Respond to my Classmate’s Post. Your responses should be substantive in nature, meaning you should present discourse by asking questions of your peers (how did they arrive at their conclusion or what was the premise of their argument). You can challenge one another and present an alternative analysis. All of this should be supported by the research of scholarly, peer-reviewed articles, and authoritative reporting (government).

                                               CLASSMATE’S POST

In an attempt to answer the question about 9/11, it's difficult to reflect on a day when so many people lost their lives in the worst terrorist attack on American soil in history.  It's difficult to opine whether it could have been prevented or not.  One issue I do believe is that, if President Bush had not made the decision to ground all the planes, there is the distinct possibility that more lives could have been lost.  I think it's easy to look at these types of situations in hindsight.  As Fred Borch (2003) notes in his article in the Journal of Military History, "There can be no discussion of whether that attacks...resulted from an 'intelligence failure' without defining the phrase.  Does it mean these events were intelligence failures because information had been collected (or was available) that, if properly analyzed and disseminated to those in authority, would have provided tactical warning of the attack?"  Yes, there were previous attacks on American warships and the World Trade Center, but intelligence officials have concluded that, although there was always a persistent threat of an attack, there was no credible or "imminent" threat that an attack would occur on September 11, 2001.  

There are multiple instances of a failure to communicate.  Certain leads that possibly weren't investigated thoroughly and there was a two-year long investigation into the attacks by the "9/11 commission."  Errors in human judgment in determination of whether every lead is credible or not can play a factor but those judgment errors alone could not prevented the overall coordinated attack that occurred on 9/11.  "The investigation turned up no single damning piece of evidence that would have led agents directly to the impending attacks" (Isikoff, Klaidman, & Reno, 2003).  There is simply not enough time or manpower to investigate every threat made against the U.S. Government or America itself.  Federal agents, in their knowledge and expertise, must use their own judgment to determine whether to follow up on credible leads whether it be an attack on private citizens or property, a plot to kill the President, bombing of a federal building, or other such terroristic events.  Again, while it is easy to examine an issue in hindsight, it is the opinion of this writer that this coordinated terrorist attack took too long to plan and was so precise and detailed that there was no way to prevent it.


Borch, F. L. (2003). Comparing Pearl Harbor and '9/11": Intelligence Failure? American Unpreparedness? Military responsibility? Journal of Military History, 67(3), 845–860.

Isikoff, M., Klaidman, D., & Reno, J. (2003). Failure to Communicate. Newsweek, 142(5), 34–36.

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