CHICAGO – On the heels of the much-awaited release of the 9/11 Commission report on what led up to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today issued a proclamation thanking former Illinois Governor James R. Thompson for his work on the critical assessment of U.S. intelligence and homeland security efforts.
After two years of investigation into the devastating terrorist attack, the 9/11 Commission released its 567-page report on why national intelligence agencies failed to detect the terrorists’ plot, and what should be done in the future to prevent similar attacks.
Former Illinois Governor James Thompson was appointed by President Bush in late 2002 to serve on the ten-member, bipartisan Commission. Thompson has experience as an aggressive prosecutor, having worked in the Cook County State’s Attorney office and served as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois before becoming the state’s longest-serving governor, serving from 1977 to 1991.
Governor Blagojevich’s proclamation reads:
WHEREAS, on September 11, 2001, the worst terrorist attacks in our nation’s history resulted in the deaths of thousands of Americans, including police officers, firefighters, military personnel and citizen heroes who gallantly laid down their lives to save others; and
WHEREAS, in the wake of those terrorist attacks it became clear that a fair, impartial and thorough investigation was necessary to help the United States understand how these attacks were planned and executed, what precautionary steps might have been taken to avert them, and what must be done to prevent future terrorist attacks on American soil; and
WHEREAS, the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (also known as the 9-11 Commission), an independent, bipartisan ten-member commission, was created by Congressional legislation and the signature of President George W. Bush and chartered to prepare a full and complete account of both the circumstances that led up to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and the immediate response to those attacks; and
WHEREAS, the 9-11 commission was also empowered to present its best recommendation on the most effective means to secure our nation’s borders, bring our attackers to justice, and protect the people of the United States against any future terrorist action; and
WHEREAS, the former Governor of the State of Illinois, James R. Thompson, has had a long and illustrious career in public service and the law, and established himself as an intrepid prosecutor, first in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office and then as the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District; and
WHEREAS, James R. Thompson was appointed to the 9-11 Commission and has played a key leadership role in its inquiry; and
WHEREAS, over the last 20 months, James R. Thompson has worked tirelessly with the Commission as it reviewed more than 2 million pages of documents and heard testimony from more than 1,000 individuals in ten countries in an effort to render an objective and authoritative report; and
WHEREAS, the 9-11 Commission issued its final report on Thursday, July 22;
THEREFORE, I, Rod Blagojevich, Governor of the State of Illinois, hereby honor James R. Thompson for his public service on the 9-11 Commission.