Thursday, April 08, 2004
"Tragically, for all the language of war spoken before September 11, this country simply was not on a war footing," Ms Rice told the panel.
"For more than 20 years, the terrorist threat was growing, and America's response across several administrations of both parties was insufficient."
Of course there was no war talk going around! If it had been suggested, can you imagine the 'war monger' talk that would have been flying around? Before (and also after for many) 9-11, I doubt there were very many people in the general public that would have supported aggressive acts such as bombing al qaida targets or trying to kill bin laden. Of course now everyone is criticizing the lack of action, but I'll bet many of the same people would not have supported the pre-9/11 actions they are now suggesting.
Ms Rice said that one intercepted message spoke of "unbelievable news coming in weeks", while another said: "Big event, there will be a very, very, very big uproar".
"Troubling, yes. But they don't tell us when, they don't tell us where, they don't tell us who, and they don't tell us how," Ms Rice said.
How is our defense supposed to be failproof, especially if specific targets are not mentioned (which would probably never happen, except with a very inept terrorist group)? A person/group can only do so much. And if we cut back on funding for services like the spy game, how can we expect to really learn anything significant? I remember hearing people yammering about how bad it is/would be for an infiltrator to partake in 'illegal' activities just to fit in with one of these groups we need to know more about. Yet at the same time, these same people demand that we find out as much as we can without resorting to such 'atrocities'. Ok, that is nice, but back in the real world the rest of us are wondering how that is possible? If you can't get into a group, how do you expect to garner any real info? And if you refuse to participate in their activities, how will they become accepted/trusted? They won't!
She said that
"We have made changes since then," she said, citing in particular the creation of the Department for Homeland Security.
In other words, the egos of these intelligence groups got in the way. Big surprise. You would think they would work together instead of trying to hog the glory for the betterment of the US people, right? Think of them as a different kind of politician (not a very good comparison, but I think it's applicable when referring to those in charge that are making the big calls). Politicians rarely work together for the common good. They more often than not work for the good of their party and their own re-election. Why should the heads of the CIA, FBI and others be any different?
Now we wait to see what becomes of this 'non-partisan' inquiry into what could have been done better.