911: 15 Years Later, Little Has Changed
September 12, 2016
We tend to remember momentous events. People of my generation remember where they were and what they were doing when John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Most people today, young and old, remember where they were and what they were doing when America was attacked on 9-11-2001.
On that terrible morning, I had arrived with a friend at an office for an appointment and found the reception desk unattended. I rang the bell on the desk, but no one appeared.
My friend Kevin and I walked down the inner hallway until we found the office staff. Twenty or so people were in the conference room watching a small TV. While Kevin and I had driven to the office the first plane had hit the first tower of the World Trade Center. People were quietly questioning whether it could have been an accident. Then we watched the second plane hit the second tower, and there was no doubt that this was a terror attack. No one spoke. The only sound in the room was the sound of weeping.
A few days later I penned an article titled, “The Day Everything Changed.” I talked about President Bush’s attempt to reassure the nation on 9-11. I wrote, “I doubt that there have been as many flags flown in this country since the day World War II ended. I have witnessed a new pride in people’s voices as they recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Not all the changes brought about by 9/11 have been negative. One result has been an increased sense of patriotism.” Another result was record attendance at churches, and more people turning to God in prayer.
People who experienced both events say that America was never so united since Pearl Harbor. I truly expected to see great changes in our nation. I believed we would work together to make sure that nothing like this could ever happen. I naively thought that the unity we experienced would endure, and would strengthen. Unfortunately, I was wrong. America is more divided today than at any time in our history. And, yes, I include the Civil War in that assessment.
In the Civil War our nation was divided over one issue. But even as their armies fought against one another, people on both sides of that issue shared many important values. The great majority were Christians who believed in the authority of the Word of God. They believed in the type of family the Bible gave us. They believed that all life was sacred. They believed in freedom and liberty.
They would be horrified by the America that exists today. The idea that people would murder babies in the womb because they were too lazy to use birth control would have been repugnant to them. They would have been disgusted to see courts overturning the will of the people and their legislators to allow men to marry men and women to marry women. And they would have been utterly shocked to see courts in our nation allowing Islamic Sharia Law to override our Constitution.
It doesn’t take a historian to observe the two periods that make up the last 15 years. During the first seven and a half years George Bush’s steady hand was at the nation’s helm. During the last seven and a half years we have vexed with the bumbling, fumbling attempts of an amateur to lead.
Today, according to a just-released nationwide poll, 54% believe the Obama nuclear deal with Iran has made America less safe. 80% of Americans believe a major terrorist attack against our country is likely, and that it could happen soon. Worse, 54% believe the nation is overall less safe than it was before 9-11. Only 39% believe we are safer. When Bush left office 51% thought we were safer than prior to 9-11, and 38% thought we were less safe. That is a huge shift – a complete reversal of the numbers – since Obama took office.
Bush was far from perfect. But he was a patriot, and he was a leader. He made hard decisions that kept our nation safe. And he laid a foundation for national security that even Obama has not been able to completely dismantle.
Following 9-11 under Bush, immigration to the United States became much more difficult, and rightly so. Bush believed that his first responsibility was to Americans, and he made decisions designed to protect America from infiltration from people who wished to harm us. Obama believes his first responsibility is to the world. He actually believes – contrary to the Constitution – that anyone who wants to come to America has a right to immigrate here. And that includes Muslims whose sole intention is to – at best – change American law and our way of life; or – at worst – attack and destroy us.
Under Bush, public trust in government reached the highest level since the 1980’s, according to the respected Pew Research polls. Now, trust in government is not necessarily a great thing. A free people need to have a healthy skepticism about their government to keep it from becoming tyrannical - a sentiment our Founding Fathers would second. But in a time of war, such as we have been engaged in since 9-11, it helps if the people trust the motives of at least their Commander-in-Chief. Since Obama took office, the same polls show trust in government – specifically Obama – has dropped steadily.
Bush put terrorists in a prison in Guantanamo Bay – off US soil. This meant that they could be treated as what they were – enemy combatants – and held in military confinement. Obama has insisted on treating these terrorists as common criminals, and trying them in US courts on US soil – greatly increasing the risk to the court officers, the juries and the public. It is a miracle that we haven’t yet had a terrorist attack on a court where these trials have been held.
Bush also allowed the intelligence professionals to use harsh interrogation techniques to get vital information from these prisoners that has prevented terrorist attacks and given us valuable insight into terrorists’ plans and methods. These techniques included sleep deprivation and playing loud rock music – both of which are things that US teens do to themselves every day. More serious was the technique of waterboarding. While it is very uncomfortable, it can’t kill the subject. In fact, after thousands of uses – under careful medical supervision – not one terrorist has died of sleep deprivation, loud music, - or waterboarding. Yet Obama and Hillary have termed this “torture” and – if not for an outcry from the public – would have tried brave military and intelligence personnel in court for their efforts to protect us. Today, without these tools, we get very little information from these monsters.
If you feel sorry for these animals because they experienced uncomfortable interrogations, please remember that these are the people who killed thousands on 9-11 and in numerous other terror attacks, wiped out whole villages including women and children, and used real torture and beheadings to terrorize innocent people.
Altogether 775 detainees were brought to the prison at Guantanamo Bay. These weren’t people about whom we had casual suspicions of terrorist activity. Most were captured on the battlefield or while they were performing terrorist acts. Today, thanks to Obama’s obsession with closing the prison, only 61 remain in custody. He has farmed them out to any country that would take them, paying them to keep them in custody. In most cases the nations (primarily Muslim nations) either let them walk about freely or even let them leave their countries. Obama wants to transfer the rest to US prisons, but fortunately Congress has blocked him.
Obama told a Yahoo reporter that “only a handful” of former Guantanamo detainees who have been released have returned to terrorist activities. He must have pretty big hands. According to Obama’s own National Director of Intelligence, about 200 of the 653 that have been released – about 30% - are known or strongly suspected to have returned to their prior occupation – terrorism. And who can blame them? That’s the only job training they have had. More important, these guys don’t send a postcard to the US government when they go back to terror. These are only the ones we know about. Some estimates have the number as over 80%.
Finally, let’s take a look at the TSA (Transportation Safety Administration), which – along with the Border Patrol - is our first line of defense against terrorists attacking the US. The TSA was frankly a joke under Bush. It has gotten even worse under Obama. Last year’s leak of an internal investigation that showed 67 of 70 deadly objects getting past screeners infuriated Homeland Security chief Jeh Johnson. He was mad because it made him look bad. But American citizens should be infuriated because such gross incompetence could make them look dead.
There are many forms of transportation in any modern country – aircraft, boats, trains, and highways to name a few. The TSA spends 98% of its budget on just one of those – airlines. And very little of that attention is paid to private aircraft, which is a far more likely mode of transport of a weapon of mass destruction than an airliner. But TSA spends all its time harassing airline passengers and almost none screening the millions of people who board subways, trains and ferries every day. A bomb on a large ferry or cruise ship could kill far more people than on most airliners.
Some attention – but not enough – is paid to container ships docking at large ports. But pleasure boats are almost never inspected. How hard would it be for a yacht to bring a suitcase nuclear bomb from Bermuda into New York Harbor?
The reason TSA wastes so many resources on air travelers is that they are so politically correct that they refuse to do what Israel does – profile passengers. Israel has never had an incident of sabotage on an El Al aircraft. How many have we had? They have never had a death due to a terrorist incident. How many thousands have we had? Israeli aircraft are the most sought after targets of Islamic terrorists – yet they always stop the terrorists. So shouldn’t we use a little common sense, and profile the people whom we know are predisposed to hate us and want to kill us?
100% of the terrorists who brought down four US airliners 15 years ago today were your Muslim men. None of them were 8-year old black girls. And none of them were 80-year-old Italian grandmothers. Yet I have seen both of these hand-searched by TSA agents while Mohammed walked by them smiling at the ridiculous scene.
Of course other types of people could be a threat. But when I was a deputy sheriff and received a call that two Asian men in a white van had just robbed a bank, my partner and I did not stop black men driving green VW’s. It’s just common sense. Unfortunately, common sense is not all that common in government.
The bottom line is that since 9-11, little has changed overall. Much improved during the seven and a half years when George Bush was in the Oval Office. But since Obama took over, most of the gains were lost, and Obama drove both the economy and our national defense down during his seven and a half years.
Which brings us to the upcoming presidential election. On every anniversary of 9-11 we hold our breath, waiting to see if the Muslims will use the occasion to kill, terrorize and traumatize people who don’t follow their bloody religion. So I have to ask you a few questions. Since I’m here and you are wherever you are, I will have to both ask and answer the questions…
QUESTION: The National Debt has been described as the greatest national security issue of the US by Admiral Mike Mullen, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – because without money we can’t fight. Which candidate would reduce the National Debt?
ANSWER: Just one of Hillary’s many campaign promises is that she would make public universities free for all students (including illegal immigrants) and cancel student debt, costing the government billions of dollars. Trump is a businessman who knows how to balance a budget – something Hillary has never done. He will not only stop adding to the debt – he will work to reduce it.
QUESTION: Which candidate would guard our national security by guarding our elections?
ANSWER: Hillary favors Obama’s policy of suing states that require voters to prove who they are and – heaven forbid – prove that they are US citizens before they vote in US elections. Democrats hate voter ID’s because they prevent double and triple voting. Trump takes the sensible position that only Americans should vote in American elections, and that they should only vote once.
QUESTION: Which of the candidates will rebuild our military, which Obama has reduced by 50%?
ANSWER: Obama promised to cut our military by 50% in 2008, and he kept that promise with Hillary’s help. She was Secretary of State during his first term, when most of the damage was done. She is not going to undo her handiwork. Trump knows that a strong country must have a strong military, and he will rebuild it.
QUESTION: Which candidate believes the nuclear arms deal Obama pushed through with Iran was good for world and US national security?
ANSWER: Hillary had a lot to do with crafting this disastrous deal while she was Secretary of State. And, even though she knows that it guarantees that Iran will build nuclear weapons, since she needs Obama’s support, she continues to endorse it. Trump knows the deal was a disaster, pushed through so that Obama could keep a campaign promise. He has sworn to undo it if possible.
QUESTION: An armed citizenry is essential to our national security. It is a historical fact that Japan planned to attack the US West Coast directly, and that they probably would have been successful. But because their intelligence indicated that every home in the US had weapons, they decided to cancel the operation. Which candidate would protect our Second Amendment rights.
ANSWER: Hillary, who has been guarded 24-7 by armed men for many decades, believes that you and I should not be allowed to defend ourselves. She is very vocally in favor of even more restrictive gun regulations. Trump has promised to defend the Second Amendment.
QUESTION: Which candidate favors “sanctuary cities”, which refuse to turn illegal immigrants (even murderers) over to federal authorities?
ANSWER: Hillary has spoken out in favor of the rights of cities to protect illegals. Trump will withhold all federal funding from such cities.
QUESTION: Which of the candidates will keep us safe from terrorists slipping across our border with Mexico?
ANSWER: Hillary believes, like Obama, that everyone in the world has some sort of right to come to America. Trump understands that the danger of our open border is not so much the Mexicans and Central Americans but the Islamic terrorists who use our ridiculous political correctness to infiltrate our country. He will build the wall (which, by the way, was passed into law by Congress in 2006 and signed by George Bush).
QUESTION: Which of the candidates will defeat ISIS?
ANSWER: Since Hillary and Obama essentially created ISIS with their foolish foreign policy, I doubt that she will be very effective at destroying it. Just today she made an asinine statement to the effect that, “ISIS wants to make this a religious war. It’s not, and we can’t let it become that.” Since its name begins with “Islamic” and the next word is “State” it is very clear that this is a religious war to create a religious state – in which only one religion is allowed. Trump knows the enemy – Islamic terrorists – and he will crush them using every available resource.
QUESTION: Which of the candidates believes in preserving our national sovereignty?
ANSWER: Hillary has been a strong proponent of an eventual one-world government since she was co-president with Bill. Her votes in the Senate promoted strengthening the UN and other international organizations at the expense of the United States. Trump has been described as the New World Order’s worst nightmare. Why do you think Mitt Romney, the Pope, the former president of Mexico, and other One-Worlders have denounced Trump? It’s because he will stand up for American sovereignty.
Under Obama the United States has lost ground in practically every important area. If you want more of the same, make sure you vote for Hillary. If you want America back, vote Trump.
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