chapter TWO
Simple Ideas, Complex Organizations
America’s East Coast welcomed a crisp, sunny fall morning on September 11, 2001. For airline passengers in the Boston– Washington corridor, the perfect fall weather offered prospects of on-time departures and smooth flights. The promise would be broken for four flights, all bound for California. Like Pearl Harbor, 9/11 was a day that will live in infamy, a tragedy that changed America’s sense of itself and the world. If we probe the how and why of 9/11, we find determined and resourceful terrorists, but we also find vulnerability and errors in organizations charged with detecting and preventing ...

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