Former 9/11 Commission Chair and Vice Chair Tom Kean and Lee Hamilton, co-chairs of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Homeland Security Project, released the following statement today on the eleventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks:
“Today marks eleven years since the 9/11 attacks on our country. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the victims and survivors of that tragic day. We commend the progress our government has made in reforming and strengthening the institutions that protect us. We commend the sustained commitment and dedication of the tens of thousands of military, federal, state, and local officials, law enforcement and first responders who have done so much to keep us safe.
“As the years pass the danger exists that we will lose focus, divert attention to other concerns. But the threat of terrorism persists and our enemies continue to devise new ways to harm us. Fighting these emerging threats should not be a partisan issue. We owe it to the American people to keep our attention riveted on ensuring we are taking every step to keep the country secure.
“Eleven years after the event, some important 9/11 Commission recommendations have still not been implemented and require immediate attention. We call on the government to build out an interoperable, broadband network for first responders. We encourage Congress to take the steps to reform its oversight of intelligence and national security institutions, and to help those agencies make the changes and confront the challenges that will make them stronger and better. Congress and the administration should remain ever vigilant and exert maximum leadership to ensure terrorists do not acquire nuclear or radiological weapons, a prospect that would be a grave threat to us. And finally, we encourage the administration to put teeth into the Privacy and Civil Liberties Board that the Commission recommended and legislation created. That Board will help ensure that there is a proper balance between the many security measures that have been implemented since 9/11 and our tradition of privacy and civil liberty.”