Today is a day that many will spend mourning the deaths of those who died a block away from where I currently work. The destruction of the Twin Towers was a harsh moment for all. I was attending a funeral that day, a funeral that was unable to proceed because of the disaster; it was a day that left us all shaking.
It was a day that altered how Americans saw themselves. Up until then, terrorism was something that occurred overseas, it wasn't really a big issue in the States. Was it?
One of the biggest questions that people were asking was, if Bush had not been President, would this have happened? Most figured the answer that the plans of Osama bin Laden and the actions of the al Queda operatives were spawned by a type of hate that would have led them down that path, or another, similar one, no matter who was in office.
What is interesting about this is that there is little doubt that the attack on September 11 would not have occurred had Al Gore, the rightfully elected President of the United States, taken office in January. The threat of al Queda had already been determined. After the attack on the USS Cole, Richard Clarke, the antiterrorism coordinator for the Clinton Administration, came up with a plan to break up al Queda cells and arrest their people, undermine its financial support, assist other countries for whom they have been a problem and to eliminate the training camps and bin Laden himself.
This sounds familiar, doesn't it?
Only, the proposal to do this was presented to Sandy Berger on December 20, 2000.
Berger arranged to have special briefings on terrorism for the incoming Bush Administration, given that al Queda had proven itself a clear and present danger to the safety of the nation. The plan was to inform all of the new people in the White House about this, and the determined course of action that seemed the best under the circumstances.
The Bush Administration ignored all this. They were more intent on toppling the economic prosperity that the removal of supply-side economics had caused for people who didn't have trust funds.
The Hart-Rudman Commission issued a report on national security on February 15, 2001, in which they warned that there were many signs pointing to a mass-casualty terrorist attack. Donald Rumsfeld ignored the report. Dick Cheney's antiterrorism task force never met.
Meanwhile, Richard Clarke was trying to get his plan noticed and acted upon. On April 30th, he presented it to several high-ranking national security people. Although a resolution was made to further discuss the issue, no action was actually taken.
FBI agent Kenneth Williams informed HQ on July 10, 2001, that he postulated that al Queda operatives might be attempting to get into the U.S. civil aviation system. On August 16, Zacharias Moussaoui was arrested by the INS; he was a flight school student, but the taking-off and landing part of the flight didn't seem to concern him much. The arresting officer even mentioned the World Trade Center in his report. Another FBI agent issued a report to HQ regarding how a 747 loaded with fuel could be a powerful destructive force.
FBI director Thomas J. Pickard had met with Ashcroft to request additional funditure because of the imminent threat of a terror attack. On September 10, he received a letter that turned him down.
On September 11, two airplanes loaded with fuel and with full itinerary of passengers crashed into each of the Twin Towers. Another plane was flown into the Pentagon. Another went down, apparently when the passengers realized what was happening and took matters into their own hands.
Over 3,000 people died.
Bush immediately sprung into action. Actually, no he didn't. He didn't do much of anything. Eventually, Clarke's plan was acted upon. But now it was 3,000 civilian lives later. And who was blamed?
Bill Clinton, for his military program.
The military, of course, were not responsible for information gathering and collating. The FBI consistently warned the Bush Administration that there was a problem, and Clarke had a program that would deal with it. The reason was because the warnings and possible solution came from Democrats.
Had Al Gore, who won the popular vote (and would have won the electoral vote as well had Katherine Harris and Mac Stipanovich not eliminated thousands of legal black voters in Florida) taken office, the Clarke's policy would have been put into effect immediately. Osama bin Laden would have been eliminated, al Queda would have been destroyed, and the 3,000 people who died that day would still be alive.
Of course, the deaths of 3,000 people on that day two years ago is horrible, an atrocity that is inexcusable by the people that planned and executed it. I have no warmth in my heart for bin Laden and his cronies. These people are evil.
But the fact is that those 3,000 people were betrayed by the government that was supposed to protect them, and that Bush and Cheney and their cabal have used this event to further their power-hungry political, greedy economical, and backwards social platforms is also a horrible crime. That they, through inaction, caused these deaths only compounds the offense.
Our government had already been stolen from us, and the thieves don't care to fulfill their responsibilities to the American people.
Make no mistake. Bush is evil, too. It would be nice if I believed that he could be voted out of office next November, but the 2000 and 2002 elections showed that the Republican party has no qualms about turning away perfectly eligible voters and doctoring election results in order to get their candidate in office.
I mourn for the deaths of those 3,000 people.
I also mourn for the death of the United States of America, and the willful murder of democracy.