RealNews

9/11 panel hiring in a race against time

The 10-member blue-ribbon commission investigating the 9/11 terrorist attacks has begun hiring staff — though not yet investigators — and has found secure office space, but will not be ready to start work on its substantive tasks for at least a month, Vice Chairman Lee Hamilton told United Press International Thursday. “At this point the commission is still involved in administrative matters. … When you start, you don’t have an infrastructure … you’ve got to find space — in our case secure space — and get security clearances because we handle classified information, you’ve got to get a budget, you’ve got to hire staff. … We’re still in the process of doing that. We really will not properly address the substantive issues for another few weeks, probably,” Hamilton, a former Democratic congressman from Indiana, said. The panel members are in a race against time. The commission is mandated to report by May 2004, 18 months after President Bush — who had initially opposed its establishment — signed the bill bringing it into being. Full Story

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