Washington, DC— As we approach the sixth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Democratic Senators Robert Menendez and Bob Casey joined Matt Bennett of Third Way at a press conference today to discuss Democrats’ efforts to help make America more secure and how President Bush’s flawed strategy in Iraq is distracting us from targeting a resurgent Al Qaeda. Far from keeping Osama bin Laden on the run, as President Bush promised in 2001, he is building up his terrorist network and now plans to release a videotape ahead of next week’s anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
“When our security was compromised on 9/11, it was imperative to remove the threat and fill the security gaps,” Menendez said. “Not only is Osama bin Laden at large and back in business, but the Department of Homeland Security continues to receive failing grades. Six years after 9/11, it is urgently evident that we need smarter foreign policy abroad and a rededication to homeland security at home.”
Said Casey: “For over four years, a great deal of our military and intelligence resources have been focused on Iraq and diverted from other persistent threats and developing hot spots. Under Democratic leadership, we have enacted the long-stalled 9/11 Commission recommendations and increased homeland security funding. However, to protect against another terrorist attack, we must be able to effectively hunt down terrorists wherever they may be. Having to police a civil war is drawing resources from that effort.”
“In 2001, Al Qaeda was a tumor that could have been removed,” Bennett said. “But because the President shifted U.S. attention to Iraq, Al Qaeda has metastasized into a global cancer that is now out of control.”