Sen. Seeks to Declassify Vital 9/11 Information
W A S H I N G T O N, Oct 21 — U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Bob Graham said he is seeking to declassify "the most important information" obtained in a congressional probe of the Sept. 11 attacks.
The Florida Democrat described the material as a key toward better protecting the United States.
Graham's panel and the House Intelligence Committee have conducted a joint investigation of the Sept. 11 attacks, holding a series of open and closed hearings.
The committees are to issue a draft report by the end of this year, with a final report due in February. In the meantime, they are seeking to declassify much of what they learned.
"Frankly, there is a piece of information which is still classified which I consider to be the most important information that's come to the attention of the joint committee," Graham said Sunday on CBS' Face the Nation.
"We hope that it will be declassified," Graham said. "I think it is an important part of our judgments as to where our greatest threats are and what steps we need to do to protect the American people here at home."
Graham said: "There's been a pattern in which information is provided on a classified basis, and then what is declassified are those sections of the report that are most advantageous to the administration."
Elder Bush: Son Faces Toughest Times
D E S M O I N E S, Iowa, Oct. 21 — President Bush is facing the toughest set of challenges of any president since Abraham Lincoln because of the shadowy nature of terrorism, his father said.
Former President George Bush said problems his son are dealing with even exceed those of President Roosevelt and World War II.
"Roosevelt of course faced World War II," the elder Bush said Sunday. "There, we knew who the enemy was and we knew what we had to do to get rid of them. There was massive motivation."
The former president was the main speaker at a fund-raising dinner for U.S. Rep. Greg Ganske, who is seeking to oust Sen. Tom Harkin, but much of his speech focused on the problems his son has been wrestling with since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
"The enemies we face today are very, very different," said Bush. "They're shadowy. They are a terrible new problem."
Though the nation was forced to fight a four-year war on two fronts with hundreds of thousands of casualties during World War II, Bush said the country had been energized by the attacks on Pearl Harbor and acted as one in dealing with the threats.
Bush said he thinks little of issues when watching his son in the White House.
"I really think more about family than I do about issues," said Bush. "The president is facing enormous problems."
The elder Bush said there were pragmatic reasons for stumping for Ganske, because Democrats control the Senate by a single vote and have effectively blocked much of his son's agenda.
During his four years in the White House, the senior Bush said, he was confronted with a Congress where Democrats controlled both chambers.
"You have to compromise and deal with somebody else's legislation," said Bush.
Bush also noted that Harkin had voted against the resolution authorizing force in the Gulf War in 1991.
"He was not there on that and many other issues," said Bush.
The former president did not mention that Republican Sen. Charles Grassley — who was in the audience — also voted against that resolution.