Statement of Congresswoman
April 12, 2002
The need for an investigation of the events surrounding
September 11 is as obvious as is the need for
an investigation of the Enron debacle. Certainly,
if the American people deserve answers about what
went wrong with Enron and why (and we do), then
we deserve to know what went wrong on September
11 and why.
Are we squandering our goodwill around the world
with what many believe to be incoherent, warmongering
policies that alienate our friends and antagonize
our allies? How much of a role does our reliance
on imported oil play in the military policies
being put forward by the Bush Administration?
And what role does the close relationship between
the Bush Administration and the oil and defense
industries play, if any, in the policies that
are currently being pursued by this Administration?
We deserve to know what went wrong on September
11 and why. After all, we hold thorough public
inquiries into rail disasters, plane crashes,
and even natural disasters in order to understand
what happened and to prevent them from happening
again or minimizing the tragic effects when they
do. Why then does the Administration remain steadfast
in its opposition to an investigation into the
biggest terrorism attack upon our nation?
News reports from Der Spiegel to the London Observer,
from the Los Angeles Times to MSNBC to CNN, indicate
that many different warnings were received by
the Administration. In addition, it has even been
reported that the United States government broke
bin Laden's secure communications before September
11. Sadly, the United States government is being
sued today by survivors of the Embassy bombings
because, from court reports, it appears clear
that the US had received prior warnings, but did
little to secure and protect the staff at our
Did the same thing happen to us again?
I am not aware of any evidence showing that President
Bush or members of his administration have personally
profited from the attacks of 9-11. A complete
investigation might reveal that to be the case.
For example, it is known that President Bush's
father, through the Carlyle Group had - at the
time of the attacks - joint business interests
with the bin Laden construction company and many
defense industry holdings, the stocks of which,
have soared since September 11.
On the other hand, what is undeniable is that
corporations close to the Administration, have
directly benefited from the increased defense
spending arising from the aftermath of September
11. The Carlyle Group, DynCorp, and Halliburton
certainly stand out as companies close to this
Administration. Secretary Rumsfeld maintained
in a hearing before Congress that we can afford
the new spending, even though the request for
more defense spending is the highest increase
in twenty years and the Pentagon has lost $2.3
All the American people are being asked to make
sacrifices. Our young men and women in the military
are being asked to risk their lives in our War
Against Terrorism while our President's first
act was to sign an executive order denying them
high deployment overtime pay. The American people
are being asked to make sacrifices by bearing
massive budget cuts in the social welfare of our
country, in the areas of health care, social security,
and civil liberties for our enhanced military
and security needs arising from the events of
September 11; it is imperative that they know
fully why we make the sacrifices. If the Secretary
of Defense tells us that his new military objectives
must be to occupy foreign capital cities and overthrow
regimes, then the American people must know why.
It should be easy for this Administration to explain
fully to the American people in a thorough and
methodical way why we are being asked to make
these sacrifices and if, indeed, these sacrifices
will make us more secure. If the Administration
cannot articulate these answers to the American
people, then the Congress must.
This is not a time for closed-door meetings and
this is not a time for secrecy. America's credibility,
both with the world and with her own people, rests
upon securing credible answers to these questions.
The world is teetering on the brink of conflicts
while the Administration's policies are vague,
wavering and unclear. Major financial conflicts
of interest involving the President, the Attorney
General, the Vice President and others in the
Administration have been and continue to be exposed.
This is a time for leadership and judgment that
is not compromised in any fashion. This is a time
for transparency and a thorough investigation.