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April 09, 2004

My thoughts on the 9/11 Commission.

I haven't expressed an opinion on this subject. I suppose now is as good a time as any. Below is the text of a comment I left on this blog. Susie, lolling in the shade of her Practical Penumbra, pointed it out. When the comment turned into a post, I decided what the heck - why leave it shivering and lonely on a lefty blog, when I can bring it here, into the light.

Ain't perfect hindsight grand?

All the dots are sooooo obvious when all the dead end paths are x'd out. The maze is easy to negotiate when all the turns are nicely labeled.

I worked in the WMD response task force for DoD in 98-00. We considered airplanes into buildings. We considered ricin in the food supply. We considered toxins in the water. We considered nerve gas in the subways. We considered low-order radioactive material distributed in any number of interesting ways. We used complicated models to try and determine downwind paths in complex urban terrain, simulating someone dispensing a biological from a high building. We considered lots and lots of stuff. And there was intel that supported all of it.

Which means that nothing stands out. It's all possible. And, like it or not - just as the Clinton administration found out - you can't guard against everything.

We made plans to react to all of it. We rehearsed those plans and the coordination with Federal, State, and Local agencies. And we lost sleep over the probable casualties.

The problem was no one (this means you, the public, in addition to the executive/legislative leadership) was going to buy the recommended preventive measures - because no one really BELIEVED it could happen here. An attitude carried forward with the change in administrations.

NOW we believe.

This raking over the coals is all about politics - it's not about getting to an answer. Which means it's a virtual waste of time. No one seems interested in improving the system - just their electoral chances... regardless of the downstream impact of that.

A pox on all of 'em.

John | Permalink | Comments (10) | Global War on Terror (GWOT)
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