U.S. at ‘great risk’

The U.S. is at great risk for more terrorist attacks because Congress and the White House have failed to enact several strong security measures, members of the former Sept. 11 commission said Sunday.

“It’s not a priority for the government right now,” said the former chairman, Thomas Kean, ahead of the group’s release of a report Monday assessing how well its recommendations have been followed.

Since the commission’s final report in July 2004, the government has enacted the centerpiece proposal to create a national intelligence director. But the government has stalled on other ideas, including improving communication among emergency responders and shifting federal terrorism-fighting money so it goes to states based on risk level.

The five Republicans and five Democrats on the commission, whose recommendations are now promoted through a privately funded group known as the 9/11 Public Discourse Project, conclude that the government deserves “more Fs than As” in responding to their 41 suggested changes.

Lee Hamilton, the former Democratic vice chairman of the commission said:

There is a lack of a sense of urgency. There are so many competing priorities. We’ve got three wars going on: one in Afghanistan, one in Iraq and the war against terror. And it’s awfully hard to keep people focused on something like this.

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