5,718. 3/23/2004

During questioning of top-level government officials in the 9/11 Commission hearing on March 23, 2004, critiques were made on the Clinton and Bush administrations. The Clinton Administration “had been too tentative in going after al Qaeda before 9/11: as al Qaeda launched attacks and issued fatwas against the United States, there was not a robust strategy to check the increasing threat, and it was unclear whether the CIA was authorized to kill Bin Ladin, or whether they had to try to capture him. The critique of the Bush administration was that it had not taken terrorism seriously before 9/11; as threat reports spiked in the spring and summer of 2001, there were no senior-level policy meetings about al Qaeda, and the policy produced on September 10, 2001, was nearly the same as that of the Clinton administration.”

 – Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, Without Precedent, Page 162

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