Bush Backs More Time for 9/11 Commission Report

4 Feb

The New York Times reports:

President Bush reversed himself Wednesday and said he now supports giving a commission investigating the 9/11 attacks more time to produce a final report.

The commission is scheduled to finish its work on May 27. But panel members last month asked Congress for a two-month extension, citing a need for full analysis of reams of documents about the disaster.

Bush had resisted that request for months, saying through his spokesmen that the administration wanted the panel to complete its work as soon as possible. Privately, White House aides feared that delaying the commission's final report would result in a potentially damaging assessment of the administration's handling of pre-attack intelligence in the heat of a presidential campaign.

On Wednesday, the White House relented, saying it backed moving the deadline to July 26. But White House spokesman Scott McClellan also urged the commission to wrap up its work 30 days after that. If Congress accepts Bush's recommendation, the report would arrive at the end of August, just as the presidential campaign is entering the post-Labor Day final stretch.

Bush is starting to do some damage control for the general election. I hope voters remember that he stonewalled this at first.

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