"Failure of imagination" ≠ Tom Clancy

Jul 22, 2004

The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States released its final report today, and at the press conference to wrap up their work, the Commission made sure to sing the chorus of “it was a failure of imagination.” While Chairman Kean’s sage baritone does much to reassure me, I’ve got to admit I’m angry with the “failure” line. Why? Tom Clancy. Years before 9-11, Clancy wrote Debt of Honor, which ends with a hijacked 747 deliberately crashed into the Capitol where the President and Congress are meeting for the State of the Union address. Hmmm. Seems imaginative to me.

I went out at lunch and bought a copy of the report, and I’ll dig into it tonight. I suspect I’ll find that Governor Kean and the other members of the commission mean that even though we could imagine scenes of horror and evil like Clancy’s 747 scene, we couldn’t expect them to come true. 9-11 immediately made the grey zone that was the question of trust a mere pinprick – how, now, can we trust anyone? Put faith in our leaders to do what’s best and right? Believe that foreigners want to build up America, not tear it down?

What does 9-11 tell you about trust? Can you imagine a time when you’re able to trust anyone or everyone again?

Anton Zuiker

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