Greg Easterbrook is arguing, via alternate history, that the 2001 September 11th attacks could not have been prevented without violating US and international law. Basically, his scenario is: what if the US took all the action that followed the attacks (attacking Afghanistan, massive arrests and deportations, etc.) and did them preventively? His answer is that it would result in the impeachment of President Bush and war crimes trials for prominent administration officials.
His assumption that the responses to 9/11 would also have been appropriate preventative measures is blatantly wrong, a binary fallacy. His assumption that our actions, particularly the invasion of Iraq on empty promises, do not include violations of international law and impeachable offenses is also wrong, but we lack an independent legislature at the moment to examine the question. And his assumption that the president would not do something impeachable in order to prevent thousands (and counting) of American deaths and regional disorder is telling, as well. Disturbing, really.
Anne Zook, who brought it to my attention, calls Easterbrook's speculations "Very funny reading, but I'm sure that's unintentional." I don't think it's funny at all, actually. It's a deliberate attempt to sabotage the 9/11 Commission and insulate the President from accusations of ineptitude or inattention, and I'm sure we'll see more of it shortly. He is trying to argue that there was"no choice," no viable alternatives to the history the way it happened. That we live in the best of all possible worlds (c.f. Leibniz, and, of course, Voltaire's Pangloss), impossible to improve without actually making things worse and for which we are not ultimately responsible. I'm sorry, but that's not my definition of leadership.