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Homeland Security

SLUG: 2-301570 NY 9/11 Commission (L-O)








INTRO: An independent commission looking into what could have been done to prevent the 2001 September 11th terrorist attacks has begun two days of public hearings in New York City. Correspondent Jenny Badner reports the commission is hearing from survivors, relatives victims, counter-terrorism experts, and local lawmakers.

TEXT: The 10-member commission is investigating a broad range of possible causes and failures leading to the September 11th disaster, including areas of intelligence, law enforcement, diplomacy, aviation, and terrorist funding.

The national commission's chairman, former New Jersey Governor Tom Keane (PRONO: CANE), says families of the nearly three-thousand victims want to know that their deaths will spur efforts to prevent a future tragedy.

/// KEANE ACT ///

Our purpose is to find out why things happened, how they could have happened, and what we can do to prevent there ever happening again.

/// END ACT ///

During the first day of testimony in New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who took office four-months after the attacks, said the city had little control over failures of airport security on September 11th, 2001.

Mr. Bloomberg lashed out at the federal government for failing to provide sufficient funding to the city, which faces a multi-billion dollar deficit. Mr. Bloomberg said that the massive budget gap has been exacerbated by post-September 11th economic losses and costly security needs.

He described as unrealistic the more than eight-million-dollars that the Federal Department of Homeland Security has earmarked for New York from its 560-million-dollar budget.


/// BEGIN OPT /// Homeland security funds should be allocated on the basis of threat analysis and risk. Any other formula, for example, by population, defies logic and makes a mockery of the country's counter-terrorism efforts. /// END OPT.///

New York City, let me remind you, has been targeted four-times by terrorists. and the federal government can not ignore our symbolic value. ... to argue that most other cities have comparable threats is just ridiculous.

/// END ACT ///

The commission also heard from survivors and relatives of victims. One burn victim, who worked on a top floor of the World Trade Center, said he hoped his story would put a human face on the tragedy and that the commission's findings would not be ignored.

The bipartisan, independent inquiry and its staff of about 50-people, are expected expected to release a report by May, 2004. (SIGNED)


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