Members of the panel that investigated 9/11 are criticizing Congress, specifically, Republican members of Congress for turning the ISIS terror threat into a partisan political issue.
The Hill interviewed members of the 9/11 Commission, who didn’t shy away from criticizing Congress:
“Nobody can be very impressed by the congressional record here. You don’t go on a five-week vacation if you think the threat to the United States is imminent. Or, at least, I hope you don’t,” said former Rep. Lee Hamilton (D-Ind.), the vice chairman of the 9/11 Commission.
Tim Roemer, another member of the 9/11 Commission, said Congress should have identified ISIS as an emerging national security threat long before now. “It is very difficult for them to point the finger at the administration, when they have to do oversight hearings and part of their job on the Homeland Security Committee and the Intelligence Committee is to be working to identify what the emerging and evolving threats are. Did they identify this threat a year ago of ISIS? What do their hearings show?” Roemer said.
Former New Jersey Gov. Tom Kean, the Republican vice chairman of the 9/11 Commission, said lawmakers should not let partisanship get in the way of a response to ISIS. “We got to get back to that, if we’re going to respond particularly to something as deadly as ISIS. We’ve got to do it together. We can’t politicize it.”
It hasn’t been Democrats who have been politicizing the ISIS threat. Republicans have been using ISIS to bash President Obama for weeks while they were dropping the ball and not doing their jobs. Since 9/11, politicizing terrorism has been in the Republican DNA. What Republicans learned after the attacks in 2001 is that the fear of terrorism can be manipulated for political gain. The Republican motivation with ISIS is to exploit the issue. Protecting the country from threats is obviously a secondary concern behind winning the election in November.
Republican criticism of Obama can’t be taken seriously because they wouldn’t think of ending their vacation early to deal with the threat. If Republicans believe that ISIS is a threat to the American people, why did they stay on vacation for five weeks? Where are the reports from the dozens of House and Senate committees and subcommittees that are supposed to have oversight on this issue? Why hasn’t Congress stepped up to protect the American people?
The truth is that congressional Republicans are only interested in using the terror that ISIS was looking to spread by beheading two American journalists for political gain. The bitter campaign of obstruction that congressional Republicans are carrying has gone beyond impeding Congress. House and Senate Republicans are making America less safe for purposes of bashing the president and winning elections.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association