Congress holds cards in keeping nation safe

Posted: Thursday, July 29, 2004

The persistence of families of the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks has resulted in an impressive report from a bipartisan congressional committee.

... If the Congress shirks its responsibility in responding to the report's recommendations, or if elected officials choose to use the document as partisan fodder, then all the money, time and effort that went into the investigation will have been in vain. We will continue to be open to future attacks as the ducking and wrangling continues in Washington.

Most of the report's recommendations involve reforming the nation's intelligence community. A key proposal calls for creating an office of a national intelligence director to coordinate 15 intelligence agencies that work, far too often, independently of each other. ...

That proposal and others, however, are widely predicted to provoke a turf war. ...

The prevarication, inaction and partisan bickering not only insult the memories of the 9/11 victims but also continue to leave our nation vulnerable. Newspapers nationwide plucked a resounding phrase from the report for their headlines Friday: ''We are not safe.'' It's essential to the security of this country that our leaders act on this report and act soon.

The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News

July 27

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