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Bush Names Kissinger to Lead Independent Sept. 11 Probe
US President signed into law a bill creating an independent commission to conduct a broad investigation into events leading to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in an effort to fix anti-terror flaws.

He also named former secretary of state Henry Kissinger to lead the panel.

"This investigation should carefully examine all the evidence and follow all the facts wherever they lead," Bush said at a signing ceremony in the White House. "We must uncover every detailand learn every lesson of Sept. 11."

The bipartisan commission would be charged with conducting the most comprehensive probe yet into why the United States was unable to prevent the hijacking attacks. The investigation would be broader than the one conducted jointly by the House and Senate Intelligence committees since June, which focused on the failures of US intelligence agencies.

The measure was attached to a spending bill for intelligence agencies. Local media reports said the spending bill authorized more than 35 billion dollars in intelligence programs, the biggest-ever increase in intelligence spending.

The White House had initially opposed the idea of an independent probe, arguing that a congressional investigation was better equipped to preserve national security secrets.

It changed attitude in September due to increasing pressure from families of the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. However, it fought with lawmakers over the commission's composition and its subpoena powers.

Under the bill, the 10-member commission would be equally divided with five Republican appointees and five Democratic appointees. Subpoenas could be issued by agreement of the chair and vice chair or a vote of at least six members.

Bush said Kissinger would bring "broad experience, clear thinking and careful judgment to this important task."

It was Bush's third major bill signing in as many days. He signed Monday and Tuesday bills to create a Homeland Security Department and to help guarantee businesses coverage for terrorism insurance.

(Xinhua News Agency November 28, 2002)

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