Hijackers could get state IDs today: 9/11 panelist
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Last Updated: Friday, September 16, 2011, 10:38
Bloomington: Hijackers like those who crashed planes in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania could still get state IDs on Friday despite efforts to create uniform standards for identification, a member of the panel formed to examine the attacks has said.

Former Illinois Governor James Thompson said the 9/11 Commission's 2004 report called for federal identification standards, but those haven't succeeded because of civil liberties concerns and states' desire to guard their own processes.

"Our credit card companies know more about us than the government does," Thompson said during a panel discussion at Indiana University.

"We ought to grow up and say hey, we are facing the kind of threat in America we have never, ever faced before. We have to adopt measures we have never, ever considered before."

Eight of the 10 commission members attended discussion yesterday and reflected on whether the US is indeed "safer, stronger, wiser" as outlined in the 585-page road map it issued in 2004. Commission members said many of their recommendations are now reality but said some key ones "including better communications for police and fire" are still undone a decade later.

"Lives were lost on 9/11 because the police and fire could not talk to each other. That is still true today in most of America. Ten years later, Congress has not settled on a solution," Thompson said.

"Ten years is long enough."

Members of the bipartisan commission lamented the loss of national unity that occurred immediately after the attacks.

Jamie Gorelick, deputy attorney general under President Bill Clinton, said the panel began its report with a theme of unity and purpose and that all of its recommendations followed that concept.

But she said the current partisan divisions in Washington make fulfilling that mission difficult.

"I don't think we can be safe if we are as divided as we are today," she said.


First Published: Friday, September 16, 2011, 10:38

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