Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Remember 9/11, Twelve Years On
On 9/11/01 I walked into the break room in our Plymouth Meeting, PA office a few minutes after the first plane hit the WTC, stopped dead in my tracks upon seeing the TV, and said aloud, "Holy shit!" A coworker repeated this about 30 seconds later.
We didn't know it was an attack yet and so I left for a job down in Philly, where I was to me one of our VPs who wanted to see a customer installation in person. We got down there and I completed most of the job before we decided it was time to leave, and I told the customer I'd come back to finish the job. Once I heard about the second plane hitting, I knew it was no accident, that this was an act of war. I recall CNN's website crashing under the load as seemingly everyone hit it in an attempt to find out what was going on.
It took awhile to get home because traffic was bad. My wife made it home OK after her students were dismissed. I spent much of the afternoon trying to find out the status of family in Manhattan, on Long Island, and down in Arlington. I later learned that one of my cousins was working downtown near the WTC and had to run for her life. Thankfully, she made it.
One thing that impressed me was how the Internet functioned as designed that day. When a large central router was taken out in the collapse of the WTC, the Internet routed around the damage and I was able to reach a cousin on Long Island using AOL Instant Messenger. Phone calls to the NYC area were basically impossible.
In the wake of 9/11 the country came together like I had never experienced, but unfortunately was soon torn apart over what turned out to be misguided foreign adventurism with the goal of nation building in a backwards shithole that we should never had invaded. Worse, IMHO, is how members of both political parties took advantage of the country's mood to ram through anti-freedom legislation like the Patriot Act, the creation of the TSA, and engage the USA in a never-ending War On A Tactic.
Having ruined the Republican brand with foreign interventionism, the American public proceeded to elect Not-Bush, thereby removing Carter from the position of Worst POTUS Ever. His signature accomplishment will give the Federal goverment control over about 20% of the US economy despite massive and increasing public opposition.
The Attorney General of the US -- the nation's highest law enforcement official -- has repeatedly refused to investigate slam-dunk cases of voter fraud. Worse, to undermine the Second Amendment to the Constitution -- which he swore to uphold and defend -- he oversaw a gun running operation to Mexico causing the deaths of hundreds of Mexicans. If another country perpetrated something like Fast and Furious on the US we'd rightly consider it an act of war.
The IRS, never a public service agency, has been transformed into a tool of oppression by targeting political opponents. The exact effect this had on the 2012 presidential election cannot be quantified but was no doubt significant in stifling Tea Party voter turnout efforts.
Under the guise of "protecting us from terrorism," the US govermnent has created a surveillance state that would have Hitler, Stalin, and Mao doffing their hats in respect and awe.
One year ago one of our embassies was attacked and four Americans, including the ambassador, were murdered. The reaction of the the administration was to launch of cover-up, making anyone paying attention wonder just what they are covering up. Could it be gunrunning through Libya to Syrian rebels?
A dozen years on we've gone from having a POTUS who at least knew the enemy was, to a POTUS who now wants to turn the US military into Al Qaeda's air force. In the face of overwhelming opposition he delivered a disjointed speech last putting on display for all but his most devoted worshippers how incompetent, indecisive, and amateurish he is.
Twelve years after 9/11/01, I feel like I stepped through a portal into Bizzaro World. Does anyone know the way home?