Wednesday, June 26, 2013
"We Need To Be The Country We Were Right After 9/11" By James Clapper
Those were sweet times.
I mean, a major reason we created these massive intelligence agencies was to prevent a second Pearl Harbor. And here we were, spending billions, vacuuming up phone traffic all over the world with the Echelon Program. But the second Pearl Harbor happened anyway. We all sat at our little monitoring stations watching the towers go down, while Dick Cheney hid in a bunker. Only one of the attacks al-Qaeda launched that day failed to hit its target - and that was because of some ordinary civilians, not anything we did.
The entire military and intelligence community failed miserably at what was supposed to be our only job. And your response was swift:
"Here's a huge bag of money," you said. "Go nuts."
Man, that was nice. No one got fired or demoted. Everyone just received a computer upgrade and some time for all our pet projects. It's like you found one of your employees cooking up crystal meth at his work station, and instead of calling the police you gave him the company credit card for "research" he suddenly decided to tackle.
In the years that followed we kept that dream alive together. You let us spend more of your money, do whatever we want, and when we screwed the pooch, there'd always be some ordinary non-government dude to jump in and tackle a terrorist who got through. Like the Times Square guy or the underwear bomber. I think there were others, but I can't remember all of them. We're not really focused on that part. I mean, that's your end, right? If we're using our resources for domestic spying, that should be clear.
Anyway my point is we need to rededicate ourselves to being a "9/12" kind of America. The kind that doesn't carp on its leaders for every mistake they make or country they accidentally invade. The feeling is gone - that feeling of trust and hope that makes you really, really easy to deal with. We can't let our enemies destroy what we have. Because what we have works.
It works for us, anyway.