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.”
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.
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”