Entry: What bothers me about Rice's testimony Saturday, April 10, 2004



Ms. Rice presented the picture of a government utterly useless in preventing the 9/11 attacks.

I understand perfectly that the attacks are the responsibility of the criminals who planned and carried them out.  But Rice says,

Yet, as your hearings have shown, there was no silver bullet that could have prevented the 9/11 attacks. In hindsight, if anything might have helped stop 9/11, it would have been better information about threats inside the United States, something made difficult by structural and legal impediments that prevented the collection and sharing of information by our law enforcement and intelligence agencies.
So the attacks came.
(end quote)

No magic bullet?  So the attacks came?  That's it?  That's all there is to it?

In a better administration, there would be a lot more feeling for those who were killed in the crimes of 9/11.  Instead, Rice here is playing duck-and-weave.  She's hoping her boss keeps his job in November, and nothing else.  No apologies, no offers of resignation, no assignment of blame in the failure to tear down the "structural and legal impediments that prevented the collection and sharing of information."  Note that the "structural and legal impediments" are the subjects of the clause; they are the ones who "prevented the collection and sharing of information," not some person, such as herself, or the President.  Just nice, anonymous impediments doing what impediments do.

Note the use of the phrase "no magic bullet."  This is just magical thinking, of the kind often used by the religious.  It's along the lines of "God's will."  Ah well, there was no magic bullet; it was inevitable; it was fate.

Bull.  There was nothing inevitable about the destruction of two of the world's most famous buildings.  There is no fate except that which we make.  Hell, even the fourth plane wasn't able to execute its terror mission, due to the speedy flow of information via cell phone.  Those passengers took things into their own hands to try to save themselves, and at the very least saved hundreds of lives who would have been lost on the ground had they done nothing.

No silver bullet?  "So the attacks came?"  These are the words of people who don't want to face up to their own failure.

At least Mr. Clark had the decency to apologize.

   7 comments

Oswuari
April 11, 2004   07:44 AM PDT
 
You'll note that when she's saying they did everything they could, or some other such bullshit, she has body language that betrays her. She's always shaking her head... which means she is subconciously denying the statement she is making.
Brandon Starr
April 11, 2004   05:58 PM PDT
 
Interesting. I'll have to watch for it, but I didn't notice it first time around.
Splotch!
April 12, 2004   08:35 AM PDT
 
Richard Clarke is a Jackass trying to profit off of misrepresentation and confusion while proving that timing is everything when trying to sell a book. Insincere apologies to boost one's fiction up the NYT bestseller list is hardly comendable.
Putting America on trial for the actions of some insane diabolical zealots is asinine. The attacks of 9/11 were regretable, yet inevitable. It's unbelievable how partisan politics relentlessly play the blame game. The only thing I fault in our systematic reaction following the attack was the bureaucratic tangles that kept our military response from being immediate and severe.
Brandon Starr
April 12, 2004   11:15 AM PDT
 
Interesting. Six months ago, I'd likely be with you. But today, with more and more BS being uncovered on a weekly and even daily basis, I just can't go along any more.

But even then, I wouldn't call someone who had his authority at the time of the attacks a jackass for apologizing. If anything, I'd call it too little too late, and darn well about time.
Name
April 12, 2004   12:36 PM PDT
 
Condolences for the victims, their families, & their loved ones were in order. Not apologies. Apologies should come from those responsible for the carnage. Clarke is not a jackass for an insincere apology when a belated condolence was appropriate. He is just a jackass in general who's recollections sway with the winds of filthy lucre.
Splotch!
April 12, 2004   12:37 PM PDT
 
Hmmm ... my ID showed up as "name". T'was Splotch.
Brandon Starr
April 12, 2004   07:13 PM PDT
 
You carry a lot of vitriol for Clarke. I'm not sure why. You attack him as a jackass who lies, but I haven't seen the proof of it. Can you cite examples?

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