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9/11 Panelists Vow To Make Findings An Election-Year Issue

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TWC News: 9/11 Panelists Vow To Make Findings An Election-Year Issue
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The five Republicans and five Democrats on the September 11th commission are vowing to make their unanimous recommendations an election-year issue.

After a 20-month investigation into the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the final report, released Thursday cited several government failures and called for a major overhaul of the nation's intelligence agencies to prevent another attack.

Among its top recommendations: a national counterterrorism center headed by a Cabinet-level director who would oversee all 15 intelligence agencies.

However, some key lawmakers say the position would only create more bureaucracy.

The panel also says it should be up to the government, and not airlines, to screen air passengers to be sure they're not terrorists.

National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice says she agrees with the commission's general finding, but won't say which recommendations the Bush administration will accept. With the congressional year winding down, some say there is not enough time to make any big changes.

A Homeland Security spokesman says the department is reviewing the panel's recommendations.

Without saying whether the government could have prevented the attacks, the commission did document a series of missed opportunities by the CIA and FBI to uncover the September 11th plot.

The 567-page report, which went on sale in bookstores Thursday, does not blame George W. Bush or former President Bill Clinton for government missteps, but it does say they could have done more to make terrorism a more urgent priority.

  • See NY1's full coverage of the commission findings and reactions to the report.
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