140 national security leaders call for 9/11-style panel to review Jan. 6 attack

140 national security leaders call for 9/11-style panel to review Jan. 6 attack
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A coalition of 140 national security leaders who served under Democratic and Republican administrations is urging congressional leaders to form a 9/11-style commission to investigate the Jan. 6 riot on the Capitol.

“The events of January 6th exposed severe vulnerabilities in the nation’s preparedness for preventing and responding to domestic terrorist attacks. The immediate security failings that permitted a lethal breach of the Capitol Complex by armed extremists raise serious questions and demand immediate solutions,” they wrote.

The attack showed “coordinated disinformation campaigns, nontransparent financing of extremist networks, potential foreign influences, and white supremacist violent extremism,” they added.


“Understanding how these forces culminated in an attack on the infrastructure of our democracy is critical to preventing future attacks,” they wrote.

The letter was signed by national security leaders including former Secretaries of Defense Chuck HagelCharles (Chuck) Timothy HagelThe Afghan Air Force: When 'Buy American' goes wrong Overnight Defense: Navy medic killed after wounding 2 sailors in Maryland shooting | Dems push Biden for limits on military gear transferred to police | First day of talks on Iran deal 'constructive' 140 national security leaders call for 9/11-style panel to review Jan. 6 attack MORE and William Cohen; former Secretaries of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, Jeh Johnson and Michael Chertoff; and former Director of National Intelligence James ClapperJames Robert ClapperDomestic security is in disarray: We need a manager, now more than ever Will Biden provide strategic clarity or further ambiguity on Taiwan? 140 national security leaders call for 9/11-style panel to review Jan. 6 attack MORE.

The Jan. 6 attack left five people dead and has led to more than 300 arrests. 

House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiCapitol riot defendants have started a jail newsletter: report On The Money: Biden asks Congress to extend eviction ban with days until expiration | Economic growth rose to 6.5 percent annual rate in second quarter Top Democrat: 'A lot of spin' coming from White House on infrastructure MORE (D-Calif.) appointed retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré to lead an investigation into the attack and has said she would assemble a 9/11-style commission as well.

But those plans have been in limbo since Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellAn August ultimatum: No recess until redistricting reform is done After police rip Trump for Jan. 6, McCarthy again blames Pelosi The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - US gymnast wins all-around gold as Simone Biles cheers from the stands MORE (R-Ky.) and others criticized the format of her proposed commission for allowing Democrats to make more appointments than Republicans.


Under Pelosi’s draft bill, Republicans would appoint four members of the commission, while Democrats would appoint seven. None of the members would be lawmakers or government officials.

The former national security officials argued the event calls for a full nonpartisan panel to review the event and how the country can be better prepared.

“Commissions — properly empowered, resourced, and led — can establish a full picture of events and an analysis of their causes, from which nonpartisan recommendations can authoritatively flow,” they wrote. 

“Given the gravity of January 6th as a national security matter — the violent disruption to the transition of power and the continuing threat of future attacks — a national commission examining the lead up to the January 6th assault, and the attendant security lapses, is not only appropriate, but a critical component of the national response,” they added.