The final report from the federal commission investigating the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks is due out in two days, and there's word Tuesday the panel will not conclude the attacks could have been prevented.
Even though some of the panel's 10 members apparently believed the hijackers could have been stopped, the report, due out Thursday, stops short of saying that. According to published reports, one reason is that the five Democrats and five Republicans who served on the panel didn't want to open the door to accusations either side was being partisan in an election year.
Meanwhile, George W. Bush says the United States is exploring whether Iran had a role in the 9/11 attacks. The commission’s report is expected to say Iran allowed several of the hijackers to pass through its borders from training camps in Afghanistan without stamping their passports, which would have been a warning sign for customs officials when they entered the U.S.
Bush said Monday the CIA had found “no direct connection between Iran and the attacks of September 11,” but he said, “We will continue to look and see if the Iranians were involved.”
Other details of the panel's findings have also been leaking out. Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Monday addressed a report that the panel is expected to come down hard on New York City for not fixing communication problems among emergency responders.
“They work well together, they work brilliantly together,” the mayor said. “Whenever you have forty or fifty thousand people, there will always be an occasional dispute. They tend to be at the lower level. They tend not to be serious.”
The long-awaited report is due out at 11:30 a.m. Thursday morning. The commission's chairman, Thomas Kean, will present a condensed version of the findings to the public. The full report will be available online and in bookstores.
Meanwhile, President Clinton's former national security adviser, Sandy Berger, is under criminal investigation by the Justice Department after highly classified terrorism-related documents disappeared while he was reviewing what should be turned over to the 9/11 commission.
Berger admits he removed handwritten notes he made while reviewing the documents and says he inadvertently took copies of classified documents in a portfolio. He says he returned everything except for a few documents he accidentally discarded.
Berger says he regrets being “sloppy” but that he had no intention of withholding the documents.
Government and Congressional officials say they've made no decision on whether he should face criminal charges.
Watch “New York Tonight” on NY1 at 8 p.m. every night this week for special in-depth reports on the 9/11 commission’s findings. And tune to NY1 Thursday for live reports from Washington throughout the day.
9/11 Testimony Offers Mixed Messages About Whether Attacks Could Have Been Avoided