The Family Steering Committee is deeply disturbed to learn about Executive Staff Director Phillip Zelikow 's participation in urgent post election briefings, December 2000, and January 2001, with Sandy Berger and Condoleezza Rice. In this particular meeting the Senior Clinton Administration official clearly warned that Al Qaeda posed the worst Security threat facing the nation.
It is apparent that Dr. Zelikow should never have been appointed to be Executive Staff Director of the Commission. As Executive Staff Director his job has been to determine the focus and direction of the Commission 's investigation, an investigation whose mandate includes understanding why the Bush Administrations failed to prioritize the Al Qaeda threat. It is abundantly clear that Dr. Zelikow 's conflicts go beyond just the transition period.
It is extremely distressing to learn this information at this late date. This new information clearly calls into question the integrity of this Commission 's investigation. The Family Steering Committee repeatedly expressed concerns over all members ' conflicts requesting that the commission be forthcoming so as not to taint the validity of the report. The Family Steering Committee was unaware of Dr. Zelikow 's participation in this intelligence briefing until today.
As such, the Family Steering Committee is calling for:
1. Dr. Zelikow 's immediate resignation.
2. Dr. Zelikow 's testimony in public and under oath.
3. Subpoena of Dr. Zelikow's notes from the intelligence briefings he attended with
4. The Commission to apologize to the 9/11 families and America for this massive
appearance of impropriety.
The Family Steering Committee (FSC) is an independent, nonpartisan group of individuals who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001. The FSC does not receive financial or other support from any outside organizations.
March 20, 2004
Chairman Kean, Vice-Chair Hamilton, and Commissioners:
Very disturbing information has surfaced regarding Philip Zelikow's
participation in the failure to heed warnings about al Qaeda and imminent
attacks on America in the months prior to September 11th.
It is clear that Dr. Zelikow should never have been permitted to be a member
of the Commission, since it is the mandate of the Commission to identify the
of 9/11 failures. Dr. Zelikow has a conflict of interest that extends
beyond just the transition. It is now apparent why there has been so little
effort to assign individual culpability. We now can see that trail would
lead directly to the staff director himself.
What little time the Commission has left must be spent without the taint of
Dr. Zelikow's influence. We demand his immediate resignation.
The Family Steering Committee