politics, history and the war on terror
Saturday, July 24, 2004
The Redemption of the 9-11 Commission 

There is much information in the 9-11 Commission's report to dispel the Left's myths of 9-11. The Full Report is worth reading but is quite long, over 500 pages.  The Executive Summary, which is only 34 pages, is an easy and enlightening read and I highly recommend it.

The release of the 9-11 Commission’s report has erased much of the bad feelings I had for these proceedings. There was much to dislike. The constant distortions of testimony and information. The commissioners grandstanding and frequent visits to the Sunday morning talk shows. Richard Clarke, whose testimony completely contradicted statements in his book (which was released around the time of testimony), public and media appearances. The appointment of Jamie Gorelick, whose 1995 justice department memo encouraged the wall of silence between the FBI and CIA. The rude treatment given to Condolezza Rice and Rudy Giuliani. The two commissioners that left in the middle of president Bush’s testimony. The constant search for a ‘gotcha’ moment by the media. The claims of 'no connection' between Iraq and al Qaeda.  The timing of the release of the report was even coordinated with a book deal.

The report itself is well written, direct and informative. It documents the causes of 9-11 with precision: the threat of Islamic terrorism, the leadership failures, the intelligence problems, the lack of vision by government, the problems with relying on diplomacy and law enforcement, structural problems with the Department of Justice, the FAA, CIA, NORAD, Immigration, homeland defense, first responders, Congress. No individuals or organizations were treated unfairly or spared the lens of scrutiny. Recommendations to government are intelligent and well thought out, including preemption against terrorists and nations that sponsor them, reorganizing government, and the creation of the Cabinet Level post of National Intelligence Director. I am supportive of the recommendations made by this commission and hopeful Congress will work to enact laws to see them through.  President Bush has indicated he will use the recommendations as a guideline for future legislation to fight the War on Terror. 

The quality of this report makes the flawed process of the commission worth the aggravation. I have learned much from this report and it has restored my faith that bureaucrats can occasionally produce something of worth.

Posted by bill roggio @ 1:40 PM