Ben Franklin said, " Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." How sadly prophetic those words were for our times.
Politicians and military and Security organization directors like Leon Panetta are telling us that things are better now. As the baby in the stock trading firm ad says, "What a pant load."
Eleven years after the attack, the US has clearly become far worse because of the attack-- far worse than was necessary, far worse than it could have been.
It has become a police state. Fear has taken hold of American voters, politicians, political parties, police and intelligence agencies. Billions of dollars have been wastefully, misguidedly thrown at the homeland security budget. Local cops now look like robocops or fully armed and armored soldiers. Mainstream media have generated many TV series that constantly fuel the fear.
Photo at 2009 G20, by Bill Perry
The police state, the surveillance state, the anti-terrorist state that the US has become is far more dangerous to democracy, to justice and freedom than terrorists ever were. Fusions centers that combine federal, state and local police resources, that are exempt from laws requiring court orders for surveillance or invasion of property, are multiplying, a pox across the nation. We no longer have Habeus corpus, or posse comitatus. Already, drones are flying overhead and they will soon be like locusts, a blight upon the skies of America, as they already are in Pakistan and elsewhere.
Two overt wars have cost the US over 6,000 acknowledged lives, but many many more troops who have died from injuries, from suicide. Those wars have or will cost well over a trillion dollars, probably trillions. And what did they accomplish? They created recruiting grounds for terrorists. They disrupted the balance of power that kept Iran at bay. They allowed corporatist members of congress, ie., most of them, to funnel hundreds of billions of dollars to corporations like Blackwater, Halliburton, and the big military industrial complex corporations. Those billions could have provided far more jobs in the US if they'd paid for repairing and upgrading infrastructure and more, better education.
I offer my sympathy to the families of the people killed by the 911 attackers. But I also offer my sympathy to the millions of family members hurt by the damage that cowardly and/or exploiting leaders in government, police and the military have inflicted through their wars, attacks on freedoms, wasting of funds.
Instead of memorializing the people killed at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the jet that crashed at Shanksville,, we should honor them by challenging the misguided or corrupt or cowardly actions and decisions that were taken using those deaths as an excuse. We should memorialize them by getting answers to questions that the original 911 Investigation commission failed to address or answer. And no, I am no 911 truther. But there are serious questions that were ignored.