Friday, May 17, 2002
There is a lot of commentary, inspired by the Democrats' despicable smears on President Bush, that the WTC / Pentagon attacks should have been foreseen. Here's Glenn Reynolds' for example. There are a lot of problems with Glenn Reynolds' posting ( which I'm sure he made in good faith ) but my comments apply to others' comments as well. For instance, I find this one by The New Republic's Michael Crowley to border on offensive. The most obvious observation should be that there is a large leap from memoranda that outline possible attacks to the conclusion that said attack is actually going to happen. All the more so when the only response is the difficult to accomplish, but more importantly difficult to contemplate, deliberate shoot down of a civilian airliner.
Can anyone seriously tell me that until the first airliner actually flew into the World Trade Center tower, that they themselves could contemplate ordering a civilian airliner with a hundred or more passengers shot down on the theoretical belief that it might be headed into a building occupied by thousands? How about I toss you the firing key to an F-16 with an air-to-air missile locked on that airliner. You are seriously going to tell me that - prior to 9-11 mind - you would have pressed it?
Its important too to remember that the WTC / Pentagon attacks succeeded not from a failure of security screening but from taking advantage of existing doctrine that hijackings were slow motion events. Events dealt with using a long practiced game plan. Only now, post 9-11, do we now have the doctrine that an airline hijacking is no longer about the passengers on the aircraft.
The parallels to SWAT procedures pre- and post- Columbine should be obvious.
Robin 1:37 PM