanimity was adopting recommendations that were the second choice of many of the commission's members or were consequences of horse trading. The premium placed on unanimity undermines the commission's conclusion that everybody in sight was to blame for the failure to prevent the 9/11 attacks.

Given its political composition (and it is evident from the questioning of witnesses by the members that they had not forgotten which political party they belong to), the commission could not have achieved unanimity without apportioning equal blame to the Clinton and Bush administrations, whatever the members actually believe...

The 9/11 Report: A Dissent, Richard A. Posner

"...report holds no one accountable, stating instead "our aim has not been to assign individual blame". That is to play the political game, and it shows that the goal of achieving unanimity overrode one of the primary purposes of this Commission's establishment. The Commission, with its incomplete report of "facts and circumstances", intentional avoidance of assigning accountability, and disregard for the knowledge, expertise and experience of those who actually do the job, has now set about pressuring our Congress and our nation to hastily implement all its recommendations...

25 professional FBI, CIA, FAA, DIA and Customs Officials, Security Experts Blast 9-11 Commission in An Open Letter To The US Congress.

"There's little mystery about why the Commission is tongue-tied. It can't call a liar a liar.

...This document -- already elevated to iconic status -- qualifies, as I said at the start, as a weapon in a major domestic conflict: the war on incisive, sometimes rudely disruptive critical thought -- thought that distinguishes the democratic citizen from the idolatrous fool, the sucker, the clueless consumer, the ad person's delight.The hostility to critical thought is evident, of course, in the remarkable vehemence of the Commission's assault on the blaming sensibility -- its multifariousness, its canniness, the powerful synchrony between it and the nation's ever-increasing hunger for the upbeat and the positive. But almost equally telling is the decision not to treat the audience as citizens with minds to be challenged but -- regularly -- as children with a taste for fairy tales."

Whitewash as Public Service, Benjamin DeMott, October 2004. Article Not Available Online: Harper's Magazine

"...The whole name of the game is to exculpate anyone in the establishment," says McGovern, a 27-year veteran of the CIA and a member of a group of former agents called Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity. " 'Mistakes were made,' but no one is to blame. Why is it that after all this evidence and months and months of testimony, the commission found itself unable even to say if the attacks could have been prevented?"...

9/11 Commission was simplistic and politicized, Willam Raspberry.

"...But it is too soon for President Bush to hazard a sigh of relief, because the committee plans a second report, to be completed next year, which will address additional questions including "whether public statements, reports, and testimony regarding Iraq by US Government officials...were substantiated by intelligence information." Put another way, the question is whether the President and his chief advisers in the run-up to war exaggerated, misrepresented, or ran on beyond the intelligence claims now shown to have been wrong..."

How Bush Got It Wrong, Thomas Powers.

Does anyone REALLY think that we Americans received the TRUTH, the WHOLE TRUTH, and NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH in the UNANIMOUS CONSENSUS reported to us by the Bipartisan Commission!?

We have been robbed of the chance to accurately assess this administration's performance during what will probably be the most important election of our lives. In addition to whitewashing our currently campaigning elected officials other, recent evidence points to suppression key intelligence reports as to WHETHER, HOW, and WHO in the CIA and the Bush Administrations may be responsible for 911 and Iraq intelligence manipulation or failures. We have, therefore, been robbed of the fundamental American right: to hold Bush-Cheney 04 accountable in the most important election of the New American Century.