The U.S. is at great risk for more terrorist attacks because Congress and the White House have failed to enact strong security measures, say members of the former Sept. 11 commission quoted by the Associated Press. “It’s not a priority for the government right now,” said former chairman Thomas Kean ahead of the group’s release of a report assessing how well its recommendations have been followed. Said Lee Hamilton, former vice chairman, “We believe that another attack will occur. It’s not a question of if. We are not as well-prepared as we should be.”
The five Republicans and five Democrats on the panel, whose recommendations are promoted through a privately funded group known as the 9/11 Public Discourse Project, said the government deserves “more Fs than As” in responding to their 41 suggested changes. The government has enacted a proposal to create a national intelligence director. But it has stalled on other ideas, including improving communication among emergency responders and shifting federal terrorism-fighting money so it goes to states based on risk level. National security adviser Stephen Hadley said President Bush is committed to putting in place most of the commission’s recommendations. Kean said the Transportation Security Administration was wrong to announce changes that will allow airline passengers to carry small scissors and some sharp tools. He also said the agency should have consolidated databases of passenger information into a single “terror watch list” to aid screening.