The chairman of the federal commission investigating Sept. 11 (searchsaid Wednesday the terrorist attacks could have been prevented.

Tom Kean (searchsaid his 10-member commission was wrapping up its report.

"As you read the report, you're going to have a pretty clear idea of what wasn't done and what should have been done," he told one television station.

"I mean, this was not something that had to happen."

The comments were the first by Kean, former Republican governor of New Jersey, blaming public officials for not anticipating the attacks.

"There are people that, certainly, if I was doing the job, who would certainly not be in the position they were in at the time because they failed," he said.

"They simply failed."

Kean didn't name names but it has previously been reported that the Bush administration received intelligence warnings that provided hints about Usama bin Laden's (searchintentions before Sept. 11.

Kean's report is not due until May, but he promises major revelations as early as next month in public testimony - possibly from President Bush and Bill Clinton. "This is a very, very important part of history and we've got to tell it right," he said.