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Saturday, May 25, 2002

rich man, porous managers

"But as we need some version of a Warren Commission to get to the bottom of what went wrong, so we need an inverted Manhattan Project (one that will stop a bomb rather than build one) to recruit America's best minds to set things right. Mr. Ridge, a decent politician with no expertise in intelligence or counterterrorism, is a frivolous choice for security czar. Mr. Ashcroft, an aspiring J. Edgar Hoover isolated from reality by a circle of cronies, lacks the intellect and leadership ability to take on an adversary as cunning as Osama bin Laden. What he cares about most is maximizing his own power, and not just over civil liberties. His Justice Department has joined in the effort to block Mr. Ridge from consolidating the four overlapping agencies in charge of watching American borders. Now we learn, with the news of his suppression of the F.B.I. Phoenix memo, that Mr. Ashcroft will even cut the president out of the loop of law-enforcement embarrassments occurring on his watch."