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9/11 Commission Recommendation Evaluation:A Sample Selection of Three Recommendations
9/11 Commission Recommendation Evaluation:A Sample Selection of Three Recommendations
The 9/11 Commission was created by Public Law 107-306 in 2002 with a mandate to investigate the background of the terror attack on the United States of September 11, 2001 (The 9/11 Commission, 2004. p. xv). An overview of their responsibilities includes not only looking into the background causes and facts relating to the attack, but for finding methods of preventing further attacks. The Commission was comprised of 10 members, five each from both political parties. The Commission formally thanked the surviving members of the victims of the attack for their “persistence and dedication” in helping to create the Commission (The 9/11 Commission, 2004. p. xvii). This should be kept in mind as this paper examines implementation of the Commission's findings and recommendations.
The 9/11 Families for a Secure America Foundation in conjunction with Family Security Matters issued a report card on the implementation of the 9/11 Commission's findings at the end of the ten year period after the attack. This report card covered twenty-six of the Commission's forty-one recommendations; a full list of these recommendations can be found in the GAO's Summary of Recommendations -- the 9/11 Commission Report. The majority of these grades were in the “C” to “F” range. The implementation of the following three recommendations was graded below a “C” (The Commission did not number their recommendations, Family Security Matters labeled the recommendations by the order that the Commission made the recommendations in the report):
Recommendation 4 (Grade: F): Family Security Matters concluded that the U.S – Saudi relation was one in which not only did the Saudis fail any significant or honest attempt at reform, but funded efforts to undermine Western institutions (Gadiel & Dunleavy, 2011, para. 25-28). This recommendation is a foreign relations matter; implementation of this recommendation has no formal method in Texas, although an examination of institutions to which the Saudis have financial connections may be in order.
The problems in the U.S.-Saudi relationship must be confronted, openly. The United States and Saudi Arabia must determine if they can build a relationship that political leaders on both sides are prepared to defend publicly – a relationship about more than oil. It should include a shared commitment to political and economic reform, as Saudis make common cause with the outside world. It should include a shared interest in greater tolerance and cultural respect, translating into a commitment to fight the violent extremists who foment hatred (Gadiel & Dunleavy, 2011, para. 24)
Recommendation 11 (Grade: D): Family Security Matters stated that the implementation of this recommendation would have been an “F” if not for the fact that no detainees had escaped from detention at Guantanamo Bay (Gadiel & Dunleavy, 2011, para. 65). The report card was issued in 2011, before the Administration's trade of five terrorists for a deserter. This recommendation is again a foreign relations matter and has little bearing on implementation in Texas.
The United States should engage its friends to develop a common coalition approach toward the detention and humane treatment of captured terrorists. New principles might draw upon Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions on the law of armed conflict. That article was specifically designed for those cases in which the usual laws of war did not apply. Its minimum standards are generally accepted throughout the world as customary international law (Gadiel & Dunleavy , 2011, para. 59)
Recommendation 14 (Grade: F): Family Security Matters arrived at this grade based upon two propositions. The first was a lack of border control, and the second was on a failure to punish government employees for recognized failure (Gadiel & Dunleavy, 2011, para. 67-68, 73). Cutler reinforces the idea that failed border controls sabotage this recommendation, “the Department of Homeland Security ... is gearing up to provide millions of illegal aliens with temporary lawful status and official identity documents without in-person interviews — violating commonsense, making a mockery of our legal immigration system and violating the findings and recommendations of the 9/11 Commission” (2015, para. 2).
Targeting travel is at least as powerful a weapon against terrorists as targeting their money. The United States should combine terrorist travel intelligence, operations, and law enforcement in a strategy to intercept terrorists, find terrorist travel facilitators, and constrain terrorist mobility (Gadiel & Dunleavy, 2011, para. 66)
Legal implementation of the recommendations did not begin until 2007 with the enactment of Public Law 110–53, Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007. Public disclosure on implementation of these recommendations has been provided primarily by the United States General Accountability Office (GAO), which was known as the General Accounting Office until 2004. The GAO has provided reports such as the 9/11 Commission Report: Reorganization, Transformation, and Information Sharing report . Other agencies that have provided the public with information regarding the implementation of the recommendations have been the the Congressional Research Service (CRS), 9/11 Commission Recommendations: Implementation Status ; the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), implementing 9/11 Commission Recommendations Progress Report; and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, The FBI: Protecting the Homeland in the 21st Century.. However, such disclosures have been without Congressional oversight in 2010.
The first two recommendations discussed are primarily based on foreign relations, the third recommendation relates both to foreign intelligence as to border control issues. This potentially affects local criminal justice agencies, but no specific aid to these agencies was proposed.
Cyberspace issues, from criminal enterprise to terrorist capabilities for attacking American infrastructure, are not discussed in the 9/11 Commission report. However, the 2011 DHS report does address this as an infrastructure issue beginning on page 35. Although the Intelligence Led Policing model is not discussed in the report, there is an associated discussion of integrating law enforcement intelligence with Federal intelligence. This is an issue recognized throughout the security community;”The new face of terror requires a robust, decentralized intelligence-gathering apparatus that reaches far beyond the usual scope of the federal government” (Mayer & Erickson, 2011, p.1).
Congressional Research Service. (2006). 9/11 Commission Recommendations: Implementation Status. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from http://fas.org/sgp/crs/homesec/RL33742.pdf
Cutler, M. (2015, March 11). Ignoring the 9/11 Commission’s Warnings. Front Page Magazine. Retrieved April 23, 2015, from http://www.frontpagemag.com/2015/michael-cutler/ignoring-the-911-commissions-warnings/
Department of Homeland Security. (2011). Implementing 9/11 Commission Recommendations Progress Report. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/implementing-9-11-commission-report-progress-2011.pdf
Gadiel, P. and Dunleavy, P. (2011, September 7). Report card on the 9/11 Commission's recommendations. Family Security Matters. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/id.10324/pub_detail.asp
Implementing recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 Public Law 110–53 § 121 STAT. 266 (2007)
Mayer, M. A., & Erickson, S. G. (2011). Changing Today’s Law Enforcement Culture to Face 21st-century Threats. Heritage Foundation. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from http://thf_media.s3.amazonaws.com/2011/pdf/bg2566.pdf
The 9/11 Commission. (2004). The 9/11 Commission Report. Retrieved February 28, 2015 from http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report.pdf
Federal Bureau of Investigation. (2015). The FBI: Protecting the Homeland in the 21st Century. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/protecting-the-homeland-in-the-21st-century
United States General Accountability Office. (2004). 9/11 Commission Report: Reorganization, Transformation, and Information Sharing (No. GAO-04-1033T). Retrieved April 23, 2014 from http://www.gao.gov/assets/120/111208.pdf
United States General Accountability Office. (2004). Summary of Recommendations -- the 9/11 Commission Report (No. B-303692). Retrieved April 23, 2014 from http://www.gao.gov/decisions/other/303692.pdf