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Jewish World Review May 20, 2002 / 9 Sivan, 5762

Michael Ledeen

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Consumer Reports

So how come nobody's been fired yet? | With all of the folderol over these FBI memos and the reflexive chants of "what did he know and when did he know it," the central questions remain what they have been from the beginning. Everybody knows that the FBI and the CIA failed miserably to provide our leaders with the information they needed to thwart the September 11 massacres. The details may be fascinating, but the failures have been known for a long time. Calls for a congressional investigation are like asking the Madame to investigate her brothel: Congress is in it right up to its long nose. Congress imposed the crippling restrictions on the intelligence community that made it virtually impossible to penetrate terrorist organizations at home or abroad. And if Congress is so talented, how come the vaunted oversight committees didn't realize how bad things were, and take action to improve them?

But the heart of the matter is the failure of leadership. Every president since Jimmy Carter has declared war on terrorism, but George W. Bush is the first president to actually wage war on the terrorists. And at no point, sadly including George W., has anyone charged with fighting terrorism been called to account. I am still wondering why nobody has been fired. Why is the director of Central Intelligence still at his post? Why is the Clinton-appointed head of the FAA still at her post? Why are the various directors of the myriad counterterrorist groups still there? Why has there been no shakeup at FBI, CIA, DIA, or the NSA?

This is a serious matter indeed, for the bureaucracy will only act virtuously when the bureaucrats see that sinners are punished.

The calls for investigation are just politics. But the central problems have yet to be addressed.

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JWR contributor Michael Ledeen is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and author of Tocqueville on American Character . Comment by clicking here.


05/14/02: Open doors for thugs
04/20/02: Iran on the Brink … and the U.S. does nothing
04/16/02: It’s the war, stupid … someone remind Colin Powell
04/08/02: Gulled: In the Middle East, Arafat doesn't matter
04/02/02: Faster, Please: The war falters
03/26/02: The Revolution Continues: What's brewing in Iran
03/18/02: Iran simmers still: Where's the press?
03/05/02: We can't lose any more ground in Iran
02/14/02: The Great Iranian Hoax
02/12/02: Unnoticed Bombshell: Key information in a new book
01/31/02: The truth behind the Powell play
01/29/02: My past with "Johnny Jihad's" lawyer
01/21/02: It's Munich, all over again
01/08/02: What's the Holdup?: It's time for the next battles in the war against terrorism
12/11/01: We must be imperious, ruthless, and relentless
12/06/01: Remembering my family friend, Walt Disney
11/28/01: The Barbara Olson Bomb: Understanding the war
11/13/01: How We're Doing: The Angleton Files, IV
11/06/01: A great revolutionary war is coming
10/25/01: How to talk to a terrorist
10/23/01: Creative Reporting: Learning to appreciate press briefings
10/19/01: Not the Emmys: A Beltway award presentation
10/15/01: Rediscovering American character
10/11/01: Somehow, I've missed Arafat's praise of the first stage of our war on terrorism
10/04/01: What do we not know?
09/28/01: Machiavelli On Our War: Some advice for our leaders
09/25/01: No Room for the U.N.: Keeping Annan & co. out of the picture
09/21/01: Creative destruction
09/14/01: Who Killed Barbara Olson?
08/22/01: How Israel will win this war
08/15/01: Bracing for war
08/09/01: More Dithering Democrats
08/02/01: Delirious Dems
07/31/01: Consulting a legendary counterspy about Chandra and Condit, cont'd
07/19/01: Be careful what you wish for
07/17/01: Consulting a legendary counterspy about Chandra and Condit
07/05/01: Let Slobo Go
05/30/01: Anybody out there afraid of the Republicans?
05/09/01: The bad guys to the rescue
05/07/01: Bye-bye, Blumenthal
04/20/01: Handling China
04/11/01: EXAM TIME!
04/05/01: Chinese over-water torture
03/27/01: Fighting AIDS in Africa is a losing proposition
03/14/01: Big Bird, Oscar, and other threats
03/09/01: Time for a good, old-fashioned purge
03/06/01: Powell’s great (mis)adventure
02/26/01: The Clinton Sopranos
02/20/01: Unity Schmoonity: Sharon is defying the will of the people
01/30/01: The Rest of the Rich Story
01/22/01: Ashcroft the Jew
01/11/01: A fitting close to the Clinton years
12/26/00: Continuing Clinton's shameful legacy
12/21/00: Clinton’s gift for Bush

© 2001, Michael Ledeen