U.S. EMBASSY SPONSORS VISIT BY U.S. 9/11 COMMISSION STAFF

Panorama.am
17:18 02/10/2008

Three distinguished American experts who formerly participated in
the U.S. National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United
States (more commonly known as the 9/11 Commission) will visit Armenia
October 5-11. The visiting experts will consult with relevant Armenian
officials examining the March 1-2 events in Yerevan, and especially
the National Assembly's Ad Hoc Commission of Inquiry into March 1-2
Events. The idea for such a visit was first proposed to Armenian
officials by Assistant Secretary of State David Kramer during his
June 2008 visit to Yerevan. The visit is sponsored by the United
States Embassy and is funded by USAID. The three visiting experts
will be Christopher Kojm, John Farmer, and Michael Hurley.

The purpose of this visit is for the U.S. experts to share with their
Armenian counterparts the experiences and lessons learned from the
U.S. 9/11 Commission experience. The experts will share their knowledge
about the management, operations, successes, and difficulties that the
9/11 Commission faced, and provide these insights both to the Ad Hoc
Commission and to officials involved in organizing the independent
experts group that will supplement the parliamentary inquiry. The
delegation will also consult with the Prosecutor General of the
Republic of Armenia about the criminal investigation work.

The visiting U.S. 9/11 Commission experts will not directly assist
in any inquiry or investigation concerning events in Armenia. They
will not conduct an assessment or report about the efforts underway
in Armenia. The sole purpose of this visit is to convey information
and insights about the lessons learned from the U.S. experience with
the 9/11 Commission.

About the 9/11 Commission: The 9/11 Commission was created as
an independent, bipartisan special commission of inquiry into the
September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks against the United States. Many
Americans believed at that time that U.S. Government agencies might
have been negligent or incompetent in failing to anticipate, detect,
and prevent the attacks. The U.S. public demanded that a special
commission be established to examine all evidence to assess this
allegation. The 9/11 Commission had ten members, five Republicans
and five Democrats -- all of whom were retired senior officials of
U.S. federal and state government. The 9/11 Commission reviewed
thousands of pages of government records and other evidence and
interviewed hundreds of government officials and other witnesses. The
ten Commissioners were assisted in this massive work by 75 professional
staff members. The delegation visiting Armenia is comprised of three
of the most senior of these staff members. They are distinguished
experts in law, legislative oversight, and national security matters.

About the Visiting Experts:

Christopher Kojm: Christopher Kojm was the Deputy Executive Director
of the 9/11 Commission. Working under the Executive Director,
Mr. Kojm directed the overall management and organization of
the 9/11 Commission's work. Mr. Kojm is currently Professor of
International Affairs at the George Washington University. He served
as a Congressional staff member for the House of Representatives
Foreign Affairs Committee from 1984-1998, in positions of increasing
seniority. He also has served as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of
State. He served as president of the 9/11 Public Discourse Project --
a program to educate the American public about the September 11 events
and the work of the 9/11 Commission -- from September 2004-December
2005.

Michael Hurley: Michael Hurley served as Senior Counsel (attorney)
and Director of Counterterrorism Policy Investigation for the 9/11
Commission from May 2003-July 2004. He has more the thirty years
experience as a U.S. government expert on national security and
counter-terrorism. He worked in the White House National Security
Council staff under President Clinton, and more recently as a senior
special adviser to the State Department's ambassador-at-large for
counter-terrorism. He is currently president of an international
consulting firm, Team 3i LLC, and serves part time as a special
adviser to President Bush's Special Envoy for Middle East Security,
retired General James Jones, focusing on the Israeli-Palestine
conflict. Mr. Hurley began his professional career as a trial attorney
in Minnesota.

John Farmer: John Farmer served as Senior Counsel (attorney) on the
9/11 Commission from 2003-2004, with a focus on emergency response
to the terrorist attacks. He is currently a partner in the law firm
of Arsenault, Whipple, Farmer, Fasset, and Azzarello. He served as
Attorney General of the State of New Jersey (population 8.7 million)
from 1999-2002, a position which in the American system combines the
functions of both Prosecutor General and Minister of Justice. He
also served as a Commissioner on the New Jersey State Commission
of Investigations, which oversees investigations into political
corruption and organized crime. Previously, he served as Chief Counsel
and before that Deputy Chief Counsel to the Governor of the State of
New Jersey. Before moving to New Jersey state government, Mr. Farmer
served as an Assistant United States Attorney (U.S. federal prosecutor)
for the federal judicial district of New Jersey, prosecuting organized
crime, kidnapping, bank robberies, and financial fraud cases. He also
serves as a special adviser to Special Envoy for Middle East Security
James Jones, and teaches law at the Rutgers University Law School.