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Thursday, March 25, 2004

Peggy Noonan
Lest Peggy feel slighted by my earlier post today, I want to give her a nod for today's column concerning the 9/11 hearings. (I'm sure she's thrilled.) She makes these excellent points:

Government takes care of government. - Powell "understands" Albright's decisions, she understands his.

Regarding Albright's suggestion "there was no political will on the part of the American people before that date to attack the Taliban or invade Afghanistan." Peggy says -
She's right. There was no movement among voters to take out Al Qaeda. Most people didn't know what al Qaeda was. But that of course is where leadership comes in.
Dead on.

Off the record, an elected official said about Clinton, "you have to understand that Clinton is purely a poll driven politician, and if the numbers aren't there he won't move." Peggy:
The lunch was off the record, and I appreciated the official's candor; he didn't try to spin me. I wasn't shocked by what he said--Mr. Clinton was a poll driven animal. But you didn't have to be psychic to know bad things were coming; you only had to be watching the world. I found myself marveling at Mr. Clinton's thinking, which in the short term was savvy and in the long term spoke of a kind of moral retardation.

And to make it all worse we had, from 1993 to 2001, an essentially unserious president who had no clue what to do with the power he had accrued, or even the popularity, and who squandered both in a need for personal drama and trauma. He had eight solid years to move, but he did not do the hard things he had to do. He left it for the next guy.
She summarizes her column this way:
Right now we should be preparing--taking protective action in our ports and around our nuclear facilities, at our borders, etc. American officials should not be busy testifying; they should be busy making sure every citizen has a CBN suit, a regulation gas mask and data on how to recognize and respond to a chemical, biological or nuclear incident.

The most pressing thing at the moment is making America safer. Instead, our officials are otherwise engaged. As they were before 9/11.

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