How The U.S. Missed The Clues

Last summer the White House suspected that a terrorist attack was coming. But four key mistakes kept the U.S. from knowing what to do. An inside look at what went wrong and what must be fixed

DAVID WALDORF / GETTY

None of this is pretty. In the immediate aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, members of the American political establishment stood together, determined to fight the war against terrorism, supporting those in military uniform and the buttoned-down bureaucrats whose job it was to make sure that something so awful would not happen again. Everyone--inside the Bush Administration as well as outside it--knew there had been massive failures of intelligence in the period before the attacks. But after Sept. 11, the Administration earned a reputation for steely-eyed competence, and its political opponents couched their legitimate criticism in language politer than that to...

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