Reflective glimpse back 15 years ago, and sort of unknowingly encapsulates our current state of affairs:
“The president was in a great mood. He had that George W. Bush strut that morning.”
–Andy Card, chief of staff
Also an indicative response to Sept. 11, 2001, was the widely-spoofed, idiot-influenced Homeland Security Advisory System coming online in March, 2002 — the scheme lasted until April 2011.
As quipped Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi. ‘“The old color coded system taught Americans to be scared, not prepared.”‘
On this day a decade-and-a-half ago, nearly 3,000 innocent people were murdered, people from every type on the planet.
Yet despite that carnage, since then has been worse. As if after Pearl Harbor the US/FDR lost WWII to Tojo and Hitler.
(Illustration found here).
A lot of events today commemorating the noted anniversary, in New York City, DC, and in a field outside Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
And current politics, too — Hillary Clinton apparently suffered some heat problems during the NYC memorial service, which a ‘…video of her unexpectedly early departure showed her buckling and stumbling as she got into her van.’ (Washington Post)
She later appeared fine.
Unfortunate as T-Rump people will way-most-likely jump-nasty on Hillary’s supposed health ‘issues.’
And unfortunate, too, was George W’s strut-like reaction in creating the nowadays — a good nutshell from The Intercept yesterday.
Despite the lack of progress, the last 15 years of war have come at a horrific cost.
The U.S. lost nearly 2,300 service members in Afghanistan, and nearly 4,500 in Iraq.
Hundreds of thousands were forever damaged.
Those figures do not include at least 6,900 U.S. contractors and at least 43,000 Afghan and Iraqi troops who lost their lives.
The death toll in the countries the U.S. attacked remains untallied, but conservative estimates range from the hundreds of thousands to well over a million.
Add to that the hundreds of people tortured in U.S. custody, and thousands killed by U.S. drones in Yemen, Pakistan, and Somalia.
The financial cost of the War on Terror is incalculable.
The Iraq and Afghan wars, including the medical costs for veterans, are estimated to end up costing the U.S. at least $4 trillion dollars.
Intelligence budgets have doubled, on top of more than $800 billion spent on “homeland security.”
Billions of dollars have been wasted on fruitless projects — like a failed plan to install radiation detectors at airports, which cost the government $230 million.
The Department of Homeland Security wasted $1.1 billion on a “virtual fence” of sensors along the Mexican border before scrapping the program.
The examples go on and on.
The CIA paid one contractor $20 million to build a program that could discover encoded terrorist messages in Al Jazeera news broadcasts.
Just last year, the Pentagon spent $43 million on one gas station in Afghanistan.
Two contract psychologists were paid $80 million for designing the CIA’s torture program.
After 15 years, the only winners in the War on Terror have been the contractors.
Don’t forget 9/11, but do remember how we got into the nowadays…