Connecting connected dots

As Rocket Man noted below, the August 6, 2001 Daily Presidential Briefing just released by the White House is essentially as Condoleezza Rice described it, and “adds little to what every well-informed person knew in 2001 about al Qaeda and bin Laden’s intentions.” Indeed, it seems to add little to what every well-informed person knew during the last two years of the Clinton administratin about those intentions.
I suppose, however, that the Democrats and their media echo-chamber will note that the DPB alerted President Bush that (a) bin Laden wanted to attack the U.S., (b) he had a support structure here, (c) there was evidence of some preparation for hijacking, and (d) there was evidence of plans to attack buildings with explosives. From this, the anti-Bush crowd may argue that the dots should have been connected. But who, as of August 2001, should have connected them? President Bush? Condi Rice? What we have, arguably, is a failure of imagination on the part of our intelligence analysts, the folks who are paid to stay up nights thinking about ways in which we may be attacked (witness the heartbreaking statement “preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks,” in which the author fails to realize that the hijacking is the other type of attack). To try to make partisan hay over the fact that hindsight is much clearer than foresight strikes me as unfair, unseemly, and politically unproductive. But I guess the Democrats feel that there may be a few thousand votes in it, so why not go for them.


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