According to a document obtained by the ACLU under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) on Tuesday March 16, the 9/11 commission was warned on Jan. 6th, 2004 by high-level administration officials to “not cross the line” in the investigation of the events that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001.

The document is available at http://www.aclu.org/files/assets/CIA.pdf

Here’s a copy of the letter in question (page 26 of the PDF document).

From:

Department of Defense
Department of Justice
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

To:

National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States

Thomas H. Kean, Chairman
Lee H. Hamilton, Vice Chairman

Gentlemen:

Your staff has advised us that the Commission seeks to participate in the questioning of certain enemy combatants detained in the war against terrorists of global reach. Such action by the Commission would substantially interfere with the ability of the United States to perform its law enforcement, defense and intelligence functions in the protection of the American people.

Your legislative commission has had extraordinary — indeed, unprecedented in the annals of American history — access to many of the Nation’s most sensitive secrets in the conduct of its work, including detainee information. In response to the Commission’s expansive requests for access to secrets, the executive branch has provided such access in full cooperation. There is, however, a line that the Commission should not cross — the line separating the Commission’s proper inquiry into the September 11, 2001 attacks from interference with the Government’s ability to safeguard the national security, including protection of Americans from future terrorist attacks. The Commission staffs proposed participation in questioning of detainees would cross that line.

As the officers of the United States responsible for the law enforcement, defense and intelligence functions of the Government, we urge your Commission to not further pursue the proposed request to participate in the questioning of detainees.

Respectfully,

John Ashcroft, Attorney General
Donald H. Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
George J. Tenet, Director of Central Intelligence

Source of the article Do Not Cross The Line.