9/11 Accountability


It goes without saying that responsibility for 9/11 rests solely with the murderous terrorists who planned and carried out the attacks.

But here's an AP piece about government accountability regarding 9/11 by Pauline Jelinek that's worth pondering as Condoleezza Rice testifies to today before the independent commission investigating how U.S. security was breached so badly.


In the two and a half years since al-Qaida terrorists hijacked airplanes and killed nearly 3,000 Americans, there have been no announced firings, demotions or resignations at the CIA, FBI, immigration service, White House, State Department, Pentagon or any other federal agency….

"If you were in the private sector and you failed this colossally, you probably would be looking for a different job," said [Lorie] Van Auken, whose husband, Kenneth, died in the World Trade Center.

Not so in government. That's because the founding fathers' version of an orderly, accountable federal work force has mutated into a bureaucracy in which problems become systemic and nobody is held responsible, said Paul C. Light, professor of public service at New York University.

"If you look at the big government mistakes of the last 50 years, you will always find systemic underpinnings - taxpayers' abuse at IRS, the Challenger or Columbia disasters at NASA, missing laptops at Los Alamos," said Light, also a Brookings Institution scholar.

"The layers of career officials and political officials have never been deeper. … Interagency confusion continues. It's very difficult to hold anybody responsible for what goes right or wrong in this hierarchy," he said.

Whole thing here.