Graham Cuts Himself On Occam’s Razor

Sen. Bob Graham is accusing the Bush Administration of covering up reports about intelligence failures leading up to September 11, 2001.

Graham, a presidential candidate and former chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, also accused the administration of jeopardizing the safety of Americans by blocking the release of a landmark congressional report on the government failures that preceded the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. And he said the White House has withheld from the public important information about the continued existence of terrorist cells in the United States — including some with ties to foreign governments that the United States has been afraid to go after.

"By continuing to classify that information . . . the American people have been denied important information for their own protection, for the protection of the communities," Graham said on CBS News’ "Face the Nation."

Now open access is important, but this is ridiculous. Exactly how would having a detailed decription of intelligence failures prior to September 11 help the American public? Graham argues that it would assist local agencies in responding to terrorist threats. Except it isn’t the job of local agencies to apprehend terrorists – that’s the work of the FBI. Nor does it do anything to help assist in disaster training – that information is already publically available from the NYPD and others.

Perhaps this never dawned on the Senator, but there’s probably a damn good reason why this material is classified. Somehow telling the entire world what we know about terrorists operating in our borders seems a poor way of dealing with terrorism. It isn’t sound policy to release information that might as well be a how-to guide on defeating the US intelligence system.

Senator Graham is a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee. He should know better. The information in the report needs to be acted upon, but there is little value in releasing this information to the public. This is nothing more than a political stunt would lead to more vulnerability to terrorism, not less.

3 thoughts on “Graham Cuts Himself On Occam’s Razor

  1. It’s amazing how you equate dropping bombs on the Arab world and pumping their young men full of lead as a way of reducing terrorism, but informing local and state governments of how to combat terrorism will increase it. Huh?

    Aren’t you guys the ones always telling us that the federal government is worthless and pure evil in a slippery way of deflecting accountability to the next-lowest branch of government? Yet now you’re saying that informing these all-knowing local governments need to be kept in the dark about the threat of terrorism their communities face because big brother knows best. A consistent conservative argument comes around about as often as Hailey’s Comet.

  2. How would knowing about failures in the US intelligence service aid local authorities? Your local beat cop doesn’t have any use for knowing about HUMINT resources in Afghanistan were doing on September 10th. That information is only useful to the agencies that need it, not to the public. Releasing such information to the public would be irresponsible and would endager current anti-terrorist operations worldwide.

    National security is a Constitutionally-mandated function of the US government in Article I Section 8 paragraph 1. Local governments are not responsible for anti-terrorist activities because they do not have the resources to do so, nor is it even remotely appropriate to delegate that responsibility to agencies that cannot carry it out.

    Furthermore, there’s no grounds for consistency when dealing with two entirely different circumstances. Saying that the conservative position on social welfare programs and national defense should be identical is a false analogy. The two a relevantly dissimilar and require entirely different policies.

    Then again, I hate to break such a forceful argument with such a nasty thing as logical reasoning.

  3. Seeing as how this information is classified and you don’t really know what Graham is talking about, do you suppose it’s possible that he could be referring to something other than the specific example you cite? If that’s your idea of “logical reasoning”, it will be my continued pleasure to mop the floor up with you in these debates.

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