As a critic of the idea of a 9/11 Commission in an election year, I must say I think they have done a reasonably good job from the parts I have read. Of course, any book (or report) can be read and interpreted as many ways as there are readers. And even the author of a book does not fully understand what he or she has written (and when… as in this case… there are multiple authors, well…)
So now we are in the land of interpretation, which, like Susan Sontag, I am often against. One explainer who particularly raised my hackles this morning was the WaPo’s Glenn Kessler, writing, it should be noted, as if his article was not “analyses,” but hard news. [There’s no such thing as hard news. Only analyses.–ed. Hey, I said that first!] This misreading (in my view) earned Kessler the screaming lead headline on Drudge until it was replaced by the Dow going wobbly.
I will only add on the more general… and perhaps most significant… proposal raised by the report of a new overall intelligence czar, so far I am an agnostic. The pro argument is clear. Crucial information must be shared between intelligence agencies. But the con argument, that competition between these agencies fosters better intelligence, seems to be true also. We need to find some way of balancing this.