Just think what America would be today if, say, The Times and The Post had stood up to the weasels and had gone after 9-11 tooth and nail. Democracy might have made a comeback against our venal plutocracy. Our reputation for fair play and the rule of law might have flourished, rather than our reputation for casual waterboarding and wiretaps. At the end, we have passed, as both the great political commentator William Pfaff and former Times reporter Chris Hedges have noted, into an Orwellian society, a society controlled by lies and threat and force, where electronic surveillance of normal citizens is the order of the day. 9-11 was that fatal shove down the slippery slope.
But let's not blame our political class too much, for 9-11 was no inside job. Everyone who was tapped to help, did -- and then kept silent; everyone else closed their eyes. 9-11 was a coast-to-coast national effort. That approaching thunderstorm is history's judgment.