PRE-FACE - Saturday, December 18, 2004

Good morning.

  • From Newsday:
    WASHINGTON - President George W. Bush on Friday signed into law the largest overhaul of U.S. intelligence-gathering in 50 years, hoping to improve the spy network that failed to prevent the Sept. 11 attacks.
    So: September 11 happened because our spies neglected to anticipate it? There is absolutely nothing to be gained by falsely blaming ourselves, and it is nearly impossible that another layer of bureaucracy could have prevented what happened on September 11, 2001.

    If we want to blame ourselves, blame President Clinton for his abject failure to adapt to the post-cold war world. If you'd sooner blame the terrorists for 9-11, I agree.

  • The F.B.I. will have sole responsibility for conducting espionage regarding arms smuggling, as has been agreed between the bureau and the Department of Homeland Security. This was done without the 9-11 Commission's bill, which was silent on this important matter.

  • The A.B.B. group A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition had requested permits to protest and to build bleachers along Pennsylvania Avenue for the President's inauguration, but the National Park Service has not acted on those permit requests. Instead, the service has granted permits to erect bleachers to the Presidential Inaugural Committee. A.N.S.W.E.R. is demanding "equal access to Pennsylvania Avenue."

    The main event of the day for which the Park Service must plan and issue permits is the Constitutional inauguration of the President of the United States, not a group of unhappy souls who want to make noise. They have a right to do that, of course, but not in the middle of a Constitutional process.


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