Should 9/11 Commission's Proposals Be Scrutinized?

Published December 06, 2005

| FoxNews.com

This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," December 5, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: The former 9/11 Commission issued a scathing report today that gave failing grades to the federal government for inadequacies in their efforts to implement the commission's recommendations to prevent another attack on the U.S.

The 10-member bipartisan commission gave the government five failing grades of F, for failing to provide emergency communications and appropriate security funding, and only one A in counter-terror financing. But should the 9/11 Commission also be subjected to scrutiny through a graded report?

Joining us now, Pennsylvania Congressman Curt Weldon and former Florida Senator Bob Graham. We welcome both of you.

And, Congressman Weldon, let me begin with you, because you've been very critical of the 9/11 Commission, specifically about Able Danger. And you have said that there were reports of Mohammed Atta earlier, based on Able Danger, that the 9/11 Commission did not respond to or look at adequately.

Well, I had Tom Kean, the head of the commission, on my radio show recently and asked him about your comments about that. And I just want to play you what he said and give you a chance to respond. Here's what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TOM KEAN, CO-CHAIRMAN, 9/11 COMMISSION: First of all, Mohammed Atta is one hijacker whose movements we have traced. We know exactly where he was at all times. Before 9/11, he was never in Brooklyn at all, let alone two years before 9/11.

Secondly, Mohammed Atta wasn't his name. He took the name for the operation. So two years before, he would have been going under a different name, not Mohammed Atta.

And, thirdly, Mr. Hadley denies — says he has no recollection of ever receiving such a...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: So that is Tom Kean's response to the criticisms you've had, Congressman Weldon, of the commission. What do you say to that?

REP. CURT WELDON (R), PENNSYLVANIA: Well, I think Tom Kean is not being accurate. First of all, Dan Burton, the chairman of the Government Operations Committee, was with me with Steve Hadley, as was Chris Shays. So it's not one member of Congress; it's three.

Steve Hadley said he was — that his quote was misstated in the "Washington Post." He, in fact, said he did receive a chart. He doesn't remember me giving it to him, but remembers getting the chart and seeing it. So Tom Kean was wrong.

Second, they did no investigation of Able Danger. Louis Freeh has now said publicly, repeatedly, as recently in a Wall Street Journal editorial three weeks ago, that if he would have had the information from Able Danger, it that was actionable intelligence that could well have prevented the hijackings from ever occurring.

Look, this is not Curt Weldon speaking. These are senior military intelligence officers. These are not people off the street. One's a Naval Academy graduate. Both of them have 23 years of experience. The analysts who worked this program all are in sync.

Six of them have said they identified Mohammed Atta as part of the Brooklyn cell a year and a half before 9/11. The least that should have happened was the 9/11 Commission should have investigated this. They did not. Therefore, they receive a F.

HANNITY: Congressman, let me be clear for our audience so they understand. There are six military intelligence officers, high-ranking officials, that all corroborate the story that Mohammed Atta was here, on U.S. soil, prior to 9/11. They knew about it. They screamed for their government to hear it, and they did nothing, correct?

WELDON: The six identified it. They tried to transfer the information to the FBI and could not, Sean.

HANNITY: Yes, Senator...

WELDON: They were denied.

HANNITY: Senator, how do you respond to that?

FMR. SEN. BOB GRAHAM (D), FLORIDA: Well, I think that the issue is a broader one. We need to stop looking through the microscope and step back and look through a telescope.

And the telescope tells us some of the things we need to do. One, to win the war on terror, we've got to get back, engage with the real terrorists, the ones that killed 3,000 Americans. Number two, in Iraq, we've got to be certain that we have an indigenous Iraqi army and police force that can enforce security. It is outrageous that we've been there for 2 1/2 years since the end of combat and we have not yet developed that kind of capability.

HANNITY: But how do we learn...

GRAHAM: Third, we need to look at some of the border states, like Syria, which has been harboring Hezbollah, which in turn has been supporting the insurgents, and Saudi Arabia, which has been providing most of the funding for the insurgents. If we were serious about winning, those are just a few of the places that we've got to go and go now.

COLMES: We thank you both very much, Congressman and Senator, for being with us tonight.

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