Philip D. Zelikow

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Philip D. Zelikow is Executive Director of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, otherwise known as the 9-11 Commission.


There's a raft of evidence to suggest that Zelikow has personal, professional and political reasons not to see the commission hold Rice and other Bush officials accountable for pre-9/11 failings, and may be the de facto swing vote for Republicans on the panel.[1] Here are just a few of them:

  • He and Rice worked closely together in the first Bush White House as aides to former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft. Zelikow was director of European security affairs, and Rice was senior director of Soviet and East European affairs, as well as special assistant to the president. Rice reportedly hired Zelikow. Both started in 1989 and left in 1991.
  • A few years after leaving the White House, Zelikow and Rice wrote a book together called, "Germany Unified and Europe Transformed: A Study in Statecraft."
  • The two associated again when Zelikow directed the Aspen Strategy Group [2], a foreign-policy strategy body co-chaired by Rice's mentor Scowcroft. Rice, along with Dick Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz, were members.
  • Zelikow also directed the Markle Foundation's Task Force on National Security in the Information Age [3]under co-chairman James Barksdale, a Bush adviser and major Bush-Cheney donor. A 9/11 commissioner, Republican Sen. Slade Gorton, also served with Zelikow on the task force. (Interestingly, the pair serves together on yet another panel - The National Commission on Federal Election Reform - with Gorton acting as vice-chairman and Zelikow as executive director.)
  • After the 2000 election, Zelikow and Rice were reunited when George W. Bush named him to his transition team for the National Security Council. Rice reportedly asked Zelikow to help organize the NSC under the Scowcroft model, which was insular and steeped in Cold War worldview.
  • Former White House terrorism czar Richard Clarke says he briefed not only Rice and Hadley, but also Zelikow about the growing al-Qaida threat during the transition period. Zelikow sat in on the briefings, he says.
  • A month after the 9/11 al-Qaida attacks, President Bush appointed Zelikow to the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, which is chaired by Scowcroft.
  • Zelikow's regular job, the one he'll return to after the commission releases it final report in late July, is director of the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia. The center is dedicated to the study of the presidency, and maintains contact with the Bush White House, which fought the creation of the commission.
Kristen Breitweiser, a 9/11 widow, insists Zelikow has a "clear conflict of interest." And she suspects he is in touch with Bush's political adviser, Rove, which she says would explain why the White House granted him, along with just one other commission official, the greatest access to the intelligence briefing Bush got a month before the 9/11 suicide hijackings.

Phillip David Zelikow was appointed to the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB) on October 8, 2001, by President George Walker Bush.

Zelikow has served as Director of the University of Virginia's Miller Center of Public Affairs since 1998. He is also White Burkett Miller Professor of History. He was director for European security affairs at the National Security Council from 1989 to 1991. In this position, Zelikow advised current PFIAB Chairman Brent Scowcroft and President George Herbert Walker Bush "on European issues, including the unification of Germany and the multinational coalition against Iraq."[4]

"After serving in government with the Navy, the State Department, and the National Security Council, he taught at Harvard before assuming his present post in Virginia to direct the nation's largest research center on the American presidency. He was a member (2001-2003) of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board and served as executive director of the National Commission on Federal Election Reform, chaired by former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Gerald R. Ford, as well as the executive director of the Markle Foundation Task Force on National Security in the Information Age.

"Zelikow's books include The Kennedy Tapes (with Ernest May), Germany Unified and Europe Transformed (with Condoleezza Rice), and the rewritten Essence of Decision (with Graham Allison). Zelikow has also been the director of the Aspen Strategy Group, a policy program of the Aspen Institute."

He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.[5]


According to Melvin Goodman, Zelikow "headed a case study project at Harvard and took hundreds of thousands of dollars from the CIA. He used CIA documentation and produced case studies that exonerated the CIA from any charges of politicization of intelligence, particularly with regard to the Soviet Union." [6]


from Emad Mekay for IPS, 29 March 2004:

"Why would Iraq attack America or use nuclear weapons against us? I'll tell you what I think the real threat (is) and actually has been since 1990 -- it's the threat against Israel," Zelikow told a crowd at the University of Virginia on Sep. 10, 2002, speaking on a panel of foreign policy experts assessing the impact of 9/11 and the future of the war on the al-Qaeda terrorist organisation.
"And this is the threat that dare not speak its name, because the Europeans don't care deeply about that threat, I will tell you frankly. And the American government doesn't want to lean too hard on it rhetorically, because it is not a popular sell," said Zelikow.
The statements are the first to surface from a source closely linked to the Bush administration acknowledging that the war, which has so far cost the lives of nearly 1200 U.S. troops and thousands of Iraqis, was motivated by Washington's desire to defend the Jewish state.

On 2007-08-24, Glenn Greenwald reported on his Salon blog that Zelikow was working as a lobbyist employed by Former Iraqi Prime Minister Allawi (and future Prime Minister Hopeful) to discredit Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki and appeared on programs as an expert on Iraq criticising Maliki while withholding his conflict of interest and also worked as a consultant to the White House on Iraq at the time the White House began disparaging Maliki.


According to James Petras (2008): "The key figure in and around the Bush Administration who actively promoted a ‘new Pearl Harbor ’ and was at least in part responsible for the policy of complicity with the 9/11 terrorists was Philip Zelikow. Zelikow, a prominent Israel-Firster, is a government academic, whose expertise was in the nebulous area of ‘catastrophic terrorism’ – events which enabled US political leaders to concentrate executive powers and violate constitutional freedoms in pursuit of offensive imperial wars and in developing the ‘public myth’. Philip Shenon’s book, The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation pinpoints Zelikow’s strategic role in the Bush Administration in the lead up to 9/11, the period of ‘complicit neglect’, in its aftermath, the offensive global war period, and in the government’s cover-up of its complicity in the terror attack." [2]

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch articles

References

  1. Program Advisory Panels Announced by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, accessed December 9, 2007.
  2. Provocations as Pretexts for Imperial War: From Pearl Harbor to 9/11, Global Research, accessed May 28, 2008.