Thursday, July 22, 2004

Uncomfortable reading

A BBC reporter said that the 9/11 Commission report would make “uncomfortable reading” for GeeDubya. Granted, most things make uncomfortable reading for our Functional Illiterate in Chief, except maybe:
http://sadlyno.com/uploads/sadlynogoats.htm

Yet another strangely unsatisfying report. Anyone can cite it as vindication of their own actions or their pet theories--and they have--because it goes in all directions, like any report written by a committee. Everyone is to blame but no one is to blame. There were a million chances to prevent 9/11, but we don’t know if 9/11 could have been stopped. It’s a bureaucratic report, suggesting that the only problems were in bureaucratic structure, and will therefore encourage members of the intelligence “community” in the future to continue to act like members of a bureaucracy, which was the problem in the first place.
  (UPDATE: James Ridgeway sets out a similar view of the report at greater length.)
 
And some of the talk about centralization looks good on paper but would kill creativity at the bottom, where a lot of the hints about 9/11 were uncovered.  The problem is one of encouraging independent thought at the bottom while coordinating better at the middle and upper levels.  Similarly, the talk about Congressional oversight being so weak because of fragmentation is only partly right.  A super-committee with all-powerful senior politicians, which is basically what the commission called for, sounds like leaving foreign policy in the hands of dinosaurs.

Mr. Godfrey Bloom, the MEP
I mentioned a couple of days ago, has been kept off the women’s rights committee, except as an alternate. He was challenged by, among others, Allesandra Mussolini, the Duce’s granddaughter, who questioned whether he himself could clean behind a fridge. Link.


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