I spent some of time Tuesday and Wednesday watching the hearing that the 9/11 commission held in DC. While thankful that the proceedings were broadcast to the public, I felt they were more about grandstanding than anything else. There are some powerful ex-politicians on the panel, and I was struck at how each spent the first few minutes of their air time heaping praise on each person testifying before asking questions. I don't really see the point of that, unless they think softening up each one with compliments will make them more candid.
It's a shame that only one person took the opportunity to apologize for the fact that the government was not able to prevent 9/11, but since Richard Clarke's integrity is in question due to his recent book release, I doubt many people took him seriously. It's ridiculous that the primary objective of this commission is to assign blame for 9/11. Fault is an equal opportunity between the Clinton and Bush administrations, but the government needs to look ahead and see what they can do to ensure that we are as safe as possible from further attacks.
Could either president have done more to try to prevent terrorism? Sure, but people need to grasp just how difficult it has to be to prevent it. What greater challenge can there be than trying to stop people who are willing to kill themselves to hurt you? People who are hell bent to blame our government for 9/11 seem to overlook the hatred that the extremists have for America. The events of 9/11 happened because of the determination of an evil group of people. Let's assign the blame to them where it belongs and work together to try to assure that it will not happen again.
I fear that it will though, maybe not on the scale of 9/11, but most certainly this country will be affected by terrorism again. I am reminded of what the IRA said to Margaret Thatcher shortly after she narrowly escaped a car bomb explosion in London in the 70's: "You have to be lucky every single time; we have to be lucky just once."
And if this commission wants to convince me that they have the best interest of all of America in mind, then why can't we see the testimony of both Bush and Clinton? Those of us who share the concern of safety deserve to know what these men did, knew and felt about these threats.