Thirdly, one of the clear lessons of September the 11th is that the United States of America must confront threats before they fully materialize. After September the 11th, I looked at the world and saw a clear threat in Saddam Hussein. Saddam Hussein was an enemy of the United States. He was firing at American military pilots patrolling the no-fly zones. He was a state sponsor of terror. He was in open defiance of more than a dozen United Nations resolutions. He had invaded his neighbors. He had brutalized his people. He had a history of using and producing weapons of mass destruction. Saddam defied the will of the world. And because we acted to remove this threat, Saddam Hussein is in prison, he's on trial for his crimes, and the world is better for it.Here's the news that is floating in the blogosphere but not in the mainstream news: documents released through a blogger's FOIA actions show the on September 11th -- not after, as the President said today -- Rumsfeld was already ruminating on how to tie the attacks on the World Trade Center & the Pentagon into a response against Saddam Hussein, whether or not he was connected. From the notes of a staffer: "judge whether good enough hit S.H. at same time - not only UBL" and "Go massive . . . Sweep it all up. Things related and not." See the blogger's comments here; you can read the documents here on flickr.
I'm thinking they're going to ban note taking in meetings during crises.
And, I'm thinking if people in high places were more transparent in their decision making... well, as Admiral Thad Allen says, "Transparency of information breeds self-correcting behavior."