9/11 Commission: September 11th Attacks May Have Been Prevented Had The Presidential Transition Begun Earlier

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The Trump White House has instructed federal agency leaders to block cooperation with President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team as President Donald Trump continues insisting the election was stolen from him.

Likewise, Emily Murphy, head of the General Services Administration, is refusing to sign off on paperwork that would allow the transfer of power to commence.

All of this has potentially serious national security implications, as noted by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee. Rubio has called on Murphy to allow Biden’s team access, saying: “We need to have that contingency in place.”

Bloomberg News reported:

Republican Senators Marco Rubio and Mitt Romney joined mounting calls for the GSA to ascertain Biden as the president-elect, warning that extended delays in the formal transition of power put the nation’s security at risk.

Rubio and Romney are correct, and Ryan Goodman, a law professor and co-editor-in-chief at Just Security, explained why in a Twitter thread on Tuesday.

  • Goodman noted that the 9/11 Commission found that the delay in the 2000 transition may have contributed to the United States’ failure to stop the terrorist attacks.
  • “Specifically identified: ‘loss of time hampered the new administration in identifying, recruiting, clearing, and obtaining Senate confirmation of key appointees,’” Goodman wrote.
  • The commission followed up with strong recommendations for the transition process immediately following the general election, he noted.
  • “The outgoing administration should provide the president-elect, as soon as possible after election day, with a classified, compartmented list that catalogues specific, operation threats to national security; major military or covert operations; and pending decisions on the possible use of force,” the 9/11 Commission wrote.
  • The commission’s report also recommended that the president-elect “submit lists of possible candidates for national security positions to begin obtaining security clearances immediately after the election” in order that background investigations be completed before inauguration day.
  • Goodman noted that moving forward with this process in no way undermines Trump’s right to pursue legal challenges, adding that Rubio made noted of the same in saying, “I don’t think allowing the GSA to move forward on some of the transition work prejudices in any way any of the legal claims the president intends to make.”

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