McMahon's post alluded to by Eyal was EXTREMELY sarcastic. Just read his following posts. I agree with a decent amount of his points.
I agree, Kirsten, the attacks probably could have been prevented. The FBI, NSA, CIA and others had almost zero communication among one another regarding the issue of terrorism. It is disappointing, to say the least, that these agencies may have even been competing with one another on some (unclear and indirect) level. There were lower level agents from the FBI and CIA who were attempting to send info to the appropriate parties; they respectively received no cooperation or assistance from the hierarchies. It very well could amount to either ineptitude, or more likely the unwillingess on the part of those in control to take threats seriously. OR greediness on the part of these agencies in general (not willing to share intelligence with others, which defeats the purpose of having agencies working for ONE gov't). Most of these issues have been effectively addressed since 9/11. Intelligence agencies now communicate info with one another and in such a way that the process is streamlined; the Office of Homeland Security consistenly possesses a comprehensive assessment of terrorism, threats and other security issues.
I also believe that the U.S. government as a whole (if not the Bush administration specifically) has been honest with the American people regarding these failures. The 9/11 congressional investigative report was brutally honest. I also believe that the Saudi portions that were redacted should be made public. I don't know about a cover-up. What's to cover up? We failed to prevent the attacks. No question, more should have been done to prevent the attacks. After the '93 bombing, the bombing of the USS Cole, the bombings of the U.S Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, a war on terror should have been declared by the U.S. in Afghanistan. In that scenario, there is no way that 9/11 could have been carried out in the exact way that it was. I also blame airline security and the FAA - for some unreal reason, there was no law preventing a passenger from carrying a knife shorter than (whatever amount) of inches. Knives should have been banned altogether. One (and possibly more than one) of the stewardesses on United Airlines Flight 175, which struck the south tower (2nd one hit), was stabbed to death prior to the explosion. The FAA and, in turn the airlines have upgraded and improved their comprehensive security procedures (obviously, not just with respect to knives and other sharp utensils, but a plethora of other issues). It is necessary to monitor those improvements (the responsibility of the federal gov't, not just the airlines).
Kirsten, I am acutely aware of the financial aid for families issue, on all levels. I am personally involved because I had 2 extremely close friends (a married couple, both of whom worked on the 92nd floor of the North Tower) who were killed together (the young woman was 7 months pregnant - no remains found to this day; the husband - one of my best friends - part of his head was discovered, so we were at least able to have a wake for him several months after the fact). There were several others I was not as close to, but knew very well. Noone in my immediate family was killed, but I obviously was informed on such issues, in addition to being involved in significant private fund raising.
I was (not currently) professionally involved also. I cannot be specific, but I have been involved in various WTC investigations (families' lawsuits, insurance - Silverstein, Port Authority, etc.). Let me tell you that the initial litigation associated with this case was overwhelming, to say the least.
The families were instructed by their attorneys to decide for themselves what they wished to do (in conjunction with wise legal advice). Independent from the private funding, the gov't has followed procedure requesting the families to not ask for an investigation into THEIR PERSONAL case before they were eligible for federal (not state) financial aid. That familial request would not only hold up that aid, but it would serve ZERO purpose for the family. How does the investigation change the fact that the pertinent family lost a mother, father, sister, brother, son, daughter, etc.? The fact is that there was a federal investigation anyway. There have also been private investigations regarding insurance and engineering issues (as to why the towers collapsed; structural explanantions). There are ALWAYS settlement issues with regard to unlawful deaths; the WTC settlements with the gov't were totally reasonable given the complexity, not to mention the resulting financial urgency of the attack for those families. The gov't (and in particular the Bush Administration) could not hide anything because the investigation was comprehensive and objective. The families, in order to receive $, were requested not to look into their INDIVIDUAL cases (to do so would totally defeat the government's purpose of determining the preventable cause and preventing future monumental intelligence failures). Their financial settlements (and believe me, they were nice) reflected the enormity of the tragedy. That is in no way to state that any dollar amount could replace a family member.
Eyal, I read what you say and I understand you to an extent, and if I do, I stand with you on some issues. You don't hold back; I'll give you that. But you are all over the place in (at least some; I've only read these few) of your posts. At times, I don't know if you are coming or going. Bush is a "bad" president? Do you have any knowledge about his political platform?. I do. And the fact of the matter is that I do not agree that he is a "bad" president. I would agree that he is not a "great" president. He has too many flaws domestically.
Stealing the presidency? Maybe you already read earlier posts on this thread, but Rachel makes a great case. I just do not think it was actual theft.
Created By: John Keeney