Able Danger Blog

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Sunday, December 11, 2005

9/11 Commission having second thoughts?

Echoing a point Macsmind raised last week, the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette in Indiana, home state of Lee Hamilton and Tim Roemer, interviewed the two former Democratic members of the 9/11 Commission and it led to this interesting exchange:

Do you have any second thoughts on any of the panel’s recommendations? Was there anything that should have been included or omitted from your report and recommendations?

Hamilton: All of the recommendations we made I would stand by today. Most of them can be enacted or done. One or two of them might be difficult to achieve. On the question of terrorist detention, we wanted the United States to engage in a common, diplomatic, coalition approach to develop standards on detention and prosecution of captured terrorists. We gave the government an F on that because it simply hasn’t been done. The U.S. treatment of detainees has, of course, elicited very, very broad criticism.

Roemer: I don’t believe there’s something we omitted or neglected in terms of a recommendation. I wish we had probably done more to strategically think through how we try to work outside Washington with grass-roots organizations in the different states – the follow-up to the 9/11 Commission. I think we might have been more effective in trying to light the fire throughout the country and link people to the 9/11 families for a more successful follow-up.

I believe we could have explained more accurately the Able Danger program, why there was not evidence of a chart, but how the failure within DOD to find more information about this – if there ever was a chart – really underscores all the 9/11 Commission findings and recommendations about failure to communicate and how to fix those.

If we’d have found a chart showing (Mohammed) Atta, it would have been on our front cover, because it reinforces the failure of government to effectively communicate. But since there was no evidence, no facts, no finding of this chart, it’s difficult to include it in a historical book.

Emphasis added. It seems they are not so confident anymore it can just be dismissed.