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9/11 Probe Findings 'Surprising'

The chairman of the commission looking into the Sept. 11 attacks said Sunday that some of its findings has surprised him and will surprise the public as well.

Thomas H. Kean also said he expects the commission's final report to be published before the November elections, possibly as early as July, even though the White House must clear it for intelligence problems.

The commission's deadline for submitting its report is July 26, extended from May 27 after complaints that the White House was delaying the turnover of necessary materials.

Kean, a former Republican governor of New Jersey, said he expects no similar foot-dragging as the White House vets the report for security lapses.

"Nobody has any interest in having the report sitting around Washington during the election period and pieces of it leaking out. Nobody has any interest in this thing coming out September or October, in the middle of the election," Kean said.

"So I think it is in the White House's interest, our interest, everybody's interest to get this out in July. And I believe they will."

When it is published, he said, both its findings and its recommendations for preventive action will draw attention.

"I've been surprised by some of what we've found, and so, I think, (the public) will, yes," Kean said in a broadcast interview.

"We will have things in our report on two ends: first the report itself, second the recommendations. We've got some very serious recommendations to make, and I think they'll be something of great value to the American people and also hopefully will make the country safer."

Newsweek reports that a staffer from Kean's commission faxed a photograph from November 1945 of presidential chief of staff Admiral William Leahy appearing before a special congressional panel investigating the attack on Pearl Harbor. Accompanying the photo was a note saying the photo would be all over Washington in 24 hours if the White House didn't allow national security adviser Condoleezza Rice to testify in public before the commission.