I've seen your comments before, and I figured you'd have something to contribute. And you did.
I agree with your comment above -- the 9/11 investigations should be conducted with independence, and they should receive strong support from both the public and from all three branches of our government. I can accept apologies, but a failure to account for the senior descisions to ignore al Qaida's threat for years, the ones who removed traditional AAA (anti-aircraft weapons) from our city gates, and those in power who failed to scramble our jets in time to stop the second and third attacks -- all of those things should be reckoned. Without the accounting for these sins, future mistakes will come all the more easily.
But isn't the deeper question one that Huck raises, and echoed by the T.S. Elliot poem? Isn't it possible that we are divided against ourselves at a much more profound level than mere incompetence?
In any case, why do we think that the brutal force of our military establishment can be "restrained" in order to acheive justice? I am not asking for any man's conscience to be nullified; the military men I know have deeper consciences than most civilians. But of course our forces must remain under civilian control, and perhaps that is the root of the paradox -- some of our civillians have lost their will to defend our revolution and our republic. Some of them are ready to apologize for the bulwark for liberty we've established on the bones of a million patriots. Some of us harbor sick and wicked doubts that the capitalist American republic is superior to the Marxist-communist dialectic. And now, some of us fail to recognize the bitter challenge Islam is presenting western civilization, preferring to hold back our will to isolate, unmask, and strip it of its wicked force to destroy all in its path.
If America falls, 10, 20, 100, 500 years from now -- it will be due to imposed impotence within. We will be mortally wounded by those who have lost their faith in freedom, hollow men paralyzing the forces for liberty that fairly boil in the rest of us. America will not fall because we were incapable of meeting the evil without; it will be due to the straw men within America, whose eyes are dead already, who no longer yearn for their own personal independence, let alone that of any others.