Tuesday, December 06, 2005

9/11 Panel Issues Yet Another Final Report

The 9/11 Commission issued their final report yesterday. No, really. It's their final report. Well, until their next final report. This particular version finds fault across the board for failing to implement changes listed on one of their other final reports. For a group with more reunion tours than The Who, it's kind of hard to keep track of which final report contained these findings. (Washington Post: U.S. Is Given Failing Grades By 9/11 Panel).

Pardon me for being cynical, but when I look at the complaints filed by the 9/11 commission, I'm hard pressed to stifle a yawn. They certainly sound dramatic enough, but the fact is that none of the recommendations would have done anything to prevent the attacks on 9/11, nor would they have improved the way emergency workers responded to those attacks.

The only thing worse than auditors are auditors with access to the press, and that is precisely what we have with this commission. The one that really strikes me as amusing is the complaint that the US has not done enough to secure the spread of nuclear weapons technology. Perhaps someone needs to hand these clowns a newspaper. First, though, make sure you highlight the references to Iran and North Korea.

Other complaints have to do with failure of Congress to allocate bandwidth for emergency first responders. (There is a bill that will do just that over the next four years, however one wouldn't expect the 9/11 Commission to know that.) Now, allocation of bandwidth is the responsibility of the FCC, and emergency first responders already do have a wide range of bandwidth restricted for their use. What I'm trying to figure out is how more bandwidth would've stopped the two tallest buildings in NYC from collapsing and killing those still trapped inside. Don't suggest that evacuation would have been improved. In the case of the towers, I have a first-hand account of workers in the second tower being told to return to their desks moments before the second plane struck. Bandwidth doesn't change that.

Oh, the 9/11 Commission wants more airport screening. That will be effective. It would have kept all of the 9/11 hijackers out of the country, right? Oh, wait. All of them entered this country legally. Never mind. It would have prevented them from hijacking the planes, though, wouldn't it? Oh, wait. Everything they used was acceptable for airline carry-on usage. Never mind.

It's time for the 9/11 Commission to fold up its side-show tent and quietly go away. Remember, I said quietly. All they are doing at this point is playing a political game that is feeding the blood lust of politicians eyeing the 2006 mid-terms. They are feeding a false sense of insecurity by over-dramatizing any impact the proposed changes could possibly have on future terror threats. They are feeding their own sense of self-worth by continuing to fester long after they should have faded out of memory. The fifteen-minute alarm clock has sounded on this crew.


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