Congressman Cole's Remarks on 9/11 Commission Report
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Tom Cole made the following statement after the 9/11 Commission's report was released:
"I am very grateful for the work of the 9/11 Commission and I hope that their recommendations will lead to a better intelligence operation and a safer America. A comprehensive, bipartisan investigation into the events and intelligence surrounding September 11, 2001 is necessary to protect the security of our country and prevent future terrorist attacks.
"As to who was ultimately responsible for the massive terrorist attack on September 11, the Commission's answer is no surprise. Al-Qaida and their network of extremists exclusively plotted and implemented the attacks. As the Commission's report stated, I believe it is vitally important that we reform our intelligence operations. But, unfortunately it is impossible to have perfect intelligence 100% of the time. We must place equal importance on destroying terrorist networks, cutting off their financial support and preventing them from acquiring weapons of mass destruction.
"One compelling piece of information in the 9/11 report is the multiple references to contact between Iraq and al-Queda. Although the report concludes that the President did not use September 11 as a reason to invade Iraq, it shows the fear that Iraq was a threat to peace and a safe refuge for terrorist regimes was a legitimate concern.
"President Bush and Congress have already begun to make major reforms in our intelligence operations--creating the Department of Homeland Security and The Patriot Act are just two examples of policy changes since September 11. There is still more work to be done. But, I believe, the President and the Congress have the best interests of the country in mind. I look forward to working with my colleagues on a bipartisan basis to do everything possible to prevent future attacks.