Inept responses to emergencies are unacceptable but understandable because humans are involved. Mistakes happen. But covering up an inept response is unforgivable. The threat of new attacks means that an honest accounting of our past responses and how we can improve them must take precedence over any concern for public shame or bureaucratic humiliation. As such, this is infuriating if true:
Some staff members and commissioners of the Sept. 11 panel concluded that the Pentagon’s initial story of how it reacted to the 2001 terrorist attacks may have been part of a deliberate effort to mislead the commission and the public rather than a reflection of the fog of events on that day, according to sources involved in the debate.
Maj. Gen. Larry Arnold and Col. Alan Scott told the commission that NORAD had begun tracking United 93 at 9:16 a.m., but the commission determined that the airliner was not hijacked until 12 minutes later. The military was not aware of the flight until after it had crashed in Pennsylvania.
Tell me why we should grant ever-expanding powers to government over more areas of our lives when government can’t be honest about not accomplishing one of its few legitimate tasks.