Rudman sees another attack as certainty
Associated Press | September 10, 2007
Former senator Warren Rudman, who helped review national security before and after the 9/11 attacks, says there will be other attacks in this country.
"It is not a question, I'm sorry to tell you, of if. It's a question of when," Rudman told business, public policy and higher education leaders in Bedford on Friday.
He said the country has work to do in preparing for, trying to prevent and responding to emergencies, including attacks.
Rudman said the next president would have to design a communications system so all law enforcement officials, fire departments and the National Guard can talk to each other. He also said National Guard members must be trained in matters of national security so they can provide support after an attack. And, he said the country must step up efforts to improve inspections at the nation's ports, which he said are vulnerable.
He spoke at an event meant to spur conversation about current issues. It was sponsored by the New Hampshire College and University Council, the New Hampshire High Technology Council and the New Hampshire Higher Education Assistance Foundation.
In 1997, Rudman was part of a national security commission that concluded that because there was no organized homeland defense program there was a "gaping hole in America's national security."
Rudman said after reviewing intelligence reports, the group was convinced, in the summer of 2000, that there would be an attack on the United States. In January 2001, it presented its report to some members of Congress.
"No one seemed to take it seriously, and no in the media seemed to care, Rudman said. "The report went into a dustbin in the White House."
It was revived after the Sept. 11 attacks, and one suggestion, forming a Homeland Security Department, was adopted.
But Rudman said the sprawling department doesn't function the way it should.
He said it must be slimmed down to include only the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Coast Guard, customs enforcement and an intelligence agency in "one lean, mean organization."
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