September 18, 2001 | WebMemo on National Security and Defense
When terrorists struck the United States on the morning of September 11, our first responsibility at Heritage was to do our job as a public policy think tank. In a crisis of this magnitude, stunned Americans were turning by the millions to mass media for information. They also needed interpretation and analysis to help them make some sense of a catastrophe unlike any we've ever experienced. This update summarizes our activities from the time of the attack through about noon of Monday, September 17.
As soon as we got word of the attacks, our Communications Department and Center for Media and Public Policy suspended all planned activities and focused on the attacks. Owing to credibility we've built over many years with news media nationwide, we received many calls from print and broadcast outlets for interviews with our defense policy experts. They gave interviews or provided articles for media that included:
Heritage policy experts provided interviews or background data on broadcast outlets (radio and television) that included the following:
NBC Nightly News
American Family Radio Network
"Ken Hamblin Show"
CBS News "48 Hours"
CNN Money Morning
"Stan Solomon Show"
"Jim Bohannon Show"
"Mike Gallagher Show"
"Armstrong Williams Show"
We published documents on the following topics:
An op-ed urging the president to declare war, distributed nationally by Scripps Howard News Service.
Facts and figures about terrorism, compiled by our Center for Data Analysis. Our CDA and Media Center are also responding to requests from news organizations for similar information.
Also, check out www.heritage.org for these upcoming reports:
We will broadcast four seminars concerning America's security this month and you can watch them live from your computer:
Our war against terrorism began way before last week's attacks:
In 1992 we wrote a Backgrounder Update on the importance of supporting the moderate Afghans against the Islamic radicals, who were bound to export international terrorism, Islamic revolution and drugs if they came to power.
In 1994, we wrote a Backgrounder analyzing the security threats posed by the rise of transnational pan-Islamic terrorist groups which anticipated the rise of bin Laden. This paper also examined the possibility that Iraq and Iran were behind the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, which was considered a wacky idea at the time.
We called for the overthrow of the Taliban, not just a war against bin Laden, in last year's backgrounder, "Defusing Terrorism at Ground Zero: Why a New U.S. Policy is Needed for Afghanistan"
We published a lecture by Ambassador L. Paul Bremer, Chairman of the National Commission on Terrorism, on "New International Terrorist Threats and How to Counter Them", on July 31, 2000, that discussed the unconventional threats posed by terrorists such as bin Laden.
We called for a systematic strategy to uproot terrorist groups from sanctuaries and uproot regimes that give state support for terrorism in "The Yemen Bombing: Another Wake-Up Call in the Terrorist Shadow War"