Sen. Zell Miller has it right.

The 9-11 Commission should be disbanded.

Not only is its mission clearly compromised by the participation of commissioner Jamie Gorelick, who stands accused by none other than the current Attorney General John Ashcroft of being one of the architect’s of our nation’s security breakdown leading to the Sept. 11 attacks, but its leadership is also suspect.

Chairman Thomas Kean, the former governor of New Jersey, a Republican, made one of the most repugnant and idiotic statements I have ever heard any public official ever make in my life.

In defending the continuing participation of fellow commissioner Gorelick, a Democrat who served as deputy attorney general under Janet Reno, he added the following statement, according to Fox News: “So people ought to stay out of our business.”

“So people ought to stay out of our business.”

Think about that.

These elitists – and that’s just what Kean is – don’t think we the people have any business telling them they are off the reservation.

He’s telling us to “leave it to the professionals.”

Need we remind Kean that it was the professional politicians like Gorelick who failed us in the first place?

Need we remind Kean that the United States of America is supposed to be served by a government “of the people, by the people and for the people”?

Need we remind Kean that his commission is accountable to the people?

His arrogance disqualifies him from serving on the commission. In the likely event the commission is not disbanded entirely, Gorelick and Kean should resign immediately.

The 9-11 commission is not serving the simple purpose of correcting structural defects in our national security. Instead, it is serving only to divide the nation in wartime. It has become a partisan sideshow.

There are some good people on the commission, but the panel has lost its way – if, in fact, it ever understood its course at all.

Gorelick has been caught in an obvious conflict of interest – in the position of reviewing her own shoddy work as the top deputy in the Clinton Justice Department, her appointment was a mistake in the first place. Now it has been revealed to be a tragedy of epic proportions.

She concealed a memo she authored in her former role that shows she steered the nation on a course of protecting terrorists – by treating terrorism as if it were simply another law-enforcement issue facing the nation.

“I’m not going to resign from the commission,” she said arrogantly on CNN. “It’s a bogus factual issue. When you ask hard questions of people who are in office and who have been in office, they take offense.”

Asked specifically by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer if she wrote the “memorandum in ’95 that helped establish the so-called walls between the FBI and CIA,” Gorelick either lied or owes the people a much better explanation than she provided.

“No,” she said, “and again, I would refer you back to what others on the commission have said. The wall was a creature of statute. It’s existed since the mid 1980s. And while it’s too lengthy to go into, basically the policy that was put out in the mid-’90s, which I didn’t sign, wasn’t my policy by the way, it was the attorney general’s policy, was ratified by Attorney General Ashcroft’s deputy as well in August of 2001. So we are just going to move on from this. This is not a basis for resignation.”

Did she mean her name on the memo was a forgery? If so, the nation has more security problems than it knows. Was she lying in her denial that she wrote it? If so, all the more reason for her to go.

And Commissioner Kean should become Citizen Kean before the panel does any more harm to the nation.

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