Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton

Former New Jersey Gov. Thomas Kean and former US Rep. Lee Hamilton (D), the chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks, were Tuesday's guests. Here are excerpts from their remarks:

On how the intelligence reform bill stalled in the House could affect future terrorist attacks:

(Kean) "It can make us safer. There is a chance of preventing some of these attacks. Whether it can prevent every attack, that is doubtful."

On the stakes for President Bush in getting the bill through Congress:

(Hamilton) "The president has put his position, his prestige, his credibility, on the line on this bill. This is the first test of that after his reelection. And I don't think the president wants to take a defeat on this bill."

On critics who say intelligence reform is moving too fast:

(Hamilton) "I haven't heard any of them come up with an alternative. Do they accept the status quo? Why don't they say so? If they don't like our proposal, why don't they come up with a proposal of their own?"

On lessons from news reports of personnel turmoil at the CIA:

(Kean) "What it does say ... is that the CIA director has a full-time job there. That means that same individual cannot be the chief intelligence agent of the country. What is going on there is another argument for creating a national intelligence director ... [who] can oversee the whole operation."

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