Despite claims to the contrary, the Bush White House repeatedly stonewalled the 9/11 Commission at every available opportunity. Apparently, commission members believe that the Pentagon followed the president's example -- and may have "deliberately misled" investigators.
Some staff members and commissioners of the Sept. 11 panel concluded that the Pentagon's initial story of how it reacted to the 2001 terrorist attacks may have been part of a deliberate effort to mislead the commission and the public rather than a reflection of the fog of events on that day, according to sources involved in the debate.
Suspicion of wrongdoing ran so deep that the 10-member commission, in a secret meeting at the end of its tenure in summer 2004, debated referring the matter to the Justice Department for criminal investigation, according to several commission sources. Staff members and some commissioners thought that e-mails and other evidence provided enough probable cause to believe that military and aviation officials violated the law by making false statements to Congress and to the commission, hoping to hide the bungled response to the hijackings, these sources said.
In the end, the panel agreed to a compromise, turning over the allegations to the inspectors general for the Defense and Transportation departments, who can make criminal referrals if they believe they are warranted, officials said.
Rumsfeld's Pentagon intentionally misled lawmakers and independent investigators? Who would have guessed?
Update: The Vanity Fair article has plenty more.
--Guest Post by Steve Benen, The Carpetbagger Report