9-11 Families and the rush
to change the CIA
by Mark Neckameyer
November 22, 2004
This is a topic that has bothered me for quite awhile yet I feel more
than a little guilty every time I consider it. Have the
so called "9-11 Families", survivors of the September
11, 2001 terrorists, been accorded an inordinate amount
of influence when it comes to national policy dealing with terrorism?
Everybody, yours truly included, feels a depth of sympathy for
these folks who lost so much in an instant that awful day.
Because the Towers were staffed by highly educated individuals
mostly, their survivors naturally tend to be more eloquent
and prosperous than most so they have influence too. They
explain themselves and their feelings very well on TV.
All of that said, what do those people know about the technical
aspects of fighting terrorism and aren't their feelings being
unfairly manipulated by politicians?
It bothered me each time a politician or wannbe politician would
bring in a 9-11 survivor during the recent political campaign
to support one position or another. The survivors are not completely
of one mind and there are a few differing opinions among them.
One opinion they all seem to have however is that their
ideas are worth so much more than other ideas and is that fair? Did
the survivors of Pearl Harbor have a say in how we prosecuted
war in the Pacific in the 1940s? Did Lusitania survivors
help decide if we were going to go to war with Germany in 1914?
Of course the answers are "no". One danger
is that as these survivors live in the most liberal part
of the bluest of the "Blue States", they represent
mostly one opinion ... a very Liberal opinion. I suppose
had the buildings destroyed been in Texas, we would be hearing
an entirely different political philosophy from the families. Is
The 9-11 investigations and hearings, held when they were right
before a presidential campaign, were infected by political inputs. That
is just the truth. Now the continuing considerations
on how to modify the CIA and our intelligence mechanisms
in general can go on free of election politics for awhile.
They should also go on free of feelings that are more emotional
and sympathy based than reason based. Let's not re-do the
hearings which did have quite a bit of value but let's not continue
to have legislators trot out sympathetic families to lobby for
changes in intelligence policy one way or another. Let's
let the new Congress make changes when they get seated in January
and if they screw-up, we get somebody else in these in two years
instead of rushing now, using 9-11 families as political
Irvine, CA - USA
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