The Intelligence Committees need to convene this week

Buried in the Rice affair is the very real possibility that the 9/11 Commission process was corrupted by Republicans looking to cover their mistakes.  As I wrote this morning, the Commission's Executive Director Phillip Zelikow was present in 2004 when CIA Director George Tenet testified to the Commission.  In that interview, which the Post reported earlier today, Tenet told the Commission of the now fateful July 10th meeting with then National Security Advisor Rice where he warned the White House of an imminent attack by Bin Laden.  Somehow, even though this meeting was very important to establishing the official record of what happened prior to 9/11, this meeting never made it into the final 9/11 Commission Report. 

One person will know what happened - Phillip Zelikow, who of course is now working for Secretary Rice.  Did he purposefully keep this meeting from the 9/11 Commission to protect Rice and the White House?

There is one way to find out.  The Senate and House Intelligence Committees should call him to testify this week.  Right now.  The entire credibility of the 9/11 Commission is at stake.  For if something of this magnitude was manipulated, what else may have been altered by Zelikow or other staff?

Given the appearance of tampering with a grave and serious national security matter, Speaker Hastert and Senate Leader Frist should demand an immediate investigation into what happened.  This cannot wait until after the election.  They should task the two Intelligence Committees with a limited and brief task of bringing Zelikow, Rice, Tenet and Cofer Black to the Congress this week and see what can be learned. 

The nation needs to know immediately if the 9/11 Commission process was corrupted.  If the Republicans do not create such a process right away they are admiting their complicity into a terrible cover up of one of the most tragic events in American history.