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Four years later...

The chairman and vice-chairman of the 9/11 Commission were on Meet the Press on Sunday and made it clear that there is much to do -- as if Katrina didn't demonstrate that very clearly. But many of the commission's priorities are technology related, including spectrum allocation and communications and unifying the terrorist watch list. Others, such as streamlining the legislative oversight and budget process, will merely impact IT programs.

I have been impressed that the commission has fought to remain relevant -- to avoid being one of those documents that makes recommendations and then gets put on the shelf for those of us in the media and lawmakers in Congress to point to when things go wrong again.

But it was this moment in Russert's interview that I perhaps enjoyed the most:

MR. HAMILTON: See, the key problem here is making hard choices. What we do is continue to talk about hard choices. We don't make the hard choices, and the hard choices require us to do what Tom said, and that is make distinctions, the priorities: This needs to be protected, that we don't have sufficient funds to protect.

There are all sorts of battling priorities out there and it is so difficult to lay them out because the moment you do, something else comes up... but how often to influential people acknowledge that difficult task.

By the way, if you did not read the commission's final report, it is well worth reading... and could influence your priorities.

And interesting aside: If you go to the 9/11 Commission's home page, you will find this:

This web site was frozen on September 20, 2004 at 12:00 AM, EDT. It is now a Federal record managed by the National Archives and Records Administration. External links were active as of that date and time. For technical issues, contact webprogram@nara.gov. For questions about the web site, contact legislative.archives@nara.gov.

I've never seen that before.

Posted by Christopher Dorobek on Dec 04, 2005 at 12:15 PM


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