The Foreign Service Journal, June 2009

F O C U S O N F S R E F L E C T I O N S C OUNTERTERRORISM : S OME L ESSONS TO C ONSIDER 32 F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L / J U N E 2 0 0 9 he suicide attacks on the United States of Sept. 11, 2001, alerted most Americans to the terrorist threat for the first time, even though large numbers of their compatriots had been killed in overseas terrorist in- cidents during previous decades. The response of the Bush administration to the attacks, however, attracted no more at- tention among the general public than had the reaction of previous administrations to earlier incidents. Taking comfort in the tough and patriotic rhetoric that flowed daily from Washington, the majority of Americans did A RETIRED DIPLOMAT SEES A DISTURBING PATTERN OF INCONSISTENCY , DISHONESTY AND DECEIT IN THE U.S. RESPONSE TO ACTS OF TERRORISM . B Y A LAN B ERLIND T Pietari Posti