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Terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon

The 11 September attacks (also referred to as 9/11) were a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks by the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda against sites in the United States on the morning of Tuesday, 11 September 2001. The attacks killed 2,996 people, injured over 6,000 others and caused at least $10 billion in infrastructure and property damage. Additional people died of incident-related cancer and respiratory diseases in the months and years following the attacks.


9/11 Could Have Been Prevented, by Sheldon Richman, 21 Apr 2004
Counters the claim that Islamists hate the U.S. because Americans love freedom and suggests that a non-intervenionist foreign policy could have prevented the Sept 2001 attacks
From Richard Clarke to Condoleezza Rice, the security establishment agrees on one thing: there was no sure way to stop the attacks ... But ... it doesn't get the Bush administration and its predecessors off the hook ... The crimes of 9/11 should have focused attention on the policies that made Arabs willing to commit such heinous acts here ... The horrors at the World Trade Center could not have been prevented by actions taken between January 20 and September 11, 2001. The real issue is whether they could have been prevented had U.S. administrations followed the noninterventionist advice of the Founding Fathers.
The 9/11 Servility Reflex, by James Bovard, Freedom Daily, Dec 2007
Discusses how the general American public reacted after the 9/11 attacks and how the 9/11 Commission and the mainstream media helped reinforce that reaction
The naive response to politicians triumphed in the weeks after the 9/11 attacks. By the end of September 2001, almost two-thirds of Americans said they "trust the government in Washington to do what is right" either "just about always" or "most of the time." Amazingly, the attacks even boosted Americans' confidence that government would protect them against terrorists ... The 9/11 attackers were mass murderers who had no right to kill Americans. But to pretend that the attacks originated out of nowhere or out of hatred for freedom fraudulently exonerates the U.S. government.
Related Topics: George W. Bush, Government
Again, the Isolationist Smear, by Sheldon Richman, 17 Jul 2014
Comments on the targeting of Rand Paul as "isolationist", by Rick Perry and other Republican hawks, based on Paul's stance about sending ground troops to Iraq while not ruling out air strikes
The war party believes that the 9/11 attacks and Pearl Harbor refute the noninterventionists. Here they display either their historical ignorance or their willingness to engage in demagoguery — I'm betting it's the latter. No one who knows anything about the al-Qaeda or Japanese attacks could possibly believe that the U.S. government had pursued a noninterventionist foreign policy in the years preceding each event. Look it up. That the war party pretends otherwise shows how scared it is of scrutiny. The noninterventionist case boils down to this: U.S. aggression abroad makes enemies and provokes blowback.
Americans Have Lost Their Country, by Paul Craig Roberts, 1 Mar 2007
Discusses (and lists) the neoconservatives in the George W. Bush administration and the rationale for their actions furthering wars in the Middle East
Initially, the 9/11 attack was blamed on Osama bin Laden, but after an American puppet was installed in Afghanistan, the blame for 9/11 was shifted to Iraq's Saddam Hussein, who was said to have weapons of mass destruction that would be used against America ... Neoconservatives had called for "a new Pearl Harbor," and 9/11 provided the propaganda event needed in order to stampede the public and Congress into war. Neoconservative Philip Zelikow was put in charge of the 9/11 Commission Report to make certain no uncomfortable facts emerged.
Another Meaning To September 11th, by Butler Shaffer, 19 Sep 2001
Reflects on the attacks of 11 Sep 2001, arguing against top-down poltical systems and in favor of "decentralized, spontaneous systems" such as the marketplace and emphasizing the need for individual responsiblity
The shocking attacks upon the World Trade Center and the Pentagon have struck far deeper into our conscious and unconscious minds than any of us has begun to imagine. The anger that has now settled into the minds of most of us is certainly understandable, deriving as it does from a fear of our vulnerability and a failure of expectations that our political systems would protect us from such harm. This anger, driven by a desire for revenge, does not subside, for the perpetrators of this crime are dead, and it is unclear to most of us who else might be implicated.
Blueprint for Dictatorship, by Justin Raimondo, 30 Apr 2007
Describes how the Defense Authorization Act, the Military Commissions Act and changes to the Insurrection Act could be used to impose martial law in the United States
The single stroke between day [Republic] and night [Empire] can be fixed precisely in time, at 8:45 a.m. EDT on Sept. 11, 2001, and the Military Commissions Act and the disturbing changes in the U.S. Code outlined above are the closest to painted signs we are likely to get. Waiting in the wings, an infamous cabal took advantage of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, moving with preternatural speed to consolidate a dictatorship of fear. With the passage of more recent legislation, they are now moving to consolidate their gains.
Bush's Opium Boom, by James Bovard, Freedom Daily, Apr 2003
Describes attempts by the Taliban (from July 2000 to October 2001—the U.S. invasion), the U.S., the United Nations and the Karzai government to control opium poppy production in Afghanistan
On September 2, 2001, Mullah Omar announced that Afghan farmers would be prohibited from growing poppies ... And then al-Qaeda terrorists struck on September 11. The Taliban had been sheltering al-Qaeda for several years and the U.S. government soon made it clear that the Taliban regime would be held accountable for the actions of its guest, Osama bin Laden. Ten days after September 11, [the] executive director of the UN Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention, was still chirping about how the Taliban's ban "will dramatically reduce the movement of heroin from Afghanistan to the West."
The Bush Torture Memos, by James Bovard, Freedom Daily, Nov 2006
Examines how the Bush Justice Department and the Pentagon twisted legal interpretations to absolve themselves of charges of torture in dealing with "enemy combatants" in the "war on terror"
After 9/11, many Bush administration officials seemed determined to use any and every means to bludgeon people suspected of terrorism or terrorist intent ... The memo recited the damage of 9/11 in order to justify the presumption that torture would prevent similar carnage:
Given the massive destruction and loss of life caused by the September 11 attacks, it is reasonable to believe that information gained from al Qaeda personnel could prevent attacks of a similar (if not greater) magnitude from occurring in the United States.
But the Justice Department's top lawyers offered no evidence of the efficacy of torture ...
The Critical Dilemma Facing Pro-War Libertarians, by Jacob G. Hornberger, 14 Feb 2007
Discusses the contradictions faced by U.S. libertarians and conservatives who endorsed or encouraged imperial and interventionist foreign policies following the attacks of 11 Sep 2001
The 9/11 attacks exposed a major fault line in the libertarian movement. On one side of the divide were those libertarians who contended that the 9/11 attacks were a direct consequence of U.S. foreign policy, specifically the bad things that the federal government had done to people overseas, especially in the Middle East ... On the other side of the divide were those libertarians who immediately after the 9/11 attacks aligned themselves with conservatives. Viewing the attacks as an act of war, they favored giving the president full authority to wage the "global war on terror."
The Danger Is Intervention, Not "Isolation", by Sheldon Richman, 29 May 2014
Reflects on pronouncements by President Obama (at West Point) and Defense Secretary Hagel (at a Chicago foreign affairs forum) on Americans turning more "isolationist"
A lot of people are warning against America turning "isolationist" ... Many people think the al-Qaeda attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, resulted from disengagement, but that conflicts with the facts. Osama bin Laden said al-Qaeda was striking out against decades of brutal U.S. intervention, direct and indirect, in Iraq, Palestine, and elsewhere in the Arab Muslim world. Those high costs in blood and treasure were the consequences of intervention, not "isolationism" ... The war in Afghanistan, ostensibly intended to eradicate al-Qaeda, served to spread an intensified jihadist movement to Iraq, Syria ...
Decimating the Constitution with Military Tribunals, by Jacob G. Hornberger, 27 Sep 2006
Discusses what would become the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCA); note: in 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled section 7 of the MCA unconstitutional, which led to the MCA of 2009
Both the president and the Congress justify all this by repeating their favorite post-9/11 bromide: "The 9/11 attacks were an act of war, and we are now at war against the terrorists." Oh? Then, pray tell: ... what were the feds doing prosecuting Zacharias Moussaoui, who was accused of conspiring to commit the 9/11 terrorist attacks, in a federal district court? If terrorism is no longer a criminal offense and is instead an act of war, then what was that grand-jury indictment against Moussaoui all about? Didn't it specify the federal criminal laws that Moussaoui had violated in conspiring to commit the 9/11 attacks?
The Disaster That Is U.S. Foreign Policy, by Sheldon Richman, 6 Jun 2014
Considers the effect of U.S. involvement in the Middle East in the past two decades, in view of the Bergdahl-Taliban prisoner exchange, and reflects on the practical effect of killing Osama bin Laden
The conventional wisdom is that terrorists struck on 9/11 (and earlier) while we were minding our own business. Since ... it was unprovoked aggression against our freedom and affluence, the only proper response (we were told) was overwhelming force to eradicate the terrorists ... that response only aggravated the unacknowledged cause ... "Bin Laden has been precise in telling America the reasons he is waging war on us," Scheuer wrote. "None of the reasons have anything to do with our freedom, liberty, and democracy, but have everything to do with U.S. policies and actions in the Muslim world."
Do Hadithans Hate Us for Our Freedoms?, by Jacob G. Hornberger, 2 Jun 2006
Probes the premise voiced by U.S. government officials that terrorist acts are motivated by hatred of American "freedoms and values", rather than by episodes such as the Iraqi sanctions, torture at Abu Ghraib and the Haditha massacre
For example, when asked whether the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children who died from the more than 10 years of brutal sanctions that the U.S. government and the UN imposed on the Iraqi people might have engendered some negative feelings among people of the Middle East, the federal attitude was, "Oh, no. There is no way that those deaths could have been a factor in the anger and hatred that led to the 9/11 attacks because Saddam, not the sanctions, was responsible for the deaths of those children. The 9/11 attacks were carried out because the terrorists hate us for our freedom and values."
Related Topic: Haditha Massacre
Economic Lunacy, by Walter E. Williams, 15 Nov 2004
Criticizes comments made in newspaper articles after hurricanes Frances and Jeanne hit Florida, describing Bastiat's "Seen and Not Seen" and the "broken window" parable, also criticizing Paul Krugman's similar analysis after the 11 Sep 2001 attacks
The broken-window fallacy was seen in a column written by Princeton University professor Paul Krugman after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, 'After the Horror' ... He wrote, 'Ghastly as it may seem to say this, the terror attack – like the original day of infamy, which brought an end to the Great Depression – could do some economic good.' He went on to point out how rebuilding the destruction would stimulate the economy through business investment and job creation. ... If Krugman is right, wouldn't the terrorists have done us a bigger economic favor if they had destroyed buildings in other cities?
Elizabeth de la Vega, Bringing Bush to Court, by Elizabeth de la Vega, Tom Engelhardt, TomDispatch, 27 Nov 2006
Foreword by Engelhardt, followed by excerpt from the introduction of de la Vega's United States v. George W. Bush et al, where she compares the Enron scandal to Bush's words and actions in bringing about the invasion of Iraq
George W. Bush exploited the vulnerability of an entire populace reeling from the September 11, 2001, attacks to manipulate them into supporting a war based on false pretenses. ... By July 30, 2002, the White House Iraq Group had already begun fabricating an ominous scenario that blurred together the September 11 tragedy, mushroom clouds rising over American cities, and terrorists ... The President knew that Americans were 'particularly susceptible' in 2002. We were exhausted, and justifiably terrified, not only because of September 11 but also because of the anthrax murders and the random Washington, DC, sniper killings ...
Related Topics: George W. Bush, Iraq War, Law
The Endless War on Terrorism, by Jacob G. Hornberger, 1 Sep 2004
Reflects on President George W. Bush response ("I don't think we can win it") when asked about the War on Terror
When Americans were killed on 9/11, the response of most Americans was deep anger and a thirst for revenge over the loss of innocent life ... So, the argument goes, the 9/11 attacks had nothing to do with the U.S. government's killings of foreigners overseas because foreigners don't care when their friends, relatives, and countrymen are killed ... Thus, the 9/11 attacks, the argument goes, were instead motivated by hatred of America's "freedom and values," i.e., the First Amendment, religious freedom, Wal-Mart, and rock and roll, not by the loss of their loved ones at the hands of the U.S. government. How logical is that?
Fixing Airport Security, by Robert W. Poole, Jr., Intellectual Ammunition, 1 Nov 2001
Published shortly before the establishment of the Transportation Security Administration, recommends that U.S. airport security be handled the way it has been done in Europe, and Heathrow in particular, by turning airports into business enterprises
The September 11 terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center have forced us to rethink the issue of airport security. ... Some observers have called for creating a federal service ... But merely changing the uniforms will not change either the nature of the work or the incentives ... Although there are dedicated professionals running some U.S. airports, all too often we have positions filled by political appointees--like the former governor of Massachusetts' driver, who is the current chief of airport security at Boston's Logan Airport, where two of the doomed September 11 flights originated.
Related Topics: Business, London
Foreword, by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., A Foreign Policy of Freedom, 2007
Examines the historical precedents for the Paulian view that American foreign and domestic policy both be conducted in the same non-interventionist manner
A few years went by after 1990 when the Right was inching toward a Paulian consistency. Then 9-11 happened, and the great excuse for Leviathan again entered the picture. Never mind that, as Congressman Paul pointed out, the crime of 9-11 was motivated by retribution against ten years of killer U.S. sanctions against Iraq, U.S. troops on Muslim holy lands, and U.S. subsidies for Palestinian occupation. No, the American Right bought into the same farce that led them to support the Cold War: Islamic fanaticism is a unique evil ..., so we have to put up with Leviathan (again!) for the duration.
Freedom, Security, and the Roots of Terrorism against the United States, by Richard Ebeling, Freedom Daily, Oct 2001
Reflections on the 11 September attacks a few weeks after, discusses the reasons for the terrorist attacks and proposes certain measures to deal with the situation
Emotion is a powerful element in the human being. A very small number of Americans and Europeans called for blood, even innocent blood if it resulted in the death of some of the terrorists and their accomplices in the process. But most of the Europeans and Americans suggested greater caution before military action was undertaken to determine whether it might not set in motion a series of consequences that would lead to even greater disaster. There was a general agreement that there was no clear-cut and simple answer or solution to ensure justice in the face of this terrible tragedy.
Free Mark Cuban and Abolish the SEC, by Jacob G. Hornberger, 19 Nov 2008
Discusses Securities and Exchange Commission v. Mark Cuban (17 Nov 2008) insider trading case, concerning the latter's sale in June 2004 of shares in
[The] SEC's complaint ... comes some [four] years after Cuban's stock sale. While it might well be just a coincidence, according to the New York Times the complaint came after a lawyer for the SEC sent Cuban a letter questioning his patriotism for helping with the distribution of a documentary entitled "Loose Change," which claims that the 9/11 attacks were an inside job planned by President Bush and other U.S. officials. The SEC lawyer proceeded to report (rat on) Cuban's involvement with the film to SEC Chairman Chris Cox. The SEC then filed its insider-trading complaint against Cuban.
Related Topics: George W. Bush, Business, Ayn Rand
The George W. Bush 'What Me Worry?' Quiz, by Jim Cox, 2 Apr 2007
Twenty questions on what was George W. Bush's response to various situations; the answers provide links to supporting information
When Congress called for a full independent investigation of the 9/11 tragedy to prepare the U.S. against future terrorist attacks, the reaction of George W. Bush was to: a. support the effort and pledge to fully cooperate with the investigating committee. b. do a 'What Me Worry?' and first refuse the request, then under pressure agree to an investigation of a limited nature only, then appoint Condi Rice underling Phillip Zelikow to effectively investigate himself.
Government the Exploiter, Not Protector, by Sheldon Richman, 14 Jul 2006
Argues that, contrary to popular belief, the primary goal of government is not to protect the citizens but rather to exploit them though taxes and a system of privileges that favors those with political connections
The American people's security was not at stake in most of the foreign adventures ... [It] became an issue only after intervention created resentment against the United States ... U.S. intervention—in the Middle East, in Asia, in Africa, in Latin America—has been portrayed as necessary for national security, but in fact has been part of the system of privilege that harms most Americans. That system brought the blowback of September 11, 2001. But instead of people's getting wise to the game, 9/11 only reinforced it by furnishing a pretext for even more government power, intrusion, and exploitation.
Related Topics: Government, Taxation
How Did We Get Here?, by Justin Raimondo, 24 Oct 2007
Recapitulates the actions of various media outlets and "semi-credible sources" in making the case for the Iraqi invasion and supporting its continuation after the 2007 "surge"
The al-Qaeda connection was a subset of the master narrative, which conjured a frightening vision of a nuclear apocalypse as the price we would pay for inaction in Iraq. ... The main connecting thread between al-Qaeda and Iraq was reported as an alleged meeting between an Iraqi intelligence agent and Mohammed Atta that supposedly took place at the Prague airport ... The years of constantly repeating this theme – that Iraq planned and carried out the 9/11 terrorist attacks – either implicitly or explicitly took their toll on the truth: until very recently, substantial majorities believed Iraq had been behind the attacks.
Related Topic: Iraq War
How It All Began, by Charley Reese, 15 Jan 2007
It all began with one faulty premise. The attack on the World Trade Center was carried out by a single organization, al-Qaida. Hamas had not attacked us; Islamic Jihad had not attacked us; the Taliban had not attacked us; the guerrillas in the Philippines, Somalia, Colombia and wherever else in the world they exist had not attacked us.
Related Topic: Terrorism
Improve the CIA? Better to abolish it, by Chalmers Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle, 22 Feb 2004
Lists countries where the CIA conducted subversive operations and recommends abolishing the agency.
These operations have generated numerous terrorist attacks and other forms of retaliation -- what the CIA calls "blowback" -- against the United States by peoples on the receiving end. Because covert operations are secret from the people of the United States (if not their targets), when retaliation hits, as it did so spectacularly on Sept. 11, 2001, Americans do not have the information to put it into context or understand it.
Iraqi Sanctions: Were They Worth It?, by Sheldon Richman, Freedom Daily, Jan 2004
Analyzes the sanctions imposed on Iraq during the 1990's, and Madeleine Albright's memoirs, Madam Secretary (2003), where she attempted to recant on her 1996 statement that the sanctions were "worth it"
Albright now writes that her answer to Stahl was "crazy" and that she regretted it "as soon as [she] had spoken." Yet she did not take back her words between 1996 and September 11, 2001 ... in a speech ... shortly after 9/11 she "quietly" expressed regret for her statement, claiming it had been taken out of context. (She does not make that point in her book.) But neither her office nor the Clinton administration issued a prominent retraction to the American people or the world ... We can be sure of one thing: word of her original response spread throughout the Arab world. Maybe even among some of the 9/11 terrorists.
Related Topics: Children, Ethics, Health, Iraq
The Kenyan Massacre’s Roots in America's Somalia Policy, by Sheldon Richman, 24 Sep 2013
Comments on the 21 Sep 2013 Westgate shopping mall shooting in Nairobi, based on reporting on Somalia's situation by Scott Horton and Jeremy Scahill
[Scott] Horton, drawing on firsthand reporting by journalist Jeremy Scahill, notes that after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the Bush administration compiled a list of countries "ripe for 'regime change,'" including Somalia, "none of which had any involvement whatsoever in the attacks or any real ties to those who did ... Luckily for the Pentagon and CIA, it was not very difficult to find cutthroat warlords willing to accept their cash to carry out targeted assassinations and kidnappings against those they accused of being Islamists — or anyone else they felt like targeting."
Related Topics: Kenya, Somalia
Killing Iraqi Children, by Jacob G. Hornberger, 19 Jun 2006
Comments on a Detroit News editorial condoning the bombing, rather than the arrest and prosecution, of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and the "collateral" death of a five-year old girl
The Iraqi people had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks in New York and Washington ... The attack on Iraq was akin to, say, attacking Bolivia or Uruguay or Mongolia, after 9/11. Those countries also had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks and so it would have been illegal and immoral for President Bush to have ordered an invasion and occupation of those countries as well. To belabor the obvious, the fact that some people attacked the United States on 9/11 didn't give the United States the right to attack countries that didn't have anything to do with the 9/11 attacks.
A Letter From Butler Shaffer, by Butler Shaffer, 19 Oct 2001
Relates the change in people's behavior after the September 2001 attacks, some standing up for principle whereas others followed the herd, but in the end finding some cause for optimism
One positive feature of the post-September 11th mess has been the discovery of who is, and who is not, devoted to individual liberty ... In the aftermath of the WTC attack, as well as the government's attack on our liberties, I have had occasion to learn a great deal about people I have regarded as my friends, ... most of it quite favorable, some not so ... As I told one of my colleagues who could not understand my unwillingness to join in the war fervor, I do not take kindly to people whose sense of patriotism consists in helping to create an environment that threatens the lives of my family!
Related Topics: Individual Liberty, Terrorism
More Bush Insults, by Sheldon Richman, 12 Oct 2005
Comments on George W. Bush's nomination of White House counsel Harriet Miers to the U.S. Supreme Court and on his speech asking for support on the "war on terror"
Bush’s second insult to our intelligence came in his big speech ... He said, "Some have also argued that extremism has been strengthened by the actions of our coalition in Iraq ... I would remind them that we were not in Iraq on September the 11th, 2001 — and al-Qaeda attacked us anyway ..." ... For Muslims, Arabs, and many Americans, U.S. intervention in Iraq had been an issue for 10 years before September 11, 2001. The U.S. air force routinely bombed the country and killed innocent people, while a U.S.-led embargo took hundreds of thousands of children's lives and created great hardship.
The Pentagon's Power to Arrest, Torture, and Execute Americans, by Jacob G. Hornberger, 28 Feb 2007
Discusses the power to "arrest, torture, and execute" anyone (Amrican citizen or not) claimed to be an "enemy combatant" by the U.S. president and the military, and the shenanigans in the José Padilla case
Those constitutional protections and guarantees were upended on 9/11, without even the semblance of a constitutional amendment. On 9/11 the president and the Pentagon assumed to themselves the power to take any American into custody and inflict violence on him, without according him any of the protections provided by the Bill of Rights ... After 9/11, U.S. officials declared what they called a "war on terror." They said that this was akin to a real war, such as World War I and World War II, despite the fact that terrorism was still listed on the federal statute books as a federal crime.
Q & A with Karen Kwiatkowski, by Karen Kwiatkowski, Brian Lamb, Q&A, 2 Apr 2006
Video and transcript of the C-SPAN program; Lamb interviews Kwiatkowski about the 2003 invasion of Iraq and her participation in the 2005 film Why We Fight
Lamb: Where were you on 9/11?
Kwiatkowski: In the Pentagon, in our office. We were actually – at the moment that the Pentagon was struck, we were in my boss's office watching television, and we were looking at one tower that was damaged and burning, and then – and we actually witnessed on television, it was very surreal. I'm sure many, many millions of people who watched that felt very surreal. We saw it on TV and then, within minutes, it seemed we heard a huge boom and looked out over our window into the interior of the Pentagon. Pentagon roof looked like it had a huge fireball on it. I mean, we saw the fireball.
Sanctions: The Cruel and Brutal War against the Iraqi People, Part 2, by Jacob G. Hornberger, Freedom Daily, Feb 2004
Continues the account of the U.S. government sanctions against Iraq, describing the "oil for food" program, the resignations of two senior United Nations officials in protest and the influence on the 11 Sept 2001 attacks
That's undoubtedly why U.S. officials were so convinced that Iraq had something to do with the September 11 attacks. They knew that after more than a decade of brutal sanctions against Iraq, Iraqi officials and the Iraqi people had the most compelling motive to retaliate against both the civilian and military population of the United States. In the halls of Washington governmental offices on the afternoon of September 11, 2001, the families of hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqi children were undoubtedly likely suspects in the attacks that took place in New York and Washington.
Related Topics: Children, Iraq, Middle East
Shssh! Don't Tell Americans How We Treat "Enemy Combatants", by Jacob G. Hornberger, 21 Mar 2007
Comments on the cases of José Padilla, John Walker Lindh and other accused terrorists, and efforts by U.S. officials to prevent them from disclosing the treatment they received under military or CIA custody
Frightened after 9/11 over the prospect that "the terrorists" were coming to get them, many Americans were either silent or supportive when U.S. officials assumed ... the power to arbitrarily take people into custody, torture them, and even execute them after a kangaroo proceeding ... mental health involves an unwavering commitment to reality at all costs. Any hope of restoring a healthy, balanced, and free society requires that Americans fully confront the revolutionary changes that 9/11 has wrought in our nation, including everything that the government now has the power to do to Americans.
The "Stable Bulwark of Our Liberties", by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 13 Jun 2008
Reviews the Supreme Court majority opinion in the decision of the Boumediene v. Bush case, holding that Guantanamo Bay detainees can use the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus
As the New York Times reported,
[T]he man who gave the case its title, Lakhdar Boumediene, is one of six Algerians who immigrated to Bosnia in the 1990's and were legal residents there. They were arrested by Bosnian police within weeks of the Sept. 11 attacks on suspicion of plotting to attack the United States embassy in Sarajevo ... The Supreme Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina ordered them released three months later for lack of evidence
... after 9/11 the U.S. government offered cash rewards in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere to people who turned in suspected terrorists. Such a method of identifying threats is tainted ...
Thinking about Foreign Policy, by Sheldon Richman, Freedom Daily, Dec 2006
Analyzes why most people, even libertarians, tend to think about foreign policy as if it were decided upon by "the people" or at least with their interests in mind, rather than the "ruling elite" and its desire "to preserve and augment its own power"
[I]n the world of state relations, threats and aggressive acts rarely come out of the blue but rather are preceded by provocations ... [T]he 9/11 attacks were not the beginning of a conflict with Arabs and Muslims. For 50 years the U.S. government had pursued policies and backed regimes in the Middle East that were responsible for thousands of deaths and much hardship. Again, [as in the case of the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor], the point is not to excuse but to understand. Americans rarely see their government's policies through the eyes of those who suffer them.
The Threat of Militarism, by Karen Kwiatkowski, 9 Jul 2006
Presentation to Global Scholar seminar, Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Virginia; discusses "the nature of modern United States foreign policy" while reflecting on what Eisenhower, Smedley Butler and Mark Twain said and wrote
After retiring, I spoke and wrote publicly about what I believed in 2002 and 2003 were lies ... Key among these were ... that Hussein was allied with al-Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden, and that Saddam Hussein was involved in the 9-11 attacks ... You are old enough to remember the emotions that possessed most Americans in the wake of 9-11. You probably all know the words to Toby Keith's "Boot in your Ass" song, formally entitled "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)". It was a popular song because it tapped into something real about Americans and about all democracies.
Why Are We Afraid To Be Free?, by Butler Shaffer, 27 Nov 2001
Examines the question of how to bring about freedom in individuals' lives, discussing how government influences people to be in conflicted states and how one must look within oneself and act accordingly to begin to be "free"
[O]bserve the Draconian measures already put in place in this country ... Echoing the mantras of various government officials, 71% of persons alleged to have been polled expressed support for the "assassination" of Osama bin Laden, rather than a public trial. A trial might, after all, reveal that bin Laden had no involvement with the September 11th attacks, and to simply assassinate the man would save the Bush Administration untold embarrassment. Like any lynch mob, those who have whooped themselves into a mass-minded frenzy don't wish their prejudices confused by factual disputes!
Why They Hate Us, by Sheldon Richman, Freedom Daily, Feb 2008
Examines the myth that the United States is hated because Americans "are free and represent democracy", suggesting Americans ought to "get curious" about what their government has done to foreigners over the last century
Reciting this string of attacks supposedly demonstrates, without further argument, that the United States has been the major victim of violence on the world stage — unprovoked violence perpetrated by "Islamofascists" ... Indeed, it is widely believed that the attacks on September 11, 2001, were in part the result of "our" failure to retaliate for those unprovoked earlier attacks. But this is sheer balderdash. The attacks, while often criminally misdirected, were hardly unprovoked ... On the contrary, they were seen by the perpetrators as retaliation against the world's dominant imperial power.
Why We Fight, by Justin Raimondo, 1 Feb 2006
Detailed review of the 2005 documentary Why We Fight
On Sept. 11, 2001, Wilton Sekzer was on an elevated subway train coming into downtown New York when the car made an abrupt turn around the bend and the passengers were suddenly confronted with the sight of the World Trade Center on fire. Sekzer, a retired NYPD officer, clearly remembers his first thoughts ... and he details his mental narrative here ... as a kind of personal link to the catalytic event that started the Iraq ball rolling ... He describes his anger at the sight of the burning building, and his hope – processed as certain knowledge – that his son, who worked in the Towers, had somehow gotten out of there.
Will the Democrats Become Part of the Problem?, by Paul Craig Roberts, 10 Nov 2006
Discusses the outcome of the 2006 U.S. mid-term elections and offers recommendations primarily for congressional Democrats
9/11, if it was actually an act of Muslim terrorism, was the direct consequence of US one-sided meddling in Middle Eastern affairs ... The 9/11 Commission Report has too many problems and shortcomings to be believable. Recent polls show that 36% of the American people do not believe the report. Such a deficient report is unacceptable. 9/11 became the excuse for the neoconservative Bush regime to launch illegal wars of aggression in the Middle East. The 9/11 Commission Report is nothing but a public relations justification for the "war on terror," which in truth is a war on American liberty.
With Enemies Like This, Who Needs Friends?, by Kevin Carson, 23 Aug 2013
Reflects on the actions taken by the U.S. government in response to threats, such as from bad actors like Al Qaeda, or disclosures from whistleblowers such as Snowden and Manning
Al Qaeda has followed a consistent business model of goading Uncle Sam into doing utterly stupid things — a business model that never fails. AQ spent a relatively minor amount preparing and carrying out the 9/11 hijackings. In response, the United States became bogged down in two regional wars in South Asia and the Middle East that alienated public sentiment in the Islamic world, and embarked on a general policy ... that did irreparable damage to its reputation around the world. Entirely through its own responses to 9/11, the U.S. government has run up $1.5 trillion dollars in war debt ...
Related Topic: United States


An Interview With David Theroux, by David J. Theroux, Strike The Root, 2 Sep 2003
Topics discussed include: the Independent Institute, Theroux's life before founding it, possible connection to Thoreau, the Vietnam War, his heroes and influencers, activism, September 11 and book recommendations
What do you think about the way the federal government has responded to September 11?
The aftermath of 9/11 has been a textbook case of how war crises are used to expand government power for the benefit of special interests and destroy liberty in the process. The neo-conservatives who control the Bush administration have sought for over ten years for an opportunity to invade and conquer the Mideast and to further impose a worldwide U.S. military empire, and 9/11 has given them the chance to do so ... When things do not go as they have claimed, the neo-conservatives change their story and then demand even greater government power.
September 11 and the Anti-Capitalistic Mentality: An Interview with Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., for, by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., Myles Kantor, FrontPage Magazine, 12 Mar 2002
Discusses the insights of Mises' The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality particularly with regard to the attacks on the World Trade Center on 11 Sep 2001
Rockwell: ... Think about the people who worked at the WTC: ... financial experts whose contributions are essential to our daily lives. They labored every day to overcome linguistic, cultural, and regulatory barriers to unite the world in a great commercial project to improve the lot of mankind. But public schools teach that they are exploiters ... When the hijackers were choosing targets, they figured that they would smash these buildings because they somehow represented the "money power." ... The attack on the WTC put into action what millions of students are taught every day ...

Cartoons and Comic Strips

It's Because of 9/11!, by Joel Pett, Lexington Herald-Leader, 20 Jun 2006
A Nation Remembers III, by Mark Fiore, 8 Sep 2004
We Must Stay the Course in Iraq, by Stuart Carlson, 29 Jun 2005
Related Topic: George W. Bush
What might have happened on Sept. 11 if this were truly The Land of the Free, by Scott Bieser, 2001


The Cato Institute at 40, by Peter Goettler, Aaron Ross Powell (host), Trevor Burrus (host), Free Thoughts, 10 Mar 2017
Interview with Peter Goettler, President and CEO of the Cato Institute since March 2015, discussing the institute's 40 year history
Peter Goettler: ... The building I was in was the closest one to Ground Zero that actually wasn't structurally damaged in the attack ... And, David [Boaz], we both talked about the concern about terrorism. David also mentioned being very concerned about what was going to happen to civil liberties ... in the wake of the attack. At the time I thought, "Man, that's just not even in my frame of reference." ... [I]t was quite a prescient comment or ... concern because when you think of the way our country has changed in the last 15, 16 years since the attack, clearly there's been much higher risk profile for civil liberties of all types.

The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "September 11 attacks" as of 19 Nov 2018, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.