In the fall of 2001, Family Steering Committee (FSC) members began the first of many trips to Washington D.C. to demand that Congress create legislation for an independent investigation into the September 11 th terrorist attacks. The FSC obtained the support of Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Joseph Lieberman (D-CT), Richard C . Shelby (R -AL) and Representatives Tim Roemer (D-IN), Chris Shays (R-CT), and Chris Smith (R-NJ). While some family members lobbied in Washington , others relentlessly faxed and phoned members of Congress and the White House.
On November 27, 2002, President Bush signed a bill creating the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (the Independent Commission.) The bipartisan Commission, chaired by former NJ Governor, Thomas Kean, has 18 months from the date of that signing to complete its investigation. Its mandate is to investigate the facts and circumstances relating to the terrorist attacks of September 11 th and our nation’s response.
With the Independent Commission in place, the Family Steering Committee’s goal now is to monitor the progress of the Commission to ensure that it assiduously follows its mandate for a broad, in depth investigation. We plan to do this through regularly scheduled contact with the commissioners, staff director and assistant director.
Another important objective of the FSC is to keep the 9/11 families and the public informed about the Commission’s work. The Family Steering Committee invites you to sign up for e-mail updates. In addition, please feel free to contact any member of the Family Steering Committee with your concerns.
All Americans are stakeholders in the success of the Independent Commission. The security of our nation depends on it. Until the circumstances and weaknesses which contributed to September 11 th attacks are identified and corrected, our nation remains vulnerable. No investigation has ever been more important.