Failure to Prevent 9/11 Not a Lack of Imagination but of Cognition
By David Holcberg (New York Sun, July 28, 2004)
Contrary to the claim by the 9/11 commission chairman, the failure to prevent 9/11 was not "a failure of imagination." It was a failure of cognition.
For decades prior to 9/11, terrorist attacks against Americans were perpetrated without any noticeable response from the U.S. government. The first attack on the World Trade Center, for example, occurred back in 1993--and it was dealt with as a mere criminal matter. More recently, in 1998, Osama bin Laden declared war on the United States and publicly called for the indiscriminate murder of Americans all over the world as a religious duty. A few months later Al Qaeda destroyed the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. The United States did not respond in any significant way to these threats and assaults.
The reason that the United States was taken by surprise was not a lack of imagination, but a lack of honesty in facing the facts--and a lack of courage to act against these obvious threats.
As the commission itself reported, "The 9/11 attacks were a shock, but they should not have come as a surprise."