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Statement by Congressman Joe Hoeffel on 9-11 Commission Report

Location: Washington, DC


Washington, DC (July 22, 2004) - U.S. Rep. Joe Hoeffel (PA-13) today released the following statement on the report issued by the 9/11 Commission.

"I congratulate the commission on a job well done. The American people owe the commission members and their staff a strong debt of gratitude for courageously peeling away the layers of a system that had become dysfunctional.

"The report validates what most Americans have come to realize over the past three years - that the abilities of our intelligence agencies had atrophied to a critical point and that they lacked strong leadership and a unifying organization that allowed a free flow of information. The report also points out that several Administrations made serious mistakes of omission and commission and that Congress did not live up to its oversight responsibilities. In short, prior to September 11, 2001, America was complacent.

"That complacency has been washed away over the past three years, but we have lacked a clear vision of what needed to be done. This report now gives us a blueprint for what went wrong and what needs to be done. It is now up to the Administration, Congress and the intelligence agencies to take a serious look at the commission's recommendations and proceed swiftly, but not in haste, to implement those recommendations that will protect America from the ongoing threat of terrorism.

"One recommendation that I strongly believe needs to be implemented is the creation of a cabinet-level position that would have operational and budgetary control over all 15 intelligence agencies. That is a critical step that will help insure that our intelligence agencies work together to protect America rather than their individual turf."

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