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Wednesday, January 14, 2004

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It's all too easy to imagine how this stuff happens. People, at best, can be counted on to do a mediocre job at whatever it is they do.

All worst case scenaros must be built on the premise that mediocrity is the rule. We have to try and create as goof-proof a system as possible, and even then account for goofs.

But console yourself with this equalizing fact, the bad guys are mediocre, too, and often even more stupid than others.

For example, 9/11 occurred only through an incredible series of blunders on law enforcement's part, and an incredible series of luck on the part of the 20 hijackers (Moussoui was part of that demonic luck of not being properly investigated).

Most of the Saudi hijackers were leaking all sorts of warning signs, and so forth. They weren't really smart or clever (not like in novels). They were idiots at a time when no one was looking at idiots.

Atta was wearing a neon sign that said, "I want to kill infidels!" Only, no one thought he could be serious.

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