Former 9/11 commissioners: US still at risk
Updated: 2005-12-05 08:30
The U.S. is at great risk for more terrorist attacks because Congress and the
White House have failed to enact several strong security measures, members of
the former Sept. 11 commission said Sunday.
"It's not a priority for the government right now," said the former chairman,
Thomas Kean, ahead of the group's release of a report Monday assessing how well
its recommendations have been followed.
"More than four years after 9/11 ... people are not paying attention," the
former Republican governor of New Jersey said. "God help us if we have another
Added Lee Hamilton, the former Democratic
vice chairman of the commission: "We believe that another attack will occur.
It's not a question of if. We are not as well-prepared as we should be."
In this photograph provided by Meet The Press,
former Vice Chairman of the 9/11 Commission Lee Hamilton, right, talks
about the commission's recommendations as former Chairman of the
commission Thomas Kean listens during a taping of 'Meet the Press' Sunday,
Dec. 4, 2005 at the NBC studios in Washington.
The five Republicans and five Democrats on the commission, whose
recommendations are now promoted through a privately funded group known as the
9/11 Public Discourse Project, conclude that the government deserves "more Fs
than As" in responding to their 41 suggested changes.
Since the commission's final report in July 2004, the government has enacted
the centerpiece proposal to create a national intelligence director. But the
government has stalled on other ideas, including improving communication among
emergency responders and shifting federal terrorism-fighting money so it goes to
states based on risk level.
"There is a lack of a sense of urgency," Hamilton said. "There are so many
competing priorities. We've got three wars going on: one in Afghanistan, one in
Iraq and the war against terror. And it's awfully hard to keep people focused on
something like this."
National security adviser Stephen Hadley said Sunday that President Bush is
committed to putting in place most of the commission's recommendations.