ANOTHER VIEW: Voices from the Hill

How members of Congress saw Sept. 11

Editor's note: Dozens of members of Congress issued statements condemning the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Here are excerpts from a few of them.

Today I call on Congress and the president to immediately pass and sign into law [the Terrorist Elimination Act, HR 19]. We must give our government every tool at hand to combat those persons who threaten and destroy American lives and commit terrorist acts across the world. I also urge our federal government to re-examine other restrictions that unduly hamper our ability to fight terrorism abroad.'Rep. Bob Barr (R-Ga.)

I hope that within a short period, we will see scaffolding on the sides of the Pentagon after we finish the search and recovery work that is being carried out heroically. I hope we all see a clear signal that we are rebuilding and our defenses are more resolute than ever.'Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.)

We must dedicate the proper resources to deal with them in the appropriate way. Terrorists may be able to run, but they cannot hide from America's steely determination and justice. Many of those who died were dedicated public servants. Members of our armed forces, firefighters, police officers. People dedicated to serving and protecting America. Others were citizens dedicated to living the American dream, who had wives or husbands or children or parents who loved them and who will miss them. These people were innocent victims in a war conducted against America by cowards. It is time that we start fighting back.'House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R.-Ill.)

As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I am prepared to work with the administration to provide any resources deemed necessary to restore what was lost and prevent any such actions from occurring in the future. One way to achieve these dual goals is to provide appropriate funding in the annual defense authorization bill that the House of Representatives is expected to begin considering very soon.'Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.)

As our Capitol was evacuated yesterday, as I stood out here on the plaza and saw people coming out of our buildings, I said: Lord, let us get back in there as soon as possible, for if we let terrorism shut down our democracy, then terrorism wins. We had to say to the American people that we were here today, including our loyal and brave staff.'Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)

We have been warned by many experts that the threats we will face in the 21st century would be different and more diffuse than those we had faced over the last half-century. That is why we have embarked on a path of transforming our military and other government agencies to better prepare to wage and defend this new warfare. We must now move, after yesterday, with far greater urgency, for our enemies will not wait.

They will not delay. They will continue to work with single-minded determination to find our points of weakness and strike at them. We must match and exceed their focus and determination.'Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.)

Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001, should also be remembered as the day that showed the 'soft underbelly' of American foreign policy. Where is our intelligence network? Where is the CIA? Where is the FBI? From Saddam Hussein, to the Berlin Wall, to the collapse of the Soviet Union'America learned of these powerful events from Fox and CNN. On Tuesday, America once again learned of this massive attack from Fox and CNN.

Any military strategist must admit that this massive terrorist attack was not planned overnight. Months and perhaps a year were required to promulgate such a strategy, yet no intelligence, no human infiltration of known terrorist organizations.

The sad truth is Congress must look in the mirror, Congress has allowed it.'Rep. James Traficant Jr. (D-Ohio)


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