It’s been a decade since the 9/11 Commission issued a comprehensive report about the terrorist attacks on American soil that “changed everything,” according to much of the public. The commission has a new follow-up. The 48-page report released Tuesday is grim, determined and factual, carrying warnings like “the struggle against terrorism is far from over - rather, it has entered a new and dangerous phase” and “counterterrorism fatigue and a waning sense of urgency among the public threaten U.S. security.”
The original commission, chaired by Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, reconvened in recent months, refocused on emerging threats and received considerable input from the likes of Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and CIA Director John Brennan from among a veritable constellation of luminaries in the intelligence community and beyond. But even as clandestine agencies seek a practical balance between public transparency and national security, the commission members fret the nation just doesn’t get it.
“Unfortunately, except for counterterrorism specialists in the government, most Americans did not see the connections among these events. The government did not effectively explain to the public the evil that was stalking us,” the report states.
But, of course, Americans can’t live in a constant state of alarm either. Judge for yourself. Download the new report here: Bipartisanpolicy.org.
Lawmakers are wrangling with such things, meanwhile. Three hearings on Capitol Hill, as well as the “terrorist march” on Iran.
“In the past year, the Iraqis have urgently requested additional U.S. counterterrorism assistance in the form of drone or airstrikes against terrorist camps, and the Obama administration declined,” says Rep. Edward R. Royce, chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. “Our hearing will examine the reasons behind the administration’s decision not to adequately address this problem months ago and what it plans to do going forward.”