December 31st, 2009
03:57 PM ET
11 months ago

Senate Intelligence Committee announces terror hearings

(CNN) - The Senate Intelligence Committee announced Thursday it will hold hearings to begin on January 21 on the Christmas Day terror attempt:

Full statement after the jump:

Intelligence Committee Announces Hearings Into Failed Christmas Day Terrorism Attack

Washington, D.C. – Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Kit Bond (R-Mo.), Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, announced today that the committee will conduct hearings on the attempted Christmas Day terrorist attack on Northwest Flight 253.

As part of the investigation, the committee will collect all intelligence related to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab held by various intelligence agencies in order to determine who had what, and how the information was handled. In addition, the committee will review national security policies on sharing information and terrorist watchlisting.

Senator Feinstein decided to conduct these hearings after consultation with Vice Chairman Bond. The hearings are scheduled to begin on January 21, but the committee’s investigation will start before that time.

“The Christmas Day incident revealed some serious failures in our nation’s system of security,” said Senator Feinstein. “As the New Year dawns, it is my hope that we can pause to remember how this nation – both Republicans and Democrats – put aside political differences and worked together after the 9/11 attacks. Christmas Day was a stark reminder, and we must heed it by working together with the President to take whatever steps are necessary to close the gaps in our system of defense. The Intelligence Committee’s investigation will be an important step in that process.”

"Somebody screwed up big time, that plane would have gone down if the suicide bomber was more competent or the passengers and crew were less heroic," said Senator Bond. "In our investigation we will be following the intelligence down the rabbit hole to see where the breakdown occurred and how to prevent this failure in the future."

The Committee has received its first briefing on this matter and will hold additional briefings and hearings until the facts are known and the Committee can consider recommendations to further improve our counterterrorism capabilities.


Filed under: Senate
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. ThinkAgain

    And I'd like to call on all members of the Committee and all witnesses to solemnly swear up front that they will not politicize this event.

    That, instead, they will put the safety of our country ahead of their own and their party's political ambitions.

    December 31, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  2. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Terrorist don't care whether you are Democrat or Republican, white, black, purple or green they aim to kill as well as use terrorism to turn us against one another. We are all Americans and must stand together as the terrorist do and that is the only way we will succeed.

    December 31, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  3. BILL, WI

    I am not impressed when congress investigates itself. Rather than follow it down the rabbit hole, Sen Bond should travel to Nigeria and find out when and who the father actually spoke to and WHAT was said. Start by interveiwing the clerks or individuals at the Embassy that initially took the information from the bombers father, and determine what actions they took. And then follow that info UP the rabbit hole.

    December 31, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  4. Jane/Seattle

    My Main Street Citizen recommendation is that we get Citizen Hearings going to stop this government from further Obfuscating (look it up cuz' that's what dictionaries are for! :o) and bring just and legal charges against the Bush Regime for their many WAR Crimes Against Humanity, Violations of the Constitution, Murder, and much more. Thanks.

    December 31, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  5. concern denver Co

    Just as long as they also do not forget about healthcare .. because Obama will take care of our security .. and he can do it much fastern then the senate ..

    December 31, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  6. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    While Kit is following intelligence down the rabbit hole, he should check to see if Alice in Wonderland and Cheney are hiding there.

    December 31, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  7. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    Let us all resolve to make sure that we do not elect any more right wingnuts in 2010. We need to send Marco Rubio in FL a message that we know he is a cabana boy for the wealthy nut bags.

    December 31, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  8. BestProfitCompany = WAR

    Almost a month after it happens. Talk about priorities! I wish I had a job that if there was an emergency and I could take care of it a month later...

    We should go back the way it was before sept. 11th. I dont care what the cowards say. We Americans can take care of the terrorist with our barehands! Only cowards would trade freedom for more safety (make believe safety)

    December 31, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  9. Concerned Citizen

    I sure hope people can keep partisan politics and political correctness out of this investigation even though political correctness is literally killing us and the biggest threat to national security besides treasonous essohbees.

    December 31, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  10. cnn wont post

    well at least this administration has someone to blame . guess who. President Bush of course. How long before the DHS Secretary will do whats right and step down. The entire group is in over their heads. Hope the Committee really look at the big picture and not the fact that the CIA didnt do anything with " my son is a bad guy and does not like America" because they could have done o so much with that. Get a grip and take charge get up and be a president.

    December 31, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  11. Jenn, Philadelphia

    I wonder what conclusion the Democrat-controlled committee will come to (Diane Feinstein is the chair?!): "We have determined it's all George Bush's fault. We're not sure what, it doesn't really matter, it's just his fault for [insert crises here]".

    December 31, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  12. terry,va

    An Intelligence committee in the Senate is an oxymoron.

    December 31, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  13. cindy

    I agree that a hearing should be held. Americans have suffered enough and something should be done to ensure our safety as well as the president safety. Lately it has been too many close calls and someone needs to get to the bottom of these problems.

    December 31, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  14. Stu - Las Vegas

    Wow! "Hearings" ! That'll sure keep us save!

    Dianne Feinstein & Kit Bond both should both be removed from these positions. Why? Because they both had access to the intelligence as chairpeople of the intelligence committee!

    Now that the President has ordered an investigation, these politians want to grandstand by holding "hearings".

    They make me sick!

    December 31, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  15. Charlotte

    I hope we all can agree that the procedures that resulted in this oversight are the status-quo procedures that have been in place for a few years. In other words, your right-wing jerks had better keep your stupid little whiney mouths closed and not try to lay this exclusively at the feet of the Democrats. Maybe the current folks on the job failed, but these are all the same people at that level that were there a year, two years, three years ago in the TSA. Bush's policies continuing. Maybe you would be right if you said that the Obama administration should have chucked out all the Bush policies here as well and come up with their own, but in this instance the Dems are NO WORSE than the Rethugs – it was a breach of same-old same-old, not some new wimpy Democratic screening method.

    December 31, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  16. dan smith

    Too bad Obozo didn't follow President Bush's guidelines. If he had then the terrorist wouldn't have been able to get on the plane to start with. Terrorist started in on Clinton because they saw how weak he was, the same thing's happining now with Obozo.

    December 31, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  17. A True Centrist

    I think the liberals on this site need to realize that people are not blaming the Obama administration for what happened. They are blaming Obama for doing nothing and saying nothing to ease the panic after the attempted attack. They are blaming him for nominating a person as the head of Homeland Security who thought our security measures worked fine that day.

    I think the conservatives on this site need to realize that the attack was not the fault of the Obama administration. To say it was is ludicrous. This man acted as an Islamic radical who should not be granted the same rights as an American citizen.

    December 31, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  18. Albo58

    Our Senate? When this current batch of inept clowns are finished we'll end up having to pay a 15% surcharge on future airline tickets for "terrorist health care coverage"!

    December 31, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |