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Gross Negligence, 30 July 2001

Until I saw this movie, I had no idea just how ill-prepared, unprofessional, and callously negligent German law enforcement was during the whole affair. The overall picture is one of shocking carelessness that led to needless loss of life. It's hard to identify which party or parties were the most reckless or misguided. Maybe it was the planners of the abortive assault on the Olympic compound, who launched the "attack" in broad daylight so the terrorists could watch it unfold on TV. Or perhaps it was the organizers of the ambush at Furstenfeldbruck airfield, who the deployed the snipers poorly, failed to coordinate their fire, and neglected to have armor on hand if things got sticky. My favorite group is the bogus flight team aboard the jet, who decided their mission was too dangerous and elected to abandon their posts at the crucial moment. That the German government apparently colluded in the subsequent "hijacking" that freed the surviving terrorists seems to make a hideously bungled tragedy into a very ugly crime.