I've only seen bits and pieces of the hype surrounding the 9/11 Commission report. Everything I've seen has got my bogus meters flashing full.
The main gist of the 9/11 commissiont is that there was just too much of that freedom thing going down in the United States and now we a more powerful centralized police to protect the nation's interests. Yep, their conclusion seems to be to do unto the US what Al Quaida wished to do unto the US...curtail freedom.
The report claims that 9/11 was a failure of the imagination. Then they go on to report that the security experts are now imagining things much worse than 9/11 . The implication is that we are much greater danger because security experts are imagining more.
If anything, there is an reverse relation to what the security experts imagine and our overall safety. The fact that people are much more attentive has increased security.
Now, the fact that we are actively engaged in a war means that security risks are greater. What the experts are, or are not imagining does not dictate the extent to which the US enemies wish to do us harm. The experts' imaginations affect their attentiveness. It does not affect the sentiment of Al Quaida.
The big failure of the pre 9/11 world was not the lack of centralization of security forces, nor even the imaginations of security experts. It is the fact that the US and the western world had turned a blind eye to the oppressive regimes, overpopulation and disaffection of the Islamic world.
If the puppet governments in Iraq and Afghanistan simply turn into the corrupt nepotistic regimes that the US has installed in the past, then we have two new breeding grounds for anti American terrorists...just as the corrupt Saudi Arabia was the breeding ground for the 9/11 terrorists.
If we end up with states like those put in place by George Bush the first, then America is in deep trouble...between now and the next war, the technology gap is likely to lessen.