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Profile: Max Cleland


Positions that Max Cleland has held:

  • Senator, Democrat from Georgia




Quote, July 23, 2003

   “The reason this report was delayed for so long—deliberately opposed at first, then slow-walked after it was created—is that the administration wanted to get the war in Iraq in and over ... before (it) came out. Had this report come out in January like it should have done, we would have known these things before the war in Iraq, which would not have suited the administration.” [UPI, 7/25/03]

Associated Events




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Max Cleland actively participated in the following events:


(After 8:48 a.m.): Joint Chiefs of Staff Vice Chairman Still Oblivious? Accounts Are Contradictory      Complete 911 Timeline

Air Force General Richard Myers, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and acting Chairman on 9/11.
Air Force General Richard Myers, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, sees reports of the first WTC crash on television. Myers is acting Chairman of the US military during the 9/11 crisis because Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army General Henry Shelton is flying in a plane across the Atlantic. [ABC News, 9/11/02] Myers sees the television in an outer office of Senator Max Cleland (D), but he says, “They thought it was a small plane or something like that,” so he goes ahead and meets with Cleland. He says, “Nobody informed us” about the second WTC crash, and he remains oblivious to the emergency until the meeting with Cleland ends, and as the Pentagon explosion takes place at 9:37 a.m. Then Myers speaks to General Ralph Eberhart. [Armed Forces Press Service, 10/23/01] Yet, in testimony on September 13, 2001, he states, “after the second tower was hit, I spoke to the commander of NORAD, General Eberhart. And at that point, I think the decision was at that point to start launching aircraft.” [General Myers' confirmation hearing, 9/13/01] NORAD claims the first fighters are scrambled even before the first WTC hit. [NORAD, 9/18/01] In his 2004 testimony before the 9/11 Commission, Myers' account changes again. He says that he gets a call from Eberhart, and then “shortly thereafter that the Pentagon was hit as we were on our way back to the Pentagon.” [9/11 Commission Report, 6/17/04 (B)] Myers' claim that he is out of the loop contradicts not only his previous account but also counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke's account of what Myers does that day. According to Clarke's recollection, Myers takes part in a video conference from about 9:10 a.m. until after 10:00 a.m. (see (9:10 a.m.)). If Myers is not involved in this conference, then his whereabouts and actions remain unknown until he arrives at the NMCC around 10:30 a.m. (see (Before 10:30 a.m.)).
People and organizations involved: Richard B. Myers, Henry H. Shelton, Richard B. Myers, Richard A. Clarke, Ralph Eberhart, Max Cleland

December 16, 2002: Members of 9/11 Commission Have Potential Conflicts of Interest      Complete 911 Timeline

Richard Ben-Veniste.
The ten members of the new 9/11 Commission are appointed by this date, and are: Republicans Thomas Kean (Chairman), Slade Gorton, James Thompson, Fred Fielding, and John Lehman, and Democrats Lee Hamilton (Vice Chairman), Max Cleland, Tim Roemer, Richard Ben-Veniste, and Jamie Gorelick. [New York Times, 12/17/02; Washington Post, 12/15/02; Chicago Tribune, 12/12/02; Associated Press, 12/16/02] Senators Richard Shelby (R) and John McCain (R) had a say in the choice of one of the Republican positions. They and many 9/11 victims' relatives wanted former Senator Warren Rudman (R), who cowrote an acclaimed report about terrorism before 9/11. But Senate Republican leader Trent Lott blocks Rudman's appointment and chooses John Lehman instead. [Reuters, 12/16/02; St. Petersburg Times, 12/12/02; Associated Press, 12/13/02] It slowly emerges over the next several months that at least six of the ten commissioners have ties to the airline industry. [CBS News, 3/5/03] Henry Kissinger (see December 13, 2002) and his replacement Thomas Kean (see December 16, 2002) both caused controversy when they were named. In addition, the other nine members of the commission are later shown to all have potential conflicts of interest. Republican commissioners:
Fred Fielding also works for a law firm lobbying for Spirit Airlines and United Airlines. [Associated Press, 2/14/03; CBS News, 3/5/03]
Slade Gorton has close ties to Boeing, which built all the planes destroyed on 9/11, and his law firm represents several major airlines, including Delta Airlines. [Associated Press, 12/12/02; CBS News, 3/5/03]
John Lehman, former secretary of the Navy, has large investments in Ball Corp., which has many US military contracts. [Associated Press, 3/27/03 (B)]
James Thompson, former Illinois governor, is the head of a law firm that lobbies for American Airlines, and he has previously represented United Airlines. [Associated Press, 1/31/03; CBS News, 3/5/03] Democratic commissioners:
Richard Ben-Veniste represents Boeing and United Airlines. [CBS News, 3/5/03] Ben-Veniste also has other curious connections, according to a 2001 book on CIA ties to drug running written by Daniel Hopsicker, which has an entire chapter called “Who is Richard Ben-Veniste?” Lawyer Ben-Veniste, Hopsicker says, “has made a career of defending political crooks, specializing in cases that involve drugs and politics.” Ben-Veniste has been referred to in print as a “Mob lawyer,” and was a long-time lawyer for Barry Seal, one of the most famous drug dealers in US history who also is alleged to have had CIA connections. [Hopsicker, 2001, pp 325-30]
Max Cleland, former US senator, has received $300,000 from the airline industry. [CBS News, 3/5/03]
James Gorelick is a director of United Technologies, one of the Pentagon's biggest defense contractors and a supplier of engines to airline manufacturers. [Associated Press, 3/27/03 (B)]
Lee Hamilton sits on many advisory boards, including those to the CIA, the president's Homeland Security Advisory Council, and the US Army. [Associated Press, 3/27/03 (B)]
Tim Roemer represents Boeing and Lockheed Martin. [CBS News, 3/5/03]
People and organizations involved: Richard Ben-Veniste, James Thompson, John Lehman, Max Cleland, Slade Gorton, Jamie Gorelick, Lee Hamilton, United Airlines, Warren Rudman, Tim Roemer, Fred Fielding, Richard Shelby, John McCain, Trent Lott, American Airlines, 9/11 Commission

January-July 2003: Bush Administration Delays Release of 9/11 Congressional Inquiry Report      Complete 911 Timeline

       The 9/11 Congressional Inquiry is originally expected to release its complete and final report in January 2003, but the panel spends seven months negotiating with the Bush administration about what material can be made public, and the final report is not released until July 2003. [Washington Post, 7/27/03] The administration originally wanted two thirds of the report to remain classified. [Associated Press, 5/31/03] Former Senator Max Cleland (D), member of the 9/11 Commission, later claims, “The administration sold the connection (between Iraq and al-Qaeda) to scare the pants off the American people and justify the war. There's no connection, and that's been confirmed by some of bin Laden's terrorist followers ... What you've seen here is the manipulation of intelligence for political ends. The reason this report was delayed for so long—deliberately opposed at first, then slow-walked after it was created—is that the administration wanted to get the war in Iraq in and over ... before (it) came out. Had this report come out in January [2003] like it should have done, we would have known these things before the war in Iraq, which would not have suited the administration.” [UPI, 7/25/03]
People and organizations involved: al-Qaeda, 9/11 Commission, Max Cleland, Osama bin Laden, 9/11 Congressional Inquiry, Bush administration

July 24, 2003      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks releases the declassified portion of an 800-page report on findings stemming from its investigation of the September 11 attacks. According to Sen. Max Cleland, the White House delayed the publishing of the report for fear that it might undermine its case for invading Iraq as it shows that US intelligence agencies have no evidence tying Iraq to the 9-11 attacks or to al-Qaeda. [UPI, 7/23/03]
People and organizations involved: Max Cleland, National Commision on Terrorist Attacks  Additional Info 

December 9, 2003: Bob Kerry Replaces Max Cleland on 9/11 Commission      Complete 911 Timeline

       Bob Kerrey, the former Nebraska senator who also served as the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, is appointed to the 9/11 Commission, replacing Max Cleland, who leaves the commission to accept a position on the board of the Export-Import Bank. [Washington Post, 12/10/03] Just before resigning, Cleland called the Bush administration's attempts to stonewall and “slow walk” the commission a “national scandal.” He criticized the commission for cutting a deal with the White House that compromised their access to information, and said, “I'm not going to be part of looking at information only partially. I'm not going to be part of just coming to quick conclusions. I'm not going to be part of political pressure to do this or not do that. I'm not going to be part of that. This is serious.” [Salon, 11/21/03]
People and organizations involved: Bob Kerrey, Max Cleland, 9/11 Commission, Bush administration, Export-Import Bank

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