The White House
For Immediate Release
July 30, 2004
Bush Administration Actions Consistent with 9/11 Recommendations
President Bush Administration Actions Consistent with 9/11 Recommendations
President Bush welcomes the 9/11 Commission report and agrees with its conclusion that our Homeland is safer today, but we are not yet safe. He has ordered the highest levels of government to examine in short order the Commission’s recommendations and to use them to develop a plan for further action.
The Commission carefully and thoughtfully studied the many complex and critical issues facing our Nation in the War on Terror – and we are gratified that the Commission’s final report comes to conclusions similar to the Administration’s on the vast majority of the key policy issues.
As the Commission recommended:
- The Administration is already pursuing a worldwide strategy of disrupting and denying safe harbors to terrorist groups. We continue to build on these efforts, and the Administration is giving serious consideration to the Commission’s recommendations.
- The Administration is already undercutting the ideological appeal of terrorism by standing for a “forward strategy of freedom” and promoting needed reforms in the broader Middle East. The Administration welcomes the Commission’s recommendations for further strengthening and expanding these efforts.
- The Administration is already developing and deploying cutting-edge technologies to secure our borders, our ports, our critical infrastructure, and other parts of our homeland. Although there is no such thing as perfect security in our vast, free Nation, the Administration believes more can be done to build on the efforts we have begun, and the Commission’s homeland security recommendations are being seriously reviewed.
- The Administration has already moved significantly along the road to intelligence reform by vastly improving cooperation and information-sharing among the intelligence, law enforcement, and homeland security communities through:
These are important steps along the road the Commission charts for intelligence reform. More steps are needed – and more will be taken – but a solid foundation for future action is in place. The Commission’s intelligence-reform proposals build on this foundation. The reform efforts we take now will establish an intelligence structure to protect America for decades to come, and it is important to get it right, which is why the Administration is actively and seriously examining each of the Commission’s recommendations.
- passage of the USA PATRIOT Act;
- the ongoing transformation of the FBI;
- expansion of the collection and analytical capabilities of CIA; and
- creation of the Department of Homeland Security, the Terrorist Threat Integration Center, and the Terrorist Screening Center.
The following are examples of actions already taken by the Bush Administration that are fulfilling the 9/11 Commission’s recommendations.
Commission Recommendations Administration Actions “The U.S. government must identify and prioritize actual or potential terrorist sanctuaries. For each, it should have a realistic strategy to keep possible terrorists insecure and on the run, using all elements of national power. We should reach out, listen to, and work with other countries that can help.” (Ch. 12, p. 367) The removal of all al Qaeda sanctuaries was part of our strategy before 9/11. Since 9/11, the United States has removed the #1 terrorist sanctuary, the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, and also Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq, a long-time state sponsor of terror. We continue to use all elements of national power to identify and eliminate other such sanctuaries around the world and to work with other governments to make sure they are not available to terrorists. We are destroying the leadership of terrorist networks; disrupting their planning and financing; and shrinking the space in which they can freely operate by denying them territory and the support of governments. The effort to identify and eliminate terrorist sanctuaries is ongoing and will continue to be a central element of our strategy in the War on Terror. “If Musharraf stands for enlightened moderation in a fight for his life and for the life of his country, the United States should be willing to make hard choices too, and make the difficult and long-term commitment to the future of Pakistan. Sustaining the current scale of aid to Pakistan, the United States should support Pakistan’s government in its struggle against extremists with a comprehensive effort that extends from military aid to support for better education, so long as Pakistan’s leaders remain willing to make the difficult choices of their own.” (Ch. 12, p. 369) The United States has dramatically re-fashioned its relationship with Pakistan in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. As the Commission notes, even before 9/11, the Bush Administration was actively engaged in diplomatic efforts to get Pakistan to change its policy of support for the Taliban and help eliminate the al Qaeda threat. President Bush personally wrote President Musharraf in February 2001 emphasizing that Bin Ladin and al Qaeda were a “direct threat the United States and its interest that must be addressed” and urging Musharraf to use his influence with the Taliban on this critical issue. Again in August 2001, President Bush personally asked Musharraf for Pakistan’s active engagement against al Qaeda. Today, the United States and Pakistan are working closely in the fight against terror, and Pakistani forces are rounding up terrorists along their nation’s western border. President Musharraf is a friend of our country, and has taken out of commission over 500 al Qaeda and Taliban operatives, including Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the operational planner behind the 9/11 attacks. Finally, we have proposed a five-year, $3 billion military and aid package to support Pakistan’s security, economic and social programs. American assistance to help improve the lives of Pakistanis will reach $300 million for the period of 2002 to 2006. Improvements to primary and secondary education, modernization of health care – especially for women and children – and helping small and medium Pakistani businesses compete in the international market are some areas in which Pakistanis and Americans are working together. This year alone, 130 schools are being refurbished, a program to reduce maternal and infant mortality is being launched, and scholarships are being given to top students who could not otherwise afford to go to Pakistani universities. “The President and the Congress deserve praise for their efforts in Afghanistan so far. Now the United States and the international community should make a long-term commitment to a secure and stable Afghanistan, in order to give the government a reasonable opportunity to improve the life of the Afghan people. Afghanistan must not again become a sanctuary for international crime and terrorism. The United States and the international community should help the Afghan government extend its authority over the country, with a strategy and nation-by-nation commitments to achieve their objectives.” (Ch. 12, p. 370) The United States and its coalition partners defeated the Taliban, put al Qaeda on the run and eliminated Afghanistan as the international hub for al Qaeda terrorist training. This Administration committed $2 billion for Afghanistan’s development. Today, Afghans have a new stable currency, a new Constitution, and are looking forward to voting in the country’s first democratic elections. The United States has reassured the Afghan government that America is a steadfast partner. The UN and international community have also pledged to ensure Afghanistan does not plunge into anarchy. To ensure security and stability, the United States and the international community are training security forces to extend Kabul’s authority in the provinces. Currently there are over 13,000 soldiers in the well-respected Afghan National Army and over 21,000 Police officials. In addition, the United Kingdom and the United States are better positioning themselves to counter a growing narcotics threat now and over the long-term. Reconstruction programs such as completing the Kabul to Kandahar road; continuing work on the Kabul to Herat road and secondary roads; building clinics and schools; training teachers; and establishing market centers all contribute to a stable and secure Afghanistan. “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 publicly defend–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.” (Ch. 12, p. 374) Three years ago, terrorists were well established in Saudi Arabia. Inside that country, fundraisers and other facilitators gave al Qaeda financial and logistical help – with little scrutiny or opposition. Today, after attacks in Riyadh and elsewhere, the Saudi government knows that al Qaeda is its enemy. Saudi Arabia is working hard to shut down the facilitators and financial supporters of terrorism, and has captured or killed many first-tier leaders of the al Qaeda organization in Saudi Arabia – including one in June 2004. Today, because Saudi Arabia has seen the danger, and has joined the War on Terror, the American people are safer. While there is still much work to be done, the Saudis have made important progress in confronting the terrorist threat and the United States has forged a genuine partnership with Saudi Arabia in this war, one that will continue to pay dividends in the years ahead. “The U.S. government must define what the message is, what it stands for. We should offer an example of moral leadership in the world, committed to treat people humanely, abide by the rule of law, and be generous and caring to our neighbors. America and Muslim friends can agree on respect for human dignity and opportunity. To Muslim parents, terrorists like Bin Ladin have nothing to offer their children but visions of violence and death. America and its friends have a crucial advantage–we can offer these parents a vision that might give their children a better future. If we heed the views of thoughtful leaders in the Arab and Muslim world, a moderate consensus can be found.” (Ch. 12, p. 376) In Afghanistan and Iraq, the United States is leading international coalitions to help citizens build a democratic future. Free and fair national elections will be held for the first time in Afghanistan this October, and in Iraq by the end of January. Last June, President Bush led the G-8 Leaders in launching the “Partnership for Progress and a Common Future” to support political, economic, and social reform in the Broader Middle East and North Africa region by committing to: establish a Forum for the Future, bring together regularly G-8 and regional ministers to discuss reforms and support progress in the region; bring together democracy foundations, civil society groups, and governments from the G-8, the region, and other countries to promote and strengthen democratic institutions, coordinate and share information on democracy programs, initiate new democracy programs, and sponsor exchanges; assist the region’s efforts to halve the illiteracy rate over the next decade, including by training 100,000 teachers by 2009; help as many as 250,000 young entrepreneurs, especially women, expand their employment opportunities; invest $100 million to assist small and medium-sized enterprises; expand sustainable microfinance in the region to help over two million potential small entrepreneurs pull themselves out of poverty; coordinate the work of development institutions and international financial institutions working in the region; and assist the region’s efforts to improve the business climate. “Where Muslim governments, even those who are friends, do not respect these principles, the United States must stand for a better future. One of the lessons of the long Cold War was that short-term gains in cooperating with the most repressive and brutal governments were too often outweighed by long-term setbacks for America’s stature and interests.” (Ch. 12, p. 376) The President has embedded democracy, transparency, and respect for the rule of law into the core of our foreign policy and assistance strategies. A few examples of this fundamental commitment include:
- The Millennium Challenge Account (MCA). At the Inter-American Development Bank on March 14, 2002, President Bush called for “a new compact for global development, defined by new accountability for both rich and poor nations alike. Greater contributions from developed nations must be linked to greater responsibility from developing nations.” The President pledged that the United States would lead by example and increase its core development assistance by 50 percent over the next three years, resulting in an annual increase of $5 billion by FY 2006;
- The Middle East Partnership Initiative, which is based on the President’s conclusion that we must never seek “stability” at the price of freedom; and
- The Anti-Corruption efforts in the G-8, Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), and Summit of the Americas.
“Just as we did in the Cold War, we need to defend our ideals abroad vigorously. America does stand up for its values. The United States defended, and still defends, Muslims against tyrants and criminals in Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq. If the United States does not act aggressively to define itself in the Islamic world, the extremists will gladly do the job for us.” (Ch. 12, p. 377) President Bush is committed to the long-term future of Afghanistan and Iraq, two nations in the midst of historic transitions from dictatorship to democracy. On November 6, 2003, the President announced the Forward Strategy of Freedom in the Broader Middle East, which is a vision based on the President’s conclusion that we must never seek “stability” at the price of freedom. The President’s Broader Middle East Initiative, endorsed at the G-8, US/EU, and NATO summits in June 2004, is rooted in a partnership to support the region’s aspirations for freedom, democracy, rule of law, economic opportunity, and social justice. The partnership involves not only governments, but also business and civil society leaders as full partners. “The U.S. government should offer to join with other nations in generously supporting a new International Youth Opportunity Fund. Funds will be spent directly for building and operating primary and secondary schools in those Muslim states that commit to sensibly investing their own money in public education.” (Ch. 12, p. 378) Promoting literacy and developing new opportunities for young people in the Broader Middle East region are key priorities underpinning the President’s Broader Middle East and North Africa initiative. The President led the G-8 at the Sea Island Summit in launching new initiatives to support the region’s literacy efforts and sponsor entrepreneurship and vocational training programs. Internationally, the President has more than tripled U.S. overseas basic education funding. “A comprehensive U.S. strategy to counter terrorism should include economic policies that encourage development, more open societies, and opportunities for people to improve the lives of their families and to enhance prospects for their children’s future.” (Ch. 12, p. 379) In an unparalleled manner, the President has united aid and trade policies to help integrate the poorest countries into the global economy in a way that promotes free, democratic, and prosperous societies. Examples include the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA), the Digital Freedom Initiative, the Trade for African Development and Enterprise (TRADE) Initiative, the Middle East Partnership Initiative, the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) II and III, and an unprecedented number regional, sub-regional, and bilateral free trade agreements that the Administration is negotiating or has concluded with developing countries. This includes a Presidential initiative to establish a U.S.-Middle East Free Trade Area (MEFTA) by 2013. The recently passed U.S.-Morocco FTA, completion of FTA negotiations with Bahrain, and the signing of Trade and Investment Framework Agreements with every country in the Arabian Gulf demonstrate concrete progress toward the MEFTA goal. Finally, the Administration provided a critical global leadership in successfully launching the WTO’s Doha Development Agenda trade negotiations – the first round of global trade talks focused on developing country development. “The United States should engage other nations in developing a comprehensive coalition strategy against Islamist terrorism. There are several multilateral institutions in which such issues should be addressed. But the most important policies should be discussed and coordinated in a flexible contact group of leading coalition governments. This is a good place, for example, to develop joint strategies for targeting terrorist travel, or for hammering out a common strategy for the places where terrorists may be finding sanctuary” (Ch. 12, p. 379) In addition to our bilateral counterterrorism (CT) relationships with key partners around the world, the United States has sought to advance an aggressive CT agenda in numerous multilateral fora, such as NATO, the APEC forum, and the G-8, where the President led leaders in June 2003 in establishing a dedicated group of donor countries to expand and coordinate training and assistance for weak but willing countries. Other organizations, including the Organization of American States (OAS), the European Union (EU), the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), and the Australia, New Zealand, and United States (ANZUS) Treaty members took concrete steps to combat terrorism more effectively and to cooperate with each other to address this transnational threat. Reorienting existing partnerships and developing multilateral solutions to the threat remains an essential part of our strategy to win the War on Terror. “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 cases in which the usual laws of war did not apply. Its minimum standards are generally accepted throughout the world as customary international law.” (Ch. 12, p. 380) The United States has worked closely with its coalition partners regarding the detention and treatment of captured terrorists, and is open to exploring whether a “common coalition approach” is feasible and consistent with our national security. “Our report shows that al Qaeda has tried to acquire or make weapons of mass destruction for at least ten years. There is no doubt the United States would be a prime target. Preventing the proliferation of these weapons warrants a maximum effort—by strengthening counterproliferation efforts, expanding the Proliferation Security Initiative, and supporting the Cooperative Threat Reduction program.” (Ch. 12, p. 381) Since publishing the National Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction in 2002, this Administration has fundamentally changed the way our Nation responds to this threat. For example, we have:
- eliminated the WMD programs and SCUD-C missiles in Libya;
- brought to a close Saddam Hussein’s decades-long pursuit of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons;
- closed down the A.Q. Khan nuclear proliferation network;
- achieved the unanimous passage of UNSCR 1540 that requires states to enact legislation that criminalizes proliferation activities;
- established “Biodefense for the 21st Century,” a national strategy for meeting the full range of biological threats;
- provided record-level resources devoted to Nunn-Lugar and other nonproliferation assistance, including through the creation of the G-8 Global Partnership, which will provide $20 billion to this effort over 10 years;
- signed into law Project BioShield, which provides new tools to improve medical countermeasures protecting Americans against a chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear (CBRN) attack; and
- established the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), a broad international partnership of countries to coordinate actions to interdict proliferation shipments of WMD and related materials – at sea, in the air, and on land – and to shut down proliferation networks and entities.
“Vigorous efforts to track terrorist financing must remain front and center in U.S. counterterrorism efforts. The government has recognized that information about terrorist money helps us to understand their networks, search them out, and disrupt their operations. Intelligence and law enforcement have targeted the relatively small number of financial facilitators—individuals al Qaeda relied on for their ability to raise and deliver money—at the core of al Qaeda’s revenue stream. These efforts have worked. The death or capture of several important facilitators has decreased the amount of money available to al Qaeda and has increased its costs and difficulty in raising and moving that money. Captures have additionally provided a windfall of intelligence that can be used to continue the cycle of disruption.” (Ch. 12, p. 382) In the war on terrorist financing we have successfully disrupted and, in some cases, dismantled the financial infrastructure of terrorist operations. Working in cooperation with the international community, we have frozen more than $140 million in terrorist-related assets, designated 383 individuals and entities as terrorist supporters, apprehended or disrupted key terrorist facilitators and deterred donors from supporting al Qaeda and other like-minded terrorist groups. America is safer today because we have made it harder and costlier for al Qaeda and other terrorist groups to raise and move money around the world. The Administration has collaborated with Congress to develop a new Treasury Department structure to strengthen our efforts to fight terrorist financing. The Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI) will bring together Treasury's intelligence, regulatory, law enforcement, sanctions, and policy components in a high-profile effort led by an Under Secretary and two Assistant Secretaries. “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.” (Ch. 12, p. 385) We have already undertaken numerous post-9/11 initiatives that significantly enhance security with respect to travelers to the United States. Consular interviews of visa applicants are much more rigorous and utilize a larger database of terrorism-related information. Applications of concern are referred to Washington for in-depth review through the Security Advisory Opinion (SAO) process. Incoming international air travelers are subject to comprehensive prescreening carried out by the new National Targeting Center (NTC). When travelers reach U.S. ports of entry, the new Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency conducts integrated “one face at the border” inspections. Watch lists are being consolidated through the Terrorist Screening Center (TSC) and the Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC). These, and many other US intelligence analysis capabilities, are being used to attempt to exploit terrorists’ vulnerabilities as they travel and to learn more about their activities and methods. The US-VISIT entry-exit system uses biometrics to compare the identity of the traveler with known data. In addition to our ongoing efforts to target terrorist travel to, from and within the United States, the Administration is seeking, on both a bilateral and multilateral basis, to promote similar efforts by other responsible governments, and to provide those governments with relevant terrorist-related information. “The U.S. border security system should be integrated into a larger network of screening points that includes our transportation system and access to vital facilities, such as nuclear reactors. The President should direct the Department of Homeland Security to lead the effort to design a comprehensive screening system, addressing common problems and setting common standards with the systemwide goals in mind. Extending those standards among other governments could dramatically strengthen America and the world’s collective ability to intercept individuals who pose catastrophic threats.” (Ch. 12, p. 387) The Administration has made great progress in implementing an improved homeland security strategy that relies extensively on a “layered” approach to screening that actually begins well beyond U.S. borders.
- The comprehensive screening process begins with the careful review of all visa applications by consular officers overseas, who now have ready access to extensive databases with terrorism-related information.
- New Federal Regulations require traveler and cargo information to be provided to U.S. authorities before arrival in the United States.
- The Container Security Initiative allows U.S. inspectors at 17 major foreign seaports to examine high-risk containers before they are placed on U.S.-bound ships.
- Three years ago, there were inspectors from three different Federal agencies at our ports of entry. Today, through DHS, the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) consolidates not only all of our border inspectors, but also those who patrol between the ports of entry to create “one face at the border.”
- The Administration is working with other governments on transportation security, including through detailed action plans for implementing Border Accords with Canada and Mexico. The U.S.-introduced Secure and Facilitated International Travel Initiative (SAFTI), announced at the recent G-8 Summit at Sea Island, Georgia, constitutes a redoubled commitment by G-8 countries to a coordinated, comprehensive strategy to move travelers (and goods) across international borders quickly and easily, while providing enhanced security procedures.
“The Department of Homeland Security, properly supported by the Congress, should complete, as quickly as possible, a biometric entry-exit screening system, including a single system for speeding qualified travelers. It should be integrated with the system that provides benefits to foreigners seeking to stay in the United States. Linking biometric passports to good data systems and decisionmaking is a fundamental goal. No one can hide his or her debt by acquiring a credit card with a slightly different name. Yet today, a terrorist can defeat the link to electronic records by tossing away an old passport and slightly altering the name in the new one.” (Ch. 12, p. 389) DHS has established the United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology (US-VISIT) Program, an integrated, automated entry-exit system that records the arrival and departure of aliens; checks aliens’ identities; and authenticates aliens’ travel documents that are biometrically enabled. Already on line at 115 airports and 14 seaports for those travelers requiring a visa, US-VISIT will be extended by September 30 of this year to travelers from countries that participate in the Visa Waiver program, and then to all land ports of entry by December 31, 2005. Since January 2004, this new program has processed more than six million travelers and yielded nearly 800 matches to persons who were the subject of look-out bulletins. In terms of speeding “qualified travelers” through the system, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is testing the Registered Traveler Program (RTP) that allows aviation travelers in select domestic markets to provide TSA with certain biographical information and a biometric imprint (fingerprints and iris-scan). After passing a security assessment, RTP participants may use a dedicated lane at the airport for expedited screening. “The U.S. government cannot meet its own obligations to the American people to prevent the entry of terrorists without a major effort to collaborate with other governments. We should do more to exchange terrorist information with trusted allies, and raise U.S. and global border security standards for travel and border crossing over the medium and long term through extensive international cooperation.” (Ch. 12, p. 390) Homeland Security Presidential Directive 6 (HSPD-6), issued on September 16, 2003, assigns a high priority to sharing terrorism-related information between and among responsible governments. The Department of State has been coordinating the overall effort to share with foreign governments the key watchlist and other information that could prove useful in identifying and apprehending terrorists. As one example, we now share our data on lost and stolen U.S. passports with other countries through INTERPOL. We have also committed, with our G-8 partners, to broader international information exchange through the Secure and Facilitated International Travel Initiative (SAFTI). “Secure identification should begin in the United States. The federal government should set standards for the issuance of birth certificates and sources of identification, such as drivers licenses. Fraud in identification documents is no longer just a problem of theft. At many entry points to vulnerable facilities, including gates for boarding aircraft, sources of identification are the last opportunity to ensure that people are who they say they are and to check whether they are terrorists.” (Ch. 12, p. 390) Secure identification is a priority for the United States. Currently underway are several government initiatives enabling the Federal Government to better authenticate the identities of individuals seeking access to federally controlled facilities. For example, the Federal Identity Credentialing Committee, chartered by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), is developing a common approach to identity badges and credentials across the Federal Government for employees and contactors. US-VISIT combats fraud in the travel documents of foreign nationals by obtaining biometric identifiers. The President’s senior advisors are also currently preparing recommendations on what additional steps can be taken in this area. “Hard choices must be made in allocating limited resources. The U.S. government should identify and evaluate the transportation assets that need to be protected, set risk-based priorities for defending them, select the most practical and cost-effective ways of doing so, and then develop a plan, budget, and funding to implement the effort. The plan should assign roles and missions to the relevant authorities (federal, state, regional, and local) and to private stakeholders. In measuring effectiveness, perfection is unattainable. But terrorists should perceive that potential targets are defended. They may be deterred by a significant chance of failure.” (Ch. 12, p. 391) Homeland Security Presidential Directive 7 (HSPD-7), issued December 17, 2003, establishes “a national policy for Federal departments and agencies to identify and prioritize United States critical infrastructure and key resources and to protect them from terrorist attacks.” This effort includes development of the National Infrastructure Protection Plan. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is responsible for leading an interagency evaluation of the various modes of transportation to identify security gaps and response strategies. Other DHS actions taken include: (1) issuing Security Directives requiring protective measures to be implemented by passenger rail operators, and screening high-risk rail cargo entering the United States; (2) establishing the Highway Information Sharing and Analysis Center to link workers in the truck and bus industry to intelligence community analysts who collate, disseminate, and analyze threat information; (3) providing security grants and partnering with industry through various education and outreach efforts to improve bus, truck, and rail security; and (4) launching the Homeland Security Information Network (HSIN) that provides for real-time information to be shared between the DHS Homeland Security Operations Center (HSOC) and State and local agencies in responding to transportation-related or other terrorist incidents. Additionally, DHS and DOT are working with other Federal departments and agencies to evaluate potential long-term and short-term measures to protect rail shipments of hazardous materials, like chlorine, from deliberate attack. “Improved use of ‘no-fly’ and ‘automatic selectee’ lists should not be delayed while the argument about a successor to CAPPS continues. This screening function should be performed by the TSA, and it should utilize the larger set of watchlists maintained by the federal government. Air carriers should be required to supply the information needed to test and implement this new system.” (Ch. 12, p. 393) Expansion of the current “no-fly” and “selectee” lists is already underway as integration and consolidation of various watchlists by the Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC) and the Terrorist Screening Center (TSC) progresses. International flight pre-screening is the responsibility of the new National Targeting Center (NTC) and domestic pre-screening the responsibility of Transportation Security Administration (TSA). The Administration is developing the next-generation approach to aviation passenger prescreening, implementation of which will enable the U.S. government to further expand the use of “no fly” and “selectee” lists to screen airline passengers in advance of their arrival at airports. “The TSA and the Congress must give priority attention to improving the ability of screening checkpoints to detect explosives on passengers. As a start, each individual selected for special screening should be screened for explosives. Further, the TSA should conduct a human factors study, a method often used in the private sector, to understand problems in screener performance and set attainable objectives for individual screeners and for the checkpoints where screening takes place.” (Ch. 12, p. 393) The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has made progress in improving the number and capability of the explosives detectors in place at our airports and our related procedures. For example, the National Explosives Detection Canine Team Program now oversees over 300 dog teams that provide coverage at each of the Nation’s major airports. Outside the aviation context, in May 2004, TSA launched a test program to measure the feasibility of explosives screening for people and bags traveling on U.S. trains. In addition, several screening and other security technologies are under development, including an explosives detection portal for passengers to determine if explosives are being carried on an individual’s person, document scanners to detect trace amounts of explosive materials on items such as boarding passes, and scanners for better screening of casts and prosthetic devices. “As the President determines the guidelines for information sharing among government agencies and by those agencies with the private sector, he should safeguard the privacy of individuals about whom information is shared.” (Ch. 12, p. 394) Throughout the development of the Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC), the Terrorist Screening Center (TSC), and other information-sharing entities, new procedures and systems have been engineered with all applicable privacy and security issues in mind. The safeguarding of individual privacy is a key concern in the new rules DHS is presently developing on the protection of information specifically related to homeland security. “The burden of proof for retaining a particular governmental power should be on the executive, to explain (a) that the power actually materially enhances security and (b) that there is adequate supervision of the executive’s use of the powers to ensure protection of civil liberties. If the power is granted, there must be adequate guidelines and oversight to properly confine its use.” (Ch. 12, pp. 394-395) The Administration shares the Commission’s dedication to preserving the constitutional freedoms that are the bedrock of our system of governance, and indeed, the Administration works every day to safeguard those freedoms. In addition, both Congress and the courts exercise substantial authority to oversee the executive branch’s use of tools necessary to make America safer. In his most recent report to Congress on abuses concerning civil rights or civil liberties, the Inspector General of the Department of Justice advised that, of 162 complaints received alleging DOJ misconduct, “None … related to their use of a substantive provision in the Patriot Act.” (IG Report of January 27, 2004) “At this time of increased and consolidated government authority, there should be a board within the executive branch to oversee adherence to the guidelines we recommend and the commitment the government makes to defend our civil liberties.” (Ch. 12, p. 395) The President issued a ban on the use of racial profiling by federal law enforcement, the first ever to do so. The Administration’s commitment to these principles is demonstrated in part by the appointment of an Officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties and a Privacy Officer within the senior leadership of the Department of Homeland Security. In June the DHS Officer for Civil Rights & Civil Liberties submitted a report to Congress detailing DHS’s successful efforts to carry out the President’s commitment to the protection of civil liberties. DHS has taken strong steps to ensure that aliens detained in connection with a national security investigation will be provided timely notice of the charges against them, access to counsel, satisfactory detention conditions, an individualized review of the possibility of bond, and an individualized consideration for whether the immigration hearings should be closed or open to the public. The Justice Department’s successful leadership in these efforts is also reflected in the section above. “Homeland security assistance should be based strictly on an assessment of risks and vulnerabilities. Now, in 2004, Washington, D.C., and New York City are certainly at the top of any such list. We understand the contention that every state and city needs to have some minimum infrastructure for emergency response. But Federal homeland security assistance should not remain a program for general revenue sharing. It should supplement state and local resources based on the risks or vulnerabilities that merit additional support. Congress should not use this money as a pork barrel.” (Ch. 12, p. 396) As a result of historic funding increases sought by the President since 9/11, the Administration has allocated more than $13 billion to improve the terrorism preparedness of state and local first responders and public health agencies. The FY 2005 Budget request for these programs is 1400 percent above their FY 2001 funding level, and includes proposals to better target funds towards risks and vulnerabilities, such as doubling the Urban Area Security Initiative for “high-threat urban areas” to $1.4 billion. As the Administration agrees that such assistance should not be “revenue-sharing,” Presidential homeland security directives require Federal departments and agencies providing preparedness assistance to first responders to base allocations on terror threat assessments, population concentrations, critical infrastructure, and similar risk factors, to the extent permitted by law. The Administration is developing nationwide risk-based preparedness goals which will help to further refine grant allocations. “Emergency response agencies nationwide should adopt the Incident Command System (ICS). When multiple agencies or multiple jurisdictions are involved, they should adopt a unified command. Both are proven and effective frameworks for emergency response. We strongly support the decision that federal homeland security funding will be contingent, as of October 1, 2004, upon the adoption and regular use of ICS and unified command procedures. In the future, the Department of Homeland Security should consider making funding contingent on aggressive and realistic training in accordance with ICS and unified command procedures.” (Ch. 12, p. 397) Homeland Security Presidential Directive 5 (HSPD-5), issued by the President on February 28, 2003, directs all Federal departments and agencies, beginning in FY 2005, to adopt the National Incident Management System (NIMS), and make its adoption a requirement for providing Federal preparedness assistance through grants, contracts, or other activities. The NIMS, which includes the Incident Command System (ICS) and a unified command structure, provides a consistent nationwide approach for Federal, state, and local governments to work effectively and efficiently together to prepare for, respond to, and recover from domestic incidents, regardless of cause, size, or complexity. A NIMS Integration Center, involving Federal, state, and local government representation, continues development and improvement of this system. DHS plans to conduct research in FY05 to develop location devices for first responders, and allow Incident Commanders to better understand where their resources are and how they are employed; and to provide virtual reality simulation training. The National Response Plan, to be completed in 2004, applies the incident command concepts to include Federal support to states and local governments during disasters. It will integrate operations into a seamless system and get help to victims more quickly and efficiently. “Congress should support pending legislation which provides for expedited and increased assignment of radio spectrum for public safety purposes. Furthermore, high-risk urban areas such as New York City and Washington, D.C., should establish signal corps units to ensure communications connectivity between and among civilian authorities, local first responders, and the National Guard. Federal funding of such units should be given high priority by Congress.” (Ch. 12, p. 397) The Department of Homeland Security is launching a new office that will coordinate federal, state, and local communications interoperability, leveraging both ongoing and new efforts to improve the compatibility of equipment, training, and procedures. As part of the RapidCom program, DHS is working with the state and local leadership in New York City, the DC Region, and eight other major cities to ensure that first responders can communicate by voice, regardless of frequency or mode during an emergency. In addition to these targeted efforts, interoperable communications planning and equipment has been a high priority for Federal homeland security assistance to states and localities, particularly in high-risk urban areas. “We endorse the American National Standards Institute’s recommended standard for private preparedness. We were encouraged by Secretary Tom Ridge’s praise of the standard, and urge the Department of Homeland Security to promote its adoption. We also encourage the insurance and credit-rating industries to look closely at a company’s compliance with the ANSI standard in assessing its insurability and creditworthiness. We believe that compliance with the standard should define the standard of care owed by a company to its employees and the public for legal purposes. Private-sector preparedness is not a luxury; it is a cost of doing business in the post-9/11 world. It is ignored at a tremendous potential cost in lives, money, and national security.” (Ch. 12, p. 398) Private-sector preparedness is a critical part of national preparedness. The Administration endorses the need for a standard of care for the duties and responsibilities of a company to its employees and the public. The Administration also believes in the importance of educating the public, on a continuing basis, about how to be prepared in case of a national emergency – including a possible terrorist attack. To address this goal, the Department of Homeland Security has implemented the Ready Campaign, which is a national public service advertising campaign designed to educate and empower citizens to prepare for and respond to potential terrorist attacks and other emergencies. DHS will strengthen the success of the Ready Campaign by launching Ready for Business, a campaign specifically targeted to preparing businesses in the case of an emergency or terrorist attack. The Ready for Business Campaign is consistent with the recommendations contained within the ANSI standard. “We recommend the establishment of a National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), built on the foundation of the Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC). Breaking the older mold of national government organization, this NCTC should be a center for joint operational planning and joint intelligence, staffed by personnel from the various agencies. The head of the NCTC should have the authority to evaluate the performance of the people assigned to the Center.” (Ch. 13, p. 403) The President directed the establishment of the Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC) in his 2003 State of the Union address, and TTIC began operations on May 1, 2003. The creation of the Terrorist Screening Center (TSC) was announced on September 16, 2003. These programs are significant steps taken in the direction of the recommended NCTC, as are the numerous forums for coordinated operational planning currently in use in the U.S. government. The President’s senior advisors are currently preparing recommendations on how best to move forward in this area. “The current position of Director of Central Intelligence should be replaced by a National Intelligence Director with two main areas of responsibility: (1) to oversee national intelligence centers on specific subjects of interest across the U.S. government and (2) to manage the national intelligence program and oversee the agencies that contribute to it.” (Ch. 13, p. 411) The President has laid out three principles for intelligence reform: (1) increasing the quality and quantity of human intelligence; (2) strengthening our technological capabilities to stay ahead of the terrorists; and (3) ensuring the most effective and coordinated use of these resources and personnel, because there are multiple agencies with intelligence responsibilities. The President’s senior advisors are currently preparing recommendations on how best to move forward in this area. “The CIA Director should emphasize (a) rebuilding the CIA’s analytic capabilities; (b) transforming the clandestine service by building its human intelligence capabilities; (c) developing a stronger language program, with high standards and sufficient financial incentives; (d) renewing emphasis on recruiting diversity among operations officers so they can blend more easily in foreign cities; (e) ensuring a seamless relationship between human source collection and signals collection at the operational level; and (f) stressing a better balance between unilateral and liaison operations.” (Ch. 13, p. 415) CIA initiated new efforts to expand its collection and analytical capabilities even before 9/11. CIA’s efforts were greatly accelerated in the wake of the attacks, including through hiring, training, and deploying a cadre of new highly-qualified human source collectors and analysts at an unprecedented rate, the implementation of a new language program, integration of human and electronic intelligence, and increased focus on unilateral (non-liaison) sources. The CIA has a sophisticated metrics program allowing senior Agency managers to measure progress against its goals. The CIA Executive Board meets at least bi-monthly to review each metric, make adjustments in plans where necessary, and reaffirm priorities. The President’s senior advisors are currently preparing recommendations on how best to ensure continued progress in this area. “Lead responsibility for directing and executing paramilitary operations, whether clandestine or covert, should shift to the Defense Department. There it should be consolidated with the capabilities for training, direction, and execution of such operations already being developed in the Special Operations Command.” (Ch. 13, p. 415) CIA paramilitary officers and DoD officers have performed together exceptionally in the field, including in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Close coordination and joint planning between CIA and military special operators is standard. The President’s senior advisors are currently preparing recommendations on what steps can be taken to ensure continued optimal CIA/DOD coordination in the future. “Finally, to combat the secrecy and complexity we have described, the overall amounts of money being appropriated for national intelligence and to its component agencies should no longer be kept secret. Congress should pass a separate appropriations act for intelligence, defending the broad allocation of how these tens of billions of dollars have been assigned among the varieties of intelligence work.” (Ch. 13, p. 416) The overall Intelligence Community appropriation has been declassified twice in recent years (in fiscal years 1997 and 1998), when a specific determination was made that the figure for that year could be released safely. The President’s senior advisors are currently preparing recommendations on what steps can be taken in this area consistent with national security requirements. “Information procedures should provide incentives for sharing, to restore a better balance between security and shared knowledge.” (Ch. 13, p. 417) The President established the Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC), integrating and analyzing terrorism threat-related information collected domestically and abroad, ensuring that intelligence and law enforcement entities are working in common purpose. The Terrorist Screening Center (TSC) was established to consolidate terrorist watchlists and provide 24/7 operational support for thousands of Federal screeners across the country and around the world. The Center ensures that government investigators, screeners, and agents are working with the same unified, comprehensive set of anti-terrorist information – and that they have access to information and expertise that will allow them to act quickly when a suspected terrorist is screened or stopped. With the development of the Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC) and the Terrorist Screening Center (TSC) has come a series of steps, including agreement, on March 4, 2003, by key federal departments and agencies, to a comprehensive Memorandum of Understanding to break down barriers to information sharing, increase the writing of intelligence products with unclassified “tear-line” versions, reduce information controls to the extent consistent with our national security, and take other steps in this direction. Since 9/11, the FBI has continued to enhance its longstanding practice of sharing terrorism threat-related information with state and local law enforcement through its joint terrorism task forces. The Administration is also developing guidelines and regulations to improve information-sharing both among Federal Departments and Agencies and between the Federal Government and state and local entities. The President’s senior advisors are currently preparing recommendations on how best to ensure continued progress in this area. “The president should lead the government-wide effort to bring the major national security institutions into the information revolution. He should coordinate the resolution of the legal, policy, and technical issues across agencies to create a ‘trusted information network.’” (Ch. 13, p. 418) Since 2001, the President has improved intelligence collection, analysis, and sharing to obtain the best picture of the terrorist threat to the Nation. An important part of each of the major organizational changes since 9/11 has been conscious attempts to increase database accessibility to those who need information, while, at the same time, building into our information-sharing architecture safeguards both for security and privacy. Information technology advances in these areas have been integral parts of the development of the TTIC, TSC, and other efforts, including the following:
- DHS launched the Homeland Security Information Network (HSIN), a real-time collaboration system used by more than one thousand first responders, mainly from the law enforcement community, to report incidents, crimes and potential terrorist acts to one another and the DHS Homeland Security Operations Center.
- The Department of Defense created U.S. Northern Command, to provide for integrated homeland defense and coordinated DoD support for Federal, state, and local civilian governments.
- President Bush signed the USA PATRIOT Act, which strengthens law enforcement's abilities to prevent, investigate, and prosecute acts of terror, facilitating Federal government efforts to thwart potential terrorist activity throughout the United States. The President continues to call on Congress to take action to ensure that these vital law enforcement tools do not expire.
The President’s senior advisors are currently preparing recommendations on how best to ensure continued progress in this area. “Since a catastrophic attack could occur with little or no notice, we should minimize as much as possible the disruption of national security policymaking during the change of administrations by accelerating the process for national security appointments. We think the process could be improved significantly so transitions can work more effectively and allow new officials to assume their responsibilities as quickly as possible.” (Ch. 13, p. 422) The Administration agrees that minimizing disruption to the national security policymaking process is critical, including expediting the process for national security appointments. The Administration supports the Commission’s view that the Senate should take steps to speed confirmations at the beginning of an administration and its recommendation that the number of positions requiring Senate confirmation should be reduced. In addition, the Federal government has in place robust programs to ensure that essential functions of government, such as uninterrupted continuity of leadership and policymaking mechanisms, continue during emergencies. We continue to work to improve the effectiveness of these continuity programs to minimize disruption of critical governmental functions. As noted by the 9/11 Commission, responsibility for improving transitions lies largely with Presidents-elect and with Congress. The President’s senior advisors are currently preparing recommendations on what the Executive Branch can do to move forward in this area. “A specialized and integrated national security workforce should be established at the FBI consisting of agents, analysts, linguists, and surveillance specialists who are recruited, trained, rewarded, and retained to ensure the development of an institutional culture imbued with a deep expertise in intelligence and national security.” (Ch. 13, pp. 425-426) The FBI has implemented a strategic plan to recruit, hire, and retain Intelligence Analysts. The Bureau has selected veteran analysts to attend events at colleges, universities, and designated career fairs throughout the country. It executed an aggressive public recruiting plan and, for the first time in FBI history, is offering hiring bonuses for FBI analysts. In its Special Agent hiring, the FBI has changed the list of “critical skills” it is seeking in candidates to include intelligence experience and expertise, foreign languages, and technology. The FBI continues to grow the Field Intelligence Groups (FIGs) established in every FBI field office and is on track to add some 300 Intelligence Analysts to the FIGs in FY 2004. The FIGs conduct analysis, direct the collection of information to fill identified intelligence gaps, and ensure that information is disseminated horizontally and vertically to internal and external customers, including our state, local and tribal partners. As of June 2, 2004, there are 1,450 FIG personnel, including 382 Special Agents and 160 employees from other government agencies. To support information sharing, there is now a Special Agent or Intelligence Analyst in each Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) dedicated to producing “raw” intelligence reports for the entire national security community, including, as appropriate, state, municipal, and tribal law enforcement partners and other JTTF members. These “Reports Officers” are trained to produce intelligence reports that both maximize the amount of information shared and, equally important, protect intelligence or law enforcement sources and methods and privacy interests. “The Department of Defense and its oversight committees should regularly assess the adequacy of Northern Command’s strategies and planning to defend the United States against military threats to the homeland.” (Ch. 13, p. 428) The Department of Defense created U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM), and principal responsibility for defending the homeland is now assigned to a four-star unified military commander wielding capabilities and resources that did not exist prior to 9/11. The Secretary of Defense already provides significant oversight of NORTHCOM, as do numerous Congressional committees. The President’s senior advisors are currently preparing recommendation on what additional steps, if any, may be needed to ensure the defense of the United States against threats to the homeland. “The Department of Homeland Security and its oversight committees should regularly assess the types of threats the country faces to determine (a) the adequacy of the government’s plans—and the progress against those plans—to protect America’s critical infrastructure and (b) the readiness of the government to respond to the threats that the United States might face.” (Ch. 13, p. 428) Homeland Security Presidential Directive 7 (HSPD-7) details the roles and responsibilities of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other Federal departments and agencies in protecting national critical infrastructure. DHS is currently working with all Federal departments and agencies to develop a comprehensive, cross-sector National Critical Infrastructure Protection Plan. The plan will be completed by this fall and will be reviewed annually for its adequacy in protecting against current threats. Additionally, with the creation in March 2003 of the Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection (IAIP) directorate within DHS, the United States now has a single focal point for the matching of real-time threat information with potential vulnerabilities in national critical infrastructure. Furthermore, Homeland Security Presidential Directive 8 (HSPD-8) directs the development of a measurable National Preparedness goal and a training and exercise program to ensure that the Federal Government, states, and localities are making progress toward that goal. The President’s senior advisors are currently preparing recommendations on what additional steps might be taken to ensure the protection of America’s critical infrastructure.