9-11 Commission: the natives are restless

George W. Bush seems to have made a mistake: in recruiting a chair for the 9-11 Commission with a reputation for independence, he seems to have stumbled on someone who can only be pushed so far before complaining. Thomas Kean is threatening subpoenas, and he is doing so on the front page of the New York Times

On the other hand, the White House stonewalling will almost certainly lead to a good outcome from Mr. Bush’s viewpoint. Commission members are already admitting that the obtructions they have been facing will make it impossible to issue a report in May, as planned. So here’s what’s going to happen: They’re going to ask for an extension, and after due consideration the Republicans on the Hill will grant them one, with a report date somewhat after the election. Any objection from the Democrats will be met with cries of “partisanship.” And John McCain will persuade the victims’ families to go along with it.

Really, the Washington game isn’t that hard to play, if you start with unlimited shamelessness.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com