FAA Critiqued In 9/11 Report
The FAA's response to pre-9/11 warnings of terrorist threats against aviation got slammed last week, as a newly declassified staff report by the 9/11 Commission was released. The report adds more details about exactly what information was available to FAA officials and when. Despite dozens of warnings that al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden posed a threat, and information that hijackers could be planning suicide missions, aviation officials were "lulled into a false sense of security" and didn't respond adequately, the report says. In response to the new report, FAA spokeswoman Laura J. Brown told The New York Times, "We didn't have specific information about means or methods that would have enabled us to tailor any countermeasures." The report's release was delayed for five months while it was declassified. Parts of the report were redacted at the request of the FAA and the Transportation Security Administration, which raised objections from some 9/11 Commission members. "The public has a right to know this information unless it compromises real national security interests," former commissioner Richard Ben-Veniste told CNN. "We are a society that's capable of dealing with the truth."