May 18, 2002


I HAVE A RATHER DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE FROM ATRIOS -- and I think the "Bush Knew" graphic at the top of the page is sleaze worthy of Cynthia McKinney. But he/she is spot on (well, except for a couple of nasty en passant swipes) with this observation:

Since 9/11 I have always wondered why not a single person lost their job over that catastrophe, other than some illegal alien airport workers. I realize that following such a tragedy standing around pointing fingers is not helpful (though someone forgot to tell that to our patriots, and ex-patriates, on the Right.) However, that is not what I'm referring to. I'm talking about someone fairly high up in the leadership choosing to step forward and say "Hey, this happened on my watch. It was my job to prevent this kind of thing, and I failed, and I cannot in good conscience remain in this position. I Will remain around long enough to ensure a smooth transition, and then leave."

Such an act would be largely symbolic, and we could expect to find the noble soul popping up somewhere else [in] government in the not too distant future, but I nonetheless always thought it should have happened. It's called taking responsibility, and it is something people at the top should do more often.

These latest revelations speak volumes about this administration and the media who cover for them. Their inability to admit to a single mistake (at least domestically -- they had little problem apologizing over the spy plane incident) causes them to spin ludicrously and yes, to lie, when it would be oh so easy to say yes, we messed up a little bit. The psychological damage this must be doing to the real victims of 9/11, and yes, to our "Homeland Security" cannot be exaggerated.

Back last fall I said heads should roll, and I got a lot of emails saying that, well, it was a crisis, we were invading Afghanistan, there were lots of Al Qaeda loose, and we couldn't afford the disruption that a proper investigation (and punishment) would entail. Okay, fair enough. But not only have we passed the crisis phase, but there's still no evidence that anyone is going to pay any price for screwing up. Indeed, there's not any evidence that anyone is looking at why the right information wasn't brought to the right people at the right time. Instead, we're getting insultingly false remarks about how utterly unimaginable the attacks were. And I agree: it's important that people take responsibility. Unlike Atrios, I'm not cackling with glee at seeing the Bush Administration look bad here. But should they be acting in a way that lets Atrios cackle with glee?

UPDATE: For a contrary view, see Iain Murray's thoughts.