Eric Althoff's Reviews > The 911 Commission Report

The 911 Commission Report by National Education Associat...
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Jul 02, 2007

liked it
Read in January, 2007

The aphorism goes that hindsight is 20/20. In "The 9/11 Commission Report," we learn that sadly, hindsight is not enough.

The warning signs were all there: Saudi exile Osama bin Laden declared war on the West and with his family's millions created and funded a terrorist network dedicated to the fall of the United States, Israel, and democracy; extremists had tried unsuccessfully to bring down the Twin Towers once in 1993; noise was building in the late 90s and the dawn of the "aughts" that something big was brewing...culminating in the now-infamous memo from Dr. Rice to President Bush, "Bin Laden Determined to Strike the U.S."

And, of course, there was Bush's infamous "seven minutes."

All of that is preamble, the factoids we all know based on six(!) years of a country's soul-searching as to "why they hate us" and "how could this possibly have happened?" "The 9/11 Commission Report" delves deeper than a month's worth of "Nightline" and "Fox & Friends" combined. The events are reconstructed and then deconstructed back decades. All of the players are here, including forgotten actors from the Clinton era such as fromer National Security Advisor Sandy Berger, former FBI Director Louis Freeh, and several former and currently undercover CIA agents, whose testimony before the commission is referenced only by their simple code names such as "Mike."

It is excruciating to read all about the attempts made by the Clinton and Bush administrations to take out Al Qaeda and how the up-aboves of both administrations failed the most basic of Machiavelli tests again and again. The Saudis, Pakistanis, and Afghanis were not willing to play ball, so the CIA tried to do it its own way, with inevitable "blowback" ensuing, 9/11 happening, and now, six years later, the evidence cooked in favor of striking Iraq, Valerie Plame, all while Osama still runs around making videotapes.

The book ends in a chapter in which the commissioners make their recommendations on how to fight terrorism domestically and internationally, including screening ALL baggage at the airports and seaports, and working cooperatively with governments around the world to both combat extremism and give the US an image makeover. You can't help but nod your head "yes" at this, then shake it "no" when opening any newspaper to see that the Iraq quagmire continues unabated while Afghanistan is all but on the verge of returning to a new, Taliban-esque country. The Carthaginians have attacked Rome, and Rome has sacked Egypt in vengeance.


Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The 911 Commission Report.
Sign In »

No comments have been added yet.