Apr 08 2004

SHELBY REACTS TO RICE TESTIMONY

U.S. Senator Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala), former Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, had the following statement regarding Dr. Condoleezza Rice’s testimony today before the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States:

“I believe that Dr. Rice's remarks today provided the American people with a clearer understanding of the activities of the Bush Administration prior to September 11, 2001. She outlined specific accounts of meetings and briefings that the Bush administration held regarding the threat of terrorism and al Qaeda. Dr. Rice clearly stated that terrorism was, in fact, a top priority for the President.”

“Her testimony also reaffirmed the root of the September 11 attacks. While the nineteen hijackers who boarded planes to intentionally murder countless Americans are to blame for the tragedy on that day, we must also recognize the fault within our own intelligence community. Dr. Rice acknowledged the structural failures of the CIA, FBI, NSA and other intelligence agencies to share information. If our intelligence community had worked cooperatively and had the technological framework in place to 'connect the dots' about terrorist threats, September 11th may have been prevented.”

“Finally, I believe that while the 9/11 Commission continues to investigate what happened on September 11, the focus must be on the substance of the details and not the politics of the participants,” Senator Shelby concluded.