Wednesday, December 7


The 9/11 Commission closes up shop.

THE 10 members of the 9/11 Commission formally disbanded yesterday with an impassioned plea for bipartisan urgency to improve the nation's defenses against another terrorist atrocity in the United States. But the Bush administration and Congress are stuck in bureaucratic inertia or institutional bickering on major issues, keeping Americans less protected than they have a right to expect more than four years after the Sept. 11 attacks.
During its three years of work, the commission set an example of bipartisan cooperation and civility as it comprehensively explained the origins of the Sept. 11 attacks and devised recommendations to improve national security. Perhaps the commission members were inspired by the example of the families of the Sept. 11 dead, who demanded its establishment to determine why the nation was unprepared. The commission was so dedicated that it stayed in operation as a private entity for a year after its official dissolution to goad the government into action.

As Kean said yesterday, it is time for the normal agencies of government and the American people to assume the burden of protecting the nation. The commissioners, five from each party, need to keep a close watch as individuals to make sure the nation does not forget the lessons that the commission tried urgently to teach.

Perhaps it's because none of the members of the 9/11 Commission were serving in or anticipating running for public office, or maybe it's just because they felt that the security of the nation was more important than scoring partisan points, but taken as a whole, their performance was the best example of bipartisan public service we have seen since BushCo began its crusade to establish a Rethuglican hegemony for a thousand years. I suspect their unity was in large measure a result of the leadership of its co-chairmen, Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton. If the Bush administration exercised half such principled leadership, perhaps Congress and the Cabinet would enact legislation and implement procedures that actually have a chance of making the country safer.

Tags: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home