Seven Years Later

Today marks the 7th anniversary of the terrible bombings of the Twin Towers and Pentagon.  Twin_lightsIn the years since then, we have commemorated the tragedy on each of those grim annual markers (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007), and the progression of our thoughts mirror the national mood as it transitions from trauma to reflection.

We have now had seven years to consider these events.  We have been discussing and debating their meaning and consequences.   Since 2001, we've had three national elections and are less than two months from electing a new leader.  He will inherit a world shaped in no small part by those events.  What do you think we've learned?  Have we taken away the right lessons?  What steps still remain?  Share your thoughts.


  • Bill R. (unverified)

    I'm not sure we have learned anything. I hope we have learned to reject extremism and violence from any source. I hope we have learned that there is more that unites us as a people than what divides us. I hope that we have learned not to be manipulated by bellicose language and demagogues like George W. Bush into wars of revenge. I hope we have learned that competent and effective government matters in time of national crisis. I hope we have learned that hate always leads to destructive consequences.

  • Mongocutswood (unverified)

    Seven years later, and still no 2nd attack by Al Qaeda on American Soil.

    Thanks Dubya!

  • Kurt Chapman (unverified)

    Hopefully we've learned (like the rise of the Third Reich) that history truly does repeat itself. Progressively increased terrorism against Us interests for 20 years leading up to 9/11 went ignored. Hopefully we have learned that the extremist fundamentalists on either side are in this thing for the long run.

    What we haven't learned - 7 or 8 of the terrorists who were invlolved in the 9/11 hijacking were in our country illegally. Many entered the U.S. legally with either a student or business VISA and overstayed their allowance. Today we have really no better systemic approach to that problem

  • Garrett (unverified)

    Hope. That's what I have. Hope. Nothing more than that. Hope.

    This day sickens me. I sat at my desk at 8:00 this morning remembering exactly what I was doing when I watched the 2nd plane fly into the WTC. I spent the rest of the day ignoring that it happened. Gut check for me because I shouldn't ignore this.


  • Ladies Home Journal (unverified)

    Kurt Chapman,

    Your moral equivalency (translation: "extremist fundamentalists on either side" equals American evangelical Christians are just as dangerous as the Islamo-Fascists) is the reason I'm not voting for Obama in this election.

    If people like you are voting for him, then McCain needs my support.

    Unless you're arguing that Bush's war on Iran is the moral equivalent of the 9/11 attack, in which case you need to study the history of U.S./Iraq relations and compare that timeline of escalation and our target sets with the Islamofascists.

  • BOHICA (unverified)

    We have learned that the US Constitution isn't worth the paper its printed on.

  • Doug P. (unverified)

    One of our greatest tools to fight terrorism and protect America is the Patriot Act. FBI agents and CIA officers will tell you that their single most important tool for hunting down terrorists and avoiding another 9/11 attack is the Patriot Act. However, democrats vote time and time again to eliminate the Patriot Act.

    At a time when our country could possibly come under a rogue nuclear attack from a terrorist - the democrats run around trying to stop "water-boarding" of terrorists as means of gaining intelligence info.

    Bill Clinton even pardoned 11 FALN terrorists on his way out of the White house!

    It doesn't take much effort to realize the DP is not about protecting America - it's about re-making Amerika into a socialist utopia void of religion and military might. Where chants of "USA! USA!" would most likely be outlawed and consider Hate speach.

  • mlw (unverified)

    I would like to say that we have learned the dangers of having a reactionary foreign policy instead of a deliberative one, but the jury's still out...

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)

    Here are links to two articles. The first suggests our public discussion of 9/11 is based on fairytale, not fact. The second demonstrates that the perception of terrorism is in the eye of the beholder.

    Was America Attacked by Muslims on 9/11?

    Slaughter, Lies, and Video in Afghanistan

  • Dan Sullivan (unverified)

    "Was America Attacked by Muslims on 9/11"?

    Tom - put the bong down...

    Wow talk about left wing propaganda conspiracy theories!

    Was the 1993 World trade center bombings also an inside job? We've got muslims in jail right now for that.... Maybe if Obama get's elected he will free them and apologize?

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)

    Dan Sullivan,

    Read the article, then offer some evidence and reason based comment. Dismissing the subject with derisive humor just repeats for the -nth time the failure of some folks to notice the grave problems with the official account of the 9/11 crimes.

    I do not suggest I know the truth. I do know that much of the story we have heard is made up.

  • Harry Kershner (unverified)

    Ladies Home Journal said, "Unless you're arguing that Bush's war on Iran is the moral equivalent of the 9/11 attack..."

    Bush's "war on Iran" is just more neocon hopefulness. You are correct, though, that Bush's war on Iraq is not "morally equivalent" to the attacks on us of 9/11. What we've done is far more immoral. We've slaughtered, tortured, and ethnically cleansed over a million Iraqis, none of whom attacked us. The 9/11 killers, mostly from our "allies" in Saudi Arabia, killed about 3000. So, unless you want to argue that American lives are worth 350 times more than those of Iraqis, our attacks, still ongoing, are far more destructive and far more mis-directed.

    Doug P said, "It doesn't take much effort to realize the DP is not about protecting America - it's about re-making Amerika into a socialist utopia void of religion and military might. Where chants of 'USA! USA!' would most likely be outlawed and consider Hate speach."

    I'm glad you spelled it "Amerika". Sounds like a good plan to me, but, unfortunately, the DP is on board with the likes of you. Don't be so greedy; an Obama administration would be more conservative than the Clinton Administration, and Clinton was a Democrat in name only.

  • Harry Kershner (unverified)

    Tom C: The problems with "9/11 truth" analyses are many, including the fact that there really is no single analysis, i.e., there are hundreds of hypotheses, some of which say there were no planes, others of which say "the Jews did it", etc. What all 911'ers seem to say is that if we don't believe their "truth", then we must believe the "official story". There are, however, more than two possible options. We know that Bush and Cheney lie as a matter of principle, so we shouldn't be surprised that they lied about 9/11.

    The 9/11 "movement" is a diversion from progressive political activism. It is a gift to Bush and Cheney, and I think that some aspects of it are probably originating with Bush and Cheney.

    The 9/11 Conspiracy Nuts - How They Let the Guilty Parties of 9/11 Slip Off the Hook:

    "The nuts disdain the real world because, like much of the left and liberal sectors, they have promoted Bush, Cheney and the Neo-Cons to an elevated status as the Arch Demons of American history, instead of being just one more team running the American empire, a team of more than usual stupidity and incompetence..."

    There are lots of debunking articles available, including:

    (Typepad has once again forbidden me to post a list of links. Try this: for a long list.)

  • Anon (unverified)

    It still makes me want to cry every time I think of that day.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)


    I disagree with you and Cockburn. There are many suggestions about why 9/11 happened as it did. Certainly, all of them cannot be true, but it is most likely that the official story is quite far from the truth itself.

    Folks cannot be stopped from overing their own ideas on the matter, however unsubstantiated they may be. That does not make doubts of the official version any less reasonable.

    I do not accept that concern over what happened that day is useless distraction. The official story is the 21st century's Pearl Harbor, the rallying call for all the imperialism and authoritarianism of the US exceptionalists. Throwing that official myth into question is quite useful. Also, I believe many of the people who spend large amounts of time on the conspiracy effort would not put that time into other progressive social and political efforts. They are motivated by the mystery and the supposed wrongdoing of those in power. I am glad to see their efforts. Perhaps they will bring us closer to the truth, perhaps not. Such is how it is when challenging entrenched power.

  • John Q. Public (Mssr. T) (unverified)

    It's all the Jooooooos fault! Neil Armstrong never walked on the moon. Elvis lives. JFK never would have fought a war in Vietnam: it's all Nixon's fault.

    Truth my ass.

  • Zoiberg (unverified)
    Tom Civiletti writes: "Read the article, then offer some evidence and reason based comment. Dismissing the subject with derisive humor just repeats for the -nth time the failure of some folks to notice the grave problems with the official account of the 9/11 crimes." "I do not suggest I know the truth. I do know that much of the story we have heard is made up."

    "Can you prove it didn't happen?" -- Criswell, seer extraordinaire, in the closing sequence ofPlan 9 From Out Space.

    I'll read the document, Tom, just as soon as I'm done with the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

  • RW (unverified)

    Harry, watch your language, fella. ANY time I am about to use a sweeping-word such as "All", I hastily backspace and examine my head. Use of any sweeper like that means I'm off into emotive-land. "SOME 9/11ers insist that..." would signal via wordchoice that you are not wholesale dismissing all you categorize as such.

    Yes, some are rabid and rolling-eyed "buffs". It might be fruitful to simply view the amount of questioning sociologically: WHY the questions instead of which questions asked.

    The so-called "Bush Doctrine" is based in the official stories of this event, and the precursor data that was doctored up to shore up that "Doctrine" is debunked, as well as the processes that allowed it to pass into American mass media without serious challenge, fact checking or scrutiny. Taking a long view, thank god it did. More than one die-hard CONservative heart and trust got broken for good on that one. But meanwhile, we are still in those wars. And Sarah proposing a new one to add on.

  • John Dingleheimer S. (unverified)

    Iraq refused to allow UNMOVIC inspectors to have unfettered access (culminating with UN Resolution 1441) for years: Saddam Hussein refused. They warned him to quit threatening U.S. Aircraft enforcing the no-fly zone from 1991-2003: Hussein refused.

    Finally, they gave him 48 hours to get out of Iraq, or we would launch a full out assault to come and get him. Hussein refused. The victims of 9/11 were not given similar opportunities to rectify their alleged deficiencies in order to avoid attack. In fact, most 9/11 victims had never heard of Al Qaeda, and didn't know they were being targeted.

    Presently, the IAEA is trying to persuade the Iranians to give up their uranium enrichment and nuclear weapons technology, while the U.S. is conducting high level negotiations to incentize Iranian compliance. Thus far, they have refused. If the Iranians continue to pursue nuclear weapons technology, you ALL KNOW how this story ends: AND IT WON'T MATTER WHO THE U.S. PRESIDENT IS AT THE TIME.

  • Harry Kershner (unverified)

    John Dingleheimer S.: Allow me to introduce you to the concept of "American Exceptionalism". We are not, as the term implies, better, more moral, or more politically correct than the rest of the world, so we should be subject to the exact same standards of conduct as Iraq or Iran.

    So, for example, we should be required to adhere to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty to the same extent that any other nation that has signed it.

    Have we begun to reduce our nuclear stockpile? If not, then what right do we have to demand that any other nation not produce nuclear weapons?

    Furthermore, if other nations believe that the US is acting in ways that interfere with their "interests", then they have just as much right to attack us as we have to attack them, according to the neocon doctrine that you appear to accept as valid.

    What if Russia announced that George Bush had to get out of the US in 48 hours or they would "launch a full out assault to come and get him"? There is no doubt that the US is a far greater threat to Russia than Iraq was to us, so, according to your analysis, Russia has every right to attack us, invade us, and occupy us, regardless of how many Americans are killed, maimed, or turned into refugees.

    Scott Ritter and other UN weapons inspectors have challenged the myth that Iraq held significant "weapons of mass destruction". Even if they had held wmd's, they were no threat to us or to anyone else. We, on the other hand, are the only country in the history of the world that has used nuclear weapons, and we continue to threaten others with their use (a war crime, even the threat). Therefore, we are the ones who should have a "no fly zone", if anyone should.

    The Iranians have attacked no one. They are in compliance with international standards. If you believe that those standards should be changed, then that's what you should work for, but the standards must be the same for all nations. If the Iranians "continue to pursue nuclear weapons technology", they will be one among many nations with them, and they will be no more of a threat to the world than us.

  • marv (unverified)

    An employee at Kerr-McGee whose name was Karen Silkwood was murdered. Her car was run off the road. What she was attempting to bring to light, some thirty-three years ago, was missing weapons grade plutonium. The country that was receiving this material was Israel. Today, through the Kahn network proliferation has greatly expanded. The U.S. is blocking the investigation. But in true fascist form the Project for a New American Century seeks a new scape goat and this time it is Iran. Their peaceful use of the technology poses no threat to the U.S. but end-time fans like Sarah Palin do. Will this be what is used to cover the collapse of the economy?

    The exposure of a covert agent who was working on nuclear proliferation is one of thirty some reasons why Nancy Pelosi should not have taken impeachment off the table.

    One half of the fuel for domestic nuclear power plants is derived from dismantled Soviet era warheads; we have sold to foreign entities our uranium mines.

    <h2>What is the real threat to this country?</h2>
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