[I've been working on this all day. I've written and deleted ten different things, ranging from two words to five paragraphs. While I was deleting Jeff Jarvis
wrote basically the same thing. But I'm going to go ahead and publish mine as well.]
Richard Clarke's opening statement yesterday:
I welcome these hearings because of the opportunity that they provide to the American people to better understand why the tragedy of 9/11 happened, and what we must do to prevent a reoccurrence.
I also welcome the hearings because it is finally a forum where I can apologize to the loved ones of the victims of 9/11, to them who are here in the room, to those who are watching on television.
Your government failed you. Those entrusted with protecting you failed you. And I failed you. We tried hard, but that doesn't matter, because we failed. And for that failure, I would ask, once all the facts are out, for your understanding and for your forgiveness.
First point: Most American people already understand why 9/11 happened. Those who aren't busy trying to make everything Bush's or Clinton's fault understand. It happened because there are people of a certain ideology that would like to see every American and every non-Muslim person dead. If it wasn't 9/11, it would have been another day, another way.
Second point: These hearings are not going to help prevent a reoccurrence. They will only serve to point fingers, deflect blame and further divide our country. If there is to be a reoccurrence of a day like 9/11, it is probably already a plan in action and having everyone sitting around discussing the past instead of worrying about the future is counterproductive.
Third point: By apologizing, you are assuming guilt. I do not hold my government responsible for 9/11. Even if we had caught and killed bin Laden, the plan was already in motion. It wouldn't have mattered. Even if we cut off the head of the snake, his body still goes on slithering.
My government did not fail me. If they failed me, there would be more than 3,000 dead people. If they failed me, we would be under Sharia law or, going back further, a communist country. I believe with all my heart that my government - from the Clinton years to the Bush years - did their best for us with what they knew.
An apology like this one is a passive-aggressive move designed to elicit hugs and handshakes and maybe a few book sales.
What I would prefer is that someone would stand up in D.C. and say "We have nothing to apologize for. The Murdering Islamists and their followers are the ones who need to apologize, and you will never get that."
And then we kill the bastards, move forward and try to stop this from every happening again.
Put down your signs, put away your dossiers and get off your ass and actually do something except Monday quarterbacking.
You know, this is getting redundant and ridiculous. Every day, I write the same story with different settings. Every day, I write out of anger or despair or worry. And I preach to the proverbial choir. The people who aren't in that choir - for the most part they stop by, they drop a few assumptions and insults in the comments and they move on. There are some readers who stick around, and have stuck around for a long time, and they know how to converse and debate and I appreciate them for that.
But what good is it doing me to rant and rave every day? What purpose does it serve to sit down at the keyboard every morning and type away about terrorism and war when nearly everyone who reads this thing feels the same way I do? I have 43 articles in a folder waiting to be written about or cited. I have emails with links to other articles or blog posts. It's what I do. Write about all the bad things going on the world. I have to do that at Command Post as well. Even if it's on a different level over there, it still makes all too aware of everything that's going on around us.
Before I started a blog, I didn't know that much about world affairs. Now I feel like I know too much. And it all comes tumbling out every morning, sometimes in the afternoon and evening, and jesus christ people, aren't you getting tired of it? Aren't you tired of reading what I'm tired of writing?
Yet, I don't stop. Even though I have no idea what the purpose is, I don't stop. I've been interviewed three times in the past two weeks by people writing papers on blogging. Each one has asked me "Why do you blog?" I said to the last person, I don't know. I honestly don't know