About The Episode
On this edition of "Conversations," we seek the truth behind the 9-11 attacks. Former U.S. Senators Slade Gorton and Bob Kerrey look back on the challenging work as members of the 9-11 Commission. They discuss why the commission faced political suspicion and roadblocks as it investigated the attacks. Plus, the surprising discovery that Seattle was a 9-11 target. And more than a decade later, why they believe we are safer, but still a target for terrorists.
About Slade Gorton
Slade Gorton is of counsel at Preston Gates & Ellis LLP. Prior to joining the firm, he represented Washington State in the United States Senate for 18 years, from 1982-2000. While in the Senate, Gorton served on the Appropriations, Budget, Commerce, Science and Transportation, and Energy and Natural Resources Committees. He served as chairman of the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, the Commerce Subcommittees on Consumer Affairs, and Aviation. He was also a member of the Republican leadership as counsel to the Majority Leader.
Gorton began his political career in 1958 as a Washington state representative; he went on to serve as State House majority leader. In 1968, he was elected attorney general of Washington state, where he argued 14 cases before the Supreme Court. Gorton also served on the president's consumer Advisory Council and on the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission. He was chairman of the Washington State Law & Justice Commission, served as an instructor in Constitutional law to public administration graduate students at the University of Puget Sound in 1977, and has served on the Board of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center since 1987.
Gorton served on the National Commission on Federal Election Reform in 2001. In 2002, Gorton became a member of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (popularly known as the 9/11 Commission) which issued its final report in 2004.
About Bob Kerrey
Bob Kerrey is President of New School University in New York City. For twelve years prior to becoming President of New School University, Kerrey represented the State of Nebraska in the United States Senate. Before that he served as Nebraska's Governor for four years.
Educated in pharmacy at the University of Nebraska, Kerrey served three years in the United States Navy. After his military service, he started a chain of restaurants and health clubs in Nebraska, Iowa and Kansas.
Kerrey entered the race for Governor of Nebraska with no prior political experience and was elected as a Democrat in a heavily Republican State. After serving a single four-year term, he returned to business. Upon the death of Nebraska's senior United States Senator, Kerrey became a candidate for the U.S. Senate. He was elected in 1988 and re-elected in 1994. He chose not to run for re-election a third time because of the offer to be President of New School University and his desire to return to private life.
From his first days as Governor to his last days in the Senate, Kerrey has been involved with all levels of education in Nebraska and around the country. For the past 20 years, he has given his strong support both to increased funding and the need for significant reform. He headed the bipartisan Congressional Web-Based Education Commission, which in 2001 produced an influential report entitled "The Power of the Internet for Learning: Moving from Promise to Practice."
Kerrey is the author of "When I Was A Young Man: A Memoir," published by Harcourt Books (May 2002).