July 22, 2004
Kurt Gallagher
(202) 639-6491

Statement in Response to the 9/11 Commission Report from John Gage, National President Of The American Federation of Government Employees

WASHINGTON, DC - We applaud the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (the 9/11 Commission) for its work to carefully and realistically analyze America's homeland security failings and needs. Unfortunately, one critical lesson that should have been learned in the wake of 9/11 has yet to be acknowledged: America's homeland cannot be secured without a professional, well-trained, adequately funded, and fully staffed federal workforce dedicated full-time to the task of securing our nation.

The Department of Homeland Security currently faces critical staff shortages as a result of an agency-wide hiring freeze. There will be no new border patrol agents or customs and immigration officers.

In the meantime, the debate continues on whether to re-privatize federal airport screeners of the Transportation Security Administration, America's frontline defense for air transportation.

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