9/11 Commission Criticizes Preparedness

In its final report, the panel gives the government a D for its inaction in moving to protect critical infrastructure.

The government has fared poorly in implementing the 9/11 Commissions recommendations to reduce critical infrastructure risks and assess vulnerabilities, according to the 9/11 Public Discourse Project, which is made up of the 10 individuals who served on the commission.

In its final report rating the countrys progress in implementing the 41 recommendations made to combat terrorism, the projects members gave critical infrastructure protection initiatives a D. According to the report, no risk and vulnerability assessments were actually made, no national priorities were established, and no recommendations on allocating scarce resources were offered.

"All key decisions are at least a year away," the groups members wrote in the report. "It is time we stop talking about setting priorities and actually set some."

The private sector received a C for its efforts in implementing preparedness recommendations, faring much better than several government initiatives. Failing grades went to the airline passenger pre-screening system, to the declassification of the overall intelligence budget (which has not been done), and to the development of coalition standards for detaining and prosecuting terrorists.

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One of the few initiatives that received an above-average grade was the governments effort against terrorist financing, which received an A-.

Efforts to create a balance between security and civil liberties were given a B, a grade which the American Civil Liberties Union took issue with. The organization noted that the FBI has issued tens of thousands of National Security Letters, requiring businesses to turn over private records of individuals without having to show a connection between the records and a suspected terrorist—a requirement that business groups say is becoming increasingly costly and potentially leaving them vulnerable to liability.

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