Saturday, April 10, 2004

Possible Errors

This point isn't original with me, but a quote from this article highlights the problem. It's about the August 6 briefing that President Bush received:
The document said that "some of the more sensational threat reporting" -- such as warnings that bin Laden wanted to hijack aircraft to win the release of fellow extremists" -- could not be corroborated.
They couldn't corroborate the intel suggesting that bin Laden wanted to hijack planes. But we all know what happened a little over a month later.

This shows the hazards that necessarily accompany any attempt to rely on intel in taking political action. If a President doesn't do enough to prevent an attack that was predicted by dubious intel, he gets the blame. Yet if he relies on similarly dubious intel to act in order to prevent any possible attack by another crazy dictator in a hostile nation (Iraq), he gets blamed for that too.

It's child's play to issue blame in hindsight. The thing is, how would President Bush (or any of his underlings) know ahead of time which set of dubious intel requires action and which doesn't? Do any of his critics honestly have any better ideas about how to make decisions at the time?


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home