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7.25.03
Politics and Economy:
Max Cleland and the 9-11 Commission
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The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, also known as the 9/11 Commission, will report on the facts and circumstances surrounding the attacks of September 11, 2001. The task of the ten commissioners is to analyze worldwide terrorist danger, as well as to investigate American national security and sensitive policy and intelligence issues across the federal government. The Commission is scheduled to report findings by May 2004.

The Commission was established last fall, partly in response to pressure from the families of September 11 victims. President Bush had originally appointed former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger as chairman of the Commission, but Kissinger stepped down within the first two weeks of taking the post rather than answer allegations of potential conflicts of interest. His replacement was former New Jersey governor Thomas Kean. Lee H. Hamilton is vice chair, and the other committee members are Richard Ben-Veniste, Max Cleland Fred F. Fielding, Jamie S. Gorelick, Slade Gorton, John F. Lehman, Timothy J. Roemer, James R. Thompson — a total of five Republicans and five Democrats.

While the Commission is gathering documents from federal agencies, Congressional intelligence committees have released their report on the actions of the FBI and CIA before and after the September 11 attacks. Read the report of the joint inquiry into the terrorist attacks.


Max Cleland

Max Cleland is a distinguished adjunct professor at American University's Washington Semester Program, where he also serves as a fellow in the Center for Congressional & Presidential Studies.

A former senator from Georgia, he began his public service as an officer in the U.S. Army, volunteering for duty in Vietnam in 1967, where he served until he was very seriously wounded in April 1968. After recuperating from his injuries, he was elected to the Georgia State Senate. In 1975, when he was 34 years old, President Carter appointed him administrator of the Veteran's Administration, where he instituted the revolutionary "Vets Center program," which for the first time offered psychological counseling as well as physical care to combat veterans.

After serving as Georgia's Secretary of State from 1982-1995, Cleland was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1996 where he served as chairman of the Personnel Subcommittee of the Armed Services Committee, and was a member of the Senate Veteran's Affairs Committee. While in the Senate, he earned enormous respect for his work in such areas as health care and education reform, bio-terrorism preparedness, homeland security, and fiscal responsibility.

Cleland is author of STRONG AT THE BROKEN PLACES and GOING FOR THE MAX!: 12 PRINCIPLES FOR LIVING LIFE TO THE FULLEST. He holds a B.A. in English from Stetson University and a Masters Degree in American History from Emory University, as well as honorary doctorate degrees from both institutions.


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