The 9/11 Commission was "set up to fail." So says its chairman, former Republican Governor of New Jersey Thomas Kean. "If you want something to fail," he explains, "you take a controversial topic and appoint five people from each party. You make sure they are appointed by the most partisan people from each party--the leaders of the party. And, just to be sure, let's ask the commission to finish the report during the most partisan period of time--the presidential election season." He could have added that President Bush and Republican leaders in Congress had agreed to create the commission only under unrelenting pressure from the families of the victims, and also that Congress had given it a meager budget and a requirement to get all its work done in a scant eighteen months. He could have added, too, that he was the president's second choice as chairman, Henry Kissinger having stepped down after sixteen days because of the demand by the families that he disclose the names of clients of his consulting firm, and that Kean started under the handicap of never having worked in Washington. It was to be mid-March 2003 before he even had the security clearances needed to read pre-September 11 intelligence reports.