9/11 Twenty Years on

Today we remember the attacks on 9/11….the attacks that lead this country down the road of a long war and a seemingly endless international intervention all in the name of a ‘War on Terror’…

Biden’s message on this solemn day…..

White House released a taped address late Friday in which Biden spoke of the “true sense of national unity” that emerged after the attacks, seen in “heroism everywhere—in places expected and unexpected.” “To me that’s the central lesson of September 11,” he said. “Unity is our greatest strength.” Biden’s task, like his predecessors before him, was to mark the moment with a mix of grief and resolve. He gave voice to the pain that comes with memories of 9/11 in his video message, saying, “No matter how much time has passed, these commemorations bring everything painfully back as if you just got the news a few seconds ago.”

Unity?

Sorry Joe that ship has sailed…unity is a pipe dream….

As we think about the events of twenty years ago we should also think about what lead up to these dastardly attacks…..

The story of 9/11 is filled with painful “what-ifs.” Among the most prominent:

  • What if the CIA hadn’t blocked two FBI agents from alerting Bureau headquarters that a future 9/11 hijacker had obtained a multi-entry U.S. visa?

  • What if the FBI hadn’t nixed agents’ request for a warrant to search the computer of “20th hijacker” Zacharias Moussaoui after his arrest in August 2001?

  • What if the FBI hadn’t ignored a Phoenix agent’s July 2001 recommendation to contact aviation colleges across the country, on suspicion that Osama bin Laden was preparing extremists to “conduct terror activity against civilian aviation targets”?

Those what-ifs give us all pause, but they weigh heaviest on those who were closest to them, such as retired FBI counterterrorism agent Ken Williams, author of the so-called “Phoenix memo.”

Though his unheeded warning about extremists at flight schools looms large in the saga of 9/11, Williams is haunted by two more what-ifs that are lesser-known but equally gut-wrenching:

  • What if his request for a surveillance team to monitor bin Laden disciples at an Arizona aviation school hadn’t been declined in favor of the FBI’s pursuit of drug smugglers?

  • What if he hadn’t been ordered to suspend his investigation of those extremists for several months to help with an arson case?

For Williams, the answer is all too clear: His investigation would have led to the scrutiny of two future 9/11 hijackers—and that scrutiny may have started unraveling the entire plot.

https://starkrealities.substack.com/p/how-the-fbis-war-on-drugs-helped

History is full of twists and turns….roads not followed…this time it had a disastrous end.

Please by all means remember those souls that perished during the attack and its aftermaths.

And please keep in mind that a War on Terror is a slogan….how do you defeat an idea?

Have a great weekend.

Be Well….Be Safe….

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

The Last 20 Years

Today we take some time to remember the dastardly attacks of 9/11…..

The years after the attacks have changed things for all of us…..but not for the better.

Looking back on it now, the 1990s were an age of innocence for America. The Cold War was over and our leaders promised us a “peace dividend.” There was no TSA to make us take off our shoes at airports (how many bombs have they found in those billions of shoes?). The government could not tap a U.S. phone or read private emails without a warrant from a judge. And the national debt was only $5 trillion – compared with over $28 trillion today.

We have been told that the criminal attacks of September 11, 2001 “changed everything.” But what really changed everything was the US government’s disastrous response to them.

That response was not preordained or inevitable, but the result of decisions and choices made by politicians, bureaucrats and generals who fueled and exploited our fears, unleashed wars of reprehensible vengeance and built a secretive security state, all thinly disguised behind Orwellian myths of American greatness.

Most Americans believe in democracy and many regard the United States as a democratic country. But the US response to 9/11 laid bare the extent to which American leaders are willing to manipulate the public into accepting illegal wars, torture, the Guantanamo gulag and sweeping civil rights abuses – activities that undermine the very meaning of democracy.

How Can America Wake Up From Its Post-9/11 Nightmare?

While the attacks were despicable….they did leave us with a certain legacy….

I am, of course, speaking of the post-9/11 surveillance state.

It started with the infamous and incongruously named PATRIOT Act, enacted just six weeks after the attacks and before any inquiry into how al Qaeda had managed to get past the FBI, CIA and NSA. The new law forced retailers and libraries to tell the FBI what books you’ve read or ordered, your internet service providers (ISPs) to cough up details on your website browsing history, and imposed new financial transaction reporting requirements on your bank or credit union. It was, however, just the public version of digital mass surveillance.

The hidden part of the federal electronic dragnet was NSA’s STELLAR WIND program, which would not come to light until a year after George W. Bush won reelection because the New York Times editorial leadership sat on the story for a year – one of the worst examples of editorial cowardice in the history of American journalism and the antithesis of the Times’ approach to the Pentagon Papers 40 years earlier.

To be fair, NSA hardly has a monopoly on helping create and sustain the new American surveillance state. The Department of Justice has done its part as well.

Twilight of Liberty: 9/11’s Legacy

With all the ‘preventive’ measures in place this type of attack should be a thing that could never happen again…..well that is the spin we get these days….but I have little faith in those types of promises.

It is not the day for pessimism….for that I apologize….but I feel that truth should be told wherever it is necessary and this is one of those times.

So please take some time and remember those that died on that fateful day and afterwards…..they did not deserve the events of that day.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”