This week’s Democratic response to President Bush’s weekly radio address was delivered a former member of the 9/11 Commission, Tim Roemer. Roemer used the address to call on Congress to pass the final version of the 9/11 Commission recommendations and President Bush to sign the bill. He began by talking about the two terrorist attacks against Great Britain last week and 9/11 attacks.  

“Nearly six years ago, 3,000 citizens died in the collapsed skyscrapers of New York City, on a field in Pennsylvania, and at the Pentagon along the banks of the Potomac River. And rising out of this grief, American citizens – led by the 9/11 Families – pressured Congress to act. Together, we created the bipartisan 9/11 Commission and gave it a mission to understand what happened and how to make sure it never happened again. Together, we asked the tough questions and turned the lessons of 9/11 into a strategy with 41 recommendations to make America safer.”

Roemer then talked about the government’s shortcomings in making America safer. “Today, six years after al Qaeda’s assault, three years after the Commission’s report, our government still has not done enough to make America safe. Only half of these bipartisan recommendations have been passed. The White House’s execution and funding of them has received failing grades.

As the foot-dragging goes on in Washington, al Qaeda is on the move. Osama bin Laden escaped the mountains of Afghanistan and continues to broadcast his message of hate across the globe. The terrorist training camps that we shut down in Afghanistan are reopening under new management in Pakistan. The war in Iraq trains new terrorists every day and radicalizes even more, creating a new generation of jihadists. America, the beacon of hope and opportunity around the world for decades, is finding fewer friends and more enemies daily.”

“Today, we have a new opportunity to secure America. The House and Senate, led by Speaker Pelosi and Senator Reid, have put the remaining 9/11 Commission recommendations into a bipartisan proposal that awaits final passage. This bill would make the American people safer. It closes loopholes and reduces vulnerabilities by encouraging greater information sharing, improving first responder communications, and better targeting homeland security resources to where they are needed most. The 9/11 bill also attacks the threats of tomorrow today. It prevents the rise of new terrorists by restoring America’s image abroad and expanding educational opportunity in the Middle East. For those who still seek to do us harm, the bill helps keep the world’s most dangerous weapons out of the terrorists’ hands by stepping up efforts to secure loose nuclear material,” Roemer said.

He then urged the passage of the 9/11 Commission Recommendations bill. “But we need to fix the logjam in Washington. This legislation has passed the House and Senate, but Congress needs to finish the job and get this bill to the President’s desk. And to secure the American people, the President must support and sign, this bill, not threaten to veto it. For the past three years, 9/11 families have worked tirelessly to get Congress to pass these reforms. They have turned their own tragedy into a cause to protect their fellow citizens. They are true American heroes. It’s time Congress honored them on this Independence Day weekend by making their vision of a more secure America a reality. We cannot afford to wait any longer. We need to move forward with a unity of purpose and unity of effort. We need to pass this bill into law.”

The White House and Congressional Republicans have consistently failed to back their words up with actions when it comes to 9/11. One has to look no further than the presidential campaign of Rudy Giuliani to see how the GOP is not above exploiting the deaths of 3,000 people for political gain. The Bush administration has been dragging its feet on the remaining recommendations, like the securing of loose nuclear materials because such operations would be very expensive. Expense has been the buzz word that both the president and Republican members of Congress have used. They claim that better port security would be too expensive.

Bush said that tougher security mandates for the nation’s chemical and power plants would be too expensive for the owners of those facilities. Republicans seem to be in favor of better domestic security unless it will cost corporate America some cash. The fact that some top Republican leaders have put the special interests of the business world ahead of our national security is one of the reasons why this nation is still not safe. This president has always viewed the wealthy and corporate America as his constituency, so it should be no surprise that he would place their interests ahead of our domestic security.

Full text of Tim Roemer’s radio address 

Jason Easley is the editor of the politics zone at 411mania.com.  His news column The Political Universe appears on Tuesdays and Fridays at

www.411mania.com/politics 

Jason can also be heard every Sunday at 7:00 pm (ET) as the host of The Political Universe Radio Show at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thepoliticaluniverse

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