President Bush has been described by former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neil as “incurious”, a trait that seems to be shared by the rest of his administration.

One glaring example of this lack of curiosity has been Bush’s repeated claim that if the government had known about a plan to attack New York or Washington with planes flown by terrorists, they they’d have done something about it. Sure, who wouldn’t?

National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice’s testimony before the 9/11 Commission today repeated the party line a number of times. That seems to indicate a fairly restricted view of the situation.

There’s virtually no way short of a miracle that any intelligence agency can get wind of the specifics of something like the 9/11 plot. It was accomplished with a small group of dedicated people, on a small budget, with virtually no equipment. Waiting to get details of the plan — apparently the only way the administration would act — would never prevent the next attack. Someone needs to be asking questions, trying to figure out what types of threats are realistic, and actively searching for threats.

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
—Edmund Burke