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9/11 commissioners to reunite at IU for first time in 10 years to discuss ‘Are We Safer Today?’

For Immediate Release Oct 6, 2021

EDITOR’S NOTE ON MEDIA AVAILABILITY: Members of the media are invited to attend a press conference in the inner lobby of IU Auditorium at 10 a.m. EDT Oct. 11, featuring members of the 9/11 Commission. Presenters and other members of the commission will also be available for individual interviews immediately after the press conference, which will be streamed live and archived on Media who are interested in attending Monday’s press conference should contact Chuck Carney at 812-855-1892 or or Ryan Piurek at 812-855-5393 or

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – A decade since their last public gathering – and 20 years after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 – members of the 9/11 Commission will convene next week at Indiana University for a filmed discussion of their work, recommendations and impact on national security today.

'Are We Safer Today' text over World Trade Center memorial
Image courtesy of the IU Center on Representative Government

“Are We Safer Today?” is open to IU students, faculty and staff, and members of the general public, and will take place Oct. 12 at IU Auditorium in Bloomington. Filming will occur in three segments, each lasting 1 hour and 15 minutes. The filming times are 9 a.m., 10:50 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. EDT. It will be recorded for use in a forthcoming documentary film, produced by Indianapolis-based Naptown Media and scheduled for fall 2022, that will bring members of the 9/11 Commission together for only the second time since they issued their landmark final report in 2004. IU also hosted the commission’s only other post-report gathering in 2011.

Doors to IU Auditorium will open 30 minutes before each filming. Attendees will not be allowed to leave the auditorium until the filming segment ends. In accordance with university COVID-19 protocol, IU instructs all individuals to wear a mask inside buildings on campus.

Seven of the eight surviving members of the 9/11 Commission – formally known as the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States – are expected to participate in Tuesday’s group discussion, which is being sponsored by IU’s Center on Representative Government. The center was founded by former U.S. Rep. Lee H. Hamilton, who was vice chair of the 9/11 Commission and is a co-creator of the documentary project. Former New Jersey Gov. Thomas H. Kean, the commission’s chair, is a primary advisor on the documentary project, which will probe the critical elements of the commission’s findings and how well the federal government has implemented its extensive recommendations for American security.

Joining Kean and Hamilton for the discussion will be:

  • Richard Ben-Veniste, attorney and former chief of the Watergate Task Force of the Watergate Special Prosecutor’s Office.
  • Jamie Gorelick, former deputy attorney general in the Clinton administration.
  • Bob Kerrey, former governor of and former U.S. senator from Nebraska.
  • John Lehman, former secretary of the Navy under President Ronald Reagan.
  • Timothy Roemer, former U.S. representative from Indiana and former U.S. ambassador to India.

The discussion will focus on several key issues related to the committee’s work, including the U.S. government’s readiness to combat terrorist threats from both outside and within the nation’s borders, the challenge of information-sharing between government agencies involved in the fight against terrorism, and the problem of congressional oversight of these agencies.

It will also highlight the commission’s unique bipartisan nature – the committee included five Republicans and five Democrats – as well as the critical role 9/11 families played in establishing the commission and ensuring that many of its 2004 recommendations were achieved. These recommendations were presented in clear, simple language in a report that was so accessible to the public that it remains the only bestselling publication produced by the U.S. government.

During their time at IU, the commissioners will also participate in oral history interviews that will form the basis of a new civic education curriculum and digital application that will be written, produced and distributed by IU’s Center on Representative Government in partnership with Naptown Media.

Additionally, the commissioners will meet with students at IU’s Paul H. O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs and Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies. The Hamilton Lugar School was named in honor of two of Indiana’s most accomplished statesmen, Hamilton and the late former U.S. Sen. Richard G. Lugar.

The 9/11 Commission was established in November 2002 by President George W. Bush and Congress and charged with making a complete accounting of the facts surrounding the attacks on the World Trade Center, Pentagon and United Airlines Flight 93, and developing recommendations for the prevention of future acts of terrorism.

Media Contact

Office of the Vice President for Government Relations and Economic Engagement

Ryan Piurek

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