"Bush continues to dissemble and distort the facts — he recently insisted that "the same folks that are bombing innocent people in Iraq were the ones who attacked us in America on September the 11th." Although al-Qaida in Mesopotamia didn't exist on Sept. 11, its recruits now have battle-tested maneuvers they can bring to American shores. There is no reason to believe they can't fight us there and here at the same time.
Even if the Bush White House had remained focused on bin Laden, splintering his organization would have proved difficult. It's hard to stop every fanatic with a bomb or a gun. But we might have been better prepared if the president and his advisers had used the terrorism threat to shore up our defenses and ramp up our emergency planning rather than to manipulate us into voting for their candidates and supporting their foolish war.
In our sixth summer since Sept. 11, after countless color-coded alerts and shoeless shambles through airport security, we no longer believe the hype. This may be just what bin Laden had in mind."