Quit Throwing 9/11 In Our Faces

This letter makes me sick at heart. The very people who were supposed to defend our country, who even now parade onto talk shows and give interviews about the NSA scandal like people of authority, stand revealed as corrupt and depraved.


They failed to prevent 9/11. Perhaps even then the volume of data was so great that they simply didn’t notice, or were unable to integrate, the information they had. But they should have been able to learn from their failure, and instead, they covered it up, and their cover-ups and their lies have cost many thousands more lives. Michael Hayden, Dick Cheney, Robert Mueller, and all the people who have made it so easy for the NSA to lie to us for so long, shame on all of you.

Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.

The NSA had collected critical information (relating to calls made by AA-77 hijacker Khalid al-Mihdhar from the US to Yemen) that could have thwarted 9/11, but decided for unknown reasons not to share that information beyond the NSA. They then covered it up, instead of admitting it so that we could learn from it and improve what we were doing.

Before 9/11, the NSA had developed a surveillance program called THINTHREAD, which would have integrated intelligence findings while automatically encrypting all US persons’ communications, and which would have required a court order based on probable cause for their decryption. Gen. Michael Hayden, the same Hayden whose understanding of the Fourth Amendment was so poor that he insisted that it doesn’t contain the words “probable cause,” scotched THINTHREAD in favor of unencrypted bulk surveillance of Americans (STELLARWIND), and a boondoggle called TRAILBLAZER that previewed our occupation of Iraq by failing massively while massively enriching Hayden’s contractor friends.

Now, thanks to their addiction to mass collection, the NSA has admitted that it is indeed drowning in data it cannot process. Its apologists scurry round spreading fear about reforms that would actually make their work more restrained and effective, and in a last, desperate throw of the dice, they are invoking the shadow of 9/11 – the same 9/11 that their bulk surveillance failed to thwart last time around. These days, the only terrorist attacks they seem capable of thwarting are the ones they gin up in advance, but no matter: making the NSA conform to the Constitution will not KEEP US SAFE.

You know that on this blog I tend not to use the swears. This time, I do use the swears:

I am fucking pissed off. What a fuckup. What a gargantuan, despicable, offensive fuckup.

These clowns gleefully threw the Constitution on the fire, and gave us NOTHING in return. We’re not safer. We’re certainly not richer. We have lost so much, so that a few people could become extremely rich and powerful, and our corrupt system is now incapable of holding them personally to account. Yet still they yammer on, clamoring for more funding for an NSA that doesn’t work, a TSA that doesn’t work, an FBI that chases imaginary plots instead of focusing on locking up actual criminals. They have played on our fears to make us exchange realistic risk assessment for a meaningless, nightmarish pantomime where we, the American people and indeed the people of the whole world, have to accept the loss of every freedom we hold dear in order to “do whatever it takes” to “catch the bad guys.”

I’m sick of it. Aren’t you sick of it? I am goddamn heart-sick of it.

It’s been more than thirteen years since my fiancee and I went out and bought our first TV and brought it home and watched stunned as the towers burned.

Thirteen years of watching the victims of 9/11 being used to justify horror after horror. Mass roundups of Muslims. Torture. Detention, even of US citizens, without trial, and now assassinations too. War in Afghanistan, war in Iraq, now apparently drone warfare fucking everywhere, and a constant stream of broken people being dropped back here like flotsam and told to get on with their chewed-up lives.

“If this was the day after 9/11,” says that bloviating fuck John McCain, “we wouldn’t even be talking about these [surveillance] programs.” I bet not. We were too busy putting up flags, grieving, and praying that we and those we loved wouldn’t be next. But grief, as we all know, has stages, and that state of mind doesn’t last thirteen years.

“The victims of 9/11 would have wanted us to do whatever it takes.” No, they fucking wouldn’t. Do you think we’re all scared six-year-olds hiding underneath our stairwells, waiting for Big Daddy NSA to tell us that everything’s OK and we can come out now?

Fuck that. You like us just where we are, cowering every time you say Boo, and you have no incentive to stop us until we tell you the game is over.

You’re the six-year-olds here, standing there with the Constitution on a skewer over an open flame and hollering, “9/11 MADE ME DO IT.”

Just quit it. We’re sick of it. We’re not going to freak out any more over a few seventh-century-loving lunatics. We have seen the real danger to our way of life, and it’s you, and people like you. Your juju has lost its mojo, so quit throwing 9/11 in our faces, and pretending like your juju is ever going to come back.

38 thoughts on “Quit Throwing 9/11 In Our Faces”

  1. It needed to be said. It’s been over a decade since 9/11 and I don’t think a single month hasn’t gone by with someone justifying just about anything you care to mention in the name of “the tragedy of 9/11.” It’s just a cynical ploy, which has worked all too well.

  2. The bureaucracy has the standard defense of “WHO? NOT ME!”

    This article is excellent, but we (WE) need to identify ONE entity to point to. You have damned at least three organizations here, and by implication more and many individuals. However, I still don’t know WHO to string up for this offense.

  3. This is a particularly cogent argument considering that it is becoming more apparent daily that those responsible for the NSA’s overreach and for Al Qaeda are the same people.

  4. @HS, I don’t argue that the NSA is “responsible” for al-Qaeda. Al-Qaeda is responsible for al-Qaeda. Tthere are connections way back when the CIA was trying to encourage the mujahedin resisting the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, but that’s not causative. What we have is an intelligence establishment who are way too heedless when playing with the lives and governments of people in other countries, and way too eager to sacrifice the more sane and intelligent foreign policy we need, in favor of one that assigns no blame, ever, to them.

  5. @DavidSmith, For this post, the chief culprit is the highly decorated Gen. Michael Hayden, former NSA director, former CIA director, and noted Fourth Amendment ignoramus. That’s not to discount the roles others have played over the years, but he is not only responsible for a lot of this cover-up as the man in charge at the NSA at the time, but is also a gleeful participant in the current NSA scandals, trashing whistleblowers, calling them traitors, and spooking people out of NSA reform with talk about 9/11 – which, of course, happened on his watch.

  6. 9-11 was an inside job. If you spend 15 minutes researching it you will quickly come to that conclusion. Having all the data in the world won’t stop a terrorist attack – it will only help commit one.

  7. I came here via Popehat. Bravo, very well said! The folks in DC need to hear this loudly and repeatedly, f-bombs and all. And I must say, I loved the Princess Bride quote you slipped in there.

  8. @BillFeldman, I have spent a great deal more than fifteen minutes of time researching the matter. It is quite possible to remain reasonably confident that al-Qaeda planned and executed the 9/11 attacks, even after substantial investigation. I vehemently disapprove of the surveillance state; but the fact that its growth was greatly assisted by the 9/11 attacks is not evidence that US authorities planned them, rather than corruptly, ruthlessly and immorally taking advantage of them.

    1. I’ve spent a great deal of time too. There has never been a reasonable explanation other than planted explosives for the presence of Thermite and Thermate that permeated the entire site.

      1. As a professional structural engineer involved in the design of tall towers, I have paid some attention to the the collapse of the Towers and I am quite confident, based on analysis by colleagues, that it was a result of the damage sustained during the impact and the subsequent heating due to the extensive fire that ensued. Why look for other explanations that require much more guessing and hidden hands, when an obvious cause of the collapse is clear.

        [Timely article. Sadly I anticipated a lot of this when the event occurred and I was shocked by the excessive response by society in the US. These kinds of events can never be eliminated, and anyone who promises it at the cost of extra-judicial powers is lying and culpable.]

        1. I’ll bet substantial amounts of military grade explosive material, like the twin towers, was not found in any of the “tall towers” your so-called colleagues seem to have convinced you could fall at free-fall speed. Yes, they fell at free-fall speed with little resistance because the core columns were blown. What about the rivers of molten steel that flowed beneath the buildings for weeks after they fell? Jet fuel and building fires do not burn hot enough to cause this kind of reaction. You need to do some real research into what happened instead of just listening to main stream media or other sources that have a twisted perspective and hidden agenda.

    1. My mental image of you is now Inigo Montoya brandishing his sword. Now that I think about it that movie is tangentially about wars being fought for profit. And DC is full of rodents of unusual size. Hmmm…

      1. I appreciate the self-image. Though to be fair, when my girls watched the Princess Bride, they declared me to be Fezzig the Giant instead…

  9. A good start would be to DEMAND that those 28 pages implicating the Saudis and UK for the nine eleven debacle. Demand your congress demand and show us these “classified” 28 pages. Obama promised the victims he would do it, but we know how his promises go.,

  10. Continuing the thread started by Bill Feldman : We have not been told correctly WHO perpetrated 9/11. There is secrecy where there should be none and 3rd parties blamed to allow 4th amendment violations (Patriot Act) which either represents gross incompetence or a draconian plot no American wants to face.

    Until someone comes clean on why WTC 7 fell, I’m not going to listen to anyone who tells me al-Qaeda acted alone.

  11. @BillFeldman, @restofmyselfMeshak, @JoeC,

    Guys, guys. I’m not going to host a “who REALLY did 9/11?” discussion here, much as you might like to have one. This is a surveillance and Fourth Amendment blog, not a 9/11 Truth blog.

    There is a useful overview here of the salient points relating to WTC 7, thermite, nano-thermite and so on: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Trade_Center_controlled_demolition_conspiracy_theories#reactions.

    Here is my take. I see plenty of evidence for al-Qaeda’s guilt in this, possibly with the support and foreknowledge of people in the Saudi government, possibly not. I find the evidence as to controlled demolition, as I understand it, wildly insufficient to overcome the evidence on the other side. You don’t like that, well, it’s a free Internet, and there are plenty of places on the Internet that will welcome your musings on the topics with open arms.

  12. Believe it or not, I don’t care. The buildings were pulled and it’s obvious to anyone without blinders on.

  13. Alex, we’re simply pointing at a glaring omission — the other piece of the puzzle. The false flag setting the stage which validates the rest of your research. If big brother wanted to spy on us, would it not make perfect sense to make us afraid of everyone (I mean terrorists in our midst).

    And yes it’s obvious to the engineers and architects who actually study the physics:

    AND it’s obvious to any kid who spent time in the backyard burning things to see they don’t disintegrate at one instant and then descend at free fall speed. They slowly twist, and melt, and fall sideways to make a big mess. Certainly not what NIST, PBS or any news outlet funded by the establishment will want you to believe.

  14. @JoeC, @BillFeldman, @Andrew, I’ll say it one more time. This is a surveillance and Fourth Amendment blog, not a forum for discussing “who REALLY did 9/11.” There are plenty of places on the Internet where you can go and have that out to your hearts’ content, but I’m under no obligation, as your host, to pretend that it’s on-topic here. Further comments on this thread on that particular topic will result in a ban.

  15. Unless you’re blaming Obama too, you’re part of the problem.
    Government is the problem.
    They are thugs, and they will use any excuse to enslave people.

    Until people realize that they are all part of the problem.

    1. Obama should undoubtedly not be facilitating and expanding the surveillance state. He is part of the problem here, just as Bush was (who is also not mentioned in the article). But it is a false and shallow analysis to focus on the person who happens to be occupying the Oval Office. The problem does not come from there, and cannot be fixed simply by changing its occupant. The problem comes from the deep state, which is accountable to nobody and which puts under surveillance anyone who might conceivably become president so that they don’t make trouble for the NSA once they do.

  16. “We were too busy putting up flags, grieving, and praying that we and those we loved wouldn’t be next.”

    Who you calling “we”, white man? I was talking to people about how the government was going to be using the tragedy to trash civil liberties for at least the next decade within the hour, because the people I loved were more likely to be hurt by g-men than by turrurists.

    1. I was talking from personal experience. Presumably, you can derive satisfaction from the accuracy of your concerns.

  17. Terrific post.

    I would only change one sentence:

    “Yet still they yammer on, clamoring for more funding for an NSA that doesn’t work, a TSA that doesn’t work, an FBI that chases imaginary plots instead of focusing on locking up actual criminals.”

    would become

    “Yet still they yammer on, clamoring for more funding for an NSA that doesn’t work, a TSA that doesn’t work, an FBI that foments fake plots instead of focusing on locking up actual criminals.”

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