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9/11 commission has been
overly partisan
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[APRIL 19, 2004]  PEORIA -- At news conferences in Peoria and Springfield today (Monday), U.S. Rep. Ray LaHood, R-Peoria, a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, took to task the commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. In the past, LaHood has repeatedly said the commission would be overly political because of the partisan nature of the commissioners. LaHood said today that the high-profile testimony of several witnesses and the partisan nature of questioning by commission members has underscored his point.

"Even before this commission was established -- when it was being proposed in Congress -- I believed this process would be nothing more than an exercise in partisan politics," LaHood said. "What we have seen over the past few weeks is partisan questioning and partisan conclusions from partisan members of the commission. We have also learned that there is no 'smoking gun,' no piece of intelligence that would have prevented the attacks which unfolded that day, and that is the same thing the Intelligence Committee said a year ago when we released the report on the 9/11 tragedy. I believe the families of those who perished in the terrorist attacks deserve more than a sniping, political commission."


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During the news conference, LaHood also discussed his recently concluded Intelligence Committee trip to Europe. LaHood and other members of the committee met with government and intelligence officials in several European nations to discuss efforts at combating terrorism and other intelligence matters. Countries the committee members visited were Italy, Cyprus, Greece and Ireland.

"As we have seen in the wake of 9/11 and especially with the recent bombings in Spain" added LaHood, "Europe will play a vital role in the war on terrorism. This trip was an opportunity to learn firsthand what European leaders are doing to combat those who wish to terrorize the citizens of their countries."

[News release from Rep. Ray LaHood,
18th Congressional District]


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