SMOKE AND FIRE
By Geoff Metcalf
December 22, 2003
P.J. O'Rourke once observed, "Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys."
Government abuse of power under the color of authority is a terrible thing. However, systemic institutional incompetence and malfeasance (especially when fueled by careerism, ego, and territorial imperatives can, and has been, equally damaging.
Rather than sandbagging, obfuscating, and butt covering, assorted government agencies would be well served to acknowledge the elephant in the living room. Someone with a commitment to 'Duty, Honor, Country'�and the stones need to acknowledge:
Mistakes were made prior to and subsequent 9/11. We will do everything possible to mitigate against repeating those mistakes. Admit past errors and focus on stopping the bad guys from mucking up our lives. If careerists would devote half the energy to their jobs they devote to keeping them we would be even further along in our war against terrorism.
Ever since 9/11 we have been told: eventually, inevitably, somewhere, somehow�we don't know when, where or how, but international terrorists WILL again strike on U.S. soil. It has been a chronic refrain articulated by anyone and everyone in government, to varying degrees, contingent on the phases of the moon and the color of the alert status.
Although the origins of the epic 9/11 attack remain beyond most Americans, there were significant warnings way less subtle than some Scribean foreshadow�and assorted initialed government agencies had the Intel�but apparently not the intelligence to act.
The FBI, for a variety of reasons, (going back to 1989) missed dozens of opportunities to prevent the attacks of September 11.
Peter Lance www.peterlance.com is a well-credentialed investigative journalist with 5 Emmys and oodles of experience. In the wake of interviews with scores of central figures, and hundreds of pages of declassified documents, Lance uncovered startling evidence of FBI negligence that even a joint congressional committee either missed or ignored. His revelations can be read in '1000 Years for Revenge: International Terrorism and the FBI/The Untold Story'.
Some of the information is known to google-addicted news junkies�much is not.
Yousef, apparently succeeded in defeating the entire American security system in what Lance calls "the greatest failure of intelligence since the Trojan Horse."
Interagency bureaucratic posturing, positioning and petty b.s. contributed significantly to an epic institutional mission failure that has largely been obfuscated by classic governmental C.Y.A.
Many assume the territorial battles between our various initialed intelligence organizations have been mitigated by the creation of the Homeland Security Department. However, there are indications such an assumption presumes facts not necessarily in evidence.
James Fennimore Cooper once observed, "It is a governing principle of nature, that the agency which can produce most good, when perverted from its proper aim, is most productive of evil. It behooves the well-intentioned, therefore, vigorously to watch the tendency of even their most highly prized institutions, since that which was established in the interests of the right, may so easily become the agent of the wrong."
� 2003 Geoff Metcalf - All Rights Reserved
"Geoff Metcalf is a nationally syndicated radio talk show host for TALK AMERICA and a veteran media performer. He has had an eclectic professional background covering a wide spectrum of radio, television, magazine, and newspapers. A former Green Beret and retired Army officer he is in great demand as a speaker. Visit Geoff's Web Site: www.geoffmetcalf.com. While you're at it - pick up a copy of Geoff's latest book! E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
"Many assume the territorial battles between our various initialed intelligence organizations have been mitigated by the creation of the Homeland Security Department."