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9-11Commission Hearing 2004-01-26

9-11Commission Hearing 2004-01-26

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Published by: jrod on Apr 28, 2009
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SEVENTH PUBLIC HEARING OF THE NATIONAL COMMISSION ON TERRORIST ATTACKS UPON THE UNITED STATESSUBJECT: BORDERS, TRANSPORTATION AND MANAGING RISKSCHAIRED BY: THOMAS H. KEAN WITNESSES: PANEL I: MARY RYAN, FORMER ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE FOR CONSULAR  AFFAIRS, DEPARTMENT OF STATE;DORIS MEISSNER, FORMER COMMISSIONER, IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE;PANEL II:JOSE E. MELENDEZ-PEREZ, INSPECTOR, CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION,DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY;PANEL III: MAURA HARTY, ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR CONSULAR AFFAIRS, DEPARTMENTOF STATE;RUSSELL E. TRAVERS, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, INFORMATION SHARING ANDKNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT DEPARTMENT, TERRORIST THREAT INTEGRATIONCENTER;DONNA A. BUCELLA, DIRECTOR, TERRORIST SCREENING CENTER, FEDERALBUREAU OF INVESTIGATION;PANEL IV:JAMES ZIGLAR, FORMER COMMISSIONER, IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATIONSERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE;ROBERT C. BONNER, COMMISSIONER, CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION,DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY;PETER F. VERGA, PRINCIPAL DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR HOMELANDDEFENSE, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSELOCATION: 216 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING, WASHINGTON, D.C.TIME: 9:00 A.M. EST
 
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DATE: MONDAY, JANUARY 26, 2004
MR. THOMAS H. KEAN: I'd like to call the hearing to order.As chairman of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Uponthe United States, I hereby convene the seventh public hearing.This hearing's going to run over the course of two days, from9:00 o'clock to 4:30 around today and tomorrow. We have taken itas the topic of today's hearing "Borders, Transportation andManaging Risk." Today we're going to focus primarily on bordersecurity.We intend to be covering a lot of ground today. So we canget right to business at hand, I'm going to keep these openingremarks very brief. I will, however, make just two points beforewe begin. First, we'd like the American people to know that theCommission is deep into its work. We and our staff continue towork our way through more than two million pages of documents.We have interviewed more than 900 people and will be interviewingseveral hundred more before we conclude our work.We have access to some of the most sensitive information inthe possession of the United States government. Outstandingrequests for additional materials that were the subject ofsubpoenas the Commission issued have been resolved. We arecarrying out our mandate to provide a full and complete accountof the events of September 11th, 2001 and to recommend ways tomake the people of our country safer and more secure. We intendto write a strong and a creditable report.Now I want to say just a word about today's hearing. Todayand tomorrow staff will present facts uncovered in ourinvestigation thus far into the events that transpired onSeptember 11th, 2001. We believe that what we present today willprovide new information about the attacks of September 11th.What we have learned certainly will impact our investigation andimpact the final report that we prepare. Today we will hear fromfour panels of witnesses. Two will be proceeded by statementsfrom the Commission staff, summarizing what we have learned todate about incidents, about which witnesses will testify.To start, I would now like to recognize Dr. Philip Zelikow,the Commission's executive director, who will begin the firststaff statement. He will be followed by Ms. Susan Ginsburg, whodirects the part of the investigation that pertains to thesubject of today's hearing.
 
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MR. PHILIP D. ZELIKOW: Members of the Commission, workingwith you we have developed initial findings on how theindividuals who carried out the 9/11 attacks entered the UnitedStates. We have also developed initial findings on terroristswho failed in their efforts to enter the United States. Thesefindings lead us to some tentative judgments on the way theUnited States targets the travel of international terrorists.This staff statement represents the collective effort of severalmembers of our staff. Susan Ginsburg, Thomas Eldridge and JaniceKephart-Roberts did most of the investigative work reflected inthis statement.The Commission was able to build upon a large and strongbody of work carried out by many talented public servants at theDepartment of State, the Central Intelligence Agency, the formerImmigration and Naturalization Service, the Department ofHomeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. TheAmerican people should be proud of the many extraordinaryprofessionals now serving them. To the extent we havecriticisms, they are comments less on the talent available andmore on how that talent was used.As we know from the sizeable illegal traffic across our landborders, a terrorist could attempt to bypass legal procedures andenter the United States surreptitiously. None of the 9/11attackers entered or tried to enter our country this way. Sotoday we will focus on the hijackers exploitation of legal entrysystems. We have handed out a list attached to the statement ofthe names of 9/11 attackers to help you follow our discussion.To break down some of al Qaeda's travel problem, view itfrom their perspective. For most international travel, aterrorist has to have a passport. To visit some countries,terrorists of certain nationalities must obtain a documentpermitting them to visit, a visa. Finally, the terrorist mustactually enter the country and keep from getting detained ordeported by immigration or other law enforcement officials.Susan Ginsburg, senior counsel to the Commission will begin byexamining how the hijackers navigated these stages.MS. SUSAN GINSBURG: Beginning with passports. Four of thehijackers passports have survived in whole or in part. Two wererecovered from the crash site of United Airlines flight 93 inPennsylvania. These are the passports of Ziad Jarrah and Saeedal Ghamdi. One belonged to a hijacker on American Airlinesflight 11. This is the passport of Satam al Suqami. A passerby

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