Final Statement of the Family Steering Committee
January 11, 2005
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.
Our 12 member group officially became The Family Steering Committee in 2002, when the 9/11 Commission was created after our yearlong campaign for its formation. Our ultimate goal was to identify and subsequently correct those circumstances that contributed to the failure of our government to protect us and our loved ones.
The FSC monitored the Commission’s work to the best of our ability, making every effort to ensure that it fulfilled its mandate. At times we found it necessary to demand that they revise their procedures to better achieve an in-depth, substantive, and independent inquiry. We also worked with the Commission to obtain additional funding, access to witnesses and documents, and an extension to enable the Commission to complete its mandate.
When the Commission concluded its investigation, it issued a report containing 41 recommendations for improving our nation’s security. The report did not answer all of our questions, but its in-depth analysis of intelligence, foreign policy, security and other failures and subsequent recommendations for improvement were reforms we could endorse. The FSC then focused our efforts on ensuring that those recommendations would be implemented. Congress responded by holding hearings and drafting legislation. After a rigorous battle, a bill incorporating many of the 9/11 Commission recommendations passed both Houses of Congress and was signed into law on December 17, 2004.
After three years of work toward making America more secure, the FSC is transitioning in order to address issues such as the release of the still embargoed 9/11 CIA and FAA reports; terrorist financing; immigration reform; the remaining recommendations of the 9/11 Commission; and other issues that continue to emerge. Although the FSC as a group will no longer exist, many of us will continue to work individually and through other 9/11 related groups for these causes.
In closing, our heartfelt thanks go out to the countless Americans who supported us and whose words of encouragement and recent expressions of gratitude made our difficult journey worthwhile.