Sunday, March 2, 2008

9/11 Revisionism in Shenon, The Commission

"Now its the revisionists' turn," says Michael Dobbs in his Washington Post review of THE COMMISSION: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation by Philip Shenon (Twelve). The 2004 Report of the 9/11 commission was praised as a "tour de force" by Arthur Schlesinger Jr. and others. Shernon's new book instead focuses on its failings.

According to Dobbs, the book is "a detailed narrative of the most important government investigative body since the Warren Commission." The story's "hero, or anti-hero, of The Commission is Zelikow, a history professor at the University of Virginia, former State Department counselor and author of several books on foreign policy, including one written with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Shenon recounts several conflicts of interest that might have raised questions about Zelikow's suitability to direct the 9/11 investigation."

Although the author "makes a good case that Zelikow, for all his brilliance, was often arrogant and abrasive," he is "less convincing when he argues that Zelikow used his position to try to skew the final report. As the commissioners noted in their statement defending Zelikow, the 'proper standard for judgment is the quality of the report' itself." Further, Shernon's "sourcing falls short of the standard set by the 9/11 commission. His book includes 14 pages of often vague notes, compared to 114 pages in the 9/11 report." Dobbs concludes: "Future historians will almost certainly come across evidence that the commission overlooked. But four years later, the 9/11 report stands up pretty well -- despite Shenon's dogged revisionism."

1 comment:

Supremacy Claus said...

The causative factor of the lawyer profession will never enter the discussion. However, it seems self-evident.

1) Trial lawyers hounded Clinton in a bogus, lawyer gotcha impeachment. He likely spent 1000's of hours on his defense, that should have gone to the defense of the nation. The same effect happens to the leadership of all productive sectors of the economy.

2) Lawyers prevented assertive questioning and physical intimidation of the adversary.

3) Multiple terror attacks, prior to 2001, justified retaliatory killing of our enemies. Lawyers put the brakes on our warriors. For example, our enemy in WWII learned only after 7 million Germans and 6 million Japanese were eradicated. These lawyers have embedded themselves among our warriors, and second guess their tactical decisions. Warriors now fear litigation by lawyers, more than they fear the enemy.

4) All PC is case. Thus all PC driven current kowtowing to our adversary invites future attacks.

Nor will anyone ever propose the real remedy. By statute, preferably by Amendment, exclude anyone who has ever passed 1L from all benches, all legislative seats, and all responsible policy positions in the Executive. 1L is the time when the indoctrination takes place, and no student may be retrieved after that. This statute is like those excluding the felon.

Another major attack may recur. If a city is taken out by a nuclear device, 1776 is at risk. I would sacrifice the convenience of the legal profession before allowing any risk to that rare flower of Athens, 1776.