9/11 Then and Now
“Nine-eleven” is still with us in 2020. But it’s different now. September 11 shook us from head to toe. September 11, 2020 should shake us more.
On this 19th anniversary of 9/11, we remember what we prefer to forget: the scene of highjacked American Airlines passenger planes leveling the World Trade Center twin towers like tidal waves erasing a sand castle.
In Washington, D.C. American Airlines Flight 77 hit the Pentagon. AA Flight 93 would have struck the U.S. Capitol, if not for the heroic intervention of two passengers who risked everything to stop it.
What we see is horrifying, but it is behind us. That was then; this is now. Al-Qaeda was responsible for 9/11. But only a slash (/) and three hyphens distinguish between the date from the three digit rescue call. Who will answer the 9-1-1 call from the burning house of the American people in 2020?
9-1-1 on 9/11 2020
Fires are sweeping across the U.S.A. Some fires we see. The forest fires in California, Oregon, and Washington are vast and spreading. The governors have sounded the alarm; fire-fighters are responding as best they can. Other fires, like global warming and coronavirus pandemic, are less obvious. Only the devastation they cause can be captured on camera. Those fires have no address. Neither does the arsonist.
Holding the Bag for the President
“He sins as much who holds the bag as he who puts into it,” says an adage from an anonymous source. I had to read that twice. Translation on 9/11 2020: the party that holds the bag for the president’s unconscionable dereliction of duty is as responsible for the president himself.
Bob Woodward’s new book Rage and the recently released recordings of the president’s voice leave no doubt about President Trump’s character and behavior. Republican Party spokespersons can no longer politically afford to ignore what they already knew, but they will find a way, and FoxNews will serve as the party’s public relations firm.
GOP Senators and Representatives are as responsible as the president for his lies, deceptions, misinformation, disinformation, distortions of fact, assault on essential institutions, and the president’s defiance of his Oath of Office to protect the country from all enemies, foreign and domestic. They are as responsible as he for stoking the embers of white supremacist lawlessness, shifting blame for police homicides and street violence to their victims and to Black Lives Matter, pushing infectious disease researchers and climate scientists off stage and out of sight, staying mum and turning a blind eye to the Blue states of the Pacific Northwest, and holding the bag for Vladimir Putin’s agenda of weakening public trust.
Brian Murphy served as the Trump Administration’s Acting Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis in the Department of Homeland Security from March 2018 through August 2020. Now he is a different kind of public servant. He is the whistle-blower whose complaint is a 911 call to save us from fraud by Homeland Security leaders who undercut national intelligence that showed Russia was working to undermine the United States. Heather Cox Richardson’s Letters from an American (9/09/2020) tells a chilling story.
The complaint also concerns the DHS Threat Assessment leaked yesterday to Politico. Wolf and his deputy Ken Cuccinelli—also appointed illegally, according to the GAO—prohibited the release of the threat assessment because it discussed both the threat of white supremacists and of Russian influence in the United States. This, they said, would reflect badly on the president. “Mr. Cuccinelli stated that Mr. Murphy needed to specifically modify the section on White Supremacy in a manner that made the threat appear less severe, as well as include information on the prominence of violent ‘left-wing’ groups.” Wolf wanted to add information about the ongoing unrest in Portland, Oregon.
Murphy refused to sign off on their alteration of the intelligence report, warning that it was “an abuse of authority and improper administration of an intelligence program. Wolf ordered it revised anyway. Murphy warned that the final version of the threat assessment would “more closely resemble a policy document with references to ANTIFA and ‘anarchist’ groups than an intelligence document.” This is the document leaked in draft form to Politico yesterday.Heather Cox Richardson, Letters from an American, 9/11, 2020
A 9-1-1 Response for a Kidnapped Republic
The Republican Party has some things in common with the terrorists who turned passenger planes into missiles and sent a dark cloud of smoke over America.
The party of my parents’ generation has been highjacked. If we don’t have the wisdom and courage to stop it, the party and country of Abraham Lincoln will disappear like a sand castle.
I have no doubt how my mother and father would have voted in 2020. They knew that “all sin is a kind of lying” (Augustine), and that “the recognition of sin is the beginning of salvation” (Martin Luther). I sense their tears and hear their voices.
“It’s [not] my party, and I’ll cry if I want to, cry if I want to!”
Gordon C. Stewart, Chaska, MN, 9/11/2020.
Hi nice readingg your post
Gordon, I shared your post yesterday with my brother, Susan’s brother, A Rabbi, Baptist Pastor and a Presbyterian Pastor in Odessa Texas.
There are parallels between 01 and 20. In 01 The President was informed in a PDB in August of a planned attack and GHWB did nothing. Those who attacked were Saudis. We attacked their base in Afghanistan but never Saudi Arabia. Nothing. Then with the advice of the Neo-Cons led by Cheney and Bolton contrived a Bull Shit Story that their were weapons of mass dustruction in IRAQ. Saddam Hussain was THE bad guy. We dropped a pandemic on IRAQ that destroyed everything the missles, bombs, and altillary fell. All sorts of IRAQI people….who until then never wished us harm. They are just as dead from US arrogance, willful disregard of fact and truth as today’s COVID-19 pandemic as Trump’s panic caused by information he is emotionally incapable of processing.
Both are profound absence of capable leadership.
When we did our best to break things in Europe to kill Hitler the United States airlifted food to Berlin and the Marshall Plan to restore what we broke. Feeling no guilt in Iraq or Syria…. Nothing to see there. The 3000 dead included my regional manager and some 3000+ others I never knew. Each day since 03/13/2020 until this day very close to that number have died of COVID-19 in the United States or about 4 times the US dead from Vietnam in 6 months. The 194,000 dead on 9/12/20 is expected to be close to 400,000 by 12/31/20. The ironic fact today is about 50% of the adults with COVID-19 who are hospitalized either dined or were in contact with another who ate indoors in a restaurant.
Susan and I were on a briefing with Bloomberg School of Public Health and the President of Hopkins Medicine. They have added 6 floors of negative pressure ICU for COVID-19 patients and are hiring because the anticipation is that with opening up businesses beaches and restaurants the rate of hospitalization will grow in October through 12/31 to March April levels. Social Distancing and masks would reduce that if we had leadership and “Now Do This”
James B Haugh
On Fri, Sep 11, 2020, 9:25 PM Views from the Edge wrote:
> Gordon C. Stewart posted: ” 9/11 Then and Now “Nine-eleven” is still with > us in 2020. But it’s different now. September 11 shook us from head to toe. > September 11, 2020 should shake us more. On this 19th anniversary of 9/11, > we remember what we prefer to forget: the scene o” >
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Jim, your comment belongs in Op Ed sections of the NYT, WP, WSJ, the Nation, the Atlantic, and National Inquirer. Okay, that’s a stretch. Maybe an interview with Mike Wallace or Juan Williams or Stars and Stripes. What you’ve written here is encyclopedic.
In an earlier reply to Marilyn Armstrong I referred to Daniel Schorr as my idea of a journalist. He never hyper-ventilated. Never! He didn’t need to raise his voice. He didn’t holler. He would never have made it in this entertainment age when truth is on the scaffold and there is nothing to discuss but our own feelings.
The Bloomberg School must see in you and Susan what your old friends have known for years. They were wise to include you in their briefing.
Stay masked, good friend. Give Susan and Jesse hugs!
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I just pray we can turn the tide in a landslide this November and begin to heal our fractured nation.
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Lori, that is my fervent prayer. Then, HOPEFULLY, we can begin to heal on so many levels. So many of us, I think, are caught in this “funk” thinking nothing will change. The disillusionment and skepticism has seeped into family lives, our local communities, cities, states and up to the top – where it’s all shambles.
Voting – is just the beginning. Lots of work beyond that. But we begin with VOTING!
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Yes! Could not agree more….
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Garry, I concur with your capitalizations: HOPEFULLY and VOTING! Our time is best spent communicating with friends we know or believe will vote for Biden and an honest Senate and House. Postcards. Letters? E-mails to everyone on our Contacts lists explaining why his election is critical and urging them to VOTE.
Agreed, Lori. If it’s not a landslide there may be an earthquake, i.e., a coup d’etat, and the brawling that’s already happening will seem like name-calling. Sticks and stones WILL break our bones.
Hope would not be hope unless there are reasons to despair. Hope is its own kind of faith. Not illusion. Not without obstacles. Not without reasons to surrender to it. Hope is an oddity, isn’t it? It resists; it also heals what is broken. Thanks for staying with me on Views from the Edge, Lori! Some day our dogs will meet!
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Reblogged this on Serendipity Seeking Intelligent Life on Earth and commented:
As usual, Gordon Stewart knows not only how he feels, but the right and wrong of it. This country needs a lot more of him. A LOT more.
Good Morning, Marilyn. How much do I owe you? 🤗💋😂 I can barely write these days. Whatever I might write feels trite — I’ve already said what little I have to say or it’s been said over and over ad nauseam by better voices.
If you have a moment to tell me what, in particular, led you to re-post it, I’ll be grateful. Thank you so much! Hi to Garry!
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Hi, Gordon. Garry here.
I appreciate this post very much. I was still working on 9/11. It was as traumatic a day as I can recall in my 40 plus years as a TV news reporter.
In the newsroom, we, veteran reporters, watched the wall bank of TV monitors in silent, stunned horror and disbelief. These were not Hollywood disaster films or breaking news clips from overseas and/or some third world country.
It was happening to US. Right in our own backyard!
We dispersed, on various assignments to cover “the story” like robots. We were silent, perhaps murmuring profanities.
Same thing on the streets of Boston and elsewhere as tracked down rumors, half truths and contradictory government statements. I was in a pack of foreign correspondents. They were professionally dour but exchanged lots of “crisis humor”. I was a bit, a bit indignant about the laughter until one BBC mic holder chatted me up. “Listen, friend, don’t be dismayed by our merriment. We see this all the time in OUR homelands. I’ve been dealing with this since I was a little chap…World War Two bombings. Day and night and day for weeks. These other chaps..from the Middle East and Asia. It’s part of THEIR daily lives. We live with terrorism the way you folks live with gang shootings. Now, it’s YOUR turn to feel what we’ve been feeling for generations. Nothing personal, Yank” The BBC mic holder offered a wry smile and a pat on the shoulder. We clawed our way through groups to continue interviews and feed reports back to our respective newsrooms. The street pulse morphed from shock, disbelief, grief, outrage and anger as day turned into night.
As luck would have it, I met that BBC mic holder (Correspondent, please!) at a late evening pub gathering of weary reporters. A few munched on sandwiches we envied, others just skipped to their beverages of choice. The BBC fellow and I just stared at each other and drank. Maybe 3 rounds later, I said, Thank you”. He smiled more with a little surprise, “You get it, don’t you, Yank”? I nodded.
Yes, I DID get it. 9/11….marked the end of our innocence. We were no longer exempt from attacks on the USA.
It signaled the beginning of a new chapter in our collective lives. We would need leaders, cognizant of this change, to help us heal and cope with the new world order so familiar to everyone else.
We are still waiting for that leadership, weakened by what’s transpired during the past 4 years.
“Remember Pearl Harbor” was the rallying cry for an earlier generation.
“Remember 9/11….and Remember that *ALL* lives matter” should echo in our minds come November or earlier as we vote.
And, VOTE — we must do!
Hopefully, we’ll have a mass exodus of the clowns who’ve haunted us, taunted us into lots of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
It needs to CHANGE, folks.
Garry, Was the evening pub Tip O’Neill’s hangout in Cambridge? That pub is an institution! If I remember correctly, it was a favorite of “Yank” journalists, as well as the “Speaker. I can imagine you and the BBC guy hitting the rounds while he took you to school on what the Brits learned a long time ago. Those of us who weren’t part of that conversation on 9/11 were slurping down medication like you and BBC correspondent, but, unlike you, we still don’t “get it.” What many of us seem to have “gotten” instead is something else — that there are enemies out to get us (people not like us), so we’d better built walls, develop new weapons systems, fight wars, get rid of the traitors among us (think McCarthy, Roy
Cohn, and Pete Seeger!), and muscle up to defend and promote “American exceptionalism.” That is the public anxiety that created space for a snake salesmen with orange hair, three wives, Stormy Daniels, and phone numbers of every NYC call girl with the right recommendations to terrorize the nation from world’s most powerful office. Paul Tillich observed that if Jesus Christ never existed, we would have to create him. That’s what happened in Germany. That’s what’s happening in the U.S.A.
THE issue that pre-empts all others in 2020 is planetary survival. If I were advisor to political candidates and were in a position to shape their platforms and write their speeches, I would focus on the urgent need to address climate change with the infrastructure. People who have been climate change-deniers have eyes to see the flames, noses to smell the smoke, and ears to hear the cries, and have to believe they’re not stupid enough to feign ignorance and deny what’s happening all around us. The rogue president and the Publicans in Congress have slashed and burned environmental protections put in place under every administration since Nixon. In short, everything that matters falls under the cloud of planetary inhabitability.”Throw the bums out! Do it NOW while there may still be time.”
VOTE! VOTE! VOTE!
Right and wrong are hardly ever mentioned these days. We talk about lies. We talk about misinformation. We talk about failure to lead, But right and wrong? Good and evil? Nope. You bring that piece up and it’s important. It’s NOT just that Trump is a failed leader, it’s that he’s a failed human being. A bad person, an evil person. He is cruel and ugly — and of course, a bigot. He is exactly who should never be leading this or any other country, yet WE elected him. If not you personally, or us personally, then this country pushed him into the White House and does not seem to realize that whether or not he creates a great stock market as nothing to do with his quality as a person, nothing to do with righteousness,. What was it that C.S. Lewis called it? The banality of evil?
And now, we live with it every day. The longer we live with it, the less shocking it becomes eventually, it will be a shrug and a “who cares anymore?” THAT is what he was talking about. Our leader, the devil in a long red tie.
Remember Nietzsche’s parable of the mad man, the town crier who announces the death of God?
“‘Where has God gone?’ he cried. ‘I shall tell you. We have killed him – you and I. We are his murderers. But how have we done this? How were we able to drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon? What did we do when we unchained the earth from its sun? Whither is it moving now? Whither are we moving now? Away from all suns? Are we not perpetually falling? Backward, sideward, forward, in all directions? Is there any up or down left? Are we not straying as through an infinite nothing? Do we not feel the breath of empty space? Has it not become colder? Is it not more and more night coming on all the time? Must not lanterns be lit in the morning? Do we not hear anything yet of the noise of the gravediggers who are burying God? Do we not smell anything yet of God’s decomposition? Gods too decompose. God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we, murderers of all murderers, console ourselves?'” (excerpt from The Gay Science)
The madman makes his announcement too soon. Well, it’s not too soon now, is it? Nietzsche was talking about the demise of western culture. No right. No wrong. No good. No evil. No beauty. No ugliness. Everything devolves into the quicksand of opinion without objective truth.
C.S. Lewis’s “banality of evil” describes our plight, doesn’t it? Have you read Lewis’s critique of “The Green Book,” the school primer being introduced in English schools? It teaches children about feelings and reality; subjectivity and objectivity. According to the epistemology of The Green Book, “The waterfall is beautiful!” is not a statement about the waterfall. It’s about feelings: “I feel such and such looking at the waterfall.” The aesthetic wonder of a beautiful waterfall is shrunken to the size of brains of “Trousered Apes” and “Urbane Blockheads.”
I guess post-modernism isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, huh?
Thank you, Marilyn. I wrote a comment this morning in response to Heather Cox Richardson’s latest epistle about “feelings” needing the bridle and rein of a critical mind. Without that connection we create narratives of illusion of exceptionalism. These days my mind takes me places I don’t to go — feelings of horror seeing a horrendous history repeating itself in clear daylight. But it’s the things that don’t meet the eye that are more troubling, i.e, the step by step systematic coup d’etat that feels, and is, like the build up to the Third Reich supplanting the Weimar Republic.
One of your top 3 of all time, my dear friend! Spot on! Leslie Gore (“It’s My Party”) just whispered in my ear: “Tell Gordon to bring it home!” Horse
Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone
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What a great way to greet the day. Thank you for the encouragement. Now…I’m going to check out a one-owner 2010 Lexus LS460 with 52,000 miles and perfect Carfax history. I must be nuts! I may just “bring it home” in a moment of madness.
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Gordon, IF you get it – HURRAH! Waiting for you in your “McQueen” look with your new wheels. PICS, please!
Couldn’t do it, Garry. Most beautiful car I’ve ever seen. Everything to like. Except for the gas mileage. Last MPG on the dashboard registered 16.1. Can you say irresponsible? But I’ve never been so tempted to fall in love with a luxury car — 2010 Lexus LS460 with 52,000 miles and a perfect history. It compared to how I once felt about Marilyn (Monroe, that is). Oh, for a spin around the block.
Satan, get behind me! I took the spin but resisted the allure.
Horse, I thought I had replied but don’t see it here. Thank you. What are the other two? Make my day. -:)