The Feds' Rotten Report Card

|

The 9/11 Commission's report card for how the government has reacted to terrorism is filled with gentleman's Ds and Fs:

The 10-member bipartisan panel—whose book-length report on the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks became a surprise best-seller—issued a "report card" that included 5 "F's," 12 "D's" and two "incompletes" in categories ranging from airline-passenger screening to improving first responders' communication systems.

The group also said there has been little progress in forcing federal agencies to share intelligence and terrorism information and sharply criticized government efforts to secure weapons of mass destruction or establish clear standards for the proper treatment of U.S. detainees.

The commission assigned letter grades to assess progress, or lack thereof, regarding each of its 41 recommendations.

According to the panel, the government deserves only one top grade, an A-, for its "vigorous effort against terrorist financing." The panel also gave out B's and C's for government performance on issues ranging from the creation of a director of national intelligence to an ongoing commitment to Afghanistan.

But in nearly half the categories, the government merited a D, an F or an incomplete grade, according to the report card. Kean and other commission members said at a news conference in Washington that all the goals should be achievable, but that many have languished amid political skirmishing and bureaucratic turf battles.

Whole thing here.

NEXT: Weicker, War, and Third Party Politics

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I hate when threads appear out of sequence.

  2. That’s about what I’d expect from any government endeavor. I did like a couple of quotes though.

    “None of this is rocket science,”

    No, rocket science is easier, at least we know what the equations look like.

    Al-Qaida is highly dynamic and we are not. Al-Qaida is highly imaginative and we are not.

    Clearly it comes down to leadership and organization. If both Al-Qaida and congress were operating like well oiled machines, we would all be in a lot more serious trouble.

  3. They should threaten to release the entire FLT 93 tape. that would give the gov’t the kick in the tookus it needs to improve its dismal grades.

  4. maybe if they weren’t going after WoD with their patriot powers?

    or something.

    i know: they want a religious version of the DDR.

    yeah. that’ll keep the terrorists at bay.

    “That’s about what I’d expect from any government endeavor.”

    good call, Eddy! Good call.

  5. The Feds have made me feel less safe since 9-11, and these old guys with cobs up their butts whining about the Feds make me feel that much less safe.

    This is yet another example of the Alphonse and Gaston routine: Who will make me feel safe? Myself or my government? I would have, but my government has already gone first, and it’s spending more of my money than I personally would have allocated to that effort.

  6. You know what I love, I’m watching The News Hour on PBS, and the Republican guy, Kean, is basically agreeing with the Democrat (sorry, can’t remember his name) that we “need to do more”…which basically means curtailing people’s freedom to move about freely and spending their money while curtailing that freedom.

    What a bunch of jackasses.

  7. 5 Fs and 12 Ds? It’s almost as if they’re saying it’s impossible to fight terrorism defensively in an open society.

  8. Congratulations…you are at the top of the Delta Tau Chi pledge class.

  9. “It’s almost as if they’re saying it’s impossible to fight terrorism defensively in an open society.”

    …because if it hasn’t been done under the Bush/Delay/Frist government, then it just isn’t possible to do.

  10. I have always found it amusing that the commission did not have any terrorism experts. No engineers. No pilots. No physicists. No air traffic controllers. No military men.

    Only lobbyists and government lawyers are on the commission. Now that really makes me wonder what the hell they were investigating?

    I think JDM is right, they are conditioning us for something terrible. Seeing that news story about the Miami police in riot gear locking down banks and checking ID’s actually gave me goosebumps. Is it just me or does anybody else have this feeling of impending doom for America?

  11. JDM – that’s exactly what I’m saying.

    And no, joe, it has nothing to do with Bush/Delay/Frist…I wish I could remember that Democrats name that I saw blathering on about “not doing enough” last night on PBS, but it is not a partisan thing. The Democrats, since they’re not in power now, would probably take away even more freedom from the people if it could get them back in office. Politicians don’t give a rat’s ass about us. After all, they’re going to be protected better than any of us will due to their station. If our founding fathers could see these pussies, they’d weep.

    I remember when 9/11 happened, my initial reaction was, “that’s what can happen in a free and open society”…unfortunately, I didn’t realise what my thoughts really meant…namely, that that openness and freedom would be taken away all in the name of safety. Yes, government has been trying to do many of the freedom-stifling things they’ve done since 9/11 for quite some time (hence the conspiracy theories), but that was a definite nail in the coffin.

  12. If PartyInPower = Repub
    Response = “Govmint sux. It’s the cons fault”
    Else
    If PartyInPower = Democrat
    Response = “Govmint is our savior. It only needs more funding”
    End
    End

  13. full report

    5 Fs and 12 Ds? It’s almost as if they’re saying it’s impossible to fight terrorism defensively in an open society.

    yeah “almost as if”, except not really at all.

  14. “yeah “almost as if”, except not really at all.”

    Ok, for the ironically challenged, they aren’t saying it and never will. I am.

  15. 2-shay, JDM!

  16. but JDM, their recommendations aren’t all strictly defensive.

  17. “al-Qaida is quickly changing and we are not. Al-Qaida is highly dynamic and we are not. Al-Qaida is highly imaginative and we are not.”

    Al-Qaida is a relatively small, homogeneous, decentralized system with a single goal. They’re designed to by dynamic and are forced to be highly imaginative.

    The US is a relatively large, heterogenous, top-heavy bureaucracy with sharply conflicting goals. We are designed to plod along almost to the point of stasis, and can rely on technology firepower as opposed to ingeunity.

    We’ve heard the line “we’re fighting them over there so we don’t have to fight them over here” a zillion time by now. Unfortunately, the powers that be mistakenly define “over there” as a physical location. Al-Qaida can no more raise an army and take over DC than we can fight the terrorists as terrorists ourselves.

  18. Hearing “5 F’s, 12 D’s” sounds like we’re discussing Bush’s grades from Yale.

  19. JiggleBilly, you know that representatives of each of those professions testified extensively before the Commission, right?

    If my mom was killed by a guy with a tire iron, I’d want the investigation carried out by a bunch of cops and lawyers – not a mechanic and an designer from Ford.

  20. Hearing “5 F’s, 12 D’s” sounds like we’re discussing Bush’s grades from Yale.

    Yeah but Kerry’s were worse.

  21. This is just Kean and Hamilton’s way of saying “WAAAAAH! Pay attention to us!!!”

    I intuitively believe that the curtailments on freedom are having a higher cost to this society than the few and sporadic acts of terrorism. I wish I could state that empirically.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.