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Bureaucracy Kills
Great Reason mag piece by Jeff Taylor on how the FBI let 9/11 happen:

Anyone paying attention to the Zacarias Moussaoui trial gets it now. All the 9/11 blanks are filled in, and the picture is complete. Sorry, conspiracy freaks and blind partisan hacks. Dull, common, gross incompetence is again at the heart of a deadly government cluster-hump.

... The testimony of FBI agent Harry Samit forever buries the quaint notion that 9/11 was unforeseen and unpreventable. Beginning with Moussaoui's August 16, 2001 arrest Samit mounted a global and indefatigable investigation of the man and concluded that an attack involving hijacked airplanes was imminent.

...One exchange from the Moussaoui trial makes clear what happened in the weeks running up to 9/11:

"You tried to move heaven and earth to get a search warrant to search this man's belongings and you were obstructed," MacMahon said to Samit.

"Yes sir, I was obstructed." Samit replied.

No disaster, it seems, can force reform on the Bureau. The same people are still manning the posts at the FBI and Main Justice. They are going to miss the next terror attack because they are dead-certain to stop the last one. That's what bureaucracies do: cover ass. The Bureau's poisonous Andersen Consulting–with-arrest-powers culture remains unreformed and dangerously low-tech. New York City agents do not have enough e-mail addresses to go around, for example.

Instead of an effective anti-terror agency, the Bureau is morphing into a kind of Stasi Lite, keeping tabs on domestic subversives: assorted peaceniks, communists in Texas, and the League of Women Voters in Michigan, who had the gall to invite a critic of the PATRIOT Act to a panel discussion. There is a sort of logic to such surveillance: This what the FBI is good at, so this is what it does. Kinda of like looking for your car keys under a street light because the rest of the street is dark.

Posted by aalkon at April 1, 2006 8:33 AM

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I thought the supporters of the current administration already knew what caused 9/11. It was all Clinton's fault, according to them. Never mind that Bush spent seven of the first nine months of his term on vacation, and ignored every warning thrown his way.

Posted by: Patrick at April 2, 2006 9:50 AM

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