Would It Have Made A Difference?17 May 2002
Even here in Germany people are talking about whether the Bush Administration was warned before 9/11. (I've read blogs about it here and here and here.) But I can't imagine what good it would have done, say, for the government to have known a couple of weeks ahead of time what was going to happen, without knowing exactly when, where and who, without somehow convincing the public of the seriousness of the threat. The airlines and the public would have never gone along with the security measures necessary, especially considering the false alarms in the past. Or am I missing something?
Once the public was convinced, they were a thousand times more effective than any government action would have been, as shown by the passengers of AA Flight 93. They took action within minutes. The government, it seems, takes months.
Update I forgot to mention, remember that the Hamburg flat of Atta et al. was searched by police the very evening of 9/11, less than 6 hours after the attacks. That made it pretty clear that somebody knew something ahead of time.