September 15, 2001


Words at a time like this are difficult and often misunderstood, but in the aftermath of the heinous attack on America, and while our government is planning to avenge and prevent further dastardly acts of war, most of us are probably wondering how it came to this. Why were our foreign and domestic intelligence capabilities so drastically reduced and neglected, even in the face of so many acts of terrorism against the United States over the last decade?

In this age of high technology, why is government so far behind the intelligence curve? Indeed, why did the entire National Security Agency monitoring and surveillance network crash in January of 2000? And why was government intelligence so complacent with the increasing threat of terrorism?

Clearly, the horrific attacks of September 11th were the result of a simple plan which, along with many other simple plans, should have been anticipated by national security intelligence and terrorist experts. Certainly, a long term complicated plan could have resulted in terrorists flying fully armed F-16's instead of domestic 737's and one of them could have been flying off the wing of Air Force One.

Granted, if America's intelligence had been up to speed the plot might have been foiled. But there are other disturbing matters that beg for answers.

If public awareness for potential terrorism had been enlisted, someone at the flight schools would have made a phone call. The landlord in Florida who evicted several terrorists because they were acting crazy would have picked up the phone and made a call. The Florida travel agent who booked the flight for two terrorists, who left without getting their change, would have made a call. And employees or others in the Florida bar who heard several Arabic men say that America would see blood the next day would have -- no, should have made a call.

Of course, 20/20 is hindsight but what if they had and it was taken seriously?

President Bush has the funding, the experts, the forces and America's backing to overcome the warped evil of our enemies. Hopefully, it will include the best foreign, military and domestic intelligence to pull it off and make America safe.

The lingering, painful fact is that the 19 terrorists aboard those passenger flights have been identified. Most of America's 5000 dead have not. Alas, at least we know who the heroes are, first of whom are the brave souls who kept United Airlines Flight 93 from striking its target and the many firefighters and police who lost their lives attempting to save others.

Daniel B. Jeffs, founder
The Direct Democracy Center