Statement of the Family Steering Committee
for the 9/11 Independent Commission
July 26, 2004
The Family Steering Committee extends its heartfelt gratitude to
the 9/11 Commissioners and staff for their tireless work in producing
the Final Report.
We also offer our sincere thanks to the Commissioners for reuniting
and refocusing the American public towards one common goal – making
this nation less vulnerable to terrorists. They have rekindled the
spirit of common purpose that characterized this nation in the days
following September 11th. The Commission has brought us together again
– truly committed in a determined mission to make our homeland safer.
Although we have not yet completed our review and analysis of the report and its
footnotes, we nevertheless feel compelled to comment on the enormous impact
this report has already made. For the first time in our history, ordinary
citizens have been invited into the debate surrounding the structure of our
national security apparatus. This invitation is long overdue. It is an example
of democracy – alive, and at work.
The American people are demanding action in response to the 9/11 Commission's
recommendations. They will not accept the fate of past Commissions, whose
reforms were never implemented. Moreover, the 9/11 Commission's message –
that national security issues are too important to be derailed by politics –
is reverberating across the country.
In chilling similarity to the heightened threat period we encountered during
the summer of 2001, recent intelligence reports are suggesting another imminent,
spectacular terrorist attack. And just as in the summer of 2001, we find our
Congress in recess and our President on vacation. This is simply unconscionable.
We respectfully request that our lawmakers postpone their vacations in order to
pass the potentially life-saving legislation recommended by the Commission.
Nearly three years have passed since our nation's homeland security was
cataclysmically breached. Far too little has been done to better secure
our homeland. We therefore request that Congress and our President act
with the greatest urgency.
The anniversary of September 11, 2001– a day that changed our world
– approaches. As such, we believe that the most fitting way to honor
the memory of our loved ones who perished on 9/11 is to implement the
Commission's recommendations whether by Executive Order or legislative
We are committed to working with the Commissioners, Congress, the White
House and the American public to ensure that these recommendations are
acted upon expeditiously. These recommendations are truly a matter of
life and death and we will not rest until reforms are adopted. They
have had three years to carry out thoughtful study and analysis of the
same problems addressed by the Commission. To paraphrase Commissioner
Jim Thompson, if these reforms are not the best that can be done for
the American people, then the Congress and the president should propose
their alternate solutions now.
The tone of bipartisan cooperation set by this Commission is a model
that we would like to see adopted by all of our government representatives.
We also encourage every American to read the final report and to have
their voices heard by writing, calling, and/or visiting with their
elected officials to demand the enactment of necessary reforms.
We intend to hold any elected official publicly accountable for any
obstruction or opposition to the implementation of these recommendations.
We will maintain a log on our website that will track the course of
this legislation. We will in effect conduct our own oversight – "the
people's oversight". And we will actively lobby Congress and the White
House until these important recommendations are in place.
To follow the progress of these enactments we encourage everyone to visit
our website www.911independentcommission.org.
We will provide updates on the progress of pending Congressional legislation.
Lastly, the Commissioners have concluded that September 11, 2001 resulted from
a “failure of imagination”. Although accountability was not assigned to specific
individuals, it is clear that one solution is to hire new people with better
The time to act is now.