9/11 Chairs Return To The Hill
MELISSA BLOCK, Host:
As NPR's Brian Naylor tells us, today, former New Jersey governor Thomas Kean and former Indiana congressman Lee Hamilton brought that message to a Senate hearing.
BRIAN NAYLOR: The 9/11 Commission's report served as a blueprint for what its authors believe should be the way the government organizes to prevent another large-scale terrorist attack. Seven years after the report, and a decade after the attacks themselves, commission co-chair Hamilton says work remains.
LEE HAMILTON: Significant progress has been made since 9/11 and our country is undoubtedly more secure. Yet important 9/11 Commission recommendations remain to be implemented. And over the next few years, a lot of heavy lifting still needs to be done.
NAYLOR: One part of the problem is at the local level. Chairman Kean says, for example, in many communities there are still no clear lines of authority or unified command structure in case of a terrorist attack.
THOMAS KEAN: There is still a number of communities, some of them fairly sizeable and people tell us there is still that question, if something really happens, who is in charge?
NAYLOR: The commission has recommended setting aside part of the radio spectrum for public safety, but Congress has balked, which Kean says must change.
KEAN: It is unacceptable that the government still has not allocated the additional 10 megahertz of radio spectrum to public safety, so that our first responders can communicate the disaster.
NAYLOR: The intelligence community also came in for criticism. The chairman commanded the FBI for expanding its traditional crime fighting role into intelligence gathering. But Hamilton says those analysts remain second-class citizens.
KEAN: Analysts do not appear in the FBI to be driving intelligence within that organization, nor have they achieved status on a par with the special agents who traditionally rise to management of the bureau.
NAYLOR: Brian Naylor, NPR News, Washington.
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