A program held at Indiana University’s auditorium Thursday looked at the 9/11 affects and changes 10 years later. Eight of ten members of the original federally appointed 9/11 commissioner appeared on the panel that focused on several national security issues.
Among those topics was how the defense department sees the future of cyber security.
“The bad news is that the institutions that are the most vulnerable to cyber-attack are in the civilian sector,” Commissioner James Thompson said. “How we would utilize the military knowledge in protection systems to protect the civil sector is an extraordinary question. It involves questions of public policy, privacy, law, can we act quickly enough in the event of a cyber-attack.”
Several panelists explained Al Qaeda wanted to carry out the airplane hijackings to show the rest of the world that the U.S. was vulnerable. Former 9/11 Commissioner Bob Kerrey says the U.S. knew about Al Qaeda and its hostile intentions against the U.S. but failed to act.
“We knew where they were, we knew they were killing Americans and we waited,” he said. “We’re using the full capability of the United States. I think it’s appropriate, and I think it’s a substantial deterrent.”
The commissioners say while military has advanced, there are still unanswered questions that need addressing. Some of the commissioners advocated giving more “power of the purse” to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to increase his influence.
Commissioner Lee Hamilton also said Congress should create a subcommittee within the House Appropriations Committee to deal more efficiently with intelligence operating funds.