It was almost precisely eight years ago that the people of the United States began to become aware of the attacks that were taking place on September 11, 2001. The tragedy continued to unfold for days and, in a very real sense, is continuing to unfold.
I really don’t have a great deal to say about it. There will be endless bickering about who is politicizing this and who is exploiting that and whether the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have actually increased our safety. I opposed both, largely because what I envisioned when I thought about what was likely to happen is what actually took place. Aghanistan has been a little better than I thought; Iraq a little worse.
I do not for one moment believe that we have taken the steps domestically that we should have to increase security here. Indemnifying the airlines against the manifest consequences of their own folly was an early sign of what was to come.
We can only prevent another 9/11 by identifying the critical success factors behind the original attacks and interrupting one or more of them. In my view that’s a discussion which should go on in public because its ramifications are so far-reaching and it’s a discussion which has never taken place, at least not in public.
We may decide as a society that we’re unwilling to change the things that made the attacks possible and, consequently, we’re willing to live with the risk that there will be comparable attacks in the future. I think that’s a decision that should be arrived at as a society, in the open, and not a choice made for us by shadowy figures behind closed doors.
One can always dream.