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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 9/14/21

9/12: The Greatest Regret of My Life

By Edward Snowden  Posted by John Hawkins (about the submitter)       (Page 1 of 3 pages)   5 comments, In Series: Op-Eds
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National Security Agency headquarters%2C Fort Meade%2C Maryland.
National Security Agency headquarters%2C Fort Meade%2C Maryland.
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Edward Snowden was inspired by the events of 9/11 to join the military and fight the Knights of Darkness who caused the explosions in NYC, DC, and PA. He broke a leg during his training for special ops and was eased out of the military. He found employment through a job fair as a spook, for the CIA and NSA, as a contractor under the guise of a Dell computer employee. In his later memoir, Permanent Record -- the title refers to the US government's illegal dossiers on everybody -- he writes about the events of 9/11 and the day after 9/12. Here's an excerpt from a piece he released at his Substack site today:

The following is an excerpt from my memoir, Permanent Record, available in most languages wherever fine books are sold.

Pandemonium, chaos: our most ancient forms of terror. They both refer to a collapse of order and the panic that rushes in to fill the void. For as long as I live, I'll remember retracing my way up Canine Road-the road past the NSA's headquarters-after the Pentagon was attacked. Madness poured out of the agency's black glass towers, a tide of yelling, ringing cell phones, and cars revving up in the parking lots and fighting their way onto the street. At the moment of the worst terrorist attack in American history, the staff of the NSA-the major signals intelligence agency of the American Intelligence Community (IC)-was abandoning its work by the thousands, and I was swept up in the flood.

NSA director Michael Hayden issued the order to evacuate before most of the country even knew what had happened. Subsequently, the NSA and the CIA-which also evacuated all but a skeleton crew from its own headquarters on 9/11-would explain their behavior by citing a concern that one of the agencies might potentially, possibly, perhaps be the target of the fourth and last hijacked airplane, United Airlines Flight 93, rather than, say, the White House or Capitol.

I sure as hell wasn't thinking about the next likeliest targets as I crawled through the gridlock, with everyone trying to get their cars out of the same parking lot simultaneously. I wasn't thinking about anything at all. What I was doing was obediently following along, in what today I recall as one totalizing moment-a clamor of horns (I don't think I'd ever heard a car horn at an American military installation before) and out-of-phase radios shrieking the news of the South Tower's collapse while the drivers steered with their knees and feverishly pressed redial on their phones. I can still feel it-the present-tense emptiness every time my call was dropped by an overloaded cell network, and the gradual realization that, cut off from the world and stalled bumper to bumper, even though I was in the driver's seat, I was just a passenger.

The stoplights on Canine Road gave way to humans, as the NSA's special police went to work directing traffic. In the ensuing hours, days, and weeks they'd be joined by convoys of Humvees topped with machine guns, guarding new roadblocks and checkpoints. Many of these new security measures became permanent, supplemented by endless rolls of wire and massive installations of surveillance cameras. With all this security, it became difficult for me to get back on base and drive past the NSA-until the day I was employed there.


Try to remember the biggest family event you've ever been to-maybe a family reunion. How many people were there? Maybe 30, 50? Though all of them together comprise your family, you might not really have gotten the chance to know each and every individual member. Dunbar's number, the famous estimate of how many relationships you can meaningfully maintain in life, is just 150. Now think back to school. How many people were in your class in grade school, and in high school? How many of them were friends, and how many others did you just know as acquaintances, and how many still others did you simply recognize? If you went to school in the United States, let's say it's a thousand. It certainly stretches the boundaries of what you could say are all "your people," but you may still have felt a bond with them.

Nearly three thousand people died on 9/11. Imagine everyone you love, everyone you know, even everyone with a familiar name or just a familiar face-and imagine they're gone. Imagine the empty houses. Imagine the empty school, the empty classrooms. All those people you lived among, and who together formed the fabric of your days, just not there anymore. The events of 9/11 left holes. Holes in families, holes in communities. Holes in the ground.

Now, consider this: over one million people have been killed in the course of America's response.

The two decades since 9/11 have been a litany of American destruction by way of American self-destruction, with the promulgation of secret policies, secret laws, secret courts, and secret wars, whose traumatizing impact-whose very existence-the US government has repeatedly classified, denied, disclaimed, and distorted. After having spent roughly half that period as an employee of the American Intelligence Community and roughly the other half in exile, I know better than most how often the agencies get things wrong. I know, too, how the collection and analysis of intelligence can inform the production of disinformation and propaganda, for use as frequently against America's allies as its enemies-and sometimes against its own citizens. Yet even given that knowledge, I still struggle to accept the sheer magnitude and speed of the change, from an America that sought to define itself by a calculated and performative respect for dissent to a security state whose militarized police demand obedience, drawing their guns and issuing the order for total submission now heard in every city: "Stop resisting."

This is why whenever I try to understand how the last two decades happened, I return to that September-to that ground-zero day and its immediate aftermath. To return to that fall means coming up against a truth darker than the lies that tied the Taliban to al-Qaeda and conjured up Saddam Hussein's illusory stockpile of WMDs. It means, ultimately, confronting the fact that the carnage and abuses that marked my young adulthood were born not only in the executive branch and the intelligence agencies, but also in the hearts and minds of all Americans, myself included.

I remember escaping the panicked crush of the spies fleeing Fort Meade just as the North Tower came down. Once on the highway, I tried to steer with one hand while pressing buttons with the other, calling family indiscriminately and never getting through. Finally I managed to get in touch with my mother, who at this point in her career had left the NSA and was working as a clerk for the federal courts in Baltimore. They, at least, weren't evacuating.

Her voice scared me, and suddenly the only thing in the world that mattered to me was reassuring her.

"It's okay. I'm headed off base," I said. "Nobody's in New York, right?"

"I don't-I don't know. I can't get in touch with Gran."

"Is Pop in Washington?"

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John Hawkins Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter Page       Linked In Page       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

John Kendall Hawkins is an American ex-pat freelance journalist and poet currently residing in Australia. His poetry, commentary, and reviews have appeared in publications in Oceania, Europe and the USA, such as Cordite, Morning Star, Hanging (more...)
 

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4 people are discussing this page, with 5 comments  Post Comment


Lance Ciepiela

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Yes, Bush had never determined 'who caused the explosions in NYC, DC, and PA' on 9/11 - #FederalCrimes - and his AUMF 2001 and AUMF 2022 never authorized 'all the big lies' he told about Iraq and Afghanistan - #CrimesAgainstHumanity. 9/11 Treason - MEMO - to Congress.

Submitted on Tuesday, Sep 14, 2021 at 7:06:54 PM

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John Rachel

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Great writing. Now I want to buy the book.

"In retrospect, my country could have done so much with this opportunity. It could have treated terror not as the theological phenomenon it purported to be, but as the crime it was. It could have used this rare moment of solidarity to reinforce democratic values and cultivate resilience in the now-connected global public. Instead, it went to war."

Yep . . . then again, why would authoritarians want to "reinforce democratic values and cultivate resilience in the now-connected global public"? The door was finally open to absolute tyranny. Only a fool or someone with morals would turn away. Now the country is ruled by the ruthless, the amoral, the worst anti-democratic thugs.

Submitted on Tuesday, Sep 14, 2021 at 7:51:04 PM

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Blair Gelbond

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globalresearch.ca/ mysterious- september- 11- 2001- breakfast- meeting- on- capitol- hill/ 5544262

9/11 Unanswered Questions - Mysterious September 11, 2001 Breakfast Meeting on Capitol Hill

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky

Global Research, September 11, 2021

Global Research 1 August 2002

We bring to the attention of our readers Michel Chossudovsky's article published in 2002 pertaining to the role of Sen Bob Graham and Rep Porter Goss, chairmen of the Joint inquiry on 9/11 of the Senate and House of Representatives. A mysterious September 11 breakfast meeting hosted by Sen Bob Graham and Rep Porter Goss was held with the head of Pakistani intelligence on the morning of 9/11.

(con't on Globalresearch.ca)

Submitted on Tuesday, Sep 14, 2021 at 8:31:46 PM

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Blair Gelbond

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globalresearch.ca/ the- truth- behind- 9-11- who- is- osama- bin-laden- 2/3198?utm_ campaign= magnet& utm_ source= article_page& utm_ medium= related_ articles

The Truth behind 9/11: Who Is Osama Bin Laden? At 11am, on the morning of 9/11, the Bush administration had announced that Osama was behind the attacks.

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky

Global Research, September 10, 2021

Global Research 12 September 2001

The article below entitled Who is Osama bin Laden? was drafted on September 11, 2001. (scroll down) It was first published on the Global Research website on the evening of September 12, 2001.

Since 2001, it has appeared on numerous websites. The original September 12, 2001 posting became one of the most widely read articles on the internet, pertaining to Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda.

Since then it has been carefully "recategorized" by the Search engines. More recently, all articles published by global research.ca are subject to censorship.

The Global Research website was launched 20 years ago on the 9th of September 2001.

The original post of this article was among the first articles published by Global Research.

The original url was:

globalresearch. ca/ articles/ CHO109C.

From the outset, the objective was to use 9/11 as a pretext for launching the first phase of the Middle East War, which consisted in the bombing and occupation of Afghanistan.

Within hours of the attacks, Osama bin Laden was identified as the architect of 9/11. On the following day, the "war on terrorism" had been launched. The media disinformation campaign went into full gear.

Also on September 12, less than 24 hours after the attacks, NATO invoked for the first time in its history "Article 5 of the Washington Treaty - its collective defence clause" declaring the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC) and the Pentagon "to be an attack against all NATO members."

What happened subsequently, with the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq is already part of history. Syria, Libya and Yemen were already on the Pentagon's drawing board, the next phase of the US administration's military roadmap.

9/11 remains the pretext and justification for waging a war without borders.

Michel Chossudovsky, September 11, 2015, September 11, 2017, September 10,, 2021

The main article is preceded by excerpts from Michel Chossudovsky's Book focusing on the September 11, 2001 Timeline

(con't on globalresearch.ca)

Submitted on Tuesday, Sep 14, 2021 at 8:42:16 PM

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John Hawkins

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"All, all except Phineas, constructed at infinite cost to themselves this Maginot Line against this enemy they thought they saw across the frontier, this enemy that never attacked that way--if he ever attacked at all. If indeed he was the enemy."
       -- John Knowles

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It's an excellent book. You can download from archive.org. IT showed up there shortly after it was announced that profits for the bestseller would be gobbled up by Uncle Sam. But the gwib who uploaded it did so with highlights. Right?

Submitted on Tuesday, Sep 14, 2021 at 9:08:13 PM

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