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From cover-up to shakedown, 9/11 continues to haunt Americans

Published time: June 05, 2010 11:04
Edited time: May 26, 2012 19:16
Firefighters make their way through the rubble of the World Trade Center 11 September 2001 in New York (AFP Photo / Doug Kanter)

Firefighters make their way through the rubble of the World Trade Center 11 September 2001 in New York (AFP Photo / Doug Kanter)

The leading authors of the 9/11 Commission Report are pushing for more security measures, including a national ID card, but given the history of the investigation, should Americans ask more questions first?

Testifying before the House Homeland Security Committee, former 9/11 Commission Chairman Thomas Kean and Deputy Chairman Lee Hamilton called for putting Department of Homeland Security (DHS) measures on the fast track, complaining that the department must answer to too many departments and subcommittees, thus cutting into its budgetary and time constraints.

"We were advised the other day that we should all feel pretty good about the (federal government's) accomplishments," said Hamilton. "The problem, of course, is that the attacks keep coming – over Detroit, in Times Square, at Fort Hood."

So now the very same individuals who failed to uncover so many glaring inconsistencies in their investigation of the 9/11 attacks are determined to introduce more liberty-threatening measures on an unsuspecting public.

The most provocative recommendation during the testimony was for the creation of a national ID card for every American citizen.

"The necessity of having an accurate identification is key to homeland security, I believe," Hamilton said. "I know there's objections to that on the left and on the right. Someday we'll get there. Other countries have it and we're going to have it for a lot of purposes, but certainly in controlling our borders.”

The argument was made that the United States needs “confidence in identification” or the system will fail.

Although the uproar over such a proposal will be tremendous, Kean reassured lawmakers that the public would accept anything “in the name of security.”

"The public is willing to accept anything in the name of security,” the former 9/11 Commission chairman said. “And they've accepted all sorts of inconvenience…The public is with us. And so what we need is the technological and governmental will to get these things done and get them done yesterday."

Kean also called on the president to reconstitute the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, which has been dormant since 2007.

"We got massive capacity now to develop data on individuals, and we need somebody to ensure that the collection capabilities do not violate our privacy and the liberties we care about," he said.