The report of the 9/11 Commission is out (link here, searchable version here), and its bottom line conclusion seems about right to me. The Commission reports: "We Believe We Are Safer. But We Are Not Safe." (MSNBC Interactive, 07/22/04.)
Here is an excerpt from my post, STATUS REPORT: THE WAR ON TERRORISM:
Are you feeling safe? How real is the terror threat? I must say that the picture is pretty bleak after reading the below mentioned excerpts from the CIA director George Tenet's appearance before the Senate Intelligence Committee. (EGO, 02/25/04.)
Go to BBC News site and watch a clip from a surveillance video at Dulles airport on September 11, 2001, showing the hijackers before they climbed aboard flight 77, American Airlines.
Do you think that the right solution to the problem, is to to get rid of useful tools like my AVO cigar cutter and Leatherman tool, from the carry-on luggage? Or could you prevent future hijack attempts in some other ways? How about arming the pilots? Shouldn't they have an effective screening process in place and updated profiles of terrorists on file? However, a more crucial life-and-death issue is how quickly we could exterminate the root of terrorism.
I did a Vivísimo search on the keyword "Iran" @ the site of The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (a.k.a 9-11 Commission) and found this excerpt:
In sum, there is strong evidence that Iran facilitated the transit of al Qaeda members into and out of Afghanistan before 9/11, and that some of these were future 9/11 hijackers. There also is circumstantial evidence that senior Hezbollah operatives were closely tracking the travel of some of these future muscle hijackers into Iran in November 2000. However, we cannot rule out the possibility of a remarkable coincidence—that is, that Hezbollah was actually focusing on some other group of individuals traveling from Saudi Arabia during this same time frame, rather than the future hijackers. (9-11 Commission report, Paragraph #1133, page 241.)
Here is the last paragraph from David Warren's article, Iran [via InstaPundit]:
Once again, the U.S. is the only power in a material position to act, in defence of the West. The confrontation being inevitable, the sooner it happens the better. (Ottawa Citizen, 07/21/04.)
I recommend you to read Dr. Leonard Peikoff's article, End States That Sponsor Terrorism (10/02/01). Here is an excerpt:
Eliminating Iran's terrorist sanctuaries and military capability is not enough. We must do the equivalent of de-Nazifying the country, by expelling every official and bringing down every branch of its government. This goal cannot be achieved painlessly, by weaponry alone. It requires invasion by ground troops, who will be at serious risk, and perhaps a period of occupation. But nothing less will "end the state" that most cries out to be ended. (Capitalism Magazine, 10/02/01.)
If you think that Iran has its hands full with terrorist activities already, think again. Last month, according to Reuters, the Islamic Republic of Iran – through the proxy known as the Committee for the Commemoration of Martyrs of the Global Islamic Campaign – launched a new campaign calling for volunteers to carry out suicide attacks against U.S and Coalition forces inside Iraq, as well as missions targeting Israel and author Salman Rushdie. Since the 10,000 volunteers already registered are not enough, they distributed a “Preliminary Registration for Martyrdom Operations” application for the position of “martyr.” Announcing this new campaign, the cleric Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati urged the public that "It is the duty of every Muslim to threaten U.S. and British interests anywhere.” (Iran's Growing Threat by Rachel Ehrenfeld, FrontPage Magazine, 07/23/04.)
Put another way, the administration has two Iran policies, and the result has been a mix of good and bad. Kerry, by contrast, boasts a single, coherent, and--to judge by the description of Teheran's activities in yesterday's report--utterly delusional Iran policy. Now, if only the Bush team could sort out its own, it might have an opportunity to draw a meaningful distinction. (Engagement Announcement by Lawrence F. Kaplan, The New Republic, 07/23/04.)
The weakest part of the report concerns what needs to be done to destroy the terror masters. The whole section is written as if the state sponsors were somehow beside the point; the commission focus is entirely on the terrorist groups. This is an odd position, given all the evidence of the deep involvement of countries like Iran, Syria, and Iraq.
In short, we should strive for competitive intelligence. Keep the boxes small, let them present their analyses and recommendations, and make the policymakers sort it out. The commission goes through the ritual pieties of keeping policy and analysis separate, but most of such talk is misleading, since every grownup knows that certain conclusions--say, that Iran supported the 9/11 operation--lead inevitably to certain policies--say, that "selective dialogue with Iran" is a joke. (The 9/11 Vision by Michael A. Ledeen, American Enterprise Institute, 07/23/04.)
If you want to read about a related topic, airline security, scroll down for the outcome of Annie Jacobsen's spooky experience on the Northwest Airlines flight 327 and her story, Terror in the Skies, Again. Rachel Lucas wants to have valium served on the flights, and the Commissar at the Politburo Diktat is suggesting that we shouldn't be "jumping at shadows."
The mysterious Syrians, whose in-flight act prompted fears among passengers between Detroit and Los Angeles, turned out to be simply a band on the run to an Arabic music show at Sycuan Resort and Casino near San Diego, according to new accounts of the long, strange trip. (Infamous Syrian musicians performed at Sycuan casino by Benjamin Spillman, The Desert Sun, 07/23/04.)