9-11 Commission is a good example of how not to do something

Jack Kelly:

Paul Beston thinks that its hearings in New York May 18 and 19 were the time when the national disgrace known as the 9/11 commission "jumped the shark." This is a Hollywood expression for wretched excess, silliness beyond which a program is no longer viable. It is derived from the final days of the sitcom "Happy Days," in which the character Fonzie, wearing his trademark leather jacket, jumped over a shark on water skis.

"While the 9/11 commission is about as substantive as a sitcom, it is not nearly as funny," Beston wrote in The American Spectator online.

John Lehman, a Republican, was the latest member of the commission to disgrace himself, with his intemperate (and factually challenged) assault on former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik and former Fire Department Chief Thomas Van Essen. The fat guys in plush chairs with big mouths can't even get hindsight right.

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani interjected the long-winded "questions" posed by members of the panel to interject a note of common sense: "Our enemy is not each other, but the terrorists who attacked us."


But not all is lost. The 9/11 commission has been a textbook illustration of how to do everything wrong. So when tragedy strikes again -- as it almost certainly shall -- we at least have a blueprint for what mistakes not to repeat.


The worst member of the commission is its chairman, former New Jersey Gov. Thomas Kean. Kean is such a lightweight that all that keeps his feet on the ground are the rocks in his head. Kean and his colleagues repeatedly have appeared on television news programs, expressing their opinions on the testimony of witnesses. This is as wildly inappropriate as if, during a trial, the judge and members of the jury were giving a running commentary on their current thoughts on the guilt or innocence of the defendant to the press.

Conservatives will ignore the Commissions finding because of Gorelick's conflict of interest, which the other members are too blind to see. If they can't see that, how can we respect what they claim to see.


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