"What did you know and when did you know it?" This question has been asked many times. And we never get an honest answer - and if we did, we probably wouldn't believe it.
I can believe the possibility that the FBI report never made it to Bush's desk. I doubt they pass every note along to him. It's not his job to sift through all the agent field reports. I can understand that.
And I can also believe that Bush didn't know that four planes were going to be hijacked on the morning of Sep 11th. I don't think anyone knew the specifics. That's the problem. Someone should have known. The FBI, CIA and INS should have dug deeper and faster into the available leads.
And if they did come up with the specifics, would anyone have ever believed them? Some of us in jobs of lesser public importance have dealt with this many times. The employee who has data that points to an unusual but obvious conclusion is often ignored or ridiculed by those receiving the unique report. "That couldn't possibly happen." "I can't believe [this] is causing [that]." "It's never happened before. It'll never happen now."
I believe Condoleezza Rice when she says that they couldn't have predicted the events. That qualifies as a BIG problem. 2 + 2 = 4. No matter how much you want it to be 3 or you think it might be more "22-ish," it's still 4. And realize that it's your job to predict these events and prevent them. So if you don't have that much creative vision among the present team, you need to hire someone who does have that type of creativity. And you need to take their ideas and conclusions seriously.
The biggest problem I have with the whole situation is that I keep hearing echoes of the election fight. I remember Bush ridiculing Gore for going so deeply into all the details of an issue - and how he was somehow "better" because he would just skim the data and be fed "the bottom line." I can almost hear Bush say, "Well, do you have anything specific? No? Then don't waste my time, I've got more important things to do." Perhaps he needs a bigger spoon.
Posted by BlueWolf on May 24, 2002 12:10 AM