WHO IS TO BLAME?

The Congressional Investigation of 9/11/01

FUTURECASTS online magazine
www.futurecasts.com
Vol. 6, No. 6, 6/1/04.

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The Congressional investigation:

  Congress is presently busy investigating what went wrong and who is to blame for the failure to block the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks. It is, of course, clearly appropriate that it should be doing this.
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Policy changes were implemented - many of great value.

  The investigation of national calamities is a traditional - and essential - activity for Congress. The Great Depression and the attack on Pearl Harbor were also examined extensively by Congress, and some were indeed found blameworthy as a result. Policy changes were implemented - many of great value.
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  However, there is one major actor in all these events that has never been investigated by Congress. Congress has never investigated the roles Congress has played in these disasters.

The roles of protectionism and isolationism and pacifism in Congress were not investigated.

  • Major factors leading to the Great Depression came from WW-I and the vengeful Treaty of Versailles forced on a defeated Germany by Great Britain and France. However, these were not what Congress investigated. Nor was the trade-war levels of protectionism enacted and maintained by Congress that ultimately became the primary factor involved in the vast tragedy of the Great Depression. Nor was the refusal to write off the WW-I war debts that the trade war had made uncollectable. See "Great Depression, Depression Mythology" and the Great Depression Chronology series beginning with "Great Depression, The Crash of '29."

  • Prior to Pearl Harbor, the U.S. military exhibited a startling lack of professionalism in ignoring the lessons of the British naval air attack on the Italian fleet at Taranto. However, Congress concentrated on finding other scapegoats. It never concerned itself with the pacifism and isolationism of Congress that left the U.S. military outgunned and outclassed and unready for war.

A prior attack on the World Trade Center was incredibly treated as a mere case of criminality.

  Blame for such major calamities generally can justly be spread among numerous agencies and individuals. This is certainly true, also, for 9/11. Bin Laden declared war on the U.S. and launched deadly attacks on U.S. embassies and ships, yet the Clinton administration reacted with nothing more effective than a few rockets launched against minor targets in the deserts and mountains. There was even a prior attack on the World Trade Center that was incredibly treated as a mere case of criminality.
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  It remains to be seen what - if anything - Congress now has to say about all this. However, Congress is very unlikely to investigate the role of Congress in this tragedy.
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Abuse of power:

 

 

There have indeed been instances of abuse of power by such agencies as the FBI and CIA.

  For a quarter of a century, Congress has been actively hobbling and browbeating U.S. intelligence agencies. This has certainly not been without cause. There have indeed been instances of abuse of power by such agencies as the FBI and CIA. There undoubtedly will be such abuses in the future. It is certainly proper - indeed essential - that such abuses be dealt with as they arise.
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  However, it was the height of stupidity to weaken the intelligence agencies on which the U.S. had to depend for protection in a world that clearly remained a dangerous place. Despite its generally optimistic views, FUTURECASTS has been warning since its first issue of weaknesses in U.S. defenses, and that the world remains a dangerous place.
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  All government power is occasionally subject to abuse by the officials who come to wield it. Congress, itself, abuses its powers repeatedly and notoriously - buying votes and political financial support with narrow interest legislation and expensive programs and other activities that favor supporters.
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Abuses simply have to be dealt with as effectively as possible as they arise - with the certain knowledge that such instances of abuse are constantly arising.

  This is the nature of the beast that is government power. Yet, nations cannot function - or protect themselves - if government agencies have inadequate powers. Abuses simply have to be dealt with as effectively as possible as they arise - with the certain knowledge that such instances of abuse are constantly arising.
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  After 25 years of Congressional browbeating and constraint  and political correctness, what could be expected from the U.S. intelligence agencies? They are staffed by human beings - with wives and kids and mortgages and decades invested in individual careers. How many would risk all that to pull in for investigation one of the scores of people taking airline flight lessons just because that person was Muslim? This would have been a clear case of religious and ethnic profiling - a politically incorrect action that could have resulted in some nasty inclusions in a personnel file if the suspicions turned out to be baseless.
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  Moreover, there were those restrictions placed on communications between the FBI and the other intelligence agencies. These were incredibly being tightened during the Clinton administration even after the terrorist attacks began.
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  It will be interesting indeed to see what the Congressional investigating committee has to say about this. However, it is highly unlikely that the role of Congress in undermining the effectiveness of U.S. intelligence agencies will even be mentioned, much less analyzed.
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  Who was primarily to blame for U.S. intelligence failures? Congress was primarily to blame!

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Copyright 2004 Dan Blatt