911 Head Kean Promises Answers

Former New Jersey Gov. Tom Kean CBS/AP

As head of the 911 Commission, Chairman Tom Kean promised answers to a number of lingering questions stemming from that tragedy, among them the question of was it all preventable?

But, as CBS News reporter Randall Pinkston reports, time may be running out on Kean and his commission, which had hoped to meet a mid-May deadline for providing answers.

From Day 1, Kean has found himself forced to have to use subpoenas just to obtain critical documents from federal and local agencies. —And now, with only months remaining before the deadline, thousands of pages of documents remain unread and hundreds of interviews are yet to be conducted.

But that hasn't some Kean from arriving at a whole host of conclusions.

"There are people that certainly, if I was doing the job, would not be in the position they were in at the that time because they failed," says Kean. "They simply failed."

To find out just where the blame lies, Kean used the threat of subpoenas to gain access to daily top Bush cabinet briefings, documents that may shed light on the most controversial questions surrounding the administration.

Kristen Breitweiser is just as desperate for those answers as Kean and his commission. The New Jersey woman is one of several women from that state to have lost her husband in the attack. She and three others lobbied Congress to appoint Kean's panel.

All that because, in Breitweiser's mind, the questions just won't go away. She wanders just how National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice could come out and say "I don't think anybody could have predicted that they would try to use an airplane as a missile," when there were FBI records dating back as far as 1991 stating that possibility.

"If you were to have told me that two years after the death of my husband we wouldn't have any answers, I wouldn't have believed you," she says. Adds Patricia Casazza, "I don't have enough evidence to say I don't trust the commission I just to have to reserve my judgment."

And still Kean promises answers. Answers from top Bush cabinet members. Maybe even the President and his predecessor, themselves.

"Some of those things that we've found will be coming out in public hearings in January, February and March," says Kean, adding that both Bush and Bill Clinton may be called to testify.
  • Glenn Minnis

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