Mark Steyn on how the 9/11 commission “blew it.” As Steyn observes, “they were appointed to take a cool, dispassionate look at the government’s response to an act of war, but they were unable to rise above the most pointless partisan point-scoring.”
But Steyn makes a more fundamental and less obvious second point: “The underlying assumption behind all the whiny point-scoring is false, and deeply dangerous.” Why? Because “most of what went wrong on Sept. 11 we knew about in the first days after. Generally, it falls into two categories: a) Government agencies didn’t enforce their own rules (as in the terrorists’ laughably inadequate visa applications); or b) The agencies’ rules were out of date –three out of those four planes reached their targets because their crews, passengers and ground staff all blindly followed the FAA’s 1970s hijack procedures until it was too late, as the terrorists knew they would. The next time a terrorist gets through and pulls off an attack, it will be for the same reasons: There’ll be a bunch of new post-9/11 regulations, and some bureaucrat somewhere will have neglected to follow them, or some wily Islamist will have rendered them as obsolete as his predecessors made all those 30-year old hijack rules. That’s the nature of government: 90 percent of its agencies just aren’t very good and, if you put your life in their hands, more fool you.”
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