RealNews

For a Day, Terrorism Transcends Politics as Panel Reviews Failures

The setting was a nondescript Senate hearing room, but the scene was as singular as democracy itself: successive secretaries of state and defense with more than 14 years’ combined service across Democratic and Republican presidencies being questioned by a bipartisan citizens’ commission of familiar faces. Yes, election-year politics crackled in the air. Yes, Republican panel members prodded and scolded Bill Clinton’s cabinet members, and Democrats did the same to President Bush’s. But the secretaries themselves often agreed with one other, regardless of party, and their public presence was a powerful sign that terrorism transcends politics — and that blame abounds for failing to fully face the threat in time. Madeleine K. Albright and Donald H. Rumsfeld cannot often be accused of seeing eye to eye. But the former secretary of state and the current secretary of defense agreed that there was limited public or international support for large-scale military action against Al Qaeda and the Taliban before Sept. 11. Full Story

OODA Analyst

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