11.9.01

9/11 Commission “Reconvenes” as National Security Preparedness Group

In 9/11 News on July 25, 2009 at 9:40 pm

In a “getting-the-band-back-together” moment, former members of the 9/11 commission and the former head of Dept. Homeland Security form a new, supergroup called the National Security Preparedness Group:

Key members of the original 9/11 Commission are banding together to rekindle the sense of urgency felt after the 2001 attacks and pressure the government to act on the commission’s unfinished business.

The new group, headed by 9/11 Commission co-chairs Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, said Congress has adopted about 80 percent of the recommendations, made five years ago in the commission’s landmark report, but has left troublesome security gaps.

“I’m worried that 20 percent [of the recommendations] haven’t been addressed,” Kean said. “I’m also worried that among the 80 percent, things aren’t fully done.”

Among what they described as unfinished business failings were:

• Failure to enforce national standards for state driver’s licenses and other IDs, which the 9/11 Commission said are as important to terrorists as weapons.

• Lack of a system to determine if visitors to the United States leave the country.

• Lack of the ability of police, firefighters and others to communicate.

• No reform of a system that places oversight of the Department of Homeland Security in the hands of more than 80 congressional committees and subcommittes, sapping the department’s time and energies.

Their job is to pressure the government to adopt all of the reforms suggested by the original 9/11 commission.  DHS says they have made progress:

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano and members of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s (BPC) National Security Preparedness Group (NSPG) met today to discuss the Department’s progress in implementing the recommendations outlined in the 9/11 Commission Final Report released five years ago this week.

“The 9/11 Commission provided DHS a roadmap to create a safer and more secure America, and the Department is answering that challenge,” said Secretary Napolitano. “Today’s meeting marked the next step in continuing this critical dialogue and expanding our capabilities to protect our country.”  To view the Department’s full 9/11 Commission progress report, visit Progress in Implementing 9/11 Commission Recommendations.

What is the Bipartisan Policy Center?

The BPC acts as an incubator for policy efforts that engage top political figures, advocates, academics and business leaders in the art of principled compromise. In addition to advancing specific proposals, the BPC also is broadcasting a different type of policy discourse that seeks to unite the constructive center in the pursuit of common goals.

 

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