Friday, July 23, 2004

9/11 commission comments 

A Lesson From 9/11: Openness
I like Dionne's idea -- "Clinton and Bush owe the nation back-to-back news conferences to react to the criticisms contained in the report. The news conferences should be open-ended. No plausible question should be left behind or evaded. If we want to move forward, we have to put the recrimination behind us. As the Sept. 11 commission has shown, openness and honesty are the best means to that end. " However, the only reporters allowed in the room should be ones who have read the whole report cover to cover and who can ask intelligent questions about it.
And I know its fashionable not to blame anyone for anything anymore, but from my skimming of the report so far, I do wonder how the Department of Defense and the office of the National Security Advisor came off so easily -- both appear to have refused to take terrorism as seriously as they should have over the years. Particularly the Department of Defense, which set such an unrealistically high standard for strking Bin Laden in Afganistan prior to 9/11 that they effectively kiboshed any White House initiatives in this area, and which did not appear to take seriously the risk of terrorist individuals, rather than states, attacking the US. And the terrorism response team in 1999 dealt successfully with the millenium threats, and was known to be successful at the time, but I did not see any discussion of why the National Security Advisor did not continue this type of activity.

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