When you think about the core goal of the 9-11 Commission (figuring out why 9-11 happened and how to make improvement that will reduce the potential for a recurrence), it seems ludicrous to even imagine that such a panel would not ever even exist. But the truth of the matter is that all of Congress didn’t push that hard for it. And the White House resisted it at every turn.
So why do we have this commission asking why? A key factor is a group of Sept 11 widows who are known in Washington as the Jersey Girls. They pushed for the creation of the panel. And they pushed for certain members of the administration to appear before the panel.
From Thomas H. Kean, the commission’s chairman”
“They call me all the time. They monitor us, they follow our progress, they’ve supplied us with some of the best questions we’ve asked. I doubt very much if we would be in existence without them.”
The realization that the creation of this commission was not obvious and immediate represents the worst of politics. The Jersey Girls and what they’ve accomplished represents the best.