Lieberman, Connecticut Families of September 11th Victims Rally Behind Commission Bill

WASHINGTON – Senate Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., joined with Connecticut families of September 11th victims to push for quick passage of legislation to create a blue-ribbon commission to investigate the September 11th attacks.

“Momentum [for the commission] is building in our direction,” Lieberman said. “It is building as a result of ongoing disclosure of information (from the joint house-Senate Intelligence Committee hearings). But it is also building because of the persistent advocacy of the families – the heroes that are here with us today.”

Joining Lieberman and three other co-sponsors of the bill – Senators John McCain, R-Ariz., Bob Torricelli, D-N.J., and Arlen Specter, R-Pa. – were Mary Fetchet of New Canaan, Beverly Eckert of Stamford, and Monica Gabrielle from the New Haven area. Senator Lieberman asserted that the ability of the nation to learn from its mistakes would be reflected in the creation of a commission, which he proposed as an amendment to the homeland security bill Thursday afternoon.

“I am confident that we have the support to adopt it, and when we get this commission up and working, and it finishes its work, we can say with much more confidence than we can now, that this will never happen again,” Lieberman said.

The Commission bill was originally introduced by Lieberman and McCain in December 2001. The Governmental Affairs Committee, which Lieberman chairs, held a hearing on the bill in February and reported it out in March.

The legislation, which has 23 co-sponsors, would establish a commission composed of prominent citizens, expert in the fields the commission would investigate. An even number of members would be chosen by Democratic and Republican leaders in the House and Senate. The commission would be charged with investigating a range of issues that might have led up to the September 11th attacks, including the role of intelligence agencies, law enforcement agencies, commercial aviation, the flow of assets to terrorist networks, immigration, border patrol, and diplomacy