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July 22, 2004
'A Failure Of Imagination'

The 9/11 Commission report, being released today, will avoid blaming either the Bush or Clinton administrations and instead talk about a "failure of imagination" in developing new approaches to fight al-Qaeda and terrorism, the AP reports:

The Sept. 11 commission concludes that a "failure of imagination," not governmental neglect, allowed 19 hijackers to carry out the deadliest terrorist attack in U.S. history. The panel calls for an intelligence overhaul to confront an al-Qaida organization intent on striking again.

While faulting institutional shortcomings, the bipartisan report being released Thursday does not blame President Bush or former President Clinton for mistakes contributing to the 2001 terrorist attack, Bush administration officials familiar with the findings said.

The report will be released at 11:30 EDT on the Commission's website, which I imagine will only rival the Starr report's bandwidth requirements today. The release will not put a halt to genuinely stupid commentary, such as that from Richard Clarke yesterday, who complained that the commission didn't stray far from its assigned mission:

Richard Clarke, former counterterrorism czar in the Clinton and Bush administrations and now an ABC consultant, said on the network's "Good Morning America" the commission avoided controversy. "To get unanimity they didn't talk about a number of things, like what effect is the war in Iraq having on our battle against terrorism. Did the president pay any attention to terrorism during the first nine months of his administration? The controversial things, the controversial criticisms of the Clinton administration as well as the Bush administration just aren't there."

Iraq was not within the purview of the commission, as Clarke should know, and as commissioner Bob Kerrey momentarily forgot when questioning Condoleezza Rice. Reactions like this just underscore the partisan nature of players like Clarke, who saw this commission as a vehicle for literary and television stardom, and who still can't deal with limelight withdrawals.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at July 22, 2004 7:02 AM

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