Friday, December 14, 2007

Spetember 10, 2001 Harman & Bremer III Had Lunch

This is just a little factoid which seems worth noting.
Code red: Christopher Cox '76 ('77) and Jane Harman '69 sit on different sides of the aisle, but the urgent threat of terrorism unites them, by Seth Stern '01
The experience of serving on the terror commission, chaired by a then little-known ambassador, L. Paul Bremer III, she says, was an eye-opener. "It was absolutely clear to us that the terrorists don't want a seat at the table, they want to blow up the table, and that a major attack on U.S. soil was coming," she told an audience at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government earlier this year.

Harman's knowledge of foreign policy, her bipartisan outlook and her toughness impressed fellow commission members. "She doesn't back down," said Juliette Kayyem '95, a Kennedy School lecturer and fellow commission member.

The commission's 44-page report released in June 2000 warned that terrorists would "seek to inflict mass casualties" on American soil and called on government to prepare for catastrophic attacks that might kill tens of thousands.

Harman says their findings, like many such reports before and after, did little more than gather dust. In fact, on Sept. 10, 2001, Harman, who had won re-election to her old House seat a year earlier, had lunch with Bremer, lamenting the fact that no one heeded their warnings.

One day later, she was in her Capitol Hill office watching the second airliner hit the World Trade Center on television before Capitol police ordered the building evacuated. In the ensuing chaotic hours, Harman took refuge along with other members of the intelligence committee in Congressman Saxby Chambliss' basement apartment.

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