September 11 Commission wants security teams named early

| Friday, September 17, 2004

Presidential candidates should announce key Cabinet members before the November election so they can get security clearances as soon as the president takes office, the September 11 Commission told Congress, The Associated Press reported.

Without that, there will be a “very dangerous hiatus” between presidential administrations when no one is officially leading America’s security forces, commission members Fred Fielding and Jamie Gorelick told a Senate Governmental Affairs subcommittee.

Specifically, the commission said that the candidates should announce their picks for national security adviser and the secretaries of the State and Defense departments.

“We must recognize that the time of transition is a time of great vulnerability for our country,” Fielding said. “As we know that terrorists study and look at our mistakes, this is a prime time for them to attack because it is a period which people are going out and people are coming in and there is no one in charge.”

The intention is that “no later than 30 days after inauguration, there would be an up-and-running government,” Gorelick said.

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