9/11 inquiry head ‘tried to shield George Bush’

The head of the commission that investigated the Sept 11 terrorist attacks had closer ties to the White House than he admitted and tried to limit the Bush administration’s responsibility for the incident, a book claims.

  Philip Zelikow
Philip Zelikow was a friend of Condoleezza Rice

Philip Zelikow, the 9/11 Commission’s executive director, allegedly attempted to intimidate staff to avoid findings that would be damaging to President George W Bush, who was running for re-election, and Condoleezza Rice, his then National Security Adviser.

The claims are made by Philip Shenon in The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation, published today.

Although it was known that Mr Zelikow was a friend of Miss Rice and that they had written a book together in 1995, Mr Zelikow had pledged not to talk to senior White House figures during the investigation.

However, Mr Zelikow told Shenon, a New York Times reporter, that he spoke to Miss Rice several times during the 20-month inquiry and also exchanged frequent calls with the White House, including four to Karl Rove, Mr Bush’s then chief political adviser.

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