RealNews

9/11 Panel Plans Hard Questions for the F.B.I. and Justice Dept.

Current and former leaders of the Justice Department and the F.B.I. are expected to come under criticism from the commission investigating the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks at public hearings next week, with Attorney General John Ashcroft and Louis J. Freeh, the former F.B.I. director, being called to account for their agencies’ failures before the attacks, panel officials say. Commission members say the hearings will bolster what will almost certainly be a major recommendation of the panel’s final report this summer: an overhaul of domestic counterterrorism programs, possibly through creation of a domestic counterintelligence agency separate from the F.B.I. The Bush administration has said it opposes such a move. Mr. Ashcroft and Mr. Freeh have defended their efforts before Sept. 11 in testimony to other investigators and in other forums. Full Story

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