20th anniversary of the 9/11 attack is nearing. There will be
memorials. There will be readings of the names of the nearly 3000
victims killed in the attack. There will be American flags waving.
There will be directives to ramp up our patriotism and recommit our
allegiance to the United States. Twenty years later, we still don’t
know the whole truth about that fateful day, but we have learned a
lot about the U.S. government.
like the January 6 attack on the Capitol Building, the country’s
vulnerability was exposed. There was an imperative to get to the
bottom of the assault. The very elements who should be leading the
inquiry into the situation often block the efforts to get to root
causes of the problems.
probably don’t remember the 9/11 Commission or what came out of
it. The loved ones of the attacks demanded answers and their cries
were supported by the majority of people in the country.
really happened on September 11, 2001, and why, remains shrouded in
mystery today. There was confusion about why Afghanistan was the
target of U.S. retaliation if most of the pilots were Saudis. There
were conflicting testimonies and incompatible explanations of
evidence. No credible clarifications came from those in authority
which always gives rise to abounding conspiracy theories.
some of us do remember is that then-President Bush refused to testify
under oath about anything. No one wanted to explain how the attackers
got past 16 intelligence agencies. We remember the heroic acts of
first responders and ordinary citizens to show compassion to one
another. We remember the unwarranted physical assaults and social
media vengeance that Muslims faced - even U.S.-born Muslims.
attacks of September 11 set off a series of decisions that
accelerated a dark trajectory. The government used the incident to
suppress our civil liberties under the guise of national security, to
spy on us and to increase the defense budget. These are a few hard
lessons that we must face.
the attacks, Congress immediately passed the Patriot Act which among
other things, dramatically expanded the spy net with minimum checks
and balances on police or the legal processes. The ACLU reports that
the National Security Agency’s broad powers allow it to spy on
massive numbers of our international calls, text messages,
web-browsing activities, and emails. All U.S. citizens apparently
have become a national security threat.
for budget, in the post-9/11 years, the defense budget ballooned.
After all, the U.S. military had invaded both Afghanistan and Iraq.
They became centerpieces for the global war against terrorism which
had an insatiable appetite for more deadly and expensive weaponry. It
is impossible to track all of the dollars since some budgets are
secret and classified but we know about $4 trillion was spent in
Afghanistan alone – a war where the U.S. military played all
those of us who are woke, the so-called war on terrorism was never
effectively justified because it can’t be. We have to expose
and challenge this government which is carrying out operations all
over the world in our name and using our hard-earned tax dollars. A
government that has robbed countries of their natural resources. A
government that has carried out covert operations to destabilize and
overthrow democratically elected leaders. A government that has put
sanctions on countries that caused more harm to their people than it
did to the few in power.
bottom line - as citizens our asses are on the line when don’t
hold our government officials accountable. What we’ve born
witness to over the last 20 years is the brazen actions of a
military-fueled government to wreak havoc on the planet and its
people. Our side must get more organized to put the beast in check at
home so that we control the backlashes abroad.