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Sept. 11 Panel Defends Director's Impartiality; Concerns of Victims' Relatives Over Zelikow's National Security Ties Are Dismissed
[FINAL Edition]
The Washington Post - Washington, D.C.
Subjects: Conflicts of interest; Investigations; Commissions; Terrorism; Aircraft hijacking
Author: Eggen, Dan
Date: Oct 14, 2003
Start Page: A.02
Section: A SECTION

The commission's leaders, former New Jersey governor Thomas H. Kean (R) and former representative Lee Hamilton (D-Ind.), responded in a letter Friday that [Philip D. Zelikow] had previously agreed to recuse himself from issues related to the NSC's transition from the Clinton to [Bush] administrations, which Zelikow had helped manage. But commission officials said Zelikow would continue to guide the panel's investigation in other areas.

A group of victims' relatives, the Family Steering Committee for the 9/11 Independent Commission, said they were previously aware of those connections but hoped they would help the commission get access to documents and other information from the Bush administration. But the families said they changed their minds after learning that Zelikow had also helped reorganize the NSC as a member of the Bush transition team.

Commission spokesman Al Felzenberg said yesterday that Zelikow's recusal from transition matters should adequately address any conflict-of-interest concerns. "He does not in any way want to compromise the investigation," Felzenberg said.

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