9/11 commissioners meet at Indiana University

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – After September 11, 2001, America was attacked by foreign enemies.

Less than a year ago, the results of the last presidential election were controversial, Congress was bitterly divided, and the country’s intelligence services were asked what they knew and when they did.

For former members of the 9/11 commission, 20 years is fast forward and the landscape and debate seem familiar, but now a special committee of Congress is being asked to unravel an attack on democracy while the previous commission looked for answers, how America’s enemies could launch such deadly attacks on the homeland.

“I don’t think there have been any intelligence failures,” said former Assistant Attorney General Jamie Gorelick of the Clinton administration as she compared the January 6 attack on the Capitol to the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. “I think the intelligence was there, but there was no effort to bring the intelligence together and I think the question for the special committee is why? What happened? Why were the teachings of this commission not being followed there? “

The 9/11 Commission found that intelligence information within agencies was isolated and not readily disclosed, while government bureaucracy often stifled debate and action in the face of a growing threat.

Better, but not complete, oversight of a top-secret budget that has grown to $ 80 billion has been a result of the Commission’s work.

9/11 Commission Co-Chair Lee Hamilton is hosting a meeting of commissioners at Indiana University this week to include panel discussions in a documentary entitled “Are We Safer Today?”

The documentary looks back at the work of the commission and the changes it made to see how well the research and recommendations hold up today.

“Neither of us would change a word on this report, and nothing in the report has been undermined by things we have learned since then,” said former Reagan Secretary of the Navy, John Lehman.

Hamilton related how then-President George W. Bush asked him how he was doing during the 9/11 crisis.

The former Evansville congressman told the president he was asking the right question.

When FOX59 News asked Hamilton what his answer to the “right question” was, Hamilton said he believed Bush had hit the right note in response to the crisis.

When asked whether Bush was right in the run-up to September 11, 2001, Hamilton said he believed the attack could not have been prevented.

“Much of the report was based on classified information,” said former US Senator Bob Kerrey. “Whether or not it would change our view of what happened on September 11th, I don’t think so.

“There is evidence that we have reduced the threat of external attack on the United States.

“We may have, and I would say we have gone too far to rob the rest of our citizenship, but we have not been attacked since that date.”

Former South Bend Republican Congressman Tim Roemer was the second Hoosier to serve on this 10-person commission and said he regretted an important recommendation that Congress refused to accept.

“How is it that we couldn’t get this last recommendation, which had to do with Congress,” said Roemer 21.NS Century. We would never have managed that. “

Roemer said he recently worked with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, behind the scenes and across party lines to set up a Congressional committee to investigate the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, but had to deal with one Special committee with two Republicans content Plank.

He remains optimistic that the nation can weather the political and constitutional crisis fueled by President Trump’s refusal to accept the November 2020 election results and the gap that they created.

“We love our country,” said Roemer. “We think America is special. We know that if we can put our hearts and minds to work and work together, we can do anything. That’s the kind of mind we need today.

“How do we stay together as a country and fight the threats we see internally?”

The commissioners will hold three briefing sessions on Tuesday with students and the public that will be shot for the documentary due out next fall.

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