The Family Steering Committee for the 9/11 Independent Commission
Statement Regarding the Final Report
July 20, 2004
Since December of 2002, and the passage of Public Law 107-306,
the Family Steering Committee has scrupulously followed the
course of the 9/11 Commission. In fact, from the Commission's
very inception, the FSC sought to maintain a close working
relationship with the Commission by providing it with our
documented research, along with the questions it generated,
and by communicating our concerns about the progress of
While we believe that our concerns were acknowledged, we had
also hoped that more of our questions and those of the American
public would be fully addressed during the public hearings, or
at the very least, discussed in the prepared staff statements.
Yet today, many of our collective questions remain unanswered.
(NOTE: Our questions are posted at www.911independentcommission.org.)
These questions must be comprehensively addressed and clearly answered
by the Commission in the final report so that everyone is able to
understand and assess our nation's past and current security policies,
protocols and procedures. Our objective has always been to better protect
and defend our nation from the ongoing threat of terrorism.
Although we have made some progress since September 11th, preliminary
9/11 Commission reports and witness testimony illustrate that we remain
vulnerable and at great risk of a future attack. Many of the deadly
mistakes and failures that contributed to the terrorists’ success on
9/11 have yet to be corrected. The "vital dialogue and debate" that
our elected leaders espoused has been cast aside because of election
year politics. The vulnerabilities in our security network cannot
be rectified until they have been identified through a process in
which issues are thoroughly examined, witnesses are fully questioned,
accountability is wholly assigned and sound conclusions are ultimately
drawn. It is only after this vetting process that we - the American people
- can be confident that critically important changes and reforms will be
While there were great acts of heroism performed by many people on 9/11,
there were also colossal systemic failures that occurred. Many of these
failures can be attributed to government agencies and institutions whose
very responsibility it was to keep New York City, Washington, D.C.,
airline passengers and the rest of America safe. And, while a thorough
examination of these types of failures might prove politically uncomfortable
for some, the nation must have the courage to withstand constructive
criticism so that we can fix these problems, as they continue to plague
our national security apparatus to this very day.
There is much work that remains to be done. And it is our hope that the
Commission's final report will serve as a guide for our elected leaders
to the areas and issues that must be addressed, assessed and reformed.
We do not want the recommendations and findings of this report to sit
idly on a shelf until after the next attack - to do so would be to dishonor
and defile the memories of our loved ones. We look forward to working
cooperatively with the Commission and government officials towards this end.
Finally, because of the political environment in which this report will be issued, we respectfully request that discussion of its findings and recommendations transcend partisan, election-year politics. We call upon President Bush and Congress to expedite implementation of the needed
reforms in order to ensure the security of our great nation. Time is of the essence.