‘History’ Category Archives
by Nicholas Pell in History
Sitting down at my computer, I saw an image of the World Trade Center in smoke. I wondered what colossal fuck up caused a plane to crash into a skyscraper. After the second plane hit, I wasn’t wondering anymore. I anxiously drove to work, stopping off at a church to say Hail Marys on the way. We crowded around a radio in the empty store, wondering what the next shoe to drop would be.
In some ways the fact that we never got answers to who did 9/11 and why isn’t all that important. One thing is certain: The public doesn’t know the whole truth. But this is of secondary importance to the changes in American political discourse since.
Since 9/11, the nation has accepted as “normal” a host of invasive police state measures. Warrantless wiretapping, supported by the current administration. The TSA, the worst kind of Keystone Kops-style Gestapo. Killing American citizens with extralegal drone attacks. The elephant in the room of the untold dead, innocent and not so innocent, in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
In 2012, the Democratic Party removed all language objecting to the police state measures implemented post-9/11 from its platform. The surveillance state is here to stay, with no significant opposition coming from either ruling class party.
If we’re going to spend time reflecting on what we’ve lost since 9/11, we should mourn everything lost because of 9/11, from the people in the tower to the first responders to the hundreds of thousands of dead bodies in Central and Southwest Asia, to the freedoms that once defined this country. To do anything else is to tell a lie.