9/11/2001. The date still echoes in the mind with outrage, anger, and utter disbelief. Through the clarity of hindsight it now seems more than ever like a Madison Avenue commercial intended to sell the American population on another war they didn’t need or want. But that’s what we got. Fifteen years of it so far and no end in sight. Believing in the official narrative of 9/11 requires what’s referred to in drama as a willful suspension of disbelief. How could this happen? How did a band of ragged terrorists plotting from a cave in faraway Afghanistan accomplish such a feat given the pervasiveness of the most expensive military/intelligence apparatus in the history of the world? How did three skyscrapers defy the laws of physics and manage to collapse as if brought down by a controlled demolition? And even more curiously, why would Islamic radicals provide the neoconservative administration of George W. Bush with exactly the pretext they needed to launch a bloody invasion of Afghanistan and further occupation of the Middle East?Who among America’s national-security mandarins at the CIA or FBI or Department of Defense would be held accountable? No one would. Instead America’s national-security apparatchiks would be rewarded with expanded powers to eavesdrop and torture; powers that were supposed to be anathema to the American way of doing things. Like Kafkaesque characters who’d suddenly found themselves on the other side of the Cold War mirror, Americans would now have to “watch what they say and watch what they do” as a preexisting “Patriot Act” would be signed into law to clamp down on dissent and real or imagined domestic terrorism.
Some careful observers like Anthony Lewis of the New York Times had already noticed the bizarre coup-like changes coming over Washington in the months leading up to the attack as the George W. Bush administration inaugurated radical shifts in domestic and foreign policy that seemed un-American and alien to anything that had gone before. But those concerns would soon be forgotten in the race for revenge.