Wednesday, September 14, 2005

9/11 Panel Says U.S. Hasn't Enacted Crucial Reforms

9/11 Panel Says U.S. Hasn't Enacted Crucial Reforms: "A separate commission report released yesterday provided chilling details about the Federal Aviation Administration's assessment as early as 1998 that al Qaeda might try to fly a jet into a U.S. landmark.

'In 1998 and 1999, the FAA intelligence unit produced reports about the hijacking threat posed by [Osama] Bin Ladin and al Qaeda, including the possibility that the terrorist group might try to hijack a commercial jet and slam it into a U.S. landmark,' according to the report, which was a new version of a more heavily edited document released earlier this year.

But, the report added, the FAA viewed the possibility as 'unlikely' and a 'last resort.'

Thomas H. Kean (R), the former New Jersey governor who headed the panel that investigated the terrorist attacks, said the bungled response to Katrina laid bare how unprepared the nation remains for a catastrophic event, whether it is another terrorist strike or a natural disaster.

'This is not a terrorist incident, but it brings into play all of the same issues and shortcomings,' Kean said. 'What makes you mad is that it's the same things we saw on 9/11. Whoever is responsible for acting in these places hasn't acted. Are they going to do it now? What else has to happen for people to act?'"

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