Former Defense Secretary William Cohen insists that part of the blame for ignoring the terror threat lies with society as a whole.
He says even after the 9/11 attacks, the American public remains too complacent. Cohen warns that it's "a dangerous delusion" to think that al-Qaida may be defeated.
Testifying before the federal 9/11 panel, Cohen also insisted, as did former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, that the Clinton administration took the terror threat seriously.
Still, Albright and current Secretary of State Colin Powell note that it would have been difficult to get public support for a military invasion before 9/11.
Powell says before the attacks, the threat from al-Qaida wasn't seen as an "urgent necessity."