May 20, 2005
IN THE MAIL: A copy of Richard Posner's new book, Preventing Surprise Attacks: Intelligence Reform in the Wake of 9/11. He's not very impressed with the 9/11 Commission or the legislation that followed. Excerpt:
In a misguided quest for unanimity, a determination to use the political calendar, and a public relations campaign to force precipitate action on weakly supported proposals for far-reaching organizational change, the 9/11 Commission, abetted by a stampeded Congress, a politically cornered President, and a press that failed to subject the Commission's recommendations to the searching scrutiny that the modern press reserves for scandals, disserved the cause of national security in a dangerous era. It did so by successfully promoting a bureaucratic reorganization that is more likely to be a recipe for bureaucratic infighting, impacted communication, diminished performance, tangled lines of command, and lowered morale than an improvement on the system.
He's not mincing words.