9/11 Commission

Document Date: December 6, 2004

Debate about how to restructure the national intelligence agencies is consuming Washington this fall as Congress struggles to find a legislative response to the final report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (“9/11 Commission Report”). That report exhaustively details the failures of the intelligence agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and proposes major structural changes to address those failures.

The ACLU said that the 9/11 Commission should be applauded for avoiding the easy – and wrong – scapegoat of civil liberties and human rights protections for intelligence failures. According to the Commission, pre 9/11 intelligence failures were, largely, failures of analysis and information-sharing. These failures were not the result of legal restrictions that are designed to protect civil liberties, but instead resulted from a culture and bureaucracy that horded information.

Proposals for fundamental reforms of the intelligence community are particularly sensitive because of the fundamental tension between intelligence gathering and civil liberties. Where government is focused on gathering intelligence information not connected to specific criminal activity, there is a substantial risk of chilling lawful dissent. Such inquiries plainly have a chilling effect on constitutional rights.

The ACLU does not believe the answer is to reject intelligence reform. The answer, instead, is to adopt specific safeguards for domestic collection of intelligence information that preserve the role of the FBI while ensuring against the use of spy tactics against Americans through strengthened guidelines and other checks and balances to bar political spying.


Letter to Congress Regarding Conference Report on S. 2845, the “”Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004″”(12/6/2004)

Letter To Senate Urging a ‘No’ Vote on the Conference Report on S. 2845 and H.R. 10(12/3/2004)

Letter To House of Representatives Urging a ‘No’ Vote on the Conference Report on S. 2845 and H.R. 10(12/3/2004)

Coalition Letter To Remove National ID Provisions From S. 2845 and H.R. 10 Now(12/3/2004)

Grover Norquist’s Letter to Congressman Sensenbrenner Expressing Deep Concerns Regarding H.R. 10 and S. 2845(12/3/2004)

ACLU and Privacy International Comments to the Department of Homeland Security Regarding the Proposed Secure Flight Program(10/25/2004)

An Open Letter to the Conference Committee on Intelligence Reform: Remove National-ID Related Provisions Now!(10/19/2004)

Patriot Act II: Provisions in H.R. 10 (As Passed by House) (10/13/2004)

ACLU Statement Submitted by Timothy Edgar, Legislative Counsel, at a Citizen’ s Forum on Rights and Civil Liberties After September 11, 2001 Before Rep. John Conyers, Jr., Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee < A>

Court-Stripping and Anti-Immigrant Provisions in H.R. 10 (As Passed by House) (10/13/04)

Coalition Sign-on Letter to the House Expressing Support of Rep. Chris Smith’s Amendments to Strike Sections 3006 and 3007 from H.R. 10, The House Intelligence Reorganization bill (10/7/2004)

Coalition Sign-On Letter to the House Opposing Amendment 13 (Hostettler 47) to H.R. 10 (10/7/2004)

Coalition Sign-On Letter To Senate Judiciary Committee Raising Concerns About S.Res. 445, the McConnell-Reid Senate Intelligence and Homeland Security Oversight Reform Proposal (10/7/2004)

ACLU Letter to the Senate Urging Senators to Vote Either in Favor of or Against Certain Amendments to S. 2845, the “National Intelligence Reform Act of 2004” (10/6/2004)

ACLU Letter to the House Urging Opposition to H.R. 10, the House Leadership bill (10/5/2004)

ACLU Letter to the Senate Urging Senators to Reject the the Kyl Amendment (No. 3801) to S. 2845, the Collins-Lieberman bill (10/04/2004)

ACLU Letter Urging Senators to Postpone Consideration of the Collins-Lieberman bill S. 2845, the National Intelligence Reform Act, until after the Presidential Election (09/29/2004)

ACLU Revised Interested Persons Memo Opposing the Anti-Immigrant Court-Stripping Provisions in the House Leadership Bill to Implement Recommendations of the 9-11 Commission (09/27/2004)

House 9/11 Commission Bill Includes Patriot II, National ID Card, Worst Anti-Immigration Measures in Decade (9/27/2004)

ACLU Interested Persons Memo Opposing the Anti-Immigrant Court-Stripping Provisions in the House Leadership Bill to Implement Recommendations of the 9-11 Commission (09/23/2004)

Coalition Letter Urging Senators to Reject Creation of a National ID System as Recommended by the 9-11 Commission (9/20/2004)

Coalition Letter to the Senate Urging Senators to Reject Any Proposal That Would Lead to the Creation of a National Identification System (National ID) by means of State Issued Driver’s Licenses (09/20/2004)

ACLU Written Statement Submitted by Timothy H. Edgar, Legislative Counsel, at a Hearing on S. 2679, the “Tools to Fight Terrorism Act of 2004” before the Subcommittee on Technology, Terrorism and Homeland Security of the Senate Judiciary Committee (09/09/2004)

Statement Submitted by ACLU Legislative Counsel Timothy H. Edgar at a Hearing before House Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations on Overclassification (08/24/2004)

ACLU Statement for the Record at a Hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on “The 9/11 Commission and Recommendations for the Future of Federal Law Enforcement and Border Security” (08/24/2004)

ACLU Testimony of Gregory T. Nojeim, Associate Director & Chief Legislative Counsel, at a Hearing on “Civil Liberties and the Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission,” Before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security (08/23/2004)

Summary of ACLU Analysis of 9/11 Commission Recommendations on Intelligence Reform (07/30/2004)

ACLU Analysis of the 9-11 Commission’s Recommendations for Intelligence Reform(07/30/2004)

ACLU Disappointed With ‘Intelligence Reform’ Bill Passage, Final Measure Still Contains Unneeded Attacks on Privacy and Freedom (12/8/2004)

ACLU Opposes ‘Intelligence Reform’ Bill; Measure Fails to Safeguard Privacy, Freedom (12/6/2004)

House Leadership Rejects Compromise on Intelligence Reform, ACLU Calls For Better Privacy and Rights Protections in New Bill (11/20/2004)

ACLU, Conservative and Liberal Allies Denounce National ID Card Plan in Intelligence Reform Bill(11/15/2004)

NYC Council, Irish-Americans Ask Congress to Remove Anti-Immigrant Provisions, Limit Legislation to 9/11 Commission’s Recommendations (10/28/2004)

ACLU Renews Call for Strong Civil Liberties Board in Intelligence Reform, Says Increased Government Powers Intensify Need For Independent Review(10/26/2004)

ACLU Says Lawmakers Must Listen to 9/11 Commission, 9/11 Families; Final Measure Must Not Include Anti-Immigrant, Anti-Privacy Provisions (10/20/2004)

ACLU Calls on Intelligence Reform Conferees to Protect Liberty and Freedom, Says Anti-Immigrant, Anti-Privacy Provisions Must Be Removed (10/20/2004)

ACLU, Cuban Americans Call on Congress to Reject Anti-Immigrant Provisions in Intelligence Reform Bill (10/20/2004)

ACLU: White House Outreach to Intelligence Reform Conferees Short-Sighted; Freedom and Liberty, Not Political Pressure, Should Guide Congress (10/19/2004)

Right-Left Partners Launch New Ads Warning of ‘Big Brother’ Society As New Intelligence Reform Bills Attack Privacy (10/14/2004)

ACLU Launches Ad Campaign on Intelligence Reform Legislation, Highlights How House Republican Leadership Bill Targets Immigrants (10/12/2004)

ACLU Disappointed with House Passage of So-Called ‘Intelligence Reform’ Bill; Measure Expands Patriot Act, Appeases Anti-Immigrant Lobby (10/08/2004)

ACLU Says House Intelligence Reform Measure Expands Patriot Act, Scapegoats Immigrants and Creates a ‘Big Brother’ State (10/07/2004)

Despite Improvements, Intelligence Reform Bill Fails to Protect Civil Liberties and Privacy (10/06/2004)

ACLU Says House Anti-Immigrant Provisions Break From 9/11 Commission; Calls on Members to Reject Mean-Spirited Measures (10/05/2004)

ACLU Says House 9/11 Commission Bill a “Trojan Horse,” Patriot Expansion, Attacks on Immigrants Guided by Election Year Politics (09/29/2004)

ACLU Raises Concerns On 9/11 Commission Bill Information Sharing Measure, Provision Could Resurrect Total Information Awareness (09/29/2004)

ACLU, American Conservative Union and Islamic Free Market Institute Launch New Ads, Right-Left Partnership C/alls for No Expansions of Patriot Act (09/28/2004)

ACLU Launches New Patriot Act Radio Ads in Maine, 9/11 Mother Asks Congress Not to Expand Patriot Act (09/24/2004)

ACLU Says Congress Seeks to Expand Patriot Act; Says New Law Would Further Diminish /Privacy and Freedom (09/13/2004)

ACLU Urges Caution as First 9/11 Commission Implementation Bill is Introduced, Calls for Careful Deliberation Before Far Reaching Changes are Enacted (09/07/2004)

ACLU Calls Proposed Bush Liberties Board Fox Guarding Henhouse; Urges Congress to Create Effective, Powerful Oversight (08/30/2004)

ACLU Concerned With 9/11 Panel’s Recommendations for Airline Security, Some Measures Would Invade Privacy, Provide Little Safety (08/25/2004)

ACLU Warns Against Creating System of ‘Too Many Secrets,’ Calls Openness and Accountability Crucial to A Free Society (08/24/2004)

House Judiciary Committee Members Hear ACLU Concerns on 9/11 Report, Freedom and Privacy Must Guide Any Changes (08/23/2004)

ACLU Calls for Protection of Privacy and Freedom As Congress Continues Examination of 9/11 Commission Recommendations (08/16/2004)

ACLU Advises House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Says History Shows Need For Protection of American Freedoms (08/04/2004)

ACLU Calls for System of Checks and Balances As Congress Deliberates; New Measures Must Remain True to the Constitution (08/03/2004)

ACLU Analyzes Civil Liberties in 9/11 Commission Report (08/03/2004)

ACLU Urges Senators to Approach 9/11 Commission Report Cautiously (07/30/2004)

9/11 Commission Report Takes on Patriot Act, Government Secrecy; ACLU Outlines Civil Liberties Problems With Cabinet-Level Spymaster (07/22/2004)

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