Hamilton: Well, at the top of my list happens to be a personal one, and that is, I could never figure out why these 19 fellas did what they did. We looked into their backgrounds. In one or two cases, they were apparently happy, well-adjusted, not particularly religious - in one case quite well-to-do, had a girlfriend. We just couldnt figure out why he did it. I still dont know. And I think one of the great unanswered questions - a good topic for investigative reporters - would be: why did these 19 do what they did? We speculated in the report about why the enemy hates us, but we simply werent able to answer the questions about the 19.On the 12th anniversary of 9/11
Kean on bin Laden: "We had him"
Main article: 9/11 Commission Report
In December 2003, Kean said that the September 11 attacks could have been prevented, stating: "As you read the report, you're going to have a pretty clear idea what wasn't done and what should have been done. This was not something that had to happen."
On April 4, 2004, Kean again stated that the September 11 attacks could have been prevented, saying that the United States government should have acted sooner to dismantle al-Qaeda and responded more quickly to other terrorist threats. "When we actually saw bin Laden on the ground, using the Predator or other means, did we have...actionable intelligence? Should we have sent a cruise missile into a site where he was at that point? I think those early opportunities are clear. We had him. We saw him. I think maybe we could have done something about it.
MR. KEAN: Absolutely right. If we had been able to put those people on the watch list for the airlines, the two who were in this country; again, if we'd stopped some of these people at the borders, if we had acted earlier on al-Qaeda when al-Qaeda was smaller and just getting started even before bin Laden went to Afghanistan, there were times we could have gotten him, there's no question. Had we gotten him and his leadership at that point, the whole story might have been different.
MR. RUSSERT: Congressman, you think September 11th could have been prevented?
MR. HAMILTON: Well, there's a lot of ifs. You can string together a whole bunch of ifs. And if things had broken right in all kinds of different ways, as the governor has identified, and many more, and, frankly, if you'd had a little luck, it probably could have been prevented. But we'll make a final judgment on that, I believe, when the commission reports.