This is a fantastic article on the recurring tactic for politicians and pundits to shirk responsibility for their past positions claiming "nobody could have known then that this would have happened". Actually, yes, anyone could have known, had they actually taken the time to study all of the information available without bias.
The predominant attribute of American elites is a refusal to take responsibility for any failures. The favored tactic for accomplishing this evasion is the "nobody-could-have-known" excuse. Each time something awful occurs -- the 9/11 attack, the Iraq War, the financial crisis, the breaking of levees in New Orleans, the general ineptitude and lawlessness of the Bush administration -- one is subjected to an endless stream of excuse-making from those responsible, insisting that there was no way they "could have known" what was to happen: "I don't think anybody could have predicted that they would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile," Condoleezza Rice infamously said on May 16, 2002, despite multiple FBI and intelligence documents warning of exactly that. One finds identical excuses for each contemporary American disaster. Robert Gibbs just invoked the same false excuse: that "nobody" knew the depth of the financial and unemployment crisis early last year.And I love the Cheney video clip from 1994 explaining with specific details on why invading Iraq is a bad idea.