CIA Director David Petraeus told the House and Senate Intelligence Committees today that the death of Osama bin Laden opened "an important window of vulnerability" in the fight against al Qaeda, though the threat from terrorism persists. Petraeus testified along with Director of National Intelligence James Clapper about how the intelligence world has changed since 9/11. This was the retired General's first appearance on Capitol Hill since being sworn-in at the CIA last week.
House Intel Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-MI) said he worried Americans could become complacent about terrorism, though his Senate counterpart, Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) said in her statement "Are we safer today? I say yes...More than one-half of al Qaeda's top leadership has been eliminated....Virtually every major al Qaeda affiliate has lost a key leader."
The hearing was the first in a series the House Intelligence Committee will hold to mark the tenth anniversary of 9/11. Chairman Rogers said in a statement that the hearings provide lawmakers a chance to “not only review the progress we have made in the intelligence community in the last decade, but to look forward and explore ways to achieve further integration and coordination."
The Senate Homeland Security Committee also met today to examine whether the changes the government made after 9/11 had made the country any safer. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, FBI Director Robert Mueller, and the head of the National Counterterrorism Center, Matthew Olsen testified.
Homeland Security Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman (I-CT) said in a recent speech that he thinks that terrorism continues to be a serious threat and that the view that the U.S. overreacted in the wake of 9/11 is "profoundly mistaken."