The 9/11 Commission. Many people had high hopes for what they could do. Such hopes were dashed as time went on and completely disappeared when the actual report was published.
The Administration of George Bush and Dick Cheney delayed the start of the commission from the very beginning. There is much analysis of these events that is available.
In a nutshell, here is the calendar of events for the 9/11 Commission:
September 11, 2001 the USA was struck by criminals
November 27, 2002 The Commission was formally launched (14-1/2 months after the 9/11 event)
Spring 2003 The Commission starts to work with limited funding ($9 Million - The Monica Lewinsky/Bill Clinton scandal almost a decade before received $50 Million or so from Congress!)
April 1 2003 Hearings began
July 22 2004 Final Report issued
If you look at the members of the Commission, many of them are respectable professionals. I am sure they meant well and yet I am equally sure that they were guided, directed, and manipulated by the management of the Commission (Philip Zelikov). They were a true Blue Ribbon panel. Impressive indeed, yet ineffectual as well.
Recently, I have tried to compare the 9/11 Commission to a courtroom jury in a capital murder case.
The jury is managed by a jury foreman. Each of the jurors has tremendous power because any one of them can cause the jury's verdict to go one way or the other or result in a mis-trial.
The Jury foreman has the role of trying to get the entire jury to work as a team and yet to adequately investigate both the prosecutions' points as to why the accused is guilty as well as the defense' points as to why he is innocent. The foreman can manipulate the direction of the jury or he can be an honest broker in the process.
There is pressure on each juror and on the foreman. First of all, they want to get the entire affair over so they can go home and resume their normal lives. Secondly, they may see honor and prestige as being a member of such a jury so they have personal goals and objectives that can interfere with their decision-making. They could also see criticism being placed on their shoulders if they make a decision that goes against others and the powers to be.
So, each juror and the foreman are under pressure and they have their own baggage that they bring to this decision.
But of all the forces at work, the foreman can have the most influence especially if he is working with people that have been weakened or fatigued by the process.
Zelikov was the foreman on the 9/11 Commission, not Kean or Hamilton. Zelikov had marching orders from above and he exercised his power to direct and influence the Commission which he did.
In the end, their verdict named the accused (the 19 terrorists) as the perpetrators and left the real killers escape because they never allowed the truth to be properly investigated. This was all due to Zelikov's manipulation of the Commisson and a weakened group of politically correct foot soldiers on the Commission.
Many of these Commisson members later pissed and moaned that the process was wrong, etc., but that is like saying we prosecuted and then executed the wrong person for the crime and later regretted doing it.