Since May, 2003, the Family Steering Committee has issued formal statements related the 9/11 Independent Commission, its investigation and subsequent recommendations. Below are excerpts from each. Please click on the title to read the full document.
January 11, 2005
Final Statement of the Family Steering Committee
The signing of legislation implementing many of the 9/11 Commission recommendations represents a milestone for The Family Steering Committee for the 9/11 Commission (FSC). The passage of this legislation is the culmination of the efforts of the FSC and the other family members who worked with us; the 9/11 Commission; the members of Congress who sponsored the bill; their staffs; the press whose coverage provided a conduit to the American people; and each and every person who wrote, called and faxed our elected officials on these issues.
December 14, 2005
FSC Statement on the Need for Congressional Oversight
With so much power concentrated in one position [the DNI], Congress must immediately move to streamline its oversight of our intelligence apparatus, thus eliminating the fractured, disorganized hodgepodge of committees which are currently responsible for oversight. Reorganization for the purpose of monitoring and assessing our intelligence network should be a priority in the new Congress. This is no time to be complacent.
December 9, 2004
Dear 9/11 Family Members, Friends, and Supporters
To each of you who stood with us and took action —Thank you!. Every fax, call, email and letter was important.
December 9, 2004
An Open Letter to Members of the 108th Congress
While we thank you for your work on this historic legislation, we must keep in mind that more work needs to be done. One critical issue is reorganizing Congress so our intelligence agencies will have the oversight required to ensure it is doing its job.
November 20, 2004
Statement on the Failure to Bring 9/11 Legislation to a Vote
It is unconscionable that the compromise 9/11 Intelligence reform bill, negotiated with the help of Speaker Hastert’s own staff, and quickly approved by Senate conferees, will not go to the House floor fora vote as anticipated.
November 20, 2004
An Open Letter to the Members of the 108th Congress
The conferees have at last reached consensus on a bill that will implement the 9/11 Commission’s recommendations. The agreement has been endorsed by the Commission and we strongly concur. We believe this legislation will make our country safer by improving communication, collaboration, and sharing of critical information within our intelligence community.
November 19, 2004
The Need for Consensus
Reps. Duncan Hunter and Jim Sensenbrenner must join the good-faith effort to reach agreement on this bill before it’s too late. The safety and security of our nation rests in their hands, and in the hands of the President.
November 18, 2004
Recent news stories confirm that the intelligence community is in frightening disarray and yet members of Congress may head home without completing an intelligence reform bill based on the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. If that happens, it means members of Congress have shamefully abdicated their responsibility to the citizens who elected them.
November 8, 2004
Open Letter to the President and Conferees
Mr. President, in your acceptance speech, you spoke of unity. What better way to bring this nation and this Congress together, than by working in bipartisan fashion to successfully implement the intelligence reforms? Conferees, you must join the President in that bipartisan effort. Only then can Americans be assured that our government is doing everything in its power to keep us safe.
October 27, 2004
On the Failure to Pass 9/11 Intelligence Reform Legislation
We are angry and saddened that the opportunity for significant reform of our country’s intelligence structure has been squandered. We hold the following elected officials responsible for this failure: House Republican conferees Hoekstra, Hunter, Hyde, Sensenbrenner and Dreier; Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert; and the President of the United States, George W. Bush.
October 25, 2004
Sounding an Alarm
We are sounding an alarm. The opportunity to strengthen our intelligence system is vanishing. After three years of effort, we are on the brink of failure. Despite nearly unanimous bipartisan support in the Senate and nearly half the House of Representatives, the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission will not become law before the election. And to our peril, they may never become law.
October 22, 2004
Where Is the President? The Country Needs a 9/11 Bill!
So it is now up to President Bush.We call upon him to get his House in order, and intercede with this maverick contingent of members of his own party who are impeding the process of making America safer. The American people entrusted the President with the responsibility to protect us and NOW is the time for him to show that he has earned that trust.
October 21, 2004
The Partisan Stalemate in 9/11 Bill Conference
Although 75% of the conferees .are focused on the core recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, a minority faction comprised of House Republicans is thwarting the process. This is occurring despite Speaker Hastert’s promise to us that the House would not derail final consensus.
October 20, 2004
An Open Letter to the President
This nation’s faith in its leaders was shaken to the core on September 11th. Only you can restore it. You have a responsibility to the American people to see that this legislation is passed. If you speak, Congress will listen.
October 20, 2004
Regarding the Release of CIA Inspector General’s Report
The Family Steering Committee is deeply disturbed to learn that an investigation of the CIA, conducted at the direction of the Joint House and Senate Congressional Intelligence Committees two years ago, has yet to be released — even though the report is not classified.
October 18, 2004
An Open letter to 9/11 Legislation Conferees
We call upon you to execute your responsibilities with great urgency and with the highest integrity by rising above politics, setting aside turf battles and resisting the comfort of the status quo.
September 23, 2004
In Response to Kissinger’s Testimony
We respectfully disagree with Dr. Kissinger’s campaign to slow the process of creating a National Intelligence Director.
Prior to 9/11, thirty-eight separate reform proposals were brought before Congress, none of which were enacted.
Nearly 3,000 people died on September 11th as a consequence of Congress’ failure to act.
August 3, 2004
On the President’s Acceptance of the Recommendations
We are hopeful that each Presidential Directive will establish strict deadlines for their complete implementation.
[Regarding the National Intelligence Director] We respectfully request that President Bush clearly define the budgetary authorities and management capabilities of this new position.
July 26, 2004
The Final Report
The American people are demanding action in response to the 9/11 Commission’s recommendations. They will not accept the fate of past Commissions, whose reforms were never implemented. Moreover, the 9/11 Commission’s message – that national security issues are too important to be derailed by politics – is reverberating across the country.
July 20, 2004
Statement Regarding Final Report (prior to its release)
While we believe that our concerns were acknowledged, we had also hoped that more of our questions and those of the American public would be fully addressed.Yet today, many of our collective questions remain unanswered.
June 28, 2004
Response to Daily Telegraph article
If we are to prevent another catastrophic attack, America cannot ignore the multiple failures within our national security system which facilitated the surprise attack.
Our military cannot correct the failures or close the security loopholes here in America. Those are internal problems. Americans must ask tough questions of our government officials about our domestic security prior to and on September 11th. .The answers are critical to an analysis of transmittal problems in the intelligence stream which inhibited the flow of information from the top down and as well as within and between agencies. Such analysis is required if America is to devise an enhanced security network and strategy.
June 14, 2004
Statement on June 16 and June 17 Hearings
The 9/11 attacks occurred despite many warnings, some of which are only now being publicized. But even though there was a collective failure by those responsible for our national security to heed these warnings, our country should have been able to defend itself from an air attack. 9/11 was a massive defense failure. One cause may have been.
May 22, 2004
Letter to Mayor Giuliani
We are calling on you, Mayor Giuliani, to display the courage and leadership that you exhibited on 9/11. Instead attempting to deflect attention from the flaws in our national security system.
May 11, 2004
Wall Street Journal Op-Ed
How could 19 middle-eastern men simultaneously hijack 4 commercial airplanes in two hours, crash them into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and murder 3000 innocent people?
Our research began with every agency and every policy that could possibly shed some light on why the tragedy of 9/11 was not averted. With each revelation and each new understanding, our naïveté waned and the challenges loomed large. The problems were systemic in nature.
April 18, 2004
Conflicts of Interest and the 9/11 Commission
The Family Steering Committee for the 9/11 Independent Commission feels compelled to address recent comments by the Majority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives. Interestingly, after eleven months of negotiation with the White House, Jamie Gorelick is the only Commissioner who was given “full” access to relevant highly classified Executive Branch information – including PDBs and NSC notes.
April 1, 2004
Need for an Independent, Nonpartisan 9/11 Commission
Recent press reports and activities raise the concern that the independent and nonpartisan nature of the 9/11 Commission is being compromised. The Family Steering Committee (FSC) is very concerned about these recent developments.
March 30, 2004
Condoleezza Rice’s Testimony
The Family Steering Committee is pleased to learn that Condoleezza Rice will testify under oath in a public hearing.
This is good news and will undoubtedly make the 9/11 Commission’s Final Report more complete, comprehensive, and transparent in nature.
More than anything, the families want to know why our nation was so vulnerable to 19 hijackers on the morning of 9/11. We look forward to Ms. Rice answering questions about her priorities as National Security Advisor to the President, the processes used before, and after, 9/11 to share critical intelligence.
March 27, 2004
Condoleezza Rice and Release of 28 Pages
The Family Steering Committee demands the appearance of National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice under oath in a public hearing immediately. We believe that testifying before the Commission in a public forum is Ms. Rice’s moral obligation given her responsibility as National Security Advisor to protect our nation. The death of nearly 3000 innocent people warrants such a moral precedent.
We further request Richard Clarke, Samuel Berger, Brent Scowcroft, and Deputy National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley also be present, under oath.
March 20, 2004
Staff Director Zelikow and Transition Briefings
The Family Steering Committee is deeply disturbed to learn about Executive Staff Director Philip Zelikow’s participation in urgent post election briefings, December 2000, and January 2001, with Sandy Berger and Condoleezza Rice.
February 20, 2004
Four Part Statement
Part 1: Access to Presidential Daily Briefings
Part 2: Extension of Deadline until January 10, 2005
Part 3: Request for Senate Intelligence Committee to Hold Hearings on the 9/11 Independent Commission
Part 4: Letter to Senate Select Intelligence Committee Requesting Hearing on 9/11 Independent Commission
February 10, 2004
Failure to Subpoena the White House
The Family Steering Committee (FSC) is outraged by the failure of the 9/11 Independent Commission to subpoena the White House.
The public needs to be aware that the President’s statements on Meet the Press, on February 8, 2004, were misleading.
February 9, 2004
he Importance of Gaining Access to the NSC
In May 2002, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice made a statement that she did not know that planes could be used as missiles.
February 3, 2004
The Need for an Extension to January 10, 2005
It is a fact that:
It took over one year to get the 9/11 Independent Commission created. The Commission now finds itself behind schedule.
January 29, 2004
Request For An Extension to January 2005
The FSC requests a January 2005 deadline for the Independent Commission. It is what we always wanted and originally asked for. It is the only way to remove the Commission’s work and investigation from the political process. It is the only way to have a comprehensive, well-researched, and well-thought out Final Report.
January 22, 2004
The Need for an Extension
With little more than four months until May 27th, we feel that the Commission must request an extension from Congress regardless of whether the extension deadline is prior to or after the election. Our reasons are as follows.
December 9, 2003
Statement on the Appointment of Senator Bob Kerrey
Based on a favorable outcome after the standard vetting for any potential conflicts of interest, the FSC welcomes Senator Bob Kerrey to the 9/11 Independent Commission.
December 1, 2003
On November 27, 2002, President Bush stated, “An aggressive investigation into September the 11th, with a responsible concern for sensitive information that will allow us to win the war on terror will contribute to the security of this country.”
November 27, 2003
The One-Year Anniversary of the 9/11 Commission
Sadly, on the one-year anniversary of the establishment of the 9/11 Commission, we, on the Family Steering Committee find that the President has not respected his “most solemn duty.” By refusing to provide full and unfettered access.
November 13, 2003
Access to Presidential Daily Briefings
The 9/11 Independent Commission, released a statement to the press regarding the culmination of recent negotiations with the White House.
In response to the Commission’s Press Release, which provides insufficient details to evaluate the circumstances and effects of the compromise, the Family Steering Committee holds the following positions .
October 28, 2003
Access to Documents from Administration Agencies
Counter to the public statements made by both Administration officials and Commission members that there is continued cooperation between Administration agencies and the Commission, the record indicates otherwise.
October 4, 2003
Response to the Commission’s Second Interim Report
The Second Interim Report includes contradictory statements about White House cooperation. The report indicates that the Commission has received all requested documents, but conversely says that the Commission is negotiating with the White House over “additional sensitive documents” it needs.
October 3, 2003
FSC Requests Staff Director Zelikow’s Recusal
This naturally leads to our second area of concern, which arises from recent research indicating that Philip Zelikow served as a member of the Bush Administration’s transition team. Due to this conflict of interest, we believe Staff Director Zelikow should remove himself from any and portions of the investigation addressing the NSC. Should Staff Director Zelikow refuse to do so, the FSC respectfully requests his resignation.
Report Card – 9/11 Commission
Our purpose in providing this report card is to motivate the Independent Commission to better serve the public interest by informing them of their progress and work.
September 10, 2003
Press Conference Remarks
Three thousand lives were lost and three thousand families destroyed on September 11th. America was traumatized, and we are still reeling from the emotional and financial carnage. The families of the dead and all Americans deserve some accountability from our government for its failure to protect us on 9/11.
Experts in Al Qaeda and state sponsored terrorism testified.
June 10, 2003
FSC Briefing at FBI Headquarters
FBI Director Robert Mueller invited members of the FSC and
representatives of other family groups to a briefing at FBI Headquarters.
May 22 & May 23, 2003
Second Public Hearing of the Independent 9-11 Commission
The Independent Commission’s second public hearings focused on Congressional oversight and aviation and transportation safety.
May 15, 2003
Meeting with Chairman Kean, Deputy Director Kojm
Meeting with Chairman Kean, Deputy Director Kojm and Family Liaisons Emily Walker and Ellie Hartz.
May 1, 2003
Family members met with Commissioners
Family members met with Commissioners Kean, Hamilton, Ben Veniste, Fielding, Gorelick, Gorton, Lehman, and Roemer, as well Executive Director Zelikow and Deputy Director Kojm.