How the 9/11 Commission Spent $25,000 on a Footnote
In November 2005, The Washington Spectator published an article by this author about the publishing practices of the 9/11 Commission. “The Politics (and Profits) of Information” described how that panel skirted its obligation to publish a complete, documented, and indexed record of its investigation via the Government Printing Office, a laudable purpose achieved by every comparable probe.
“The Making of a Washington Expert,” a sidebar to the Spectator article, described how the Commission’s executive director, Philip Zelikow, arranged for an associate from the University of Virginia, Tim Naftali, to write a history of US counterterrorism policy—even though Naftali had no expertise or background in the subject. In the end, the monograph Naftali belatedly delivered as a consultant was deemed unsuitable for publication as a Commission document. That did not stop Naftali, however, from advertising himself subsequently as the Commission’s “official historian.”
At the time, the internal papers of the 9/11 Commission were not yet publicly available. That began to change on January 14, 2009, when the National Archives released the first tranche of Commission records. To date, approximately 35 percent of the panel’s archives have been opened. Among them are many documents that flesh out the story of Naftali’s consultancy.
The story is more complicated than was previously reported. Tensions between Naftali and the Commission’s “Front Office” surfaced well before he submitted his monograph. More importantly, the Commission was unaware that Naftali already had a contract to write a trade book on counterterrorism, and that it would be subsidizing him.
Naftali’s self-aggrandizement at taxpayers’ expense might be a forgotten matter, except that he is now on the public payroll, and has been since 2006 as director of the Nixon presidential archives. A future issue of Washington Decoded will examine Naftali’s increasingly troubled and controversial tenure at the Nixon Library.
The idea for a historical monograph on US counterterrorism policy arose during a meeting of the commissioners on May 21, 2003, some five months after they had begun their inquiry. Former Navy Secretary John Lehman, perhaps the most conservative member of the panel, opined that the proposed work plan of Team 3, which was analyzing US counterterrorism policy, appeared to be “framed too narrowly.” He wanted the final report to include a narrative about US policy that harked back to at least 1983, when Hizbollah militants destroyed a Marine barracks in Beirut.
Philip Zelikow, the Commission’s executive director, cautioned against an expansion. The Commission should not lose its focus: there was “full strategic warning” after August 1998 (when al-Qaeda bombed US embassies in Africa), Zelikow said, and the issues were clear from that point forward until the “fall of the buildings.” This “core policy story” had to be told in an authoritative way, without getting bogged down in pre-history.
The idea of a separate monograph began percolating, however, because it seemed to make sense to frame, in historical perspective, what policymakers did (or did not do) from 1998 to 2001. Were the choices Washington made over those three years a too-conditioned reflex, a function of how policymakers had responded to terrorism during the previous 25 years?
There was an obvious candidate to write such a monograph: David Tucker, an associate professor at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterrey, California. Tucker’s research specialty was the US government’s response to terrorism and unconventional conflict. Four years before 9/11, he had published a well-received book on the subject entitled Skirmishes at the Edge of Empire. Nor was his expertise on these matters entirely book-learned. Prior to going into academia, Tucker had been a Foreign Service Officer for almost a decade before working at the Pentagon’s SO/LIC (Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict) office for seven years.
The logical course of action would have been to ask Tucker to revisit the subject and prepare a monograph that sharpened, with the benefit of hindsight, the turning points in US policy. Instead, during a staff meeting in June, Zelikow proposed asking both Tucker and Tim Naftali to draft dueling narratives about the same 28-year period, 1970 to 1998.
That curious approach did not last long, as it was difficult to rationalize why it was useful to pay each man thousands of dollars for doing identical work. A division of labor seemed to make more sense. Since Naftali was familiar with the cold war presidencies, the initial conception was that he would concentrate on the period 1968 through 1980, with Tucker covering the next 18 years, based on his inside knowledge of many of the key players and doctrines. Their final products would constitute an annex to the Commission’s final report; in addition, it was anticipated their monographs would be used to inform Team 3, as it wrote the final report’s chapter on counterterrorism policy from 1998 to 2001.
There was a lot of back and forth about the division of labor while the Commission’s budget was being reviewed to see if there was enough money. Eventually, Team 3 leader C. Michael Hurley proposed that Naftali draft a narrative of counterterrorism policy from 1968 until the end of the cold war in 1989, and that Tucker take up the story from 1985 to 1998. Admittedly, there would be some overlap but that was nothing that Team 3 staffers thought couldn’t be resolved by editing.
When Hurley finally submitted a concrete proposal to the prospective consultants, he found Naftali had a more expansive notion of the project. For one, he wanted to extend his narrative through to 1993, the end of George H. W. Bush’s presidency. As Hurley explained to Zelikow, “Tim thinks by ending his review in 1989 he will be cut off in mid-stream during a period when interesting things are going on,” such as the collapse of the Soviet Union. In addition, Naftali said, he would need funds to cover research trips to five presidential libraries (only Nixon’s presidential papers were still in Washington), and he also wanted to travel to Israel. Naftali claimed to have “many contacts among retired Shin Bet officers who are knowledgeable about terrorism,” reported Hurley, and suggested it would useful to do research there.
Hurley was amenable to two of Naftali’s ideas, but he nixed the trip to Israel, informing Zelikow that “in future conversations with Tim, [we] will need to make clear to him that the focus of what we are asking him to do is really at the presidential and principals’ level: what choices were [Johnson], Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush making [about] how to respond to terrorism during their eras?” What Hurley apparently did not know or appreciate at this point, though, was why Naftali was so keen on extending his review to 1993. After discussions that began in 2002, Naftali had signed a $40,000 contract to write a biography of Bush for the American Presidents series edited by the late Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., and Sean Wilentz.
In the August 29 letters of offer to Naftali and Tucker, Zelikow stated they would each be paid $20,000 for their monographs. A budget of up to $5,000 was set aside for research expenses. The narratives were due on January 31, 2004, and upon completion were to become the property of the Commission. How the reports were to be used would be at the commissioners’ sole discretion, and that included the power to award or withhold authorship.
Tension Over Interviews
Assuming a 40-hour work week, there were 880 working hours between September 1, 2003 and the monograph’s due date five months later. That meant Naftali had to devote about 20 hours weekly to the 9/11 project if his earlier estimate of 400 hours was accurate. It was not an unattainable goal because Naftali was on sabbatical from his duties at the Miller Center of Public Affairs, leaving as his primary tasks only the monograph and the four other books he was under contract to write, each in a different stage of completion.
In late September Naftali submitted a “wish list” of 25 persons he wanted to interview: two presidents and 23 “key surviving principals.” One of the presidents was George H. W. Bush, and the wish list was heavily weighted toward senior officials from the Bush administration, including the secretary and deputy secretary of State (James Baker and Lawrence Eagleburger); national security adviser (Brent Scowcroft); CIA and FBI directors (William Webster and William Sessions); and Robert Gates, who served as deputy national security adviser, deputy CIA director, and DCI under George Bush. Indeed, in the draft interview request letters Naftali simultaneously submitted, he frankly noted that he was also “currently writing the George H. W. Bush biography for the American Presidents series.”
Naftali’s ambitious plans worried some staffers. General counsel Daniel Marcus expressed concern about “Naftali interviewing people we plan to interview,” such as Scowcroft or Webster. It might be confusing to explain the difference, and if Naftali got there first, interviewees’ patience might be exhausted by the time they were contacted by regular staff members. On October 10, Zelikow laid down the law. While professing to support Naftali’s “efforts in a solid way,” Zelikow prohibited him from interviewing any former presidents, as well as James Baker and Vice President Dick Cheney, specifically. It was highly unlikely, of course, that Cheney would sit for an interview. But the prohibition against interviewing Baker was odd, since requests to former secretaries of State Alexander Haig, George Shultz and “others of that stature” were expressly permitted.
Other staffers expressed concern about Naftali’s use of Commission letterhead for interview requests. They felt it lent Naftali the panel’s full imprimatur and would sow confusion. On November 17, Hurley reported to Steven Dunne, the deputy general counsel, that Naftali had been advised “following completion of his interviews with former officials we have already approved, he should stand down from submitting additional interview requests . . . . [Naftali] understood the message, and I do not expect he intends to submit additional requests [unless he can make a compelling argument].” A week later, Naftali tried. “Having not heard yet from General Scowcroft and since [Robert] Gates is off-limits, I do not have a policy principal from the Bush years. If possible I would like to try to see Secretary Baker,” Naftali wrote in a progress report to Hurley. Again the answer with regard to Baker would be “no,” although three more interviews with mid-level officials were eventually sanctioned.
At the same time, of course, Naftali was supposed to be scouring presidential libraries for relevant unclassified or declassified documents. Initially, Naftali extolled the compilation, Terrorism and US Policy, 1968-2002, published in late 2003 by the privately-funded National Security Archive; in October he got an advance peek at the collection, which included documents from the papers of every administration from Lyndon Johnson onwards. But that collection didn’t obviate the need for Naftali to do his own research. For reasons that are not explained in the released documents, however, he canceled an approved trip scheduled for December to the Johnson and Bush Libraries. Consequently, three months into what was supposed to be a five-month project, he had managed to visit just one (the Reagan Library) of the five presidential archives outside of Washington (the Nixon papers, of course, were conveniently located at NARA’s College Park facility).
Nonetheless, because of the “richness of the unclassified documents he [was] researching,” in early December Naftali asked Hurley for a two-week extension of his deadline, until February 15. As Hurley explained the matter to the Front Office on December 5, “[we] can live with [the extension], but since we’ll be so crunched with our own writing, we’ll encourage him to get it in as soon as possible lest this become an albatross around our necks—and [we’ll] make it clear that February 15 is carved in stone.” Deputy executive director Christopher Kojm responded on behalf of the Front Office: “I am not happy about the due date extension—I know you aren’t either—but if you can live with it I can.”
The importance of the new deadline was underscored a week latter by Warren Bass, the Team 3 staffer who had been assigned the chief responsibility for incorporating Naftali’s work. “I know you’ll hit your deadline even without me nagging again,” wrote Bass, “but we’re just so busy that we can’t afford to miss the deadline for your work by even the tiniest bit, so I herewith nag again.”
On December 17, Naftali revisited the issue of research at the presidential libraries. He was now planning to visit the Johnson and Bush Libraries in late January, but frankly, preferred not to go to the Gerald Ford or Jimmy Carter archives at all. When this information finally registered with Christopher Kojm after the holidays, he was not at all pleased. “What’s going on here?” Kojm asked Hurley and Bass.
I [Kojm] approved this trip [to Texas] in October, and [it] was scheduled for December. [Naftali’s] original due date for a manuscript to us was January 15th [sic], and now I understand it to be February 15th . . . You can sense my frustration. I really don’t want to pay for him gallivanting to presidential libraries on our nickel when he is already a day late and I hope not a dollar short.
Hurley assuaged Kojm, and the Texas trip to the Johnson and Bush Libraries, which included an interview with Oliver “Buck” Revell, a former high-ranking FBI involved in counterterrorism efforts, was completed just two weeks before the monograph was due.
On February 6, nine days before the set-in-stone deadline, Naftali appealed for yet more time. “I have hit pay dirt in my most recent interviews and important doors are starting to open,” Naftali wrote Hurley. “Plus I have yet to track down some important Congressional materials.” Of course, Naftali was supposed to be closing doors at this point, not starting to open them. But because Congress had granted the Commission an extension, largely because of the Bush administration’s foot-dragging, Naftali believed he, too, was entitled to another one.
Mike Hurley, the leader of Team 3, then made a unilateral decision without seeking Front Office approval, probably because it seemed easier than arousing Kojm’s ire. Hurley said he would now give Naftali until February 25. “Please have your piece to us by then . . . I think I can fend [the Front Office] off for ten days,” Hurley wrote. Things were so hectic inside the Commission that “it’s possible they won’t even ask about it until later in February anyway.”
The manuscript is coming, was Naftali’s refrain throughout March. A portion was sent on March 10, and then March 22, a self-imposed deadline, came and went. By now, Team 3 was so swamped with its preparations for some critical Commission hearings that it didn’t much matter. “[G]et it right, rather than . . . knock[ing] yourself out,” Bass advised Naftali. On March 29, Naftali was hoping to be done by April 2. “What a story it is turning out to be,” he enthused. “[F]rom the hijackings to détente to Watergate to Lebanon to Iran-contra to the Gulf War—you hit all of the high and low points of US political history.” No one had put it all together in a single narrative before, Naftali said. David Tucker’s book was a “very helpful primer but more poli[tical] sci[ence] than history.”
Finally, on April 5, a little more than two months past the original deadline, the Commission had Naftali’s monograph.
The $25,000 Footnote
While the missed deadline was a significant problem, it was greatly compounded by another issue. Commission staffers, who were routinely working back-breaking hours to get their own work done, did not have either the time, energy, or inclination to clean up what had turned out to be a prolix, opinion-laden draft. The monograph had a distinctive voice that was at odds with the staff’s Sgt. Joe Friday, “just-the-facts-ma’am” style of writing. “I can’t tell you,” said one staffer, “how different it was” from the tone that had become the Commission’s voice. All questions of substance aside, it would have taken weeks of careful editing just to put the monograph in the Commission’s style.
Camaraderie among the staff members was very high, and though exhausted from 12-hour days, staffers were willing to do almost anything to help one another complete their work. That selfless behavior did not extend, however, to an outsider who was by now perceived as a prima donna. In effect, by turning in a problematic manuscript in the spring, when internal deadlines and workloads were more onerous than ever, Naftali had effectively forfeited whatever chance he had of getting his monograph published by the Commission. What efforts there were at editing the manuscript did not occur until early July, and with varying levels of enthusiasm/cooperation from the other teams. But there was not enough time.
On July 22, the 9/11 Commission published, to immediate and widespread acclaim, its final report. Naftali’s monograph had always been envisioned, of course, as having a dual purpose: besides publication as a stand-alone, it was supposed to inform the panel’s own report. But that aspect, too, hadn’t worked out. It practically took a magnifying glass to find Naftali’s contribution to the Commission’s grand narrative. It amounted to one footnote, really, because the only other mention was derivative, merely a quote from a Reagan-era document taken in the first place from the National Security Archives’ compilation. In any case, neither footnote gave Naftali authorial credit; they merely referenced a “Commission analysis.”
Hurley’s tried to ease the sting. “Your work,” he wrote Naftali on July 26, “added to our understanding . . . and enriched our report.” Other Commission staffers who read the manuscript, however, called it “not pertinent,” “irrelevant,” or “a screed.”
The rest of the story is not documented in the 9/11 Commission papers, at least the ones released to date. But at some point, undoubtedly before the Commission closed its doors on August 21, 2004, Naftali learned that the commissioners had decided not to release his monograph as a “singleton.” As far as the public was concerned, there would be no monograph, though of course, a copy of the manuscript was to be preserved in the Commission’s files.
Naftali then asked for permission to do with the monograph what he could. He was promptly given the rights so long as the Commission’s role was acknowledged. At the time no one imagined, as one staff member later recalled, that Naftali would attempt to turn his monograph into a book, or succeed if he tried. Had he delivered a timely and usable monograph, it is likely no one on the staff would have begrudged Naftali for capitalizing on his work. But after failing to deliver what had been asked of him, nearly everyone associated with the 9/11 panel, from the commissioners on down, would become annoyed with Naftali for “cashing in.”
This account of how Blind Spot, Naftali’s history of US counterterrorism policy, came to be published in May 2005, is what nearly everyone affiliated with the Commission believed to be the case. It is not the truth, however, which is a bit more complicated.
Naftali’s 1993 Harvard dissertation was about the counterintelligence effort mounted by the Office of Strategic Services (the wartime precursor to the CIA) during 1942-1944. Like most newly-minted PhDs, he subsequently wanted to get his dissertation published—an effort that usually takes some time, because most dissertations have to be “de-dissertationized” in order to reach a wider audience. In Naftali’s case, he had the good fortune to sign a contract in about 1995 with Basic Books, a well-regarded trade publisher of serious non-fiction, for a revised version of his dissertation.
By September 11, 2001, Naftali’s manuscript for Basic, which he was now calling The X-2 Temptation: American Counterespionage and the Angleton Generation, had already been orphaned once (assigned to a new editor) and postponed a few times. Following the 9/11 attacks, he proposed to editor Don Fehr that his contract be re-purposed. Instead of a book on X-2, Naftali proposed to write a radically different book, one involving counterterrorism. Fehr was open to the idea because by early 2002, he thought Basic might not otherwise ever see a manuscript. In addition, a historical work on counterterrorism was undeniably more attractive than a book on X-2, an arcane subject at best. In Naftali’s words, Fehr “allowed [him] to reshape the project,” although when a final manuscript was delivered in early 2005, Fehr was not around to receive it. In July 2002, he left Basic Books, and today he is a literary agent.
Thus, when Zelikow proposed in June 2003 that Naftali be contracted to write a history for the Commission, Naftali already had a contract for a trade book on counterterrorism, a fact apparently not communicated to the Commission. From the outset then, Naftali intended to appropriate his work for the panel into his own book. He could do this because even if the Commission had decided to issue his monograph, it would have become a public document at that instant; thereafter, anyone could repackage it without fear of copyright infringement, just like anyone could republish the Commission’s final report the moment it was released. (And presumably, no one would be able to re-purpose the monograph faster than the author himself). Indeed, the only possible fly in the ointment was if, after having declined to publish the monograph, the Commission refused to give the rights to Naftali.
One would not expect Naftali to describe candidly, in the preface to Blind Spot, how he re-purposed his overdue X-2 book contract after 9/11, and then, at Zelikow’s urging, found himself in the enviable position of having his research and writing subsidized by the US government. Instead, in the book’s preface, Naftali simply stated that Blind Spot “draws upon” a history he wrote for the 9/11 Commission staff. He also claimed, moreover, that while working under the Commission’s aegis, he was “encouraged to interview as many former principals and counterespionage [sic] specialists as possible.” If Commission records are to be believed, of course, he was asked to stand down.
In Blind Spot, Naftali revised and added substantially to the monograph that had been belatedly delivered to the Commission. The overlap between the two works is most evident in the book’s early chapters, where many pages are taken almost verbatim from the monograph. But Blind Spot also takes the story up to and past 9/11.
Hayden Peake, one of the most knowledgeable reviewers of intelligence literature around, focused on the book’s bizarre beginning, and his review is worth quoting at length.
The history of terrorism for America begins toward the end of World War II, when, according to Naftali, Allied counterespionage concluded “that a Nazi terrorist campaign would follow the collapse of the German army . . . .” This is a curious turn of phrase since most historians write of the threat of postwar German resistance and guerrilla warfare activities—not Nazi terrorism [emphasis in original]. Following the same line of thought, Naftali then discusses the early Cold War activities of the “KGB’s Department 13 . . . assassination and terrorism service,” a unit that did not include terrorism in its name. In those days, Department 13 was concerned with sabotage, not terrorism as the term is used today. This attempt to link America’s initial contacts with terrorism to World War II and the early Cold War is ahistorical—force-fitting contemporary terms to past events where they do not apply.
Subsequent chapters in Blind Spot recount the well-known events of modern terrorism . . . . Naftali carefully explains the intelligence available before, and the actions taken after, each event. What is never made clear, however, is the nature of the “blind spot” these events are supposed to epitomize. His narrative is more persuasive of judgmental error than of a failure to see the problems with which the nation was faced. If there is a blind spot in this book it is the author’s curious interpretation of intelligence history and how it relates to contemporary counterterrorism.
As for Naftali’s other book project—a biography of Bush for the American Presidents series—that 189-page volume appeared in October 2007. Judging from its contents, Naftali never did get that interview with James Baker.
Max Holland worked on the Lyndon Johnson presidential tape recordings at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center of Public Affairs from 1999 to 2003; during that time, Naftali was director of the Miller Center’s Presidential Recordings Project.
 Minutes of the May 21-22 2003 Meeting, National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (hereafter 9/11 Commission), Stephanie Kaplan Files, Box 2, Minutes: Commission Meetings, May21-22, 2003, 9/11 Commission Records, NARA.
 Attachment to email, Hurley to Zelikow, 15 August 2003, Team 3, Box 9, Tucker/Naftali, 9/11 Commission Records, NARA. This citation applies to all the 9/11 documents cited below except where otherwise noted.
 Ibid. “I know you [Zelikow] are following this closely and wanted to ensure you are fully in the loop,” Hurley wrote.
 Letter, Zelikow to Naftali, 29 August 2003, Dan Marcus Files, Box 2, Consultants Folder, 9/11 Commission, NARA. For a reason not explained in the emails back and forth, Naftali did not actually sign the contract with the Commission until September 25.
 Besides the Bush biography for Times Books, Naftali was under contract to W. W. Norton to write a history of John F. Kennedy’s presidency; under contract to Basic Books for a book originally about US counterintelligence during World War II; and again obligated to Norton as the co-author of a book about Nikita Khrushchev, based on Soviet archival sources. Naftali curriculum vitae, 2001.
 Email, Naftali to Hurley, 29 September 2003; Draft letters to Admiral [William] Crowe; Judge [William] Webster, undated. The wish list included no interviews with top Johnson-era officials; three with high-ranking Nixon and Ford-era appointees; three with top officials from the Carter administration; nine with officials from the Reagan era; and eight with Bush administration appointees. Of course, the Reagan administration was in office for two terms. Naftali also indicated he intended to approach some “second-tier NSC, State, CIA and FBI types to round out the picture.”
 Email, Hurley to Naftali and Tucker, 10 October 2003. There was a sharp contrast between the Commission’s two consultants in terms of their approach to interviewing. While Naftali’s plans raised hackles in the Front Office and among staffers, Tucker was cognizant from the start about the problems inherent in approaching people that the Commission might also want to interview. He carefully circumscribed his activities in this area and talked only to lower-level people he knew from his Pentagon days. Holland interview with David Tucker, 30 September 2005.
 Emails, Hurley to Dunne, 17 November 2003; Naftali to Hurley, 25 November 2003; Hurley to Front Office, 5 December 2003.
 National Security Archive (NSA), Terrorism and US Policy, 1968-2002, (Washington, DC: Digital National Security Archive, 2003); Holland interview with Joyce Battle, 10 March 2010. When it served Naftali’s purposes—say, to prove how much progress he was making, or to rationalize not making a trip to the Carter Library—he spoke highly of the NSA’s compilation; but when he sought to justify his research trips, he would denigrate it. In November 2003, for example, after returning from the Reagan Library, he wrote, “Among the superb documents [I found] (few of which, by the way, the National Security Archive filmed for their CT collection) are a finding on Libya and discussions of the need for better hu[man] int[elligence] on terrorism and homeland security in the 1980s.” Emails, Naftali to Hurley, 7 October 2003; Naftali to Hurley, 25 November 2003.
 Emails, Hurley to Front Office, 5 December 2003; Kojm to Hurley, 5 December 2003.
 Email, Bass to Naftali, 12 December 2003.
 Email, Kojm to Hurley, 12 January 2004.
 Email, Naftali to Hurley, 6 February 2004.
 Email, Hurley to Naftali, 9 February 2004.
 Emails, Bass to Naftali, 15 March 2004; Naftali to Bass, 15 March 2004.
 Email, Naftali to Hurley, 5 April 2004. There is a copy of the manuscript available in the 9/11 records opened to date, but it is hard to tell what version(s) it is: the original draft as submitted by Naftali, or some later edited version(s). The drafts (presented here as pdfs: Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan I, Reagan II, Bush) are located in Team 3, Box 25, Naftali Draft Section, 9/11 Commission Records, NARA.
 Holland interview with Commission staff member, 24 September 2005.
 The deadline for deciding whether a monograph was publishable was initially set as July 1, yet distribution of Naftali’s monograph to other teams for their editorial comments had barely started by July 9. Emails, Susan Ginsburg to Team 5, 27 May 2004; Naftali to Bass, 8 July 2004; Naftali to Bass, 9 July 2004; Bass to Naftali, 9 July 2004.
 National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, The 9/11 Commission Report (Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 2004), 76 (footnote 17), 98-99 (footnote 95), 472 (citation 17), 478 (citation 95); Memo, “Background Material on Terrorism,” 15 August 1984, 12, in NSA, Terrorism and US Policy, 1968-2002, (Washington, DC: Digital National Security Archive, 2003). When Al Felzenberg, the panel’s communications deputy, was asked in 2005 about the extent of Naftali’s contribution to the Commission’s work, he wrote, “[Mr. Naftali’s] work was helpful to staff, informing some of the historical background in chapter 3 [of the final report]. See chapter 3, footnote 17 .” Email, Felzenberg to Holland, 2 September 2005.
 Email, Hurley to Naftali, 26 July 2004; Holland interview with Commission staff member, 24 September 2005; Holland interview with Commission staff member, 25 September 2005; Holland interview with Commission staff member, 25 January 2010.
The other contractor—David Tucker—experienced his own problems, but of an entirely different caliber. Tucker was already steeped in the subject; indeed, in early September, he was flown to Washington so that staff members could interview him about his years in SO/LIC. But soon his work ground to a halt for almost two months. Since he was already paid by the US government as a professor, lawyers at the Naval Postgraduate School raised objections to Tucker also receiving funds from the Commission; they argued it would amount to “double-dipping,” which federal regulations were designed to prohibit. It took until to mid-November to devise a work-around; by then, Tucker’s assignment was shortened to cover just the Clinton presidency, when al Qaeda became a serious threat.
Tucker ended up doing a 10,000 word monograph, but on his own time and essentially as a gift to the Commission. It was handed in on March 5, although Naftali seems to believe that Tucker’s monograph was never written.
© 2010 by Max Holland