Sounding an Alarm
October 25, 2004
We are sounding an alarm. The opportunity to strengthen our intelligence system is vanishing. After three years of effort, we are on the brink of failure. Despite nearly unanimous bipartisan support in the Senate and nearly half the House of Representatives, the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission will not become law before the election. And to our peril, they may never become law.
A strong National Intelligence Director with all necessary authorities is critical to reform. The House bill is deficient because that key element and others are missing.
No progress is reported in Conference negotiations. The President is making calls to Leadership asking for a bill, but to no avail. He needs to do more. The same administration that failed to protect us on 9/11 is failing us again.
The President stated, “that he would have moved heaven and earth to save the country.” Yet, despite the persistent threat of another attack, the President is limiting himself to phone calls and is not in Washington. Intransigent members of his own party are blocking passage of critical reform legislation. This opposition is contrary to the expectations of all Americans.
“What possible reason could there be for this failure to act? Three thousand people were killed right here in America on this administration’s watch. Our dysfunctional government agencies failed to protect us. No one was in charge. Little has changed. Who is in charge today of fighting the war on terrorism within our own borders? Who is accountable for protecting the 294 million Americans here at home?
“If more Americans are killed in a terrorist attack, what excuse will the President and Congress give for their failure to implement these critical reforms? There is no acceptable excuse. America will hold them accountable.”