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Profile: Slade Gorton

 
  

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Slade Gorton actively participated in the following events:

 
  

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
          

March 27, 2003: Security Clearance of 9/11 Commission Members Stalled      Complete 911 Timeline

       It is reported that “most members” of the 9/11 Commission still have not received security clearances. [Washington Post, 3/27/03] For instance, Slade Gorton, picked in December 2002, is a former senator with a long background in intelligence issues. Fellow commissioner Lee Hamilton says, “It's kind of astounding that someone like Senator Gorton can't get immediate clearance. It's a matter we are concerned about.” The commission is said to be at a “standstill” because of the security clearance issue, and cannot even read the classified findings of the previous 9/11 Congressional Inquiry. [Seattle Times, 3/12/03]
People and organizations involved: Slade Gorton, Lee Hamilton, 9/11 Commission, 9/11 Congressional Inquiry
          

September 14, 2005: Former 9/11 Commission Members Dismiss Able Danger Evidence      Complete 911 Timeline

       Former members of the 9/11 Commission dismiss recent allegations regarding a secret military intelligence unit called Able Danger, which had been set up in 1999 to bring together information about al-Qaeda. Several former members of the unit have come forward claiming the program identified Mohamed Atta and three other 9/11 hijackers more than a year before the attacks (see August 17, 2005; August 22-September 1, 2005). The 9/11 Commission has been criticized for not mentioning Able Danger in its final report. In response, its former chairman, Thomas Kean, claims there is no evidence that anyone in the government knew about Mohamed Atta before 9/11, and there are no documents that verify the claims made by former members of the unit. However, the Pentagon has recently confirmed that documents associated with Able Danger were destroyed in accordance with regulations about gathering intelligence on people inside the US. Another former commissioner, Slade Gorton, says, “Bluntly, it just didn't happen and that's the conclusion of all 10 of us.” But a spokesman for Rep. Curt Weldon (R), who helped bring to light the existence of the program, says that none of the commissioners met with anyone from Able Danger, “yet they choose to speak with some form of certainty without firsthand knowledge.” [Fox News, 9/16/05; Associated Press, 9/15/05] The commission's claim that no one in the US knew about Mohamed Atta before 9/11 is further contradicted by reports stating that the CIA had been tracking him while he was still in Germany, early in 2000 (see January-May 2000). And soon after 9/11, Newsweek reported US officials stating that Atta “had been known as [an associate] of Islamic terrorists” well before 9/11. [Newsweek, 9/20/01]
People and organizations involved: Slade Gorton, Thomas Kean, Able Danger, Mohamed Atta, Curt Weldon, 9/11 Commission
          

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