The news media are bursting with reports reminding us that this coming Sunday is the tenth anniversary of 11 September 2001, a date which will live in infamy.
But for what?
Of course, I know damn right well what. I was working in Manhattan that day, and had to walk home, across the Manhattan Bridge, seeing the column of smoke in the sky. I still react to the video of the airplane slamming into the South Tower as a punch in the gut. I remember the smell, the dust, the eerie quiet in the weeks that followed.
But there is one small question. At times, I thought I knew the answer, but now, I’m not so sure:
How is it that three modern steel buildings all collapsed into neat little piles, dropping at near free-fall speed, covering little more than their own footprints?
I’ve always believed that it was within the power of our leadership to forestall the events of 11 September, but that they allowed it to happen in order to advance their own political agenda. But if, for a moment, we ponder that small question, and set aside the official answer of jet-fuel fires, what comes out is horrifying.
If the Twin Towers and 7 WTC did not simply collapse, then our government took an event that might have killed hundreds and amplified it so as to kill thousands. And if our leadership could kill thousands of Americans to score political points, what else are they capable of?
OK: that’s one alternative. But if we step back from that, and return to the official version of what happened, then we have a government that in spite of clear warnings was simply asleep at the switch.
In other words, our leadership is either evil or stupid.
And that’s the tenth anniversary that we’re really observing.