I’ve not yet had a chance to read the 9/11 Commission report, and probably won’t until later this evening. In the meantime, the prolific posters at The Corner are over the story like John Kerry on a widowed heiress. When I’ve the chance to read some of the report I’ll undoubtedly chip in with my own comments.
UPDATE: Here are some preliminary thoughts based on a quick read-through of the report. First of all, the report begins by conceding that we’re safer now thanks to actions overseas and at home to stop terrorism. That in itself should be music to Bush’s ears. The report also shows that Iraq and al-Qaeda were connected, although there’s no evidence that Iraq had anything to do with the 9/11 attacks. It indicates that the “wall of separation” between law enforcement and intelligence was a mistake – ironic that Jamie Gorelick, the person responsible for that doctrine, happens to be on the Commission. It indicates that we still have a long way to go on sharing of information on intelligence, and we need a position dedicated to coordinating between all the various intelligence-gathering services. I doubt this will happen, but I think there’s an argument that the various groups like the CIA, FBI, NSA, and the other alphabet soup agencies need to all be on the same page.
I have always been skeptical of the 9/11 Commission. I’ve thought it too prone to grandstanding and taking political thoughts rather than serious deliberation. After reading the report, it appears as though the Commission did a much better job than I’d given them credit for. The report doesn’t let Bush off the hook, but it doesn’t take cheap shots at him. It indicates objectively what was known, what was not known, and what we can do to prevent another mass murder from happening on our soil again.