Sept. 11 panel: hijackers exploited ‘deep institutional failings’ |

Sept. 11 panel: hijackers exploited ‘deep institutional failings’

Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Sept. 11 commission’s final report concludes the hijackers exploited “deep institutional failings within our government” over a long period but does not blame President Bush or former President Clinton for the mistakes, according to administration officials familiar with the findings.

The report, being released Thursday, describes the patience and determination of the hijackers and said they explored weaknesses in airline and border procedures, even taking test flights to see when cockpit doors were open.

White House officials and congressional leaders were briefed on the report’s findings, and Bush is to receive a copy of the 575-page report on Thursday.

“It does not place blame on particular individuals or particular incidents, but in fact it identifies institutional failings that have grown up over time about the way our government is organized,” one official said.

It concludes that Bush and Clinton took the threat of al-Qaida seriously and were “genuinely concerned about the danger posed by al-Qaida,” the official said. It finds that neither president was to blame for failing to to stop the attacks, which were the culmination of years of planning.