September 11th Advocates: Statement Regarding 9/11 Commission Hearings
The "watchlisting issue" has been reported by the media and the 9/11 Commission as a series of benign oversights, a sort of institutional competitiveness gone awry, and/or a gross misunderstanding of evidentiary standards in criminal/intelligence investigations. We disagree. A careful review of the aforementioned footnotes reveals a pattern of behavior during the 18 months immediately preceding the 9/11 attacks that was arguably criminal-in-nature and contributory-in-part to the "catastrophic success" of the 9/11 plot.
The ongoing myth that the CIA's failure to communicate with the FBI was some sort of institutional failure that is readily fixable by intelligence community reforms is a notion that is whimsical at best and extremely harmful to our nation at worst. When individuals who run our intelligence agencies make repeated, intentional decisions that eventually lead to the deaths of almost 3,000 innocent people, those individuals should be held accountable not given Medals of Freedom.
Ultimately, unless today's hearing finally addresses the intentional lack of communication between the CIA and FBI rather than continuing to label these actions as "oversights" and/or "misunderstandings", these hearings will fail to serve their purpose.
September 11th Advocates
Lorie Van Auken