Michael Barone has a powerful reflection on 9/11 today. Read it here.
I am sure that Bill Clinton and George W. Bush and all the responsible officials in their administrations wish they had done more. So do we all.
But which of us warned of the danger?…I can’t remember writing before 9/11 about the dangers posed by al Qaeda and other Islamofascist groups. So I don’t feel entitled to furiously condemn the Clinton and Bush administration officials who failed to see what I failed to see. The 9/11 attacks alone were condemnation enough. And not just of certain public officials but of all of us in a position to have an impact on public opinion who did not alert others to the danger we unknowingly faced.
I do think that if anyone deserves some blame for 9/11, it is Clinton. By 1998 bin Laden had a long enough list of atrocities to make him enemy #1. And although Clinton denies it, many sources say that he was offered bin Laden by the Sudanese government, but declined to capture him.
However, on the actual day of commemoration, I think that it is important to put the fingers down for a day and realize that who ever should or shouldn’t have done something, 9/11 was the day we lost our innocence. We can’t just expect to be safe anymore. We must be vigilant.