The buck stops here; the president’s responsible; everyone’s accountable; no one gets the blame; the system’s not broken – just needs a tune up.
The problem with a war on terrorism – at least where it takes place on the communication’s front – is that the terrorists often end up coming out with the more credible statements.
In 1984, after the Brighton bombing which targeted the leadership of the British government then led by Margaret Thatcher, the IRA said:
Mrs. Thatcher will now realise that Britain cannot occupy our country and torture our prisoners and shoot our people in their own streets and get away with it. Today we were unlucky, but remember we only have to be lucky once. You will have to be lucky always. Give Ireland peace and there will be no more war.
Yesterday, Agence France-Presse reported:
Al-Qaeda hailed the suicide bombing that killed seven CIA agents in Afghanistan as “revenge” for the deaths of top militants in US drone strikes in Pakistan, Islamist websites said on Thursday.
Treat terrorism as bereft of political content then the issue will perpetually be framed as one of national security and we’ll get reports like this:
In a briefing after the President’s remarks, counterterrorism advisor John Brennan said he had personally let the president down.
Brennan said that the intelligence and law enforcement community had done a “stellar” job over the past year. “It was in this one instance that we did not rise to that same level of competence and success.”
Brennan said the president had told him he must do better. Said Brennan, “I told him that I will do better and we will do better as a team.”
Must do better… Indeed.
No more fly-swatting at the Ministry of Information — that should fix the problem.
(Anyone who’s seen Brazil will know what I mean. Anyone who hasn’t seen the movie, should — it’s as relevant now as it was when it came out in 1985.)