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April 05, 2004



Well if the Bfv not been so handicapped by their misreading of history, vis a vis their handling
of the Hamburg cell, had the Company been able
to have one infiltrator in that same cell. Had
Al Midhar & Al Hazmi's file been distributed to
the FBI and local law enforcement, specially in
the San Diego area. If Ziad Jarrah been similarly
flagged re his sojourn through Dubai. If the FBI
and ATF focused less attention on that extremist
cell in Miami, in the spring of 2000;(my personal
pet pieve) and more of young Arabs, attending flight schools in South Florida with suspect records; had they followed up Atta's and another
florida cell's traffic tickets; Then maybe there
might have been a chance. Most of these steps, could have taken place, even before the influence
of then candidate Bush's stance on 'ethnic profiling' had taken effect


My puzzlement is, have any new "if onlies" emerged recently, other than Clarke's "if only I had been running the urgent principal's meeting"?

The Kid

Some on the panel believe that 9/11 could have been prevented if the airlines had been warned to bolt the doors in early summer 2001 as a result of the increased chatter on terrorist links.

I don’t think increased physical security on the aircraft would have made a difference. The hijackers’ plan was to quickly seize the aircraft by killing one member of the flight crew (a flight attendant) and using another to communicate to the pilots that one member had been slaughtered and another would be in ten seconds unless the cockpit door was opened immediately.

Back on 9/11/01 any pilot would regard the choice as a no-brainer: lose another crew member or spend some hours cruising around while the hijackers negotiated their demands. The pilots would not have much time to confer with air traffic controllers nor know about the seizure of other aircraft. Undoing the locks and opening the door would seem the reasonable and prudent thing to do.

What we now take for granted was difficult to predict at the time – such a combination of tactics was stunning. 9/11 succeeded because of a daring, bold plan that was executed well.


Personally, I liked this quote from the hearings, excerpted by Krauthammer's latest:

SEN. SLADE GORTON: ``Assuming that the recommendations that you made on January 25th of 2001 ... had all been adopted say on January 26th, year 2001, is there the remotest chance that it would have prevented 9/11?"

CLARKE: ``No."

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