McCain asked about PNAC and 9/11 at town hall
David Edwards and Muriel Kane
Thursday July 10, 2008
During a town hall event in Portsmouth, OH on Wednesday, John McCain was asked
by a member of the audience whether his links to the parent organization of
the Project for a New American Century explain why he has been reluctant to
support calls for a new investigation of 9/11.
The questioner began, "I was curious about a document. Back in September
of 2000, the Project for a New American Century, or PNAC, whose members included
Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Jeb Bush and Paul Wolfowitz, wrote a document
entitled ‘Rebuilding Americans Defenses.’"
As McCain turned and paced away from him, the questioner continued, "In
it, they state, quote, "The process of transformation, even if it bring
revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and
catalyzing event like a new Pearl Harbor."
"Now, many Americans believe that that ‘new Pearl Harbor’ event took place
on 9/11," the questioner went on, as McCain grimaced slightly. "And
according to a recent New York Times and CBS News poll, 84% of Americans believe
that there were some criminal elements of our government involved in 9/11."
Calls of disapproval began to arise from the audience, but the questioner shot
back, "Hold on!" and continued asking McCain, "Can you tell us
about your role as — hold on — as president of the ‘New Citizen Project,’
founded in 1994, which served as a chief fund-raising and parent organization
to PNAC? And is this one of the factors that has made you so reluctant to support
the victims’ family members and first responders who are begging for a new investigation
The boos became louder at that point, and McCain grimaced again, turned his
back and walked away, but the questioner insisted, "It’s a serious question."
"I have a serious answer, sir," McCain replied, "and that is
that it was Joe Lieberman and I — a Democrat — that sponsored the legislation
for the 9/11 Commission. … And very frankly, the administration was not, shall
I say, enthusiastic about the establishment of that commission. … I am proud
of what the 9/11 Commission did. I am proud that we have enacted many of the
reforms … that they recommended. And I will stand by their recommendations
and their conclusions, as will the overwhelming majority of Americans."
"It’s a free country," McCain concluded. "You are free to disagree
with their conclusions. But I am proud to have been one of those who was, along
with Joe Lieberman, responsible for the establishment of the 9/11 Commission."
This video is from CNN.com, broadcast July 9, 2008.