Commission's Mission?

For those of you who have written snarky e-mails in the past saying I never criticize Republicans, this is your lucky day.

Republican and former New Jersey Governor Tom Kean (search) said Thursday that voters should judge who to cast their vote for in the November presidential election based on which candidate most closely follows the dictates of the 9/11 Commission.

As you have probably heard, the commission not only investigated what happened leading up to 9/11, but also issued so-called “recommendations.” I say “so-called” because it now turns out they weren't recommendations at all, but orders.

According to commission co-chair Kean, President Bush and presidential aspirant John Kerry should be in a footrace to see who can most quickly adopt the commission’s recommendations – orders — and the loser of that footrace should also lose the election.

The arrogance on the part of Kean is evidently bipartisan. Evidently, other members of the commission also think they should be the last word on all 9/11 questions and their recommendations should be considered orders that cannot be ignored by the president.

I would think it weird and probably unwise to ignore the commission. As partisan as it obviously was, it still did investigative heavy lifting and made some observations about the intelligence bureaucracy that ought to be given serious consideration.

But hang on just one minute. Who set this commission up as god? Who said this political body — posing as nonpartisan or bipartisan — should be given the power to throw lightning bolts down from Olympus?

What happened here? Did somebody put something in the water?

How can Kean put up with the presence of Jamie Gorelick (search) on the commission — who should have been in a witness chair being grilled — and still say with a straight face that voters should choose the next president on the basis of how thoroughly a candidate follows the orders of a panel that includes such a conflict of interest?

That's My Word.

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