A Letter From The Past

A long time ago, I sent then Sen. Rick Santorum a letter demanding that Sibel Edmonds' allegations be investigated. This was "his" response (his is in quotations because it's obviously a form letter). This is from sometime in 2004.

Dear Mr. Gold;

Thank you for contacting me regarding the 9/11 Commission's Final Report. I appreciate hearing from you and having the benefit of your views on this important matter.

As you may know, the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, also known as the 9/11 Commission, is an independent, bipartisan commission created by congressional legislation (H.R. 4628) and signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2002 (P.L. 107-336), following the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks against the United States. This commission is comprised of 10 members, 5 Republican and 5 Democrats, who are responsible for preparing a full account of the circumstances surrounding the September 11th, 2001 attacks on our country.

During its public and private hearings over the past months, the 9/11 Commission received testimony from members of both the Cliton and Bush Administrations as it worked to learn more about the circumstances surrounding the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Among those who testified publicly before the Commission were former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of Defense William Cohen; former assistant to the President for National Affairs Sandy Berger; former National Coordinator for Counterterrorism at the National Security Council Richard Clarke, Secretary of State Colin Powell; Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage; Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld; Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet; and National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice.

As you may be aware, the 9/11 Commission issued its Final Report to the President, Congress, and the American public on Thursday, July 22, 2004. The Final Report incorporated the Commission's findings about the circumstances surrounding the 9/11 terrorist attacks, as well as recommendations to better organize the U.S. government and intelligence community to protect the United States from further terrorist attacks. Specifically, the Commission's Final Report concluded that there were deep institutional failures within the United States that led to the success of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The 9/11 Commission issued a multitude of recommendations in its Final Report, including the establishment of a National Counterterrorism Center that would unify strategic intelligence and operational planning against terrorist threats across the foreign and domestic divide; the creation the position of the National Intelligence Director to unify the intelligence community; unifying and strengthening congressional oversight to improve quality and accountability of the Intelligence Community; and strengthening the FBI and homeland defenders.

On August 2, 2004, President Bush endorsed several of the 9/11 Commission's recommendations to better facilitate communication throughout the intelligence community, and to prevent further terrorist attacks against the United States and its citizens. President Bush announced that he intended to create a position of National Intelligence Director that would be responsible for overseeing national intelligence collection centers and the agencies that contribute to the national intelligence program. In addition, he urged Congress to reorganize itself to provide better oversight concerning intelligence and homeland security issues. Next, he called for the creation of a National Counterterrorism Center to help to faciliate communication within intelligence community. Then, so as to build on current momentum, he directed the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction to consider the merits of creating a new center to track the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Finally, President Bush noted he intended to direct other federal agencies to continue to make the structural reforms necessary to prevent further terrorist attacks.

I am pleased that the 9/11 Commission has produced a thorough and concise report concerning the circumstances surrounding the 9/11 terrorist attacks. I also commend the Commission for its suggestions on ways the federal government can improve the process of gathering, processing, analyzing, and acting upon intelligence. As the Commission has noted in its Final Report, there are systemic changes that must be made in order to prevent further terrorist attacks against the U.S., both domestically and overseas.

Additionally, I applaud President Bush for acting expeditiously on the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. I am certain that President Bush and Congress will continue to devote considerable energy and resources to fully vetting the Commission's analysis and its recommendations, and together, I am confident that we can improve upon current efforts to protect the United States and its citizens from terrorist threats.

Thank you again for contacting me. Please do not hesitate to contact me again if I can be of additional assistance in the future.


Rick Santorum
United States Senate