Saturday, June 08, 2002

IF MY GRANDMA HAD WHEELS, SHE'D BE A BUS: A lot of the debate about what the FBI and CIA knew and whether they could've prevented September 11 reminds me of the wisecrack that "If my grandma has wheels, she'd be a bus." Yes, it's hackneyed, but it makes a good point: it's pointless to speculate what might be the outcome if you had circumstances completely (and impossibly) different from actual circumstances. If you could staff the FBI and the CIA with bureaucrats who are always selflessly dedicated to their mission, not selfishly devoted to personal advancement and prestige; who always think creatively, not regurgitate conventional wisdom; who always exercise reasoned judgment, take intelligent risks, and accept responsibility for their actions, not evade risk and responsibility by inaction; who never become complacement about potential threats, no matter how many wearying false alarms they endure, no matter how bewildering the array of intelligence sources they manage -- if you could staff a the FBI and CIA with people like that, you'd create effective intelligence agenices unlike any known to mankind -- but only because they'd be staffed by aliens!

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