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Tuesday, September 11. 2012
Many, too many, Americans appear to have not learned or forgotten the critical lesson of 9/11/2001. The United States has some ruthless enemies, in some cases with even more capabilities now than then, and we must go out into the world to foil them. In the 1990s, benumbed and enjoying a supposed peace dividend after the fall of the Soviet Union, we too much ignored other budding threats. Then came 9/11/2001. Now the minor attention paid to foreign affairs in the presidential campaign caters to ostrich-head-in-sand voters.
But, fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. BIG shame.
It may be rationalized that downplaying foreign affairs, or downplaying imminent threats, is good politics for this election. It is not, however, the leadership we need and deserve for now and the coming years. It is a shame.
Tracked: Sep 12, 13:38
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The Deafness Before the Storm
Concluding remark from the NYTs piece: "But the dots were not connected, and Washington did not react." - Today, more dots are being connected, and we're still not acting.
Bruce Kesler: Today, more dots are being connected, and we're still not acting.
Do you want to be specific on the threat and what to do about it?
Zach, I already have in numerous prior posts, and will in more to come. Today I just don't feel much like wasting any more time on you.
So you fall off the top of a 100 storey building. What is the threat, the pavement, gravity, or your will to live?
I love the 'we were told' meme. Yes, we were. But - what could we have done about it?
Did we know specifically what the threat was and how to prepare for it? No.
I know people love the Monday Morning QB stuff, but facts are facts. You can't say we knew, and we could've done SOMETHING, because we have no idea what that 'something' would've had to be.
Stiffen airport security? It may have stopped one, possibly two of the hijackings. It may also have stopped none of them.
Arrest the guys who were taking flying lessons but didn't want to learn to land or take off? Sure - but our legal system would have released them shortly afterward, and 9/11 would have become 10/11 or some other date.
Yes, mistakes were made, but when you raise the specter of mistakes, all you are seeking to do is make yourself seem smart and point a finger at someone you feel 'could've done more'.
I disagree with that assessment at its core. It's all purely hypothetical.
Bruce's point of view is partially accurate, we do need to remain vigilant, and our lack of vigilance did lead to 9/11. But it's also fair to say that our response to 9/11 has been dangerous, too. I consider the Patriot Act one of the most horrendous documents ever passed by Congress.
Vigilance doesn't have to mean reduction in rights. It does mean better planning and preparation.
Bulldog: our lack of vigilance did lead to 9/11
Yes. If the report is correct, and the Bush Administration downplayed the terrorist threat in lieu of Iraq, then lack of vigilance due to ideological blinders was certainly the cause. As the U.S. went to war against Iraq in the aftermath of 9-11 supports that position.
Bush downplayed it?
So did Clinton. This is a non-partisan issue. You can do the Bush dance all you want, but even Clinton backed Bush on this particular issue. There was no perceived threat for a simple reason - we assumed there was no way for us to get hit as badly as we did.
More importantly, you blithely comment that it was downplayed in favor of Iraq. And you're serious about this?
The real issue isn't what was 'downplayed', it's what could we have done about it, anyway?
Seriously - how would you have prevented 9/11? Specifics, please.
Stop the meme. Start being practical.
You take a few instances of threats and turn them into a concept that 9/11 could've been stopped? That's just an absurdity. You could not have done it. 9/11 was a lucky break for those who perpetrated it, but it was also an unavoidable disaster from the standpoint of maintaining certain freedoms at that point in time.
Bulldog: You can do the Bush dance all you want, but even Clinton backed Bush on this particular issue. There was no perceived threat for a simple reason - we assumed there was no way for us to get hit as badly as we did.
The Clinton Administration handed the Bush Administration a plan to rollback al Qaeda, and intelligence agencies gave multiple warnings about an imminent attack within the U.S. It is quite possible they could have uncovered the attack if they had taken the threats seriously.
That's conjecture, purely hypothetical.
Clinton has never come out and said this. Richard Clarke made this claim. Yet, when asked in Congress what could have been done to prevent 9/11, he more or less punted. He knew that as much as he was making claims against Bush, there was little in his 'plan' that would have prevented anything.
So...you're basing your opinion, because that's all it is, on what?
It's fairly obvious that taking the threat seriously, and trying to interdict it, would have a higher probability of success than ignoring the threat.
And, of course, you're assuming it was ignored.
Again - Monday Morning Quarterbacking. Not being vigilant does not mean a threat was ignored. You're making that giant leap. You, and many others, are so focused on making Bush look bad, ignorant, or otherwise incompetent, you're ignoring the many other facts which surround this event.
The most glaring fact is that there was plenty of information coming in, but very little linking of that information, and very little of it was specific to a particular type of attack. Running down every lead may have stopped 9/11. But I want an assured answer from you - or anyone else making these outrageous claims - that it would have been easy to stop, and that stopping these events would've been a guarantee.
Without that, I call bullshit. Instead, you make assumptions, apply opinion and assume certain probabilities.
All along, I have said the hijackers got lucky that we, as a nation, were in a comfortable place. Even if we were vigilant, even if we instituted pat-downs at the airports, there is still no guarantee we'd have stopped the hijackers. So, I call bullshit on all this talk.
I love how people can dig up a few random facts and string them together to create a hypotheses which is just believable enough to be treated as a fact.
You know, the "Truthers" do the same thing you've done. Oddly enough, they are somewhat more believable, though they are probably just as wrong.
Bulldog: And, of course, you're assuming it was ignored.
Actually, we're basing it on available information, including actions the Bush Administration took before and after 9-11.
Bulldog: Without that, I call bullshit.
Again, while there is no guarantee the attacks could have been stopped, there is a much higher likelihood when taking the possibility seriously than otherwise. In particular, Scullman said no one could imagine such a scenario, but that isn't correct. It had even been tried before. And there were plenty of clues.
Most Americans are more than willing to give the Bush Administration the benefit of the doubt with regards to the attacks of 9-11. They certainly didn't mean for it to happen. But their ideological blinders continued to guide their actions after 9-11, including the disastrous invasion and occupation of Iraq.
Hey Zach..that's pure, unadulterated bullshit.
Nobody in their right mind could have assumed that four suicide airline hijackings, killing the pilots and ramming buildings with the planes, was operational for N.Y.C. and D.C.
Not one person put that together, nor could they have.
Not you, not Obama, not Bush, not the Wizard of Oz.
The N.Y. Times building was on 49th St. eleven years ago today.
Too bad it wasn't on Liberty and Church Sts. and you weren't there buying a copy of that liberal ass-wipe newspaper.
Scullman: Nobody in their right mind could have assumed that four suicide airline hijackings, killing the pilots and ramming buildings with the planes
Don't know where you got that idea. There were numerous threats of just that sort which the intelligence community was aware of. That's why they were frantic when the Bush Administration discounted the threat, including a plan to fly a plane into the Eiffel Tower in 1994.
Scullman: Too bad it wasn't on Liberty and Church Sts. and you weren't there buying a copy of that liberal ...
Liberal New York took the brunt of the attacks on 9-11, and came back only stronger as a community. New York was the stand-in for America, and more emergency rescue people died that day than any other in American history.
I was in NYC the day it happened. I'm still here now.
Stronger as a community? For a time.
Today NYC is back to being what it was - feeling superior and strutting around like it's the be all to end all. There is no sense of community, except when a hometown team wins. Even then it's still split between Mets/Yankees, Giants/Jets.
Yes, it was stronger as a community briefly, and every now and then puts on a good show. But it's rotting again, and many of us know it. There isn't much you can do when the patient denies it's sick, though.
Bulldog: Yes, it was stronger as a community briefly, and every now and then puts on a good show. But it's rotting again, and many of us know it. There isn't much you can do when the patient denies it's sick, though.
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Yeah, because living here and seeing the rot is meaningless. I need outsiders to tell me what I'm seeing.
This city has massive problems which it continually patches over. Some of my best friends, liberal - no, ultra liberal, all of them - have moved out and to more rural areas because they "feel safer" or because the lament the loss of community in the areas they once lived.
Manhattan is one thing. It's always going to be a relatively vital place. Even when I was visiting in the 70's and early 80's and it was still eerily reminiscent of "Taxi Driver", it was a fun place to be.
But I lived in Queens for most of the 80's and 90's, and it was a good place to live. That community today is horrendous. My ex-girlfriends neighborhood is a pit, where once families were raised and you could walk down the street and feel safe.
So I guess I should find some solace that there are magazine articles that tell me the city is a great place to live? Explain to me why so many people are asking me what communities are the best in NJ to move to?
Bulldog: This city has massive problems which it continually patches over.
Of course it does. New York is still one of the most productive places in the world.
Productivity and community are very different things.
You claimed it was stronger as a community as a result of 9/11. In fact, it required massive government intervention and tax breaks to keep businesses in the city - which has helped productivity, but done little to keep communities together.
So I'm confused what your point is. Discussing anything with you is like trying to hit a moving target. You change your focus regularly.
If you're in NYC, and you disagree with me, then perhaps you live in one of the communities which has benefited from the government intervention. Or perhaps you're one of those typical New Yorkers who cannot accept there is anything wrong (or going wrong) here. Usually it takes people who haven't lived here our whole lives to see what the city's issues are.
If you're not here, and you keep getting your information from magazine articles, usually written by the same people I described above, then maybe you should move here and find out for yourself.
I've lived in New York, and I enjoyed my time while I lived here. But that was years ago - and those communities are rats' nests now. Brooklyn, an area where I was looking to buy in 1989, has sections which have revived, particularly areas like DUMBO, which received lots of government money to revitalize. But it's still just as schizophrenic as it was while I was looking, though this schizophrenia has been pushed further from Manhattan than it once was.
I live in a community which was hit extremely hard by 9/11. Percentage-wise, we were hit harder than most communities. My sons went to school with kids who lost fathers.
But nearly everyone here, given the choice, would cease commuting into Manhattan if given the chance. Many have, others have been lucky enough to see their companies move to NJ, and don't have to commute.
NY is not a community. It is not stronger. It likes to put on a show. It's a good show, I'll give you that.
Bulldog: Productivity and community are very different things.
Yes, though they are related. You had said New York is "rotting again, and many of us know it." Again, despite its problems, New York one of the most productive cities in the world.
"There were numerous threats of just that sort which the intelligence community was aware of. "
Oh for heavens sake, that's your dumbest claim yet. There were lots of threats? Maybe that's the problem: when there are LOTS of threats, most of which prove false or unverifiable, the system gets overloaded and then each "threat" becomes devalued. Were the threats specific enough to be actionable? It's easy for you to say that Bush didn't take the threats seriously, but apparently neither did Clinton. Clinton was the one who let Osama bin Laden slip through his grasp when OBL was tracked down and cornered. Instead, Clinton turned the decisions of bomb strikes and reprisals over to a bunch of lawyers who were tasked with vetting and approving military operations. The end result was predictably a SNAFU.
And just a reminder. Do you remember what happened on April 1, 2001, less than three months after Bush took office, the provocative international incident that was designed as a challenge to the new president and took a lot of his attention? Something that raised the specter of a serious military confrontation in Asia? Do you remember the Hainan Island incident? The one in which the Chinese forced down a US Navy patrol plane over international waters? Duh. Maybe Bush was "distracted" by the possibility of a full fledged war with China, and maybe his response to Chinese aggression required his full attention. I know I'd get a bit distracted by that.
Agent Cooper: Do you remember what happened on April 1, 2001
Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz: "Well, I just don't understand why we are beginning by talking about this one man bin Laden."
Clarke: bin Laden poses "an immediate and serious threat to the United States."
Wolfowitz: "You give bin Laden too much credit."
As usual, you have presented a half-truth and taken the quotes out of context so you could repeat the Left's blood libel against Bush. Those comments were not made to Bush or in front of Bush, but allegedly were made at a meeting of various deputies among whom in attendance were Clarke and Wolfowitz. If anyone should have known a specific threat like 9/11 was both imminent and actionable (not "eventual"), it was Clarke, but from what I can tell he did not issue any such warning. Instead, he talked about arming various groups within Afghanistan to fight the Taliban and al-Queda terrorists. That would seem to be a pretty significant omission, wouldn't you say? Wolfowitz and Clarke disagreed on the proper US strategy vis a vis the terrorists, but in the conversation you cited, AFAIK, Clarke did not offer up any forewarning of an imminent attack on the scale of 9/11. That pretty much leaves you with nothing.
Agent Cooper: As usual, you have presented a half-truth and taken the quotes out of context so you could repeat the Left's blood libel against Bush.
We cited certain events to support our contention that the Bush Administration downplayed threats from al Qaeda and upplayed threats from Iraq (before and even after 9-11).
A blood libel refers to a false accusation of blood being sacrificed for some nefarious purpose ("The Jews killed God!" "The Jews sacrifice Christian children and use their blood for religious rituals!") That isn't the case here. The Bush Administration combined ideology with incompetence, which didn't end on 9-11.
Agent Cooper: Those comments were not made to Bush or in front of Bush, but allegedly were made at a meeting of various deputies among whom in attendance were Clarke and Wolfowitz.
Yes, and we have repeatedly used the term "Bush Administration", not President Bush, though Bush was certainly informed.
Agent Cooper: If anyone should have known a specific threat like 9/11 was both imminent and actionable (not "eventual"), it was Clarke, but from what I can tell he did not issue any such warning.
May 1, 2001: CIA informed White House that “a group presently in the United States” was planning a terrorist operation.
Jun 22, 2001: Memo says an attack was imminent, but that the timeline was uncertain.
Aug 6, 2001: Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in US.
Agent Cooper: Instead, he talked about arming various groups within Afghanistan to fight the Taliban and al-Queda terrorists.
Intelligence briefings were alarming.
Jul 5, 2001: Clarke said "something really spectacular is going to happen here, and it's going to happen soon."
No meeting of security principles was held until Sep 4, 2001.
We are in a substantially more dangerous world than what we faced on 9-11. The radical Islam that gave us bin Laden, al Qaeda and the 9-11 attacks is very much on the rise.
DJI this morning of 9/11 reached its highest level since December '07.
APPLE is right at 666 and the time is almost 11:11
That's what happens when western governements, acting in concert, print money madly. Beyond that this shows nothing.
There is no link between economic performance and the stock market. If there was, the market would be around 9,900 right now.
We had a "housing bubble" caused by bad government policies. Now we have a "money bubble" caused by the same bad government policies.
No one said their is. There is a link between liquidity and asset prices, which is what I said. Just keeping it simple- more money chasing the same supply of goods causes prices to rise. That's what's happening in the stock market.
There typically is a link.
That link has been lost due to the manipulation of interest rates to pursue an economic agenda that is going to unwind sometime very soon. In a very ugly way.
I have always maintained that Steve Jobs was the Anti-Christ and it seems that I'm right. :>)
The Al Qaeda terrorist leader we killed yesterday had been a guest in Hotel Guantanamo, but we let him go.
Abu Yahya al-Libi was being held at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, but escaped.
All this back tracking, Bush woulda', shoulda', coulda' crap just moves the goal posts once again - the old two step -"Well no, Bush didn't cause 9/11 but he shoulda'....etc...".
The simple truth is that we ham strung ourselves during the Clinton Administration shortly after the first WTC bombing when Jamie Gorelick strengthened the "wall" between intelligence agencies such that they could not exchange information in a timely manner or in some cases at all. Even the most complete, intense intelligence briefing cannot connect all the dots if all the dots don't have some sort of logical placement.
And you're right - Americans just don't have a feel for how backward and barbaric these government sponsored 5th century religious zealot movements who hate everybody and everything including their own if they don't hold a philosophy.
Notice how the three monotheisms are always under attack seemingly from each other? I think the pagans --their 200,000 history vs monotheism's 4,000 is like a welling up of a great current under a little rowboat in the middle of the ocean.
(that's JR Nyquist's image from Stone Age Genocide --find in search)
Pagans began some sort of push about 20 years ago, it seems.
(search vigilant citizen sinister sites)
I don't know who these people are, but this is a heavyweight essay at (search)
abel danger tracy twyman city london
Today, on 9/11 Fox business news started in heavy rotation this ad for a movie coming soon to a theater near you:
The voiceover: "What if God's love is like the sun? Constant, and unchanging?"
Sun worship. The global religion, Egypt to Mesoamerica, for all the time that we know of, before the coming of monotheism. The strange story of the Book of Revelation and the black sun. John the Revelator and the Apostle John may be two different Johns.
The video nearby, Bob Dylan's new album release today, this video accompanied --it's for the first song, ''Duquesne Whistle''. It looks like Dylan's affinity for TS Eliot (time as a physical journey) has led him from secularism through Christ and back into the pre-Christian times of the ancient Jews. The rose --in the video --the strongest symbol of the gnostics --note the expression of Dylan's face as he walks up to and then right on past the young romantic laying on the sidewalk.
Today the 11th is 11 years since they knocked down the big 11
(maggie would not print until i removed the abel dan ger url)
Have we really totally forgotten the FIRST attack on the World Trade Center? See here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Trade_Center_1993_bombings . This was under Clinton's watch and treated like a standard criminal act.
And that's exactly how it would have been possible to stop the 9-11 attacks, connecting the dots and unraveling the conspiracy. It isn't necessary to go to war to stop madmen with boxcutters. Indeed, that tactic doesn't work, because madmen will always be able to work in the shadows, even right within the borders of the United States or Europe. You have to disrupt their organization.