Members of the independent Sept. 11 commission have received pledges of nearly $1 million for a private educational group they have created to press for enactment of the panel’s recommendations, commission officials said Friday.
The group, the 9/11 Public Discourse Project, opened an office here this week and has a Web site, www.9-11pdp.org, where the 10 former commissioners said in a message that the “perils of inaction are far too high – and the strategic value of the commission’s findings too important – for the work of the 9/11 commission not to continue.”
The panel’s final report, issued in July, has created a whirlwind of activity at the White House and on Capitol Hill, with a bipartisan group of lawmakers rushing to complete work on bills to enact many of its recommendations before Election Day.
First, we should have seen this coming. Bureaucrats never no when the game is up and inevitably will do all within their power to ensure they keep power. Well, here we go. What is amazing about this is that they were suppose to be disbanded once they issued their report, but these has-beens who have gotten so use to the limelight just can’t get out of it. Come on people, you are two minutes past your alloted fifteen minutes of fame.
It is umseemly because, while this group arguably did good work, the work it was commissioned to do was prepare a report for Congress to consider and act on. It was specifically not directed to stay on and make sure those changes were implemented.
The press, as it did during the Commission’s existence, will no doubt give this group an aura of credibility that it has not necessarily earned. In the meantime, while Congress is trying to implement what the Commission directed as best it can, the Commission will be out there using a press given bully pulpit to beat up Congress if it deviates from the Commission’s line.
What’s the big deal? It’s simple. The so called “brethern” are no infallible, though the often acted like it. It may very well be, as we have already seen through Congressional hearings, that some of their recommendations cannot be implemented without causing other problems they did not think of. If the commission members are unable to accept that some of their recommendations, in hind sight, might have been flawed, this little group of theirs will do more harm than good.
The Commission members and their egos need to consider getting on the sidelines and let the Congress do its job. Lashing out with criticism will only cause this group to become a political pawn by one side or the other, though some commission members might have no problem with that. When it happens, however, the credibility of what they hoped to accomplish will suffer and so will the willingness of politicals in dealing with these bureaucrats.