Thursday, April 22, 2004

Shut Up, Already: Jon Rauch on the 9/11 Commission:
Economists speak of transaction costs. Washington needs to master the concept of investigation costs. A government saddled with a high-profile probe is a government less focused on other tasks, and wartime is the worst time for distractions. That was why the Pearl Harbor investigation went to work after, not during, World War II.

The war on terror is not going to end anytime soon, and the country cannot wait to learn how to reduce its vulnerability. So it makes sense to investigate 9/11, and to investigate before the trail gets cold. But do it right. Much of the descent into recriminations and damage control was avoidable. A shrewder 9/11 commission would have turned its back on demands for public hearings, swearings-in, and the rest of the Watergate-style apparatus.

He has three recommendations. Read 'em.

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