Sunday, July 25, 2004

The New York Times > RICHARD A. CLARKE: Honorable Commission, Toothless Report

The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Contributor: Honorable Commission, Toothless Report:
"Among the obvious truths that were documented but unarticulated were the facts that the Bush administration did little on terrorism before 9/11, and that by invading Iraq the administration has left us less safe as a nation. (Fortunately, opinion polls show that the majority of Americans have already come to these conclusions on their own. )

What the commissioners did clearly state was that Iraq had no collaborative relationship with Al Qaeda and no hand in 9/11. They also disclosed that Iran provided support to Al Qaeda, including to some 9/11 hijackers. These two facts may cause many people to conclude that the Bush administration focused on the wrong country. They would be right to think that.

So what now? News coverage of the commission's recommendations has focused on the organizational improvements: a new cabinet-level national intelligence director and a new National Counterterrorism Center to ensure that our 15 or so intelligence agencies play well together. Both are good ideas, but they are purely incremental. Had these changes been made six years ago, they would not have significantly altered the way we dealt with Al Qaeda; they certainly would not have prevented 9/11. Putting these recommendations in place will marginally improve our ability to crush the new, decentralized Al Qaeda, but there are other changes that would help more. "

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/07/25/opinion/25clar.html
con·cept: The New York Times > RICHARD A. CLARKE: Honorable Commission, Toothless Report