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The September 11 commission's executive director had closer ties with the
White House than publicly disclosed and tried to influence the final report in
ways that the staff often perceived as limiting the Bush administration's
responsibility, a new book says.
Philip Zelikow, a friend of then-national security adviser Condoleezza Rice,
spoke with her several times during the 20-month investigation that closely
examined her role in assessing the al-Qaida threat.
He also exchanged frequent calls with the White House, including at least
four from Karl Rove, Bush's chief political adviser at the time.
The commission's executive director once tried to push through wording in a
draft report that suggested a greater tie between al-Qaida leader Osama bin
Laden and Iraq, in line with White House claims but not with the commission
staff's viewpoint, according to Philip Shenon's "The Commission: The
Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation."