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9/11 Vice Chair Lee Hamilton '52 on Larry King Live; Says America "Missed Opportunities" Before Terrorists Struck

April 13, 2004

April 13, 2004, Greencastle, Ind. - Lee Hamilton, vice chair of the 9/11 Commission and a 1952 graduate of DePauw University, was asked tonight on CNN's Larry King Live if the events of September 11, 2001 could have been prevented. Video Link [DOWNLOAD VIDEO: "Was 9/11 Preventable?" 1597KB] "If a lot of things had happened and if the breaks had gone our way, you can put together a whole list -- I mean a very long list -- of opportunities that we missed, for one reason or another," Hamilton said. "If some of those opportunities had been seized, if we'd had a break or two, I think we could very well have had a different result than 9/11. But you can't be sure of that. You can't be absolutely sure that, even if you had seized some of those opportunities, it would have stopped 9/11."

Hamilton, who served for thirty-four years as a United States Congressman from Indiana, serving as chairman and ranking member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, is now director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. He told King, Video Link [DOWNLOAD VIDEO: "The Commission's Task" 1089KB] "What we're going to focus on are the facts prior to 9/11. We're going to identify some of these missed opportunities. But the thrust of this report is not going to be looking backward. The thrust of this report is going to be looking forward, and trying to make recommendations in a very specific way that will help make the American people safer."

Lee Hamilton also offers an op-ed in today's Globe and Mail of Canada, suggesting that Russian President Vladmir Putin's growing police state bears watching. You can access the essay by clicking here.

In April 2003, Hamilton returned to DePauw to take part in a discussion on the Middle East with William A. Brown, former U.S. Ambassador to Israel and Thailand. You can learn more about that event, and access audio clips of the talk, here.